What Happens when Men Embrace their Femininity?

By Ashleigh Wilson on Sunday April 7th, 2019

Celebrating the Feminine Essence in Us All

What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine. – Susan Sontag


Across the table from me sits a man crying. He does not try to hide the tears, he does not wipe away at them, muttering about something being in his eye. He is weeping without shame in the middle of a busy cafe.

I have to say, I’m a little dumbstruck. I’m used to having emotional chats with female friends, but one with a male friend is not something I am accustomed to. After all, from my experience, most men usually don’t want to touch an emotive subject with a ten-foot pole, at least not in public.

And seeing the reactions from other cafe-goers, it is not hard to see why.

Any female crying in public would easily be given looks of sympathy, perhaps a comforting hug or touch from a passer-by, but this was not the reaction my friend got. You would have thought he was sitting on a pile of dog-poo with the looks of distaste, awkwardness, and even horror he was getting.

While it is true that women have suffered terribly from a masculine dominated society, on a different level, men have too. They have had to bury their emotions and feminine essence, causing great pain to themselves and others. I believe it is now time to come together to heal and honour the feminine side of us all.

The Courage of True Femininity

After he cried in the cafe and we hugged it out, my friend drove away on his motorbike for a men’s jamming session in a shed, equipped with a six-pack of cold beer. He knows that he isn’t any less of a man for embracing his feminine side, for being in touch with his emotions.

Redefining masculinityMen are no less masculine for expressing their emotions. Image: Tom Pumford

He knows it does not mean he has to don high heels and a cute dress. He knows that femininity isn’t about being attracted to men, and that for women, it isn’t about pleasing men. It isn’t about being a certain gender.

Just as a feminine woman does not need large breasts or the perfect shade of lipstick, my friend demonstrates how a man who embraces his feminine energy does not need to be afraid of losing his masculinity.

As we embrace the divine feminine, we find an awakening to all the parts of ourselves that have remained hidden, a deeper connection to our feelings, our emotions, our pleasures, and our bodies. – C. Ara Campbell

Could Embracing Femininity Lead to Longer, Happier Lives?

Despite what others in the cafe that day may have thought, my friend really does have his life together. It wasn’t always that way though.

It is believed healthy and balanced masculine energy can be the source of a nurturing and reliable provider; a great parent, partner, and friend. However, when the masculine energy is imbalanced, when the feminine is ignored, we may have trouble connecting to our hearts or allowing those closest to us in. The latter is where my friend found himself a short while ago. He also found himself in the emergency room after a suicide attempt.

“I felt like I had to shut my emotions off,” he said to me. “I was feeling so much but I had to pretend I wasn’t. It all got too much, like I was going to explode.”

Unfortunately, he is one of many people, particularly men, around the world who have considered this option. While suicide rates are overall dropping globally, men are still more than twice as likely to take their own lives than women, according to a study released last month. “Globally, men hugely outpaced women for suicides, suffering 15.6 deaths per 100,000 compared with 7.0 for women.”

Another recent study has listed unhelpful conceptions of masculinity (like the ones my friend was trying to live up to) and social isolation as two of the biggest factors in male suicide.

Accept all of yourselfAccepting and embracing all sides of ourselves is important for our wellbeing. Image: Jacky Zeng

On the other hand, when the feminine is embraced, something beautiful can emerge for both genders. Men and women are able to support each other emotionally and forge healthy and valued partnerships, both romantically and otherwise. Once my friend’s feminine was released, he saw immense changes in his romantic relationship, his friendships and his connection with his mother. He started eating healthier and exercising more, he lost excess weight and began chasing his dream job. “My life is finally on the path that it should be,” he said to me one day.

A Change Back to the Past

The original languages didn’t even have he and she. They didn’t have concepts of masculine and feminine. People were people. And the whole idea was that we were in a circle together, not in a hierarchy together. – Gloria Steinem

What is inspiring is that a shift back to a balance between feminine and masculine energy seems to have already started in the young men of today, as expressed in a study led by the University of British Columbia. This research found millennial men in Canada are now starting to value traditionally feminine traits over traditional male ideals (for example, physical strength and autonomy).

