If 2020 has not been one of the biggest wake-up calls to hold one another accountable for society’s limiting beliefs, then you must not have heard the alarm go off.
One department that’s receiving some serious reconstruction is gender stereotyping in regards to masculinity and femininity. By exploring your own feminine and masculine energies, many can start to value their own individuality while breaking down outdated conventions.
But how is this possible? VALLEY is here to break this down for you.
Step one, break out of any constraints society has projected onto us by educating ourselves on the origins of gender constructs. In 1984, social psychologist Geert Hofstede defined masculinity and femininity as two different sets of characteristics assigned to males and females.
Hofstede defined males as having masculine traits such as power, strength, discipline and leadership. Female or feminine traits were associated with empathy, nurturing, sensitivity and creativity.
Many individuals perceive these characteristics as more common in one gender over the other. Unfortunately, some individuals might even see some traits as more valuable than others. This tends to breed predispositions to what roles we should play in our lives, how we are meant to behave in social and professional settings and what personality traits are seen as desirable.
Societal influence is powerful, however; subconsciously acting in our gender roles inherently limits capabilities and puts constraints on the depth of true personality.
On a larger scale, this could allow for a society that rewards those with masculine traits (i.e competitiveness, wealth, power) to continue to value one gender over others. Either way, putting people into boxes does more harm than it does good. It is time to reevaluate these constructs.
Before we can start to shift this mindset on a large scale, we first have to do the internal work.
Acknowledge that traits do not belong to a gender
Remember you are worthy of possessing both masculine and feminine characteristics.
Understand the value of both energies
Being competitive and bursting with emotion makes you more of a super-human than being competitive and unemotional.
Consciously recognize which masculine and feminine traits you already have
Celebrate these different characteristics that bring duality and depth to your personality and capitalize on them.
Start to incorporate masculine and feminine qualities you desire into your life
If you ever shied away from speaking up in a meeting or felt nervous lending an empathic ear to a friend even though you really wanted to, now is the time, regardless of your gender.
Accept others for the mix of traits they have regardless of gender
Catch yourself for any judgments you make of others and instead welcome both feminine and masculine energy in all people around you
By celebrating feminine and masculine traits in ourselves and others, we become more accepting as a society and will reap the rewards of being more in tune with beautiful individuality!