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Masculine and Feminine Roles

Masculine and feminine role-playing.

There are roles in many civilizations that are traditionally identified with men and roles that are traditionally identified with women. Every civilization from the most postmodern to the most primitive has gender roles and gender role-playing.

Often when women go into traditionally masculine roles most men perceive them as doing wrong unless they play the role according to masculine traditions and by the rules and guidelines, values and principles of the masculine world.

Often when men go into traditionally feminine roles most women perceive them as doing wrong unless they play the role according to masculine tradtions and bya the rules and guidelines, values and principles of the feminine world.

The same gender witnessing these roles also has perceptions and notions of right and wrong playing of these roles. For example, if a female witnesses a female in a leadership role, a female may or may not perceive and respond in the same manner as a man witnessing that role-playing. Similarly a man witnessing a man in a traditional feminine role may also have a different perception of that role and role-playing than a female witnessing that role. There are also differences in perceptions of right and wrong and whether or not the roleplayer should have the role.

However, if a man connects to a tradition, he can transform it into a masculine role and if a woman connects to a traditon she can transform it into a feminine role. We witness this in ballet. Male and female ballet dancers have different roles and different costumes. Male ballet dancers can be quite manly and female ballet dancers can be quite womanly. And they play their traditonal roles in a traditional dance form.

Often this is difficult to understand when a gender has defined a tradition. Most people who understand this are able to do this.

For example, in certain African societies you have market women, not market men. Women handle the money, not men.

If you ask men to play this role, like in many civilizations, they say no, of course not.

If men do play this role, perhaps they are ridiculed.

In an Oprah commentary on some African society, she witnessed the women doing the work, and the men appearing not to do any work. Her perception, of course, came from the point of view of a Westerner, an African from the West, and so she made a commentary. Perhaps in this village the woman are doing women’s work. What are the men’s work. What type of work do the men do.

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