Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Women and the Gender Reversal of men

Lady Grey left some comments on my writer's block post and posed an interesting question.

Her question was as follows:
"Why is it that so many women enjoy seeing a man dressed up as a woman and doing "woman" type things? I'm especially intrigued by the number of "vanilla" women who react with such amusement when a TV show portrays that situaion - women who would never dream of being dominant. Any thoughts?"

This is something that has left me curious over the years, especially the mixed reaction that is quite common.  Basically, women are amused by this but the majority of these women would have no interest in a feminized man as a partner or lover.  I will get to that later in the post but I thought I would put it out to the forefront for the time being.

I believe the root of why women are amused stems greatly to the types of societal pressures they regularly feel in life.  Men also feel pressures but the great difference between the pressures felt by men and by women is pretty simple: the pressures felt by men are consistent in steering them towards one behavioral style.  For men, it has been a societal norm since the breakdown of the caste/feudal systems that men should aspire for greatness in whatever they do.  They should be strong, fast, smart, ambitious, creative, "manly," aggressive, assertive, and successful, all of which are typically alpha male characteristics.

Women, on the other hand, tend to feel pressures pulling them in opposite directions.  These pressures are constant and always present stemming from media, peers/co-workers, family/parents, societal norms spanning several very different generations, ideas of femininity, feminism, and so-forth.  This leads to a mixed bag of expectations that become incredibly difficult to fulfill unless they stretch themselves so thin that they lose focus on their own dreams and desires.

-Be beautiful
-Be thin
-Be fashionable
-Be attractive
-Be sexy but not slutty

-Be intelligent
-Be ambitious
-Work hard
-Be content with lower pay for the same job
-Accept time-honored traditions of sexual harassment
-Be judged by appearance: too attractive loses credibility, too homely sets you back
-Pursue careers and fields "fit for a woman"

-Allow the man to be the breadwinner and head of the household
-Attend to "womanly" household duties and chores
-Fulfill your husband's sexual needs
-Take primary responsibility for raising children
-Look to the man for stability and a sense of direction
-Give up your maiden name

-Be strong and independent
-Never need anyone's approval
-Be equal to or better than men at what you do
-Be a role model for other women

Overall, the pressures lead to a giant garbled and mixed message:
You must be pretty, super pretty when you're "supposed" to be, but not too pretty the rest of the time or you won't be taken seriously.  Have lots of ambition and goals but you'll have to try twice as hard to get half as far and never expect to reach the top.  Be successful, but not more successful than your husband.  Be strong willed and driven but always submit to your husband's wishes.  Fulfill your career goals but also provide a perfect environment for your family.

So all women are supposed to be successful but not too successful transforming models that are strong yet always give in to men and attend to every household need.

The identity issues caused by such pressures on women contribute strongly towards things like self-esteem and loss of self.

While men might argue the pressures they feel on a daily basis since they are old enough to walk and talk are "equally strong," the great difference is that those pressures all point to a unified and consistent psyche, not one full to the brim with contradictions. 

Because of these norms, Femdom and male submission always seems to appear "more deviant" than male Dom and female submission.

Getting to the amusement aspects for women when viewing an emasculated male, I think there is a bit of a split here that leads to different reactions. 

A.  The alpha male that is a direct product of his societal pressures.
B.  The omega male that has buckled under the weight of the societal pressures.

Women love to watch the alpha male knocked off his high horse and have his ego trampled.  When the successful cut-throat jock shows up on TV (or wherever) feminized and humiliated, it tends to light a fire inside women, and all of the pent up emotional issues caused by years of conflicting societal pressures bursts to the forefront.  They see it not only as a man being cut down to size, but a symbol of all of the extra trials and bullshit expected of women immediately thrust upon a man.  This once proud symbol of masculinity has become a conflicted entity and he is unable to bear this pressure, so it shames and humiliates him.  He's not as strong as he wanted people to think.  He can't deal with the conflict.  This tends to provide great amusement for women.

There is a different reaction when an omega male is portrayed feminized.  He has already failed in life.  He is unattractive, unsuccessful, unable to overcome the pressures of the male world.  He is a loser.  When he is feminized it is "pathetic," and "disgusting" if it turns him on.  He doesn't fight and struggle to salvage his dignity, it was already gone.  He couldn't handle the more basic male pressures, so watching him crushed under the weight of a woman's pressures bears nothing to her.  She doesn't take pleasure in this and she is probably disgusted by him (yet oddly enough, this is often the basis of much of men's humiliation fantasies).

I believe these are the primary reasons feminization of men often appeals to women, but in most cases, the amusement is limited to men "that deserve it" and in cases where it happens to a successful yet unlikable male character. 

If you take things a bit further, to say, what types of women would enjoy doing this to their male partner/lover, there is another great divide.  There's plenty of women out there, both vanilla and Dommes, that would be put off if their men got turned on by being feminized (even if it was forced).  This tends to conflict with the type of man that they are "supposed" to be with and the role he is "supposed" to have in their relationship.  I think there is also some inherent fear that this means he is automatically gay and that he will leave her for a man.  Either way, if it does turn him on, it tends to shatter her notions of what he is supposed to be and she often rejects him after that.  Oddly enough, much of who he is was probably an act in the first place as he was adhering to societal pressures of what he as a man is supposed to be like.  If he sits around playing video games or obsessing over $1000 golf clubs instead of helping at all around the house, this isn't manly man behaviors nor is it submissive, it's probably just who he is.

This leaves the women who enjoy the idea of their partner/lover being feminized.  These women have often rejected much of the "expectations of women" that were placed on them by society.  She might enjoy it because it will bond them on another level or because it brings him intense humiliation or arousal, or just because it gives her a charge of power.  In any case, these women tend to be in the minority.

Any thoughts?


  1. Wow! I can't believe the speed in which you answered my question, nor the amazing variety of thoughts you've put into your entry. That was a tour de force, Fur, and all I can say is Bravo! It would appear that your writer's block has been unlocked.

    I can't disagree with anything you said, and I would love to see some comments from Mistress of "Forever Hers" aa well as Queen Goddess. Both of them have begun to fully explore the sissification of their husbands with very dramatic results. They fall in the general category of the women you describe in your final paragraph, as do I in a different way (the humiliation and power appeals to me, though on a very infrequent basis).

    Thank you for a wonderful treatise.

  2. Thank you very much for the kind words, Lady Grey.

    I had intended to write a bit more at the end but I ran out of time when I was writing it earlier today. I decided to just post what I had since I felt it did cover the bases I had hoped to cover.

    Thank you very much for the idea as well, your suggestions always seem to inspire me.