Definitions



Femininity - Masculinity
Feminism - Masculism
Patriarchy– Matriarchy
Femimasculism
Compass for Objective Competence
Gender Polarization – Androgyny
Literature


Steps of analyses:

Gender

It is clear that gender is a very slippery concept. It both asserts a connection to biological sex and sexual behaviours, and denies it at the same time. Although the social construction of gender is built upon the biological base of sex, gender is here, in the concept of Gender Economy, not equated to sex.

Gender is rooted in a generally coherent set of beliefs about what constitutes masculine or feminine that gets practised as something that we do. Gender is here seen as a property that can be developed or redesigned similar to a computer program.

The word gender is derived from the Old French word genre, meaning "kind of thing". It has several meanings in modern usage and is often, but not here, used as a synonym to sex. Commonly gender is often understood as identity people have along with other identities – race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation etc.

As a symbol system, gender difference is the most ancient, most universal, and most powerful origin of many morally valued conceptualizations in the rich flora of most of the ethnical cultures. Gender symbolism is usually supported by either actual divisions of labour by gender or perceived threats to existing gender-divided activity, and that it also has a complex relationship with individual sex and gender identities and prescribed behaviors.

The social constructionist strain of anthropological literature leaves the impression that there is absolutely no behaviour and no meaning universally and cross-culturally associated with either masculinity or femininity. What is considered masculine in some societies is considered feminine or gender-neutral in others and vice versa; the only constant appears to be the femininity-masculinity dichotomy itself.

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Femininity-Masculinity

Femininity is a complementary culture to masculinity in a dichotomy of Femininity-masculinity. The social construction of femininity as gender is built upon a biological base of female sex.

A gender aspect of femininity is a cultural tradition of feminine competence and expression, a set of practices and norms for female behaviour, roles for females to perform, female rights and responsibilities.

The following concrete descriptions of positive and negative femininities I do not consider as mature and developed, constant traits, rather as a one of the ways to describe them. It does not matter if they can even be seen as prejudices about what can be assumed to be feminine. Different ethnical cultures could have different internal solutions depending on their specific traditions as well. But I advocate the way to structure genders into negative and positive traits of masculinity and femininity. As competence in androgyn gender identity is the most complete and profitable one I here try to search for the traits that could sketch the feminine side of the trait-structure of androgyn gender.

Feminine positive [1] traits could be: affectionate, cheerful, childlike, compassionate, does not use harsh language, eager to soothe hurt feelings, flatterable, gentle, gullible, loves children, loyal, sensitive to needs of others, shy, soft spoken, sympathetic, tender, understanding, warm, yielding.

Feminine negative traits [2] could be: illogical, engulfed, unscientific, needy.

Masculinity

Masculinity is a complementary culture to femininity in a dichotomy of Femininity-masculinity. The social construction of masculinity as gender is built upon a biological base of female sex.

A gender aspect of masculinity is a cultural tradition of masculine competence and expression, a set of practices and norms for male behaviour, roles for males to perform, male rights and responsibilities.

The following concrete descriptions of positive and negative masculinities I do not consider as mature and developed, constant traits, rather as a one of the ways to describe them. It does not matter if they can even be seen as prejudices about what can be assumed to be masculine. Different ethnical cultures could have different internal solutions depending on their specific traditions as well. But I advocate the way to structure genders into negative and positive traits of masculinity and femininity. As competence in androgyn gender identity is the most complete and profitable one I here try to search for the traits that could sketch the masculine side of the trait-structure of androgyn gender.

Masculine positive traits [3] could be (with my correction for positivity): acts as a leader, aggressive (protective?), ambitious, analytical, assertive, athletic, competitive, defends own beliefs, dominant (brave to lead?), forceful (accomplishing?), has leadership abilities, independent, individualistic, makes decisions easily, masculine, self reliant, self sufficient, strong personality, willing to take a stand, willing to take a risk (brave?).

