For many years, men were seen as being one way and women as being another way. And as time has passed, these differences are no longer as extreme as they used to be. But while some things have changed, in regards to what men and women are like, there is still work to be done.
This is understandable, as change doesn’t happen over night; especially when men and have women have been defined and have defined themselves in certain ways for so long. There is going to be resistance, even when these roles are no longer helping men and women.
For so long, women were suppressed and unable to experience their own sense of empowerment. And while it would be naive to say that this has now come to an end, it is clear that a lot has changed for women in the western world.
It is no longer a surprise to see a woman who is in her power and displaying characteristics that have been associated with what it means to be a man for so long. They can be assertive, strong, driven and confident, as well as have moments where they display more feminine traits.
So while women have gradually been finding their power, in some cases, men have gradually been losing theirs. There is going to be different factors involved here and one of those factors is due to women taking on the roles that are more masculine in nature.
And if women are displaying behaviour that is usually seen in men, it is only natural that an identity crisis is going to arise. Men could end up behaving how women have behaved for so long and yet, this is unlikely to make them feel empowered.
Some men will go along with this and behave in ways are passive and submissive, and not only can this feel wrong to them, the women who they come into contact with can also feel that something is not right.
This is only natural, because these roles have been ingrained into people for many, many years and are not just going to change in a matter of years. The mind can be ready, but the body can take longer to get on board with these new ways of behaving.
And as women are being given the chance to embrace their masculine nature, men are being given the chance to embrace their feminine nature. The ideal is for both genders to integrate both sides and then to utilise the side that is appropriate or serves them best in any given moment.
It is then a choice and not something that is out of their control. But as men and women have been out of balance for so long, this is going to take time and won’t just fall into place.
Change is rarely something that happens smoothly and it often happens through some kind of destruction occurring. And as a result of the gender roles changing, it is has created confusion, amongst other things. While women may be happy to embrace a new role in certain environments, it doesn’t mean that all women are completely comfortable doing so.
Just as some men are going to be happy to embrace different roles; it doesn’t mean that all men are going to be. At times, it might be important to show resistance and for one to stand their ground.
Doing so will be in ones best interests and be an expression of their individuality. However, at other times, it will inhibit their growth as human beings. For example, it will be important for men and women to be assertive during certain times of their life.
And it doesn’t matter what is or is not socially acceptable or how one has come to define themselves; as it will benefit them to do something different.
When it comes to emotions, it is generally acceptable for women to express them and for men to repress them. While this may be normal, it doesn’t mean that it is healthy. There will also be examples where the opposite takes place and women repress them and men express them.
And in some cases, women are going to be no more emotionally developed then men are. To deny how one feels is not going to be healthy and yet expressing how one feels and having no emotional control is not much better.
But as men are women are generally not expected to be any different, there is no reason for change to take place. And so the emotional development of both men and women ends up being stunted.
Women can be emotionally out of control, without ever coming to the conclusion that they need to take responsibility for how they feel. And men can repress their emotions, without ever considering that they need to face how they feel.
As social awareness increases and the pressure to conform to certain roles decreases, men and women will be able to express themselves in ways that are empowering and healthy. The need to play a role because of one’s gender will gradually disappear and what will appear is ones true self.
And each and every one of us has a part to play and a voice that deserves to be heard.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.