The terms ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ are mostly just limited to the understanding of one’s gender and by that understanding, males are expected to be showing masculine traits and females feminine traits; whereas, they are just what they are, traits. Although physiologically, that definition seems right, but its no news that a man can be emotional, gentle, or caring and a woman can be rational, fierce, or aggressive. That does not make them less of a man or woman.
The difference between masculinity and femininity is as much as the difference between how one’s IQ and EQ levels differ. IQ, a person’s level of their ability to reason and logic (masculine) and EQ, their level of ability to understand and react to intuition and emotions (feminine). These levels are not defined by or limited to one’s gender, but their abilities, and so does their traits. IQ is what one is born with, whereas, EQ can be learned. Similarly, gender is what one is born with but traits can be learned and acquired. Both men and women are capable of strong (strength identified as masculine) emotions (identified as feminine). In fact, both the traits keep overlapping all the time in all of us.
As far as each human being is concerned, it becomes all the more important for one to be aware of and keep balancing both, from time to time, for their own well being and harmony within the self and with the surroundings, and to be able to live a content and successful life to their utmost capabilities. So, whether it is a man or a woman, when stress levels are high, one needs to slow down, stressing being a (yang/masculine) and slowing being a (yin/feminine) activity. When working towards accomplishing a goal, one needs to direct all their energy passionately focusing on it, passion (shiva/masculine) and energy (shakti/feminine). One aspect that manifests on the outside and one that drives from the inside, similarly one aspect that is the soul and one that is the mind, one that fights and one that surrenders, one that is fire and one that is water, one that is hard and one that is soft, one that rules and one that reveres.This duality is the essence of a being, for one empowers the other, and drives it to bring it to manifestation and balances it. It creates imbalance and sometimes doesn’t create anything, if one is predominant and the other is almost non-existent. So it is important to honor, value and recognize the power of both, for both have their own time and place to be kept on priority.
The gender differences are based on these traits, as men would have more of yang qualities and women will have more of yin qualities. Now if we come outside of self, the same understanding of one dual self can be translated to outside of self vis-a-vis two genders, men and women, being the duality of outside of self. So rather than acting against each other, if we act in unison, respecting each other for what they are, we would rather be living in harmony.
I sometimes feel disturbed when I see women empowerment highlighted so much so that it looks like almost killing the other. Living in this century, women have all kinds of rights to protect themselves. Besides, what do we want to teach our boys? That they should be fearful of mistreating a woman to avoid being treated like a miscreant? Or rather be respectful to women because that is how a man should treat a woman like? Social media is spewing anger and hatred towards men in general. I fear that it may just create imbalance on the other end, and the situation will just reverse and few decades down the line, we will see men empowerment campaigns run everywhere and men fighting for their rights. We need to teach our boys and girls the same values, of honoring their own self and honoring the strengths of each other, treating each other with respect. Not being against each other, but complementing each other with regards to the gender differences. We need to create balance, whereas we are working towards creating imbalance, one way or the other.
When understanding of self and the complementary nature of the dual dynamic forces or traits of self will deepen, then that will translate into outside of self, into the society and into the dynamics of gender differences and the strengths of each, with compassion towards each other, hoping to empower human beings and mankind as a whole, creating an inclusive, more vibrant, more positive world.