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  • Bemsimbom Nkuo

Femininity and Masculinity Within A Woman

Author's Note: This article was written out of curiosity for what its conclusion could be. As a gender equality activist, there are some things concerning gender equality that I still try to understand. The difference in the classification of the genders is fascinating to me, and I do more research to understand the foundations of each classification. Tag along as I explore the concept of femininity and masculinity within a woman.

Traditionally, femininity is associated with women and masculinity is associated with men. This association can also be seen in the Google definitions of these words. It is correct to say that femininity is a female trait and masculinity is a masculine trait in terms of gender. The World Health Organization defines gender  as the characteristics of men, boys, girls, and women that are socially constructed. 

Typically, some feminine traits are emotional, collaborative, nurturing, vulnerable, caring, and humble. On the other hand, some masculine characteristics are dominant, strong, independent, Assertive, brave, and innovative.  Looking at these traits, one can say that it is wrong for them to be allocated separately to men and women by society’s norms. This is because both men and women share these traits interchangeably. These statements are highly subjective as cultural, environmental and other factors influence the realities of given or several communities. 

Neuroscientists have been researching the difference between female and male brains and how it might relate to masculine and feminine traits. In her article in Psychology Today, Tamsen Firestone mentions that psychologists have found a structural difference in the female and male brain. The right and left hemispheres of the brain are not set up the same way. Females tend to have verbal centres on both sides of the brain. In comparison, males have oral centres only on the left hemisphere.  Despite the differences in the structural components of the male and female brain, Lise Eliot, Professor of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, states, “people say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but the brain is a unisex organ.” Recent studies showed that differences between the male and female brains are far less than earlier studies implied (Tamsen Firestone, 2018).

From these findings, we can conclude that the main reason for the classification of women and men in terms of feminine and masculine traits is predominantly based on gender stereotypes and not the biological makeup of the sexes. To create a mindshift in our communities, we all need to speak up!


References links

https://www.who.int/health-topics/gender#tab=tab_1

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/daring-love/201810/what-does-it-mean-be-feminine-or-masculine

https://www.voicesofyouth.org/blog/masculinity-and-femininity


About the Author:

Bemsimbom (Bemsi) Nkuo is a student at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. She is from Cameroon. Bemsi is currently interning with Dream Sponsors Inc, the parent organization of My Girl TRIBE™ (MGT). She is spearheading the social media efforts for MGT. Bemsi is a self-described, feminist, mental health advocate and storyteller. Follow her on her YouTube channel.


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