Masculine negative traits could be: arithmomania, isolated, inhuman, radically autonomous, inlimited wants.

Studies of masculinity, that have appeared in the countless universities educating in feminism, are most usually trapped in the pro-feministic agenda that limits the discussion of masculinity and the conditions of male identity to politically predictable conclusions about the enormous advantages and some disadvantages that masculinities thriving on the base of the ruling male sex can have.

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Feminism -Masculism

Feminism carries assumptions about the proper distribution of power and privilege and serves as the bases for a plan of action. The definition of feminism includes two levels – women are subordinate to men, this condition has to be changed. [5] Feminism tries to reveal gender inequality. It focuses on the domination of men over women and claims that women are oppressed by hierarchal structures in all the levels of society. The scapegoats of feminism are men and domains of male dominans, claimed to be responsible for all the unjustice done to women in particular and society in general. The all over existing tradition of gender polarization accomplished by both sexes is not in the eye of the feminism-storm.

Feminism is a set of social theories and political practices that are critical of past and current social relations and primarily motivated and informed by the experience of women. Most generally, it involves a critique of gender inequality; more specifically, it involves the promotion of women's rights and interests. Feminist theorists question such issues as the relationship between sex, sexuality, and power in social, political, and economic relationships. Feminist political activists advocate such issues as women's suffrage, salary equivalency, and control over reproduction.

Masculism

The principle of defining masculism here is by reverting the definition of feminism and including the same two levels – men are subordinate to women, this condition has to be changed. Masculism carries assumptions about the proper distribution of power and privilege and serves as the bases for a plan of action.

Masculism tries to reveal gender inequality. It focuses on the domination of women over men and claims that men are oppressed by hierarchal structures and stereotypes in different levels of society. The scapegoats of masculism are women and domains of female dominans, claimed to be responsible for all the injustice done to men in particular and society in general.

Men and women both are responssible for the unsatisfying and unequal relations between sexes. Where does the reponsibily of women lie? I would like to offer you a seemingly overdramatised but still realistic description of the roles women take in the lives of men. Women reproduce themselves and mould men into workoholichs and soldiers to protect and provide for women. It is in the realm of the private home domain and public sectors of childcare and eduaction that humans spend their childhood and adolescence. An authorised question here would be - how can women who even in the modern world are the main force of the private domain and the public sector escape without being acknowledged as oppressors of men and women under their childhood - the period of intellectual, mental, psychological, cultural programming - of humans. The traditional areas of domination of women and femininity – private domain and public sectors - do take care of the whole process of upbringing infants into adults, gendering individuals into two stereotypedly gendered labour forces.

I do find it necessary to aknowledge the pricipally important fact that women do oppress young humans by the power of their sex/gender raising boys and girls stereotypically gendered. Women even by the force of their sex and gender make men unconfident and insecure in the private domains and the public sector. Men have limited impact on the everyday face to face processes and occupations of the private and domestic domain.

“The private and the domestic, the form of arrangements and relationships for living with and relating to others, is in many ways the most difficult area of practice for men to face and change. (...)Political change applies just as much to the critique of personal relationships as of macro social phenomena.” [6]

The private domains and the public sector are in pro-feminist studies classified as the areas of powerlessness. I suggest to reconsider these areas of our reality to be of great and crucial importance. These are the domains where the most important products - humans - are created.

The role of gender identity and gender ideology is a basic aspect in language, culture and political ideologies in the different structures of human civilisation and science in particular. Hence though the roots of gender political scientifical analyses have been in feminist theory, it itself has been based in the scientifical theories of men who baned the way for the liberation of women. Now is the new eara when women and feminism have to bane the way for the liberation of men by the science of masculism.

