Posted by: bethanygeiger | January 18, 2016

Feminine = For Women?

Why do I have to shave my legs and guys don’t?

Why are there free self-defense classes offered to women and not men?

Why are women’s lacrosse and men’s lacrosse two completely different sports?

Why does the accounting field have disproportiantely more women associates but a laughably disproportionate number of female senior partners and managers?

From our culture stems the norms of the masculine and feminine descriptors having an associated gender. There are masculine hobbies and eating habits. There are feminine colors and movies. Using these words as descriptors is not a hinderance to feminism,  but the way terms such as feminine and girly can be used interchangeably is what is deterring the progress of women. Could it be possible to eliminate the association of feminine and masculine with women and men and simply see them the way we see the terms impulsive and practical: two oppsites with distinct characteristics? Why does it seem so absurd  that a scent could be described as masculine without having to be “for men?” Maybe I want to smell masculine like a pine forest instead of a flowery meadow.

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Responses

  1. I played lacrosse in high school and our stands would consist of parents and maybe on a nice day, 3 fans. There is just not as much contact as men’s lacrosse and people like watching contact. But to be honest, I can take a hit. I don’t know why whoever created women’s lacrosse felt the need to protect us and not the boys, but I think it’s ridiculous.
    When did we become fragile and breakable while men are allowed to smash into each other every Sunday? I might not want to smash into anyone, but I want to be allowed to.

  2. I think this is a really awesome topic to bring up. Women and sports is an interesting point to look at. Personally, I played travel soccer all through middle and high school and I was known as a fairly aggressive player. Not that it was out of line, I just wasn’t afraid of contact or to put pressure on the opponents. To the point of gendered associations, I don’t know that it is possible to dissociate “feminine” and “masculine” from males and females. If it is possible, I don’t foresee that happening in the next couple years to come. However, I think it is a pressing issue that you see more and more celebrities as well as just people in general trying to move towards. Especially in how people are parenting their children. I see more and more pictures and articles on Facebook of single dad’s letting their daughters paint their toenails or letting their sons dress as Elsa for Halloween, and that gives me hope for the future.

  3. I definitely agree that this is a relevant topic, but it is also important to remember that gender roles aren’t completely apart from a person’s sex. Male’s typically have larger body structures and denser bones, which would make it impractical to have to contact sport teams of opposite sexes oppose each other. Also it is just facts that most women are attracted to different pheromones than men, it has to due with chemical differences between the two sexes.
    This is not to say equality shouldn’t exist, but it is illogical to deny that there are certain differences between the two sexes. These differences do not make us greater or lesser than the other, the simply make us unique.

  4. All of the questions you posed are ones that go through my head on a daily basis, thank you for bringing this up! I was in Target just the other day searching for new scent of deodorant and came across the Old Spice line and was super diggin the Old Spice Fiji. I put it in my basket and walked a little bit and thought about how I wouldn’t want someone to smell me and think I was more masculine, and put it back on the shelf. Why are we conditioned to feel uncomfortable for people thinking we are more masculine if we are female, or more feminine if we are male? We are humans, it shouldn’t matter either way, but the fear of being judged by others is what brings us to this point.


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