In the car of the weekend with my 14-year-old daughter and a couple of her friends, when one of them commented about a male friend that they all have in common. She was heard to say of the boy, “he is a bit feminine”. When I asked her what this meant she said that he wore scarfs and was an actor. Interesting I thought, seems we are still teaching our young girls to look for the ‘jocks’ and value the stereotypical ‘mans man’ attributes instead of the very attributes that we expect to see in a female‘s and would most likely form the basis of a relationship based on equality, trust and care.
For this boy, showing attributes like care, consideration, showing feeling and being sensible enough to wear a scarf in the cold pale into the background for many girls who would rather be with a boy that demonstrates attributes like arrogance, disdain and disrespect. What seems to still be the most attractive for girls looking for a boyfriend is his status or his standing among his peers. Add to these attributes a reluctance to show feelings and an inability to communicate effectively and you have the makings of an unbalanced relationship.
The feeling nurturing attributes that are so important in female’s, often seem undervalued in a male’s. Why is this still the case in 2012? It’s not like caring is only possible if you are female, many men care deeply even if they don’t always show it. We so often see fantastic examples of men who are incredible communicators, Bill Clinton springs to mind and there are others who capture the very essence of the mood, who communicate feeling, value and comfort so easily, so why are these attributes still undervalued in our young men?
There has been an argument that women naturally seek out the strongest most dominant mate to father the healthiest of children but I dispute this theory. Girls are constantly exposed to this message but having a caring mate would surely be the preference for most women. I am sure that the ability for parents to raise self-confident and self-sustaining caring children into adulthood requires more than the most dominant genes. How much easier would it be to have a partner who had some of those ‘female’ attributes’ of compassion, empathy and unconditional love.
We continue to pit girl against girl in the search for the best male partner, and over time women have developed some competitive behaviors that are so destructive.
Enough is enough!
Teach your boys to be strong independent men, confident enough to be themselves, to express themselves fully using all the male and female attributes available to them. Teach your girls the same thing and lets stop girls and women fighting amongst ourselves!
Many of the most loved, sexy and popular men are actors, and some would be sensible enough to wear scarfs and as adult women we appreciate the sensitive side to them. The most popular movies for women often show a strong, yet sensitive male, one who is able to communicate and care so why do we still have our young girls scoffing at the notion?