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I don't have a feminine side. And neither do you, girlie man!

Yes­ter­day I was talk­ing with Rosar­i­o, and we had a strange ar­gu­men­t. She said I was not in touch with my fem­i­nine side, and that she did­n't like that.

To which I replied I don't have a fem­i­nine side.

Of course that caused a re­ply of "y­ou do, but you are not in touch with it" and what­ev­er. I asked her what my fem­i­nine side is sup­posed to be, and she men­tioned that it was the part of me where I could find my feel­ings and some oth­er things.

To that, I say, nyah nyah!

The idea that just be­cause I have a cer­tain kind of chro­mo­somes, in or­der to find my feel­ings I must have a side that's "fem­i­nine", I say that's just pro­pa­gan­da.

I am a guy. I am mas­cu­line. I cry when­ev­er I watch the end of For­rest Gump, The part of me that's cry­ing is not some fem­i­nine side. It's my mas­cu­line side. I cry mas­cu­line tears, be­cause a movie trig­gers some re­sponse in my very mas­cu­line feel­ings.

If I were to tell a wom­an that she has to get in touch with her mas­cu­line side so she can, say, drive a car bet­ter, I would be called a chau­vin­ist pig. And cor­rect­ly.

The idea, I sup­pose, is that her fem­i­nine side can drive just fine. Well, my mas­cu­line side can cry on movies, and fall in love, and miss my mom, and pet my cat just fine, thank you very much.

So, I don't have a fem­i­nine side Rosar­i­o, it's just my oth­er mas­cu­line side, and he loves you too.

Thomas Zander / 2006-04-03 14:56:

call it propaganda, playing with words or your your emotionally evolved masculine side; the idea is what counts.

To me, its just a name you give it, and if she wants to call it a faminine side thats fine with me.

I loved the reversal of roles though; illustrates how we got here quite well :)

Philippe Fremy / 2006-04-03 14:57:

I agree with Thomas.

We call it feminine side because it carries the emotions, behaviour and feelings that dominant in most women. It is just a wording, those things are not reservec to woman.

Every human caries many sides and some of them are more developed than others: feminine, masculine, child, mother, father, ...

I am personally very proud of all of those. My feminine side gives me a very strong sensitivity which is sometimes helpful, sometimes annoying but is most of the time appreciated by women :-)

Roberto Alsina / 2006-04-03 14:58:

Philippe: that´s the exact point I am trying to make. Saying that women are dominated by feelings more than men is the kind of gender-dominated discourse that leads to saying women can´t drive.

Or think.

Just because this particular gender stereotype is agreeable doesn´t mean it´s not a stereotype, and probably pernicious.

Thomas Zander / 2006-04-03 14:58:


I, and IMO Philippe agree its a stereotype view, but I don't think thats a bad thing. At least not one that will lead to any problems like the one you post.

Stereotypes are needed in everyday life to be able to talk about subjects that are otherwise hard to describe. Think of usages like "Hermit", "Geek", "Don Juan", "WhizKid". Are the persons you call these really 100% these things, course not!

Everything is relative and nothing is clear cut; but taking all details into account while talking (certainly with women) is just not practical.

Bottom line; there is nothing wrong (to me) about stereo-typing if everyone knows the truth.

Roberto Alsina / 2006-04-03 14:59:

Stereotypes are lazy thinking. But even in them there are degrees. Say, you call someone a Don Juan. At least you are saying something about *him*.

He gets laid often, girls like to go out with him, whatever.

Now, when you use a stereotype like calling feelings feminine you are doing two things:

* You are assuming a monopoly (or at least a larger marketshare ;-) on them for women. That's historically silly.

* You are stereotyping 100% of mankind one way or another. You are not assigning a stereotype to *one* guy based on how he is. You are assigning a stereotype to everyone based on ... well, based on what, exactly?

If everyone is supposed to have a masculine and a feminine side, then what's the point on calling them that way?

johnkuang / 2006-04-03 15:00:


Olaf Schmidt / 2006-04-03 15:00:

Hi Robert!

Thanks for your true words.

From an abstracted view, all the language is relative and just a tool. But why should we use this abstracted view when talking about the very way we see ourselves as men? I believe language is important, because it shows a fundamental difference in the way we understand ourselves.

The social role usually connotated with masculinity is in fact some kind of crippled masculinity. It is crippled because male and female are traditionally regarded as opposites. If women cry, then a man must not do so. If women represent nature, then men must distant themselves from everything natural. If women give birth, then killing must be done by men.

But we are not split in two opposing sides, male and female. We are one person. It was relieving for me to realize that male and female don't need to be seen as opposites, and that we don't need to see ourselves as having two opposite sides. We are whole as a human and true to ourselves as men whenever we see our tears and our feelings as part of our very own masculinity.

johnkuang / 2006-04-03 15:01:

There was no male or female originally,there was when someone said the words male and female.

Alex / 2006-04-03 15:02:

Interesting arguement, I never thought of the social implications of this common idea. Thank you for awakeneng me.

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