Masculinity and femininity are expressed through the actions of a human. Masculinity and femininity is measured by society’s viewpoints to what is appropriate. Modern day masculinity and femininity is defined by physical appearance, daily chores, and objects a person values.
Males can sit anywhere on the spectrum between ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ and this is not necessarily related to the sexual-orientation of the person. Socialization, as well as genetics can play their part in the development of persona and mannerisms, however wrongly so, our society has attached strength to masculinity and weakness to femininity, and as a result the male who exhibits femininity is often treated, almost as a different gender (e.g. sissy-boy). When it comes to people of different genders, the pressures to conform, often leaves those who do not fit with the stereotype facing judgements and discrimination. Take away the words masculine and feminine and with have people who have individual differences.
Dave Wells uses people of diverse-gendered people as an example of societal pressures to conform to masculinity or femininity. Dave Wells worked extensively in a clinic in England with trans-gendered people, both male to female, and female to male. The clinic performed psycho-social analysis with Tran’s people requesting reassignment surgery. A great majority of patients were on hormones/hormone blockers. Many ‘Trans’ people hoped that through medical support they would improve their identity, either by becoming more masculine, or feminine, by complementing the stereotypes that society has attached to both. Dave Wells views transgenderism as a diversity of human kind. It is not a choice, it is how people are born, no different to anyone else, and in a society where masculinity and femininity didn’t exist, transgendered people would not be labelled or pressured to conform, and they could be themselves naturally. Of course this is an unrealistic ideology but it represents how indoctrinated we are. Real men don’t cry. It’s a woman’s job to raise the children and keep the home. Lesbians are butch and Gay men are girly or feminine. Women can’t do men’s work. They are all examples of how our society places pressure on people to conform to a set of behaviours and actions
The societal pressures of what it is to be a male, is an area responsible for the many debilitating conditions, such as depression, anxiety, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), eating disorders, through to suicide. To keep it simple, the pressures to conform on what society sees as acceptable behaviours for different genders, can cheat us out of being who we are as individuals and self-acceptance.
How can Dave Wells help?
Dave Wells cannot, nor would want to change the things that make you who you are, but he can support you to develop the self-worth necessary to navigate through life with self-acceptance. As a non-judgmental and non-discriminatory person, Dave Wells can assist you to feel worthy and proud, and to have an improved resilience to any negatives that may confront you in the future.