Emasculation - Is that a real thing?

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I always end up having male friends who tell me I'm hard to read and I make them doubt themselves. They don't use the word emasculate but other women have told me that strong women emasculate men. Do you think that's a real thing or is it code for something else?

Also, another friend (female) told me I am formidable and I hurt guys feelings. I think I'm pretty nice! Does anyone else get told to be softer and what does that mean?

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Because being confident and assertive is a "masculine" trait. It's really male privilege at its finest --- the idea that these are standard male qualities, but a woman possessing them is out of the norm, or worse, intimidating.
I've been told that I "act like a man" in some kitchens because I refuse to defer to them and basically back down.
Definitely and I know I'm kinda 'mean' superficially(which is different than being assertive, so that makes it extra for me!). It's how I am. I tried to change it for my ex (he was a little bit the macho type and likes sweet type girls) and it didn't work. I need a stronger and more secure man. Men that get emasculated by me are too sensitive which is most stereotypical men.
It's about as real as white people freaking out when they feel like they're starting to lose white privilege. In other words, I don't think it's real. I think they're worried about not being dominant anymore.


Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



It's about as real as white people freaking out when they feel like they're starting to lose white privilege. In other words, I don't think it's real. I think they're worried about not being dominant anymore.
Originally Posted by Springcurl
This.


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I don't think it's real either. Men who think they're being emasculated are insecure and immature. If you have self-confidence, what people say or do should have little to no affect on what you feel about yourself.
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Everone tells me I'm feminine to an infinite degree. I never get told I'm masculine or have masculine traits which is a lil strange because I was a tomboy and I think all women should have a mix of what is considered femininity and masculinity.

Similar to Josephine, I get told I'm mean, but more so by men. I can't picture where I've been mean! One of my guy friends told me that when he first saw me he ran over to say hello and I looked at him like - step off. He said he wanted to have a conversation, but I looked really bored with him and he thought I was stuck up. I do not remember that nor do I think like that. I think that some men believe that women should be all over them and if the woman acts normal, they feel they aren't getting an ego boost.

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It's not necessarily that people outright tell you you're masculine, or even consciously think you are, it's that they associate certain traits with men.

Yes, I get told I'm mean by men. Mean = not flirting with them, holding their opinion on how something should be done as fact above my own, or pretending I'm helpless/clueless about something and need them to show me. Over and over.
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Last edited by Saria; 05-02-2012 at 08:43 AM.
I've been told men find me intimidating. That's their problem. I am who I am.
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Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



Everone tells me I'm feminine to an infinite degree. I never get told I'm masculine or have masculine traits which is a lil strange because I was a tomboy and I think all women should have a mix of what is considered femininity and masculinity.

Similar to Josephine, I get told I'm mean, but more so by men. I can't picture where I've been mean! One of my guy friends told me that when he first saw me he ran over to say hello and I looked at him like - step off. He said he wanted to have a conversation, but I looked really bored with him and he thought I was stuck up. I do not remember that nor do I think like that. I think that some men believe that women should be all over them and if the woman acts normal, they feel they aren't getting an ego boost.

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Originally Posted by Xyz
Yes I'm sorta expressionless as well..it throws people off, especially women. I've also been told I initially seem stuck up. I don't care. If people are that superficial, they're not my type in general and we definitely will not get along.
Yeah, I think you guys are right. I just started thinking that something deeper had to be happening because how could someone go through life feeling butt hurt about others not worshipping them? With men, aren't 90% of the women they meet not interested? How can they feel confused everytime?

I'm dealing with a situation now where another friend has a bruised ego and I feel like I have to go back and have a mommy-style 'are you ok' type conversation. It's annoying. I hate when the guy tries to make me feel like I'm some evil Jezebel. I wish I could just quote this thread.

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Let me quote Jay-Z here from Heart of the City

"sensitive thugs, yall all need hugs"

I've been told this quite a few times and I like to quote Jay-Z. but honestly, I'm of two minds with this. Sometimes, I tell them to get over it and then there are times when I have to stop and realize that it's OK to let someone help me.
I get the "you're intimidating" thing a lot, too, bc I'm tall and bougie looking (so they say). LOL

But I think that's different than being accused of emasculating a man.

