all 28 comments

[–]MezozoicGay 21 insightful - 3 fun21 insightful - 2 fun22 insightful - 3 fun -  (1 child)

In my perception it is just a made-up things.

And here is why I think like that: through out the history "masculinity" and "femininity" were changing. Men were wearing dresses and make-up, women were praised for having a lot of weight, or feminine was having long neck, and masculine to have scars, and so on. Almost always biological facts were still considered as masculinity and femininity, but things like "men are strong and agressive" were not always considered as "being manly", as in ancient Greece - being smart or rich was more "manly" than being buffed.

So masculinity or femininity in general is a way to describe gender stereotypes of current age and current society. It can be useful to use those labels to fast describe yourself, but at same time it is damaging if used by "wrong people" (TRA for example).

For me masculinity and femininity as still tied with biology, and just synonymous to male or female. I have big bias in this, because I am "feminine gay man" and I was helping in PCOS support centers, but for me Butch lesbian or even woman with PCOS and face hair is still feminine, same as transmen, same with "feminine" men or super buffed men, they are both for me same masculine. However, that can offend some LGB people, so I am not often saying this.

[–]candiedDagon 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

That’s my personal perception of masculine and feminine, too, as a butch lesbian. I consider myself to be very feminine. And then other people see me as trying to leave womanhood or some shit and worry over my pronouns.

[–]DistantGlimmer 13 insightful - 1 fun13 insightful - 0 fun14 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It's a social construct dependant on culture what is considered feminine and masculine although there is also a big hierarchical and controlling aspect to how they are constructed to enforce patriarchal norms. They don't exist in nature if that is what you are asking.

[–]jkfinn 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

Both "femininity" and "masculinity" are defined by males. However, "Femininity" is a target, not an assignment, meant to paint women as Other. What makes up "masculinity" are merely qualities of both division and unity or how hierarchy is determined within the male identity or male club. "Femininity" is how women are subordinated; "masculinity" is how superiority or dominance is realized at women's expense.

[–]Nohope[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

Hello, your comment peaked my interest, and I'm wondering are there any GC articles/books I can read on "femininity" and "masculinity" being created to control women? Because that's a view I agree with but unfortunately couldn't find any articles explaining things in detail on google

[–]Yayme 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Not trying to be a grammar Nazi, or whatever. I'm just procrastinating... scrolling through the comments tab, and saw your post, and thought I'd let you know it's actually "piqued."

Is it peak or pique your interest?

The traditional idiom is to pique one's interest, with pique meaning “to provoke or arouse.” Like perk, however, peaked can also make sense in context. Peak means “to bring to a maximum value or intensity,” and this is certainly what one might mean when saying, “my interest was peaked.”

[–]Nohope[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Oops. Sorry my friend, you're absolutely right! It should be piqued my interest not peaked. Sometimes I make grammar mistakes, I actually like it when someone corrects where I get things wrong so don't worry about being a grammar nazi. I'm actually thankful you pointed it out, I get to learn and correct my grammar mistakes <3

[–]Yayme 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Thanks for taking it the way it was intended :-)

It's not like it was horrible error that made me gasp. I'm just killing time, trying to avoid putting together a report I have to get out today.

[–]jkfinn 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I cannot think of any books or articles that explicitly deals with this subject, but the central idea is contained in almost all radical feminist books to varying degrees. Demonizing women is also the model of oppression of all minorities... So, before the US troops were sent to Vietnam, it had to be drilled into them that the Vietnamese were to be called "slopes," that they endorsed communism as an ideology.. If you want to just look at femininity, there is Susan Brownmiller's book "Femininity" which will point to the way this is employed to set up women for use, and violence. Also there's an art history book called "The Painted Witch."Any book that deals with women as devil or Eve or target... set up to be shot down.

[–]TurtleFuzz 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

My two cents here: I think a lot of traditional feminine/masculine traits are still based on biology. If you look at other animals, there are usually easily discernable differences between males and females. Being able to find the opposite gender makes it easier to find a mate and procreate.

I fully support people's decisions to adopt or reject gender norms as they see fit. You are a male who likes makeup? Sweet! You are a female who likes cars and trucks? Awesome! Nobody should come along and tell you "YoU mUsT bE tRaNs!!" just because your personality isn't gender nonconforming. It's frankly silly.

[–]SharpTomorrow 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

well these definitely are cultural/social constructs. Is your question about whether you should follow them or not?

[–]Nohope[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Hello! My question is whether "femininity" and "masculinity" are just imaginary things humans made up or biological. Transmedicalists always argue "gender" ("femininity" and "masculinity") is biological, for instance here;

I think gender is like language. It's naturally triggered but completed by culture. It can vary but it always has to act within natural norms. Physical strength is always going to be seen as more masculine, smooth skin is always going to be associated with feminine. All societies have masculinity and femininity even if they vary.

Another famous example of transmedicalists is Blaire White, he argues "gender" is biological because of the differences in hair, body, bones, etc of males and females and he says there are male and female brains because he's a transmedicalist;

Since the point of GC is "gender" ("femininity" and "masculinity") is just a social construct and not biological, I wanted to ask for arguments against the "gender" sessensialism that says "gender" is biological instead of a social construct

[–]jelliknight 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yes and Yes.

They're "real" because we act like they are. We also made them up, and we change them over time and across societies.

