A while ago I posted an article explaining what feminine is not because the word ‘feminine’ has become so misunderstood that many women have actively avoided or denied any association with it.
Unfortunately I see a similar situation when it comes to the word masculine. When I hear the words masculine and feminine used in conversation they’re often associated with concepts or linked to ideas that have nothing at all to do with either.
Before I set the record straight on what masculinity IS, I wanted to help us to get clear on what it is not. So here are 10 commonly held misperceptions about the masculine that are untrue:
1. Masculine is not Neanderthal
So many people as soon as you mention the word masculine envisage a caveman with a club whose first instinct is to smack the nearest women over the head and drag her back to his cave. While I have no judgment if that’s your idea of a fun Saturday night, that’s not what the masculine is about, nor is it about macho peacocking behavior either. While masculine energy, aspects and behaviours might have evolved from our cavemen ancestors, these days he’s upright, out of the cave and knows how to respect and honour a woman of this day and age in a way that she’ll really respond to.
2. Masculine is not Aggressive
Many people equate masculinity with aggression, but aggression is simply a tool to cover an underlying sense of lack or insecurity. Empowered masculine energy is confident and assertive, but has no need to be aggressive. It doesn’t need to prove its power or strength, because it’s innate.
3. Masculine is not Arrogant
When people call to mind alpha males who are connected to their masculine, one of the biggest complaints is an air of arrogance. Like with the ‘masculine is not aggressive’ point, arrogance tends to come from a need to compensate from a lack of truly feeling confident in one’s own abilities and importance, creating a need to ‘prove’ and in doing so overinflate the ego in these areas. A man who truly owns his masculinity has no need to prove anything, and is confident in his value and abilities.
4. Masculine is not Lazy
Men tend to get a bad rap from us women because when we see them doing ‘nothing’ or doing the minimum required to get a job done, and often they get labeled as lazy. Compared to us and our constant and never-ending to-do lists, (and often our identity and sense of significance being tied to how busy we are and how much we have to do) doing less, or nothing seems unacceptable. In reality most men aren’t lazy at all, they are just incredibly aware of a desire to be efficient. Men know that in order to continue to perform, they need to relax, they need to have down time, they need to recharge their batteries, to continue to ‘do’ when they will no longer be effective is futile. The masculine sees inefficiency as a waste of energy and avoids it wherever possible.
5. Masculine is not Destructive
While we’re aware that masculine is competitive, we can sometimes misunderstand this as being destructive and expect a man to do whatever it takes to win, including destroying anything and anyone that gets in it’s path. In reality, the masculine is about rising to the challenge rather than destroying anything that threatens it’s potential to win. The true, empowered masculine doesn’t want to win by destroying another, it wants to win by being and becoming better itself. The masculine wants to win, but it wants to do so in an honourable way; if it has to take someone else out to get the prize, it knows it’s not truly won.
6. Masculine is not Void of Emotion
While the masculine does tend more to the logical, it also isn’t void of emotion either. Often the perception of a masculine man is a strong, silent type, who never speaks about how he feels, and doesn’t understand or relate well to his emotions. A man truly connected with his masculinity understands that we all have both masculine and feminine inside us, and that neither can flourish without the other. While emotions are not as dominant in the masculine as they are in the feminine, an embodied masculine man is connected to, understands and can communicate his emotions.
7. Masculine is not Infallible
The masculine can sometimes be perceived as being all-knowing, and sometimes it can feel like the masculine has to always get it ‘right.’ The responsibility of leading can weigh heavy on a man’s shoulders and the pressure he can put on himself to have all the answers can be immense. In reality, the true masculine regularly learning, growing and stepping up and into more of himself. Most importantly it is not just OK for the masculine to make mistakes, it’s important for him to be able to and give himself permission do so as it’s one of the most effective ways to learn and grow. Being masculine does not stop a man from being human, in fact the true masculine is wonderfully real, beautifully flawed and perfectly imperfect.
Come back next week to discover the final four, and in some ways the most important misperceptions about the masculine. Click here now to see part 2
So I’m curious, what are your experiences of the word masculine? Do any of the misperceptions I’ve mentioned above ring true for you? Have you felt that any of these were true at one point or another, and what did that mean for you and your relationships? Are you aware of other misperceptions about masculinity that have created some challenges for you?
…and watch this space because in the next couple of week’s I’ll be sharing the other side of the coin for you to understand what true masculine and real feminine is really all about…