The report revealed selflessness was the most valued trait for the men studied, aged 15-29. Helping other people, giving back to the community, and being open to new ideas, experiences and people, all ranked highly.

“Young Canadian men seem to be holding masculine values that are distinctly different from those of previous generations. These values may run counter to long-standing claims that young men are typically hedonistic, hypercompetitive, and that they risk or neglect their health,” said lead author John Oliffe, who also leads the men’s health research program at the university.

With the tides shifting, albeit slowly, more and more men are also stepping up and helping their partners with child rearing. Every day I pass dads with their children, embracing their nurturing nature to allow women to focus on their careers and self-care.

Research shows that women’s pay and advancement in their careers are significantly impacted by having children. However, men have the ability to step up and change this.

Following the life-changing event of having a child, researchers have shown that a ‘motherhood penalty’ often comes into play and mothers are perceived to be less committed, less promotable, and astoundingly, even less competent than their single counterparts…Understanding the changing role of fathers and the enormous impact this can have on working women’s career trajectories should be of importance to any employer interested in facilitating women’s advancement. – Boston College

Times are changingTimes are changing – fathers are embracing a more hands-on approach to parenting. Image: Caroline Hernandez

In addition to making the workforce a fairer place, men are finding peace by embracing a hands-on role. Anthony, a stay-at-home dad attests, saying feeling into his feminine side to care for his child has been a blessing he wishes for more men:

You have this little person who desperately needs you, and nothing in the world is more important to you. And I felt blessed, for want of a better word, that I was in a position where I could just allow that feeling to happen to me. Because most men don’t get to do that, for which I feel profoundly sorry for them.

What these studies point to, is a change from a society of gender separateness to one of unity, where men and women are equal.

Women have long known the power of the feminine, harnessing it to create harmony within ourselves and those around us. Without the feminine essence, our species surely would not have survived as long as we have. As women, we have supported each other, our children, and our men by ourselves long enough – now is the time to share our gifts and thrive as one humanity.

There is a collective force rising up on the earth today, an energy of the reborn feminine… This is a time of monumental shift, from the male dominance of human consciousness back to a balanced relationship between masculine and feminine. – Marianne Williamson


How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.




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22 Responses to What Happens when Men Embrace their Femininity?

  1. I can see men embracing equality, their emotions…fem side… then it talks of their becoming stay at home dads while the woman persues her career. That is a huge sacrifice. That flips and maintains the dom sub just flipping the roles. “He knows it does not mean he HAS to don high heels and a cute dress.” Hum. Does equality maintain the same roles…or alter them so that both share having careers, child care. House keeping and home maintenance? To advocate the traditional inequality…sounds more like feminists attacking men for toxic masculinity then wanting them in the dependent role while they take total control as the sole provider…is that equality? Some men may opt for it dress (as the author mused about) and all but they fully embrace being the submissive supporting wife.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts George. It is most certainly a multi-layered, complex topic and it’s great to look at it from all angles.

      Team UPLIFT

  2. I’m convinced that the key to a great relationship depends on a man’s being in touch with his feminine side and the woman being in touch with her masculine side and both being comfortable with them. And instead of formal titles like husband and wife to instead be lovers& friends. Housework is just work, not woman’s work and whoever cooks the best version of a dinner item should do the honors. I was ridiculed by guys in the 70’s for what they considered a heretical belief that men and women should be exact equals in a relationship. I also think whoever has the cooler last name should become the family last name, not automatically the guys because some guys have really horrible last names. What a lousy thing to do to your loved one and kids. hahahaha Stuck with a last name like Frankenstein when hers was DeFrancesca.

  3. I’m a 15 year old boy who has been thinking about being more feminine because I like the feel of being able be who I want to be. I haven’t told anyone I know yet because i’m scared of being socially rejected. And i’m going through some other life complications as well so if I told my parents I feel like it would make things worse. I only recently discovered that I like to express feminism because I tried on a sports bra and really liked it. It may be that I just want to wear some feminine clothes but i’m not sure if it’s more than that. I’m not exactly sure and i’ve worked up some anxiety about it. I want to feel comfortable but it seems like it’s not accepted socially. It pains me that I can’t express myself, what should I do?

