Female Masculinity

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“BUTCH” by Meg Allen

When you’re a man, to be described as masculine is a compliment. The word is synonymous with positive traits such as independence, courage, assertiveness and physical strength. So, when a woman exercises these why she is classified as butch or a bitch?

We all have both masculine and feminine components. It’s a scientific fact that we all have oestrogen and testosterone coursing through our veins. Yet, some people suppress what’s natural in order to belong to a certain gender construct. In my opinion though, it is healthy to express and experience both sides regardless of what society expects.

Personally it has become impossible to conform to any one set of traits. Although, this was not always the case. In high school I tied myself to an identity that was not my own and committed to a cycle of self-rejection. I read two of the twilight books (despite hating every second of it) and wore torn shorts that made my skin crawl; all because it’s what the other girls did. Acting like the ideal ‘girly-girl’ felt wrong on every level, but back then it was all about the battle of fitting in.

Nowadays, I’m tired of making excuses and being told that I’m not ‘lady-like.’ I’m stubborn and have a sailor’s mouth – and you know what, I don’t need to fucking apologise for that. You don’t need to be spineless to be a woman; as a gender we are inherently strong, capable and designed to take on the world in a million and one ways. In my eyes these qualities make us even more beautiful.

Don’t get me wrong, femininity should not be overlooked; gentleness and sensitivity are beautiful qualities. But, in some cases a girl just has to ‘man up.’ It can be as simple as hustling the courage to tell the truth, or stand up to someone. Yet, these actions seem to threaten the female identity. The gender gap was created to suppress women in the past, but why is the millennial generation still obsessed with gender presentation?

Female masculinity remains a difficult topic to combat; with many believing the conversation intersects with questions of gender or sexuality. It is not our responsibility to conform to every single trait that you expect of us; it is your responsibility to accept us for who we are.

There is an ever-increasing need to redefine what is considered beautiful. The definition should empower women in every way, rather than being synonymous with impossible aesthetic standards and social expectations. It’s vital that we confront the taboo of female masculinity and celebrate the ladies who live outside the typical frame of womanhood. They’re doing us all a favour.

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