Masculists cite many instances of what they see as anti-male discrimination. Their claims include legislation viewed as one-sided, selective enforcement, and neglected civil rights including: [7]

There are masculists such as Warren Farrell who celebrate the notion of a gender-free society and fluid gender roles. Farrell [8] writes from an ideology of equivalence between the sexes, rather than a belief in unchangeable gender differences. Many masculists ascribe to feminism the high rates of divorce, alienation of the genders, fatherless children, high school dropout, drug addiction, consumerism, teenage pregnancy, suicide, violent crime (especially murder), and overfilled prisons. Others argue that all these points have reasons and origins that are multi-faceted in nature, and that feminism is not the sole cause of this.

Masculism informs about the neglected areas of men’s health [9] – a men’s birth control pill, suicide levels( 4,5 men to 1 women), post-traumatic stress disorder, circumcision as a possible trauma-producing experience, the male midlife crisis, dyslexia, autism, steroid abuse, colour blindness, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, lifespan, hearing loss over thirty, erectile dysfunction ( non-drug related cures), haemophilia, workplace deaths (93 percent men) and injuries, human growth hormone abuse among athletes/body builders, concussions and the cumulative damage from multiple concussions (football, basketball), male testosterone reduction between fifty and seventy, infertility ( 40 % inf. is male, research amount for male infertility compared to female is invisible), depression (women cry, men deny; women check it out, men tough it out; women express, men repress), being victim of domestic violence (unwillingness to report battering), chlamydia as a creator of heart disease in men between ages of thirty and sixty (men are three times as likely as women to have chlamidia), oestrogen transference to men during intercourse, Viagra´s effect on heart disease, stress and marital communication, lower sexual desire syndrome (seen in more than half of men between 25 an d 50), men are over four times as likely to die of AIDS.

Three decades after the dawn of feminism forever changed the American workplace, home and mores, the second wave of the gender revolution is building there. This time it's men, fighting back against the broad brush of a women's movement they complain too often paints all men as behaving badly, all dads as deadbeats. While sexual harassment claims and sniping between the sexes escalate, so does confusion.

Like feminism, which puts forward ideological positions beginning from a feminine starting point, the masculine starting point also has ideological components. Without reiterating the fine work already done on patriarchy [10], one is hard pressed not to acknowledge the existence of a political ideology that distributed power to men and created structures and action plans to keep men in political power. Surely feminist understandings of patriarchy have garnered ample evidence as a powerful social force.

As a political and social movement masculism is considered by some feminists to be synonymous with the men's rights or fathers' rights movements. However, many of the fathers' rights movement make a clear distinction between masculism and their own often quite varied approaches to gender relations. While some expressions of masculism are built around the general belief that differentiated gender roles are natural and should be exempt from government interference, this is by no means universal amongst masculists. A more encompassing view of masculism is that it is a movement to empower males in society, and to redress discrimination against men. In this regard, many claim masculism is the ideological flip side of feminism, as capitalism was to communism in economics.

“By understanding masculinity as something we practice, perform, or do, we recognize that any human who can participate in the doing of masculinity well, even humans who are sexed as female, can benefit under masculism. This aspect of masculism has been criticized in liberal or equality feminism. Understanding masculinity as gendered practice helps us to see that women who successfully compete with men on masculism´s terms, nonetheless reinforce masculism, and hence masculine power, even while participating in the masculine practice opens the door to change from within. Understanding masculism as practice also makes possible an understanding of the ways any particular practice is gendered and can become transgendered, and regendered with changes in the ways we think about it. Locating masculinism along an ideological spectrum of gender ideology makes possible direct comparisons with feminism. As a result, the now extensive literature from feminist scholarship-in political science and in interdisciplinary work-can more readily be brought to bear on studies.” [11]

The first kind of secular response to feminism came from Ernest Belfort Bax, a socialist theoretician in the height of socialism at the beginning of the 20th century, and an associate of Karl Marx. Bax wrote The Fraud of Feminism in 1913, which was in essence the first masculist text. However, the term masculism did not gain usage until the end of the 20th century and even today is sometimes misspelt "masculinism" or even confused with misogyny. [12]

Some masculists further state that sexual equality laws (beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1964) have resulted in making feminist ideology, as they see it, as mainstream - that such laws serve primarily women and have created significant unconstitutional discrimination against men. Many masculists accuse feminists of characterizing women as powerless victims of patriarchal oppression, and of using this as a device to justify the negative views they may have of men and the moves seen as the curtailing of men's rights.