    • That sounds like a difficult position to be in Benjamin. Well done for having the courage to express it here! That’s a big first step, so it’s important to acknowledge that you did this for yourself 🤩 I would suggest googling local hotlines that you can call where you can be completely anonymous if you choose, and you can speak to someone who can listen to your concerns and perhaps give you some professional advice? Talking to someone you don’t know might be a good next step, so you can slowly build the courage to tell someone you do know 😊 Another idea would be to speak to your school counsellor if there is one, and if you feel comfortable with them? They have a code of conduct that means they cannot share anything you don’t want them too, so they would most definitely keep your secret for you.

      Wishing you all the best with this Benjamin. Lots of love 💗
      Team UPLIFT

  4. Although I was born a male and readily accept my physiological characteristics, I have always felt much more connected to gender-fluid women and men. That subgroup has always been the source of my closest relationships, such as lovers and confidantes

    I can get along with men and women who never seem to stray from traditional gender roles, but I tend to be on my guard with them. I need to be able to shift seamlessly between masculinity and femininity during every day of my life, and people who subscribe to rigid gender roles often tend to be judgmental of people who don’t.

    Just as it seems so confining to me to be trussed up in traditional men’s clothing all the time, it seems equally confining not to be able to express my inner world with others. I need the freedom to move and flow with the joy of femininity, which I know has enhanced my ability to connect with others on a deeper level.

    • It’s wonderful to hear how well you have come to know and express yourself Pete 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing.

      Team UPLIFT

  5. Yes men need to embrace their feminity but please do not fake it, or worse view feminity through ingrained and outdated stereotype. Avoid the exaggeration of stereotyped behavior that’s believed to be feminine since if you do that you do not embrace your feminity, you mock feminity.

  6. I agree men and women need to embrace and balance both the feminine and masculine to become more whole . It’s not about one been better than the other. The common stereotypes in relation to this, needs to be changed ,and I feel society in general will be better for it . Peoples mental and overall health will improve .

  7. Ok, he knows emotion doesn’t mean (and I quote you): he has to don high heels and a cute dress. He knows that femininity isn’t about being attracted to men.

    However, you almost put that as a negative. There is nothing wrong if he did want to wear clothes (even if it’s non gender conforming). Nor is it in any way negative for men to be attracted to men.

    Bob Brongoe, your views highlight your limited intellect.

  8. Well Bob,

    There are kilts, and in Samoa the men wear lavalavas (a wrap around “skirt) when Troy Polamalu comes home to visit he wears one. My SIL suffers my granddaughter to paint his nails , we have to keep lots of nail polish remover around. 😄

  9. Rest assured I do not feel masculine when I drive a car, hammer a nail. run a race, win a competition, excel in an intellectual endevour, get active against injustice, protect the vulnerable, then accompanying them along their path to empowerment…. I am fully human, skirts and pants, nails and needles, exhaulting and mourning…. equally human. That is what I ask of men to strive for.

      • Don’t be so judgemental about skirts and nails. Women wear mens clothes all the time and nobody bats an eye. I get my nails done with clear gel, and I get a LOT of complements from women. Too many men are scared to connect with their feminine side. Why is that? Do they think it’s a sign of weakness or something sexist? I can’t be inside their heads, but I suspect they are making the idea of expressing their feminine side as something that they feel is wrong. It’s not wrong – it’s called being human.

  10. Thanks Anonman
    My son is going through a tough divorce situation and I see how disadvantaged some men are.
    yes, indeed , true legal equality is needed.

    And also, women on juries need to not hold steretypes of women who are raped or sexually abused.
    Someone I love was raped and the D.P.P. would not bring it to trial because they judged there would not be a conviction! Maybe money was involved here, perhaps?

    We have a long way to go for equality for men and women before the law to be a reality.!

  11. Wonder why he was contemplating suicide??? Perhaps due to a recent breakup from a female who manipulated and took financial advantage of him, or worked him to death to provide for her needs or agenda, or perhaps she shamed him into doing something that he was not proud of doing for her. Or the court systems who forced him to pay child support when he was already being a good involved father to his child. Could be wrong… but my all of these things recently happened to me and I feel that I identify well with both sides, but feel like I need to get back to my tribe now so we can go on a witch hunt for true legal equality for both men and women, which is sorely lacking in this article…

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