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Female Masculinity: Sexy or Unsexy??

Updated on November 6, 2013

I've always felt empowered by doing things that the boys could do. Maybe that's because I grew up with two older brothers and wanted to be just like them. Always following them around and trying to keep up. I was a tomboy in 5th and 6th grade and the boys were scared of me; I would get picked second (favoritism ruled) for football because they knew I would kick them in the shins if I wasn't on their team. And for a girl of four and a half feet and 65 pounds, that's quite an accomplishment.

I was always seen as the tiny, cute girl, but with bite, so you better watch out. And it wasn't until recently that it was brought to my attention that not everything I do is cute. Now, this blew my mind! Okay I'm not completely delusional to think that everything I do is adorable, like picking my nose...even though I have been told I do that quite gracefully....but I always thought that men liked when women were empowered, I thought they thought it was sexy. Well let me tell you, I was proven very wrong.

Lumberjack B

I was over at my best friend Liz's house and we were going to sit outside so she could smoke. As I walk out from using the restroom she is nowhere to be seen, so I sit down in front of the furnace and wait. And what do I hear?? Clunk. (Pause.) Clunk. (Pause.) Clunk. It takes me awhile to process what is going on. "Are you chopping wood??????" Now, Liz, not only is a computer nerd, but is also a girly girl, so you could understand my surprise at this revelation. And as I walk into her backyard, there she is is wielding an axe. I thought that was the COOLEST thing ever!! Although I had grown up with two older brothers, I had never learned to do anything outdoorsy like that, all I knew how to do was watch them play video games (I grew up in the era of two player gaming systems; I still blame them for my poor hand-eye coordination). And so my first reaction was "TEACH ME!!!" And she did. After a couple of times of pounding the axe into the ground we decided to get it on film so I could show my boyfriend (who is now my ex) because I was so proud of myself and I wanted him to be too. And like the natural performer I am, once the camera turned on, I shined. On the first take, I had the best chopping wood performance in town--I chopped that piece of wood right down the middle. I was filled with adrenaline and was so excited to tell everyone, especially my special someone. Liz tried to persuade me from doing so because she said that guys don't really like that kind of stuff, they think it's masculine. And I said Jeff loves me and thinks anything I do is sexy. I mean he told me I'm even cute picking my nose! (Yes, it was him.) I texted Jeff telling him that I learned how to chop wood and he told me to send a picture. I was encouraged so I sent the video, and was on the edge of my seat in anticipation for his response: "Sexy lumberjack?" Okay, that's cute. Not sure why it's a question though... I asked him what he thought about the video, and expected accolades, I don't remember what he said, but it was along the lines of "Cool." Now, that just wasn't good enough for me. I was fishing for compliments. This was a spiritual experience for me and he wasn't being supportive. I had gotten in touch with a part of myself that I had lost touch with. I needed the one person in my life that I was in love with to experience this with me, to be there with me. Instead I was left with an empty feeling. Regretfully, I told Liz that she was right. That my quintessence of empowerment was stripped away from me because of a stigma from gender roles. I know I don't need--or shouldn't--his approval to feel empowered, but it just opened my eyes. And later when I asked him about it he said that he didn't think it was attractive. Of course, ladies, you know where my head goes. "My boyfriend thinks I'm unattractive." And the downward spiral of insecurities ensued.

How did we end of dealing with this situation?? We swept it under the rug and moved on. We went to look at Christmas lights and held hands. His hand on top, mine on bottom.

Who'se right??

So I write this in reflection. This obviously was a couple of months ago, but I stumbled upon the video and was thrown back into the feelings, especially now that Jeff and my relationship has come to an end. I remember Liz made an analogy while I was texting her in the middle of my internal emotional breakdown during Jeff's and my Christmas dinner, which was in awkward, deafening silence: "It probably wouldn't turn you on if Jeff picked up the hobby of sewing." True. But I guess the distinction is, the act of chopping wood is different from the significance it holds for me. Which leads me to my culmination. I guess that's what feminism is all about. The right. The physical act of voting is different than the significance of being able to vote. I started this hub simply wondering why men don't think Danielle Boone is sexy, and conclude with a stronger connection with my inner Gloria Steinem.

I don't know how to upload videos from my phone without having to upload them to a site like You Tube first. So here is a snapshot of me chopping wood. It's a little dark and blurry.
I don't know how to upload videos from my phone without having to upload them to a site like You Tube first. So here is a snapshot of me chopping wood. It's a little dark and blurry.

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    • Saleeln18 profile image

      Saleeln18 5 years ago from Illinois

      This is a very interesting hub here. I personally do not think that a girl being strong and capable, and/or masculine is unattractive. I prefer it that way actually; strength and independence are two of the most attractive qualities for a female to have.

      Many guys who think it is unattractive in women only think that way because they want their women vulnerable and easy to manipulate (in my opinion), they can't stand having a girl that can challenge them, physically or mentally. That's why a lot of guys want their girlfriends to let them win in sports or competitive games of any sort, it's the same principle basically. That's why I think guys find it unattractive anyway.

      I am the opposite way. My girlfriend and I are both very proud and competitive people. We argue and fight all the time (just play fighting of course) but I've always liked the fact that she can hold her own and that she doesn't back down from anybody, not even me. But at the end of the day we get along and care for each other, not because she holds her tongue and lets me control her, but because there is genuine and sincere love between us.

      Unfortunately a lot of guys, maybe even most guys (like this Jeff character I am assuming), don't like their women to be empowered or independent. But not all guys are like that. You shouldn't need to change or censor yourself to be appreciated and that's what many people don't understand.

    • B Noelle profile image
      Author

      B Noelle 5 years ago

      Thanks Saleeln18 for your comment!! I am a very competitive person as well and usually do excel in sports and games, so I definitely need a guy to be humble enough to accept that. I'm glad to hear that you and your girlfriend have friendly competition, it probably keeps your relationship exciting.

      I know for Jeff it wasn't that he wanted me to be vulnerable and subservient, he was always very respectful, he just didn't think chopping wood was sexy; he missed the significance it possessed. Empowerment is sexy. But I definitely have come in contact with several guys that are intimidated by women who are strong and confident. Interestingly enough, Liz's past three romantic interests have broken up with her because of that exact reason, and she doesn't get it. She doesn't know where to look for a guy who is comfortable switching gender roles from time to time. I find that it intimidates a guy when you can be autonomous without him. And for Liz, she owns her own business and doesn't NEED a man in her life, she just WANTS one. Hopefully she will find a guy who can keep up with her.

      As for me, I'll just be here, cutting and chopping away at the rejects, until I find my perfect piece of wood.

    • Saleeln18 profile image

      Saleeln18 5 years ago from Illinois

      You are very welcome. And yes, that kind of humility is always a good thing to have in a relationship for both guys and girls as well. And yes it's pretty fun for us.

      Oh sorry I misread, I was thinking that he thought that the empowerment itself was not attractive. I have friends like Liz as well though; who are self sufficient but their "significant" others cannot appreciate or even fathom that, and they can't handle that level of competition and intimidation from their ladies. It's actually pretty sad. But I'm sure she will find hers, in due time.

      And I'm sure you will as well. Just keep chopping, you'll find it.

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