Masculine vs Feminine
We all know that facial hair, a muscular body and difference in voice quality from females are masculine traits while a curvy and fuller body, a slender and delicate silhouette, and the ability to give birth to babies are feminine traits. Females are also labeled as the fairer sex and are considered superior to men folks as far as their resilience, sensitivity, warmth, and patience is concerned. However, despite obvious and seemingly stark differences, there is this underlying fact that both males and females belong to the same species. It is not the biological difference that leads to an understanding of what is masculine and what is feminine. On the contrary, it is the gendered construction that leads to an identification of individuals as masculine or feminine. Let us, however, continue to highlight the difference between masculine and feminine in this article.
What is Masculine?
The term masculine is often associated with having manly qualities. For example, competitiveness is one quality that has predominantly been considered as masculine. Taking the initiative, strength and physique is often considered as masculine. We must bear in mind that whether the behavior if a person is considered as masculine, depends very much on cultural expectations. Crying, lack of confidence and strength are all looked down upon. If a man cries, it is considered as not very masculine. But if this were a woman it would be alright. This is why such behavioral expectations of people as masculine or feminine can be considered culturally constructed.
In addition to obvious differences between man and woman, there are differences in how they think, how they behave and what relationship means to them. If we think of an organization from masculine worldview, we find that men think in terms of hierarchy. As far as tasks are concerned, masculine view is biased towards action and this view thinks of ancillary processes as slowing down things. Scientists also played their part in this masculine and feminine divide by propounding left/right brain theories and thinking on the basis of differences in hormones. They analyzed men and women on the basis of physical and mental traits and came up with their conclusions.
What is Feminine?
Now let us pay attention to what is Feminine. This term is often associated with females. Sensitivity, patience, vulnerability, beauty are all qualities or traits that have long been considered as feminine. The feminine worldview of an organization is that of a network. The stress laid on hierarchy is minimal. When focusing on the female brain, it has more tolerance for processes. Feminine viewpoint thinks, listens and synthesizes ideas to give a conclusion, unlike males. The reason we are forced to think about masculine and feminine difference is because people are fed up with a kind of thinking that men are from Mars, women are from Venus.
Since ancient times, women and men have been assigned gender specific roles in society, and they have been dutifully playing these roles imbibing and thinking of these roles as truly their own. Thousands of years of role playing meant that women got stereotyped, and they found it hard to rise above middle levels in management in organizations. Even today, it surprises many to see a woman on top of management in an organization, and there are some who find it hard to digest even. Despite their being sound reasons to think of masculine/feminine divide, it is prudent to think of there being a continuum with some men lying closer to women on some traits while some women lying closer to men on other traits. It would be foolish to think of a hypothetical society or utopia where masculine and feminine differences melt away, and men and women display same qualities and characteristics.
What is the Difference Between Masculine and Feminine?
- The term masculine is often associated with having manly qualities whereas the term Feminine is often associated with females.
- Taking the initiative, strength and physique is often considered as masculine whereas Sensitivity, patience, vulnerability, beauty are all qualities or traits that have long been considered as feminine.
- The ideals of Masculine and Feminine behavior are socially constructed and are constantly changing in the society.
1.Army Officers Thumbnail by SPC Tristan Bolden [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2.”Villers Young Woman Drawing” by Marie-Denise Villers – Metropolitan Museum of Art, online collection. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons