Many people continuously try to strongly differentiate between masculinity and femininity. Masculinity and femininity are differentiated with various attributes such as appearances, traits, interests, and behavior. Masculinity is attributed to traits such as assertiveness, strength, dominance, and bravery. Whereas femininity is attributed to traits such as emotional, vulnerable and humility. A strong and assertive woman is considered to be acting manly and an emotional and caring man is considered to be weak. Why is this? Why are we associating masculinity and femininity to man and woman- the genders? Shouldn't they be associated based on character?
Feminine teenage males -
Effeminacy - is the manifestation of traits in a boy or man that are more often associated with feminine behavior.
When a man is in touch with his emotions, he has soft features and is not physically very strong, he is considered feminine. Sometimes a man who likes cooking and doesn't mind cleaning is termed feminine.
Struggle of the feminine teenage male -
Many feminine teenage males struggle to fit into society. They are often criticised for maybe not playing sports, or looking a certain way. They are often teased when they pursue ‘feminine’ hobbies such as reading, cooking, poetry etc.
While men struggle with being effeminate, teenage boys tend to struggle even more. School and college environments can often be toxic. Not just the students who catcall and taunt them but sometimes also the teachers who resort to shaming them publicly in front of their class.
Many effeminate teenagers suffer through depression and anxiety. They are forced to rein in their actions and emotions in fear of being bullied. There are various articles on effeminate teenagers even resorting to suicide.
Accepting themselves -
Carl Jung is a famous Swiss psychiatrist who once said, “the most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” For society to accept them, first and foremost they must learn to accept and love themselves. This can be done by-
:- Recognizing that their personality is powerful and learning to embrace and embody it.
:- Connecting to similar people and sharing your experiences and becoming stronger together.
:- Give yourself time.
This is definitely easier said than done. But once it happens it is totally worth it.
The 21st century and how society is slowly changing -
Society is gradually evolving and change is being made. Iconic and widely loved personalities such as Harry Styles, Tan France, J.Alexander, James Charles, Billy Porter, Lil Nas X, Brad Mondo and many more influencers out there are continuously challenging society and making society accept effeminate men.
Fig.1 - Harry Styles Fig.2 - Billy Porter
We must learn that masculinity and femininity are based on the characteristics of a person and not gender. Being in touch with your emotions doesn't make you a ‘lesser man’ instead it makes you stronger and more in tune with yourself. We are obliged as good citizens of a society to accept everyone equally and not discriminate based on looks or personality. As a society we must learn to accept them, support them and help them thrive. This is our responsibility as moral human beings.
Written by- Riya Rochas(interned at Just A Teen)
Fig 1 and Fig 2 taken from google