I haven’t written in a while because I haven’t had much to write about but recently I was at a sleepover and we got to talking about the pros and cons of being our gender, one of the males in the group said that one of the downsides of being male was that it’s less acceptable for you to express feminine interests or mannerisms while if your female it’s more acceptable to express masculine interests and mannerisms. That conversation stayed in my mind as I slept that night (or from three in the morning when we went to sleep until six when I woke up) and until now as I write about it, as I thought about it I realized something that was new to me although I’m sure many others have determined this already; I finally understood WHY what my friend (We’ll call him Jim) said was true, Jim’s point was accurate because in our culture masculinity is associated with power and strength while femininity is linked with submission and weakness. A female bodied person who embraces all or some aspects of stereotypical masculinity is viewed as wanting power, and wanting power is socially acceptable, while a male bodied person who embraces conventional aspects of femininity is impossible to understand because it feels like someone trading strength for weakness.
That epiphany got me wondering how, in what we call “western” culture, masculinity became synonymous with strength and power when in so many older societies the people who bore the children were considered the powerful and the strong. What causes a society to be matriarchal or patriarchal in the first place? What might cause a shift of power? Why is it that in a communities that deny sexism a little girl can be called a “tomboy” affectionately while the term “sissy boy” is still derogatory? What do you think?
Yours in queerness,