What Does Your Gender Say About Who You Are?

gender behavior and relationships

Patriarchal culture created a very clear and defined set of gender-behavior and gender-behavior expectations. As the old nursery “What are Little Boys Made Of?” simply put it: boys are made of “Snips and snails and puppy-dogs' tails,” and girls are made of “Sugar and spice and everything nice.” For generations our born-biology dictated what kind of behavior society expected us to demonstrate: Men were expected to be strong, hide their emotions, be the bread earner, and be willing to sacrifice their life for their country, while women were expected to be gentle, caring, domestic, and mothers. There were even certain professions assigned to each gender: managers, doctors, and soldiers were jobs associated with men, while secretaries, nurses, and teachers were jobs associated with women. This dichotomy of gender-behavior was supposed to be something like one size fits all.

The reality though, is a lot more complex than these patriarchal-gender-caricatures. Just like situations-in-reality are rarely black and white, one person cannot be described distinctly either as feminine or masculine.  As human beings, no matter what our biological gender is, we all have both feminine and masculine traits, to  one extent or another: a woman can have qualities associated with masculinity, such as strength and courage, while a man can have qualities associated with femininity, such as sensitivity and caring.  

Our gender makes a difference how the law treats us (especially in family law), and how medicine treats us in some cases. But when it comes to our personal life, it is up to us to decided what our gender means to us. This question, no one can answer but the individual in quest. It’s a personal task that each person should do with his/her self to find out what feminine and masculine qualities they possess.

This question is very important when it comes to relationships. Many people, when searching for their significant other, have expectations that are based on the old patriarchal gender-roles: she dreams of her strong prince charming and he dreams of his lovely delicate lady. Sooner or later those expectations are doomed to turn into disappointment, as those desires don't really reflect their real emotional and much complex needs.

A more mature approach to dating and relationships is when people are aware that humans' personality is intricate and can demonstrate a rich and wide range of gender qualities and traits. When people are aware of their both feminine and masculine traits, they can more easily identify and describe their real emotional needs from a partner. Awareness in this area can prevent many broken hearts.

What does your gender say about who you are? It means that you were born with certain sex organs that define you either as male or female, but it shouldn’t define who you are or how you should behave. And it definitely doesn't define your emotional needs.