When I think, "emasculate," I think of a woman belittling a man (intentionally or not) by saying he doesn't make enough money, couldn't physically defend her against some kind of attack or couldn't please her in bed, etc. or on one of the other supposed indicators of true manhood.
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Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 05-02-2012 at 01:24 PM.
I think men are taught from birth (by society and their peers, if not directly by their parents) that there are ways a man should behave and things a man should do. Basically that men are strong, tough, don't cry or show emotion, can fix things, are good at sports, etc.

I think a man can feel emasculated whenever someone (male or female) proves that the man is not one of these traits. How easy it is to make a man feel this way I think depends on how strongly they hold the belief in what is stereotypically "manly".


But basically I don't think it's much different than making anyone feel inferior. Everyone wants to be good at stuff. And when you think you can do something well, and someone else comes along and does it way better, it's kind of a sucky feeling. I think feeling "emasculated" just describes that feeling in men when it relates to the "traditionally masculine" things they think they should be able to do well.
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"Emasculate" is a term Conservative Republicans use often...it's code for: we're going to take rights away from women.
I've been told I'm 'mean' 'harsh' and this always comes from guys .

I know if I continue to internalize what they say , I'll probably start to second guess myself and think I'm a little mean, too assertive or whatever .
The fact I only hear it from men usually 5years older or less guarantees its their issue not mine .

I've actually had a guy tell me not to sound "too intelligent" cos some guys might be intimidated : shock:
I'm weird, because I don't get told that I am mean or intimidating. I do have a strong personality, and I also prefer "traditional" relationship models where the men take a leading role, even in friendship. I want input, but they should be in charge. So while I don't judge men for feeling emasculated around me (because I try not to judge people for their emotions) I do try to surround myself with men who don't mind a little competition for airtime, if you know what I mean. Others don't last long.
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Here's some examples of times I've gotten the 'you're not like the other girls and I don't know how to take it' conversation. Also, I consider those comments in the same vein as when people say I'm not really black. Back-handed complements that insult my whole entire race or gender.

-I wasn't going to talk to you because you look like one of those girls who gets her coffee at Starbucks. - said by a friend of a friend, I guess to let me know that boougieness is intimidating.

-Most women only like simple games. - A comment from the male host at this party where I asked to play poker or chess.

-You're already smart. Why don't you not study so much and come out with me more? - male friend

-You don't hang out enough because you think you're too good for us. - same male friend.

The last 2 are from the male friend I have to have a talk with now. He was a perfectly normal confident man when I met him. Actually, he was extremely cocky. Now he alternates between rude comments and sulking because I won't act like other girls who come over and file his nails and such. I honestly can't see how these men's perceptions of women can be real. I don't know women who are as dumb, easy, and uncultured as they insist other ladies are. I don't want to argue with them so I just walk away. But if they are in my social circle, we always end up having to have the talk about me being 'kinder' to them. And I refuse to humor them.

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I honestly can't see how these men's perceptions of women can be real. I don't know women who are as dumb, easy, and uncultured as they insist other ladies are. I don't want to argue with them so I just walk away. But if they are in my social circle, we always end up having to have the talk about me being 'kinder' to them. And I refuse to humor them.
Originally Posted by Xyz
I don't know that many women who are that dumb, but I do know a LOT of women who act...not dumb, exactly, but they do tone themselves down when they're around men. They don't talk about the same things, or they don't talk about things in the same way that they usually do--less detail, less intense, less acerbic, etc.
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Let me preface this by saying this is coming from someone that has never been told by men that she is harsh, mean, or intimidating. Men have pretty much always told me that they think I'm very cute, approachable, and fun. I've always gotten along well with guys all my life.

Having said that, I think it's bologna that "strong women" emasculate men as a blanket statement. Obviously every man is different but my husband said no woman or man could "emasculate" him period. If a man is confident in who he is, what he knows, and understands he's HIS OWN person.. a strong woman wouldn't do anything to his masculinity at all. Sure, a strong woman may make him feel like he has to step up more or he may just not be compatible with that sort of woman (which is fine..and there are different interpretations of what a "strong woman" is..).

I also think sometimes women confuse the idea of "being strong" with men thinking they are "mean", "harsh", or "intimidating". To a lot of men those words don't neccessarily denote a woman is "strong" in a good way. it's basically code for a lot of men to say in a "nice" way they find certain women to be a female dog and they don't consider her completely "feminine" on some level....regardless of whether she's physically attractive or not.

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