Dear men and women,
a question about gender roles:
specifically, “How do women feel about being ‘masculated’ in our culture?”
and, “How do men feel about being ‘emasculated’?”
Okay, that’s two questions. And there are more below.
The popular interpretation of the Samson and Delilah myth is that Samson lost his strength because Delilah had his hair cut off. This interpretation is sometimes used as an analogy for the emasculation of men that sometimes happens when traditional gender roles are conflated without conscious intention.
In an ideal world, perhaps we wouldn’t need to talk about gender, but the reality is that our gender roles have evolved over millennia and they serve important social functions. If we discard and/or conflate them with reckless abandon, each individual in a relationship could lose touch with their culturally conditioned identity and begin to suffer identity crises that can become debilitating if not consciously addressed.
I think it’s worth pointing out that while “emasculate” is commonly understood, it would seem that “masculate” has not been used since 1620, the same as everyone knows the meaning of “misogyny”, but not “philogyny”. Based on the squiggly red lines, Microsoft certainly doesn’t acknowledge even the existence of these words. Such is the unfortunately dominant nature of patriarchy in our culture.
A lot of men are painfully aware that gender-role conflation can feel emasculating sometimes, but I wonder:
how do women feel about being masculated?
This is an actual word, “masculate”, meaning “to make masculine and/or strong”.
Do women have to become ‘more masculine’ to be successful in our culture?
Is success defined in our culture in primarily masculine terms?
If so, is this why competition is valued more than collaboration?, winning more valued than supporting others to succeed?
What effect does this have on our relationships?
If we have emasculated men and masculated women (men who feel pressure to be more feminine, and women who feel pressure to be more masculine), will the children of our families develop into androgynous hybrids, or transgender ~ into beings who are biologically male or female but who identify as the other or neither?
Is all of this indicative that we are evolving into a species that transcends dualism? Or devolving into the ‘mindset’ of single-cell androgynous organisms?