Since I was a little girl, I’ve struggled with this masculine vs feminine ideal that society has laid on us. I never felt like I fit in. When I was young, I tried hard to be “one of the girls” but it was never easy for me because I was more of a tomboy and I always felt like I didn’t belong. Once I got older, I tried to be “one of the guys” and while that felt more natural to me it still wasn’t quite right. As a young adult, I feel like I’ve spent years unlearning things from my youth and trying to figure out where exactly I fit but what I’ve come to realize is that I don’t need to pick, I need to accept myself for who I am, both masculine and feminine and everything in between.
What I’ve learned is that we all have different ranges and levels of both masculine and feminine attributes. Where I think the internal strife, for me at least, came in is that I always felt that societal pressure to be one or the other and I’ve always struggled with towing that line of what I’m “supposed” to be.
I think that this holds true for both men and women being put in these boxes on who their supposed to be and how they’re supposed to act. Men are supposed to be masculine and strong and women are supposed to be feminine and soft. And if you stray from the confines of those attributes, people don’t know what to do with you or where to place you. I think this is where as a society, as people, we need to stop this mindset and stop putting each other and ourselves in these categories, groups, and boxes. Way easier said than done, mind you. Being guilty myself many times in the past and I’m sure many times in the future for this. But I’m a work in progress!
Being in the industrial industry suits me and my higher levels of masculine energy. However, what has surprised me is that I also have this feminine energy that I’ve been rejecting because I felt like I had to hide it being in a male-dominated industry. Well, I have news for anyone fighting who they really are…it’ll come up for air eventually! And it’s okay. I’ve always been one for hiding my emotions and never letting anyone see me vulnerable. As I’ve continued to grow, I’ve become a more emotional being and accepted it, tears and all. Although, there was a little kicking and screaming involved before I embraced it.
What I’m hoping for others to get out of this is that it’s okay to be whoever the heck you ARE. Embrace both your masculine and feminine energies and don’t try and hide parts of who you are to fit in. While this will seem like a “well duh” moment for some, for others like me (especially young women in male-dominated industries)…it’s been a journey to learn about myself enough to be able to embrace who I am and still continues to be a journey to unlearn those things that I was taught and be me…for me!