Today, the men's movement has fractured into several factions. But what they all share is attention to the uncertainty over men's roles.

Among post-modern scholars and feminist political theorists in Australia, Canada and USA, the term masculism (masculinism) has become commonplace. Generally, the term is used to connote ideological aspects of masculinity, although sometimes masculism is used loosely and interchangeably with patriarchy, a concept which I here suggest to be separated as the half of the Patriarchy –Matriarchy dichotomy.

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Patriarchy – Matriarchy

I suggest to acknowledge the whole structure of gender inequality as a globe with two poles. The patriarchy pole generates gender structures that centrifuge men into the traditional patriarchal areas of sex domination where acess for women is limited. The opposite matriarchal pole generates gender structures that centrifuge women into the traditional matriarchal areas of sex domination where acess for men is limited. Both patriarchal and matriarchal areas include advantages and dissadvantages.

As feminism principally avoids to discuss the areas of power of women as well as the responsibility of women in the creation of gender polarized structures of our societies, it is unrealistic to expect any radical improvements in the flawfull gender systems. As the matriarchy pole is kept intact and even seized in separatistic tactics of feminism, the transformation of society towards gender equality is hardly realistic. No advanced and peacefull conflict management theories whould advise you to solv a contraversy or prevent a war without building a competense in the apprehensions and conceptions of the reality of your opponent. I find it highly probable that feminism is insufficient as a base for peaceful solutions of countless conflicts on the way towards gender equal societies because of its egocentric refusal to define and analyse the phenomenon of matriarchy.

I suggest that as it is correct to discuss the society through a discourse of patriarchy, we have to analyse even its dualistic counterpart - a reverse discourse of matriarchy.

Claiming the ideals of gender equality, feminism is single-genderly protective and gender-blind for the inequalities done to males, not ever looking for the areas where males could be oppressed by females. The oppressive female power is invisible in feminism. The ideology of feminism is structured in a way that it even does not allow to suggest to analyse female power. Areas of female dominance are called as areas of female activity. The absence of discussion of female power I could boldly call to be a proof of misused female power of feminism – a sign of matriarchy. We have to study gender with the help of analytical tools of feminism even daring to brush against it´s blinds. We have to re-search and re-explain gender where both matriarchy and patriarchy play their parts. I am frightened to get lost in the defensive arguments of the forces of feminism, the four matriarchs [13] - liberal-feminism, radical-feminism, marxist/socialist feminism and socialist radical-feminism. Feminism directs towards matriarchy, struggling to achieve higher satisfactions and welfare for women.

Unfortunately the goal of feminism can not be reached without a full-hearted commitment of the male half of the population. Feminism talks about gender equality but does not embrace the whole field of powers, only a symbolical half of it (in reality probably not more than a quater). Pro-feminist approach in dominating in the contemporary studies of masculinities will never be enough because it lacks the focus on the power of women in the private domain and public sector where the gender segregated reproduction of humans is executed. The feministic projects are not about and for men. Both male and female areas of power have to be revealed and analysed before we can start to see the whole arsenal of strategies we have to use to build a gender-equal and whole-gendered society.

Even the Swedish society has the stereotypes that places Sweden into a position of one of the world’s most gender segregated labour markets. Women teach and serve in the public sector and in the family, while men hold positions in the private, industrial, defence and security sectors.

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Femimasculism

A vision of equal society and science is here labelled either whole-gendered, androgynous or femimasculist. The unexpressed assumption of feminist science that proclaims the current state of male domination, supposes even male satisfaction, which is not the case.