In the middle ages, leggings were masculine. Worn with short 'tunics' (essentially a dress). Kilts are masculine but skirts are feminine. Blue is feminine and pink is masculine. Computing is women's work. Wait, it's getting paid? It's men's work now. Sewing and caring for the sick is feminine. Unless you're a surgeon, then it's masculine as hell.

The lines are ever shifting and circumstantial. They exist in that they are the 'rules' of our society but as the great Terry Pratchett wrote "if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you." That's what happened with lesbians. This group of women said "we're not doing that" and society added an asterisk to the rules on femininity.

[–]moody_ape 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

i think they're made up. aside from gender stereotypes, they also represent archetypes. everybody has feminine and masculine traits and i don't understand why humans have this need to categorize masculinity and femininity as male and female traits.

[–]Astrid2448 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

It’s partially social/cultural and partially from biology. For example, men are larger and more muscular, so traditionally they were taught to use that with things like fighting, hunting, and weaponry. Doing this made violence part of male culture and “macho” qualities. In modern times, these things have turned into teaching men to play sports and video games. Obviously, anyone can play Team Fortress, Red Dead, etc. and holding a controller has nothing to do with physical strength. The strength is the source but the video games are the construct built around the source. Make sense?

[–]Realwoman 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

Actually, men are larger and more muscular than women for the same reason other male animals are bigger and stronger than females - the females invest a lot of resources into making bigger gametes and in mammals, in carrying the young and nursing them, so the males are the ones that physically compete with other males for access to females. Male polar bears are bigger than female polar bears because they fight each other during mating season and the stronger one gets to mate and spread his genes. Human males are basically built to fight other males (upper body strength in humans is way more sexually dimorphic than leg strength for example), that's why they're more violent and physically aggressive than women.

Now of course, violence as part of the culture is definitely a thing and culture in general has a giant influence on humans. So I don't disagree with what you're saying.

[–]Astrid2448 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Wait... are you saying that you believe men are only stronger than the women today for cultural reasons, or are you saying females evolved to be weaker because they take care of the young?

[–]Realwoman 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

I don't know how to say it more clear - men are stronger than women because they evolved to fight other men. Women didn't evolve to fight men or other women, that would be a disadvantage for them evolutionary.

[–]Astrid2448 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Ok then. I’m confused on why you felt the need to go “actually” and explain that to me then. It seems pretty obvious

[–]Realwoman 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Oh sorry, I confused you with someone else on here

[–]Realwoman 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (3 children)

Humans are a sexually dimorphic species, so there are actual differences between men and women related to reproduction, as well as attracting the opposite sex. That's why muscles on a man are considered masculine and attractive, as well as round hips on a woman. The way most people use makeup is by increasing contrast on the face - which makes the face more feminine looking - see here

Also, men are more aggressive and more prone to violence, which is well established.

Now, societies have taken those differences and amplified them. Gender roles were created. What is considered masculine and feminine is very different in different cultures, especially when it comes to things like clothing or hair styles. Skirts for example are considered feminine in most of the the west but they're masculine in Scotland. Long hair is not universally considered feminine at all.

[–]Nohope[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Do you then believe "gender" ("femininity" and "masculinity") exists and is biological instead of a social construct? I thought GCs believe gender is not biological and is actually a social construct even if there are differences between the hair, skin, bones, etc of males and females

I have only heard transmedicalists argue gender is biological and is not a social construct, like Blaire White argues gender is biological because of the differences in hair, body, bones, etc of males and females and he says there are male and female brains because he's a transmedicalist;

At the end he calls "feminine" men and "masculine" women "defects"

[–]Realwoman 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I definitely don't agree with trans anything. I find this article very informative:

When people talk about masculinity and femininity, they often talk about appearance, you yourself mentioned makeup and clothes, as well as muscles. There's a good reason why physically strong men with a lot of muscles are considered masculine - this is part of make secondary sexual characteristics. Also why men should not be allowed to participate in women's sports.

I have not seen any evidence for male and female brains, so I don't believe that's a thing. I like what this article had to say on the matter, warning, it's long but really good:

There are differences between men and women, both physical and non physical but things like personality are more of a spectrum and many, many people differ from the "standard" for their sex. I think it's both nature and nurture, both biological and social. As for what is considered feminine and masculine when it comes to behavior, I already said that a lot of it varies by culture a lot and it's not universal, except for some clear examples of men being more aggressive and prone to violence and women being the ones taking care of children. But beyond that, it's extremely subjective.

[–]CleverNickName 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Wow, that first article is so damn good. Simple, straightforward description of reality, including our culture's failure to recognize how normal it is to display "sex-atypical" behaviour as they phrased it.

[–]WhiteZealot 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

Femininity and masculinity are opposite directions on the scale for any genetics-based trait of a human. For each trait, men and women will have a different average (or a different probability of having said trait), and femininity is then the direction of an arrow pointing from the male average to the female average, and masculinity is the opposite direction.

For example, women are on average shorter than men. Therefore, shortness in an adult is feminine.

[–]Nohope[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Sigh, why are you GCs all "gender" essentialists? I thought the point of GC was to abolish "gender" ("femininity" and "masculinity") but you all act like transmedicalists that say "a man that's short is a defect, he's a feminine man because being short is an innate quality of females"!!

[–]Realwoman 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

No one said a man being short is a defect but men are on average taller than women. There is significant overlap between men and women, that's true, but it's also true that men are taller than women. This doesn't mean that a short man is any less of a man or that a tall woman is any less of a woman.