Men Are Discussing What They'd Do If Things Weren't Considered 'Feminine' And It's Pretty Depressing

A Reddit conversation about the term 'femininity' and what men would do if certain behaviours weren't deemed socially 'unacceptable' has appeared and we'd like to change the rhetoric

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Emma Stone Femininity | ELLE UK
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When you Google the term 'femininity' you will find this definition.

'The quality of being female; womanliness.'

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An example of its use?

'She celebrates her femininity by wearing make-up and high heels.'

Now, I don't know about you but to us here at ELLE, that definition doesn't sit with us very well.

After all, the term femininity has meaning beyond the confines of our appearances.

Are we not feminine when we are marching for equal pay, working up a sweat in the gym to build strength and using our brains in the workplace?

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In our fourth and largest 'Feminist Issue' last year, we were on a mission to redefine the term, thanks to the help of well-known feminists such as the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, the Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn and Olympic medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams.

One of our favorite quotes came from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robin Givhan who said: 'Femininity could be gap-toothed and unshaven. It could be Athletic and sweaty. It is an expression of quicks and personal power.

Besides, who says feminity is a female trait?

I know plenty of guys who show what might be called 'feminine' attributes, the same as I know women who display 'masculine' characteristics, and I don't see either compromising or defining their gender?

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Contrary to many of our friends in Europe, whose Latin-rooted languages are modelled around gender formations – the English language lost its grammatical gender centuries ago, meaning we have the ability to describe men and women with non-gender specific adjectives, without the need to change their articles (for example, 'the' or 'a') or endings.

Fortunately, changing attitudes to gender and sex are increasingly transforming European language, with several theorists wanting to do away with gendered professions and nouns altogether.

English-speakers are so fortunate that the language is far much more malleable, in terms of gender, than other vernaculars, yet we still seem to struggle with applying such gender fluidity in practice.

Earlier this week, a Reddit feed asked men what they would do if behaviour or clothing wasn't deemed 'feminine' or socially 'unacceptable'.

Of course, some of the responses were hilarious, from users saying they'd start quilting, wear yoga pants, carry a manbag and be the 'little' spoon in the relationships.

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On reading these responses, it's hard not to chuckle at the thought men associate yogawear and quilting to women, but it also saddened us that users felt they couldn't enjoy these activities because of society's rigid gender norms.

For the man who wanted to drink fruity drinks at New Years but felt he had to order a whisky, or the chap admitted to using his wife's bath bombs in the tub to soothe his hernia discomfort, or the guy who'd like to wear sundresses when it's hot outside, you shouldn't feel restrained from doing 'feminine' labelled acts just because they're deemed 'traditionally feminine'.

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Besides, women were once forbidden from taking part in the Olympics, serving in combat, flying to space and even wearing trousers because they were male, or wrongfully seen as 'masculine' activities. But, that hasn't stopped countless numbers of women fighting for equal rights and place in society.

Instead, take advice on how to live life from another Reddit users who wrote:

'I recently took up sewing. People are surprised sometimes, but no one actually cares... I say go for it, man. It's just building shit in a different medium.'

We couldn't have put it better ourselves.

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