The hypothesis here is that an objective ideology of femimasculism can be established where both partisan science ideologies – feminism and masculism – meet in processes of synergetic cooperation. The invisible gendered ideological roots of (public and private) politics need to be made visible and discussed openly reconsidering interests of different sex and gender groups. Both ideologies have to get aquainted and develop a relationship. Where this relation could florish and develop into friendship or even love it could happen to be wise or even fertile to create equality between sexes.

As masculism is struggling for the rights of men and feminism – for the rights of women, but the goal of neither can be reached if both sexes are not satisfied, satisfied feminism and satisfied masculism are here assumed to be the same state. Such a state is here introduced as notion of femimasculism.

To build a gender-equal society we need a science that is competent to guide towards gender-equality. A “feminist science” and “feminist society” are in gender studies assumed as definitions of “gender equal” science and societies. The goal of feminist science – satisfied females can not be reached without satisfying even the needs and rights of males. Feminism rarely acknowledges and attacks the power domains and weaknesses of women themselves.

Masculism can eventually offer feminism a wide audience of men who would be ready to examine their masculinity, after some work feminists would find new allies in masculists, new insights outside the circle of feminist and profeminist struggle could develop etc. Both men and women would get aknowledged with the strengths and weaknesses of gender roles as the complete whole-gendered picture of powers and traps for bearers of both genders would appear.

Where masculist movements already exist feminist and profeminist disdain for masculism is a problem to be solved. What has happened here and there is that radical and agressive forces of movement can have tried to comandeer masculism, often succesfully - partly because of the absence of a mature dialogue with feminist and profeminist voices. For the most part men find their way to masculism mostly to learn about masculinity and about themselves, they do not come for reactionary reasons. Until feminists are ready to aknowledge gender powers and oppressions caused by the dominance of females in the private family domain as well as the public sector and start peacefull dialogues with masculists, we should not be surprised at the success that reactionary voices are having in swaying masculist men and women and the whole process of struggle for gender equality.

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Compass for Objective Competence

It is important to have a set of tools to secure a winning direction for an objective gender identity of any object – subject, and most importantly – gender science itself. An Objectivity Compass that could guide towards Perfect Gender Economy is a tool for navigation in the oceans of unstructured gender information.

The dilemma must be mapped before reconciling it, so that we have a clear definition of what has to be reconciled. An important test of optimal reconciliation which includes both ends of the values continuum, in even greater harmony, is the criterion of synergy that brings two values to work with one another while mutually improving and multiplying each other.

When approaching the dilemma between two extremes, we may need to seek the direction in a compromise. A “compromise here leads to a state that is much better than either one of the two alternatives”. [14] The processes of masculism/inity are directly connected to the processes of feminism/inity. If the identity development is at some level of i. e. competition and cooperation between masculinity/masculism and femininity/feminism, it is preferable that it is stimulated to reach a new phase of competition and cooperation with every next circle being smaller and closer to the satisfied femininity/feminism and masculinity/masculism [15].

The aim of Perfect Gender Economy is a point where both dualities are totally satisfied and mature. Every next spiral level of competence towards the goal of Perfect Gender Economy offers higher satisfactions due to increasing skills in management of for every specific situation relevant positive and negative traits of dualities. If the direction towards Perfect Gender Economy is accepted and marked out it becomes real, and if we eventually would succeed to develop a set of sophisticated gender-balancing-tools, the taste of the utopian aim could be broken down into a chain of manageable goals.

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Gender Polarization – Androgyny

Historically traditional perception that men and women are oppositionally different from one another has been succesfully counteracted by a broad consensus of scholars. Two of the most groundbreaking theories in this field are notions of adrogyny and gender polarization exploring gendered identies and their location in the society.

Gender polarization is a social reproduction of traditional gender stereotypes automatically imaging, attaching, training, demanding femininity and feminine traits and activities to females and masculinity and masculine traits and activities to males. Gender polarization channels men and women into unequal and unsatisfactory life situations that shapes tradition of sexual division of labour and constructs gender polarized gender identities of sexes.

“Gender polarization operates in two related ways. First, it defines mutually exclusive scripts for being male and female. Second, it defines any person or behaviour that deviates from these scripts as problematic – as unnatural or immoral from a religious perspective or as biologically anomalous or psychologically pathological from a scientific perspective. Taken together, the effect of these two processes is to construct and to naturalize a gender-polarizing link between the sex of one’s body and the character of one’s psyche and one’s sexuality.” [16]

Androgyny

Masculine and feminine roles are not opposite ends of the same continuum but are two complementary dimensions.

The androgynous gender identity is assumed to manage the selection of for the situation most appropriate positive masculine or positive feminine traits and avoid both kinds of negative gender traits. The masculine and feminine types are very occupied with acting according to their gender and do not have the control of using only the positive gender traits. Undifferentiated identity seems confused and usually lacks some of the tools of positive sides of masculinity and femininity.

Social psychology offers four types of gender-identity [17]. All the types have the same level of intelligence, but the androgyn is the most creative and fantasizes more than other types.

Traits and values attached to any identity vary:

Masculine identity masculine, self-reliant, strong-willed, active, a bit anxious
Feminine identity feminine, caring, conformable, kind, a bit anxious
Androgyn identity situation-oriented, flexible, well-adapted, attractiv,
social, empathycal, confident
Undifferentiated depressive, low self-reliance, unattractive, shy, anxious

A person may be described as masculine, feminine, or androgynous, i.e., having characteristics of both, or as undifferentiated, that is, having neither strong masculine nor strong feminine characteristics. The androgynous individual, who feels restricted in stereotyped standards and who would score high in both masculinity and femininity, is supposed to have an advantage over a gender-typed counterpart.

The development of the Bems Sex Role Inventory started a line of research on the relationship between androgyny and psychological well-being. Androgynous women and men were reported to have the highest self-esteem [18]. Data obtained indicated that androgynous individuals were liked better and perceived as better adjusted, were preferred as partners [19]. Androgynous individuals have been demonstrated to have more reasons for living than gender-typed individuals [20]. These findings suggest that androgynous individuals tend to be more psychologically healthy and function more adaptively in modern living. In contrast, research suggests that individuals who are undifferentiated in terms of gender role (low on both masculinity and femininity) tend to be less adaptable [21].

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Literature


[1] Bem, 1993.
[2] Nelson J. A., 1992. Thinking About Gender. Hypatia, 7 (3), 138-54
[3] Gemzöe, L., 2002.
[4] Hearn J., 1987. The Gender of Oppression
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masculism.
[6] www.warrenfarrell.com
[7] Farrel, W., 2000. Women Can´t Hear What Men Don´t Say, Penguin Putnam Inc., USA, ISBN 1-58542-061-1
[8] Hartman, Heidi I. 1979. "Capitalism, Patriarchy and Job Segregation by Sex."
[9] Eisenstein, Zillah , ed. 1979. Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism.
[10] Walby, Sylvia. 1990. Theorizing Patriarchy.
[11] Duerst-Lahti, Georgia. 1998. "Competing Gender Ideologies:
[12] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masculism
[13] Gemzöe L., 2002. Feminism. Bilda Förlag, Stockholm. pp. 145
[14] Trompenaar, F., Hampden-Turner, C., Riding the Waves of Culture.
[15] The spiral in the model of PGE.
[16] Bem, 1993. The Lenses of Gender. pp. 80
[17] Bem, 1993. Schioldborg P., 1986.
[18] Flaherty & Dusek, 1980.
[19] Green & Kenrick, 1994; Major, Carnevale, & Deaux, 1981.
[20] Ellis & Range, 1988. pp. 19-24.
[21] Bem, 1974, pp. 155-162; Glazer & Dusek, 1985, pp. 653-661; Orlofsky, 1977. pp. 561-575.