It’s just not true. At the present time, it’s 2016, and we’ve come a long way towards disassembling socially constructed gender roles. Traditionally, it is true that the average male will exhibit mostly masculine traits, and the average female will exhibit mostly feminine traits. Are there outliers? Of course. But it is no longer socially unacceptable to portray traits that weren’t determined for you by your sex.
I don’t want to stray too far from the topic at hand. This blog is about presidents, and what they did and how they acted as great leaders of the free world. Currently, I’m working on a series about Teddy Roosevelt as the archetype of masculinity and arguing that the masculine traits he exhibited made him a great leader. Not based solely on the fact that we may see our first female president in about 5 days, I felt the need to address any female readers that have ambitious dreams of entrepreneurship, politics, or leadership roles.
Outward leadership is predominantly a masculine trait. Holding frame is considered masculine. Physical strength is a masculine trait. Shouldering your own burdens, and helping others with their burdens is traditionally masculine. These are all qualities that make strong leaders, and as women it is imperative to realize you must accept that and be prepared to play the game. In business dealings, taking a clueless feminine frame will not gain you any favors. Instead, it’s important to adapt a confident, masculine frame that knows how to handle problems as they’re thrown at you and portrays a dominant air. People will try to take advantage of you, and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of is markedly feminine.
This is not to say that you must abandon any form of femininity. Forbes has noted that a balance of masculine and feminine strengths in the workplace is better than one or the other. It can be wielded with great power and respect as well, but coupled with a strong frame of mind is devastating, especially when opposed by unsuspecting men, their frames will easily be disrupted by yours, and you’ll notice the conversation begin to work in your favor. Teddy Roosevelt also exhibited feminine traits openly in the form of grieving for his wife and mother.
Just because something is masculine does not mean that women can’t handle it. The world we live in is no longer binary, and depending on what your specific end goal is (entrepreneur, CEO, president, etc) it’s best to accept that sooner and to choose the traits that you believe are the best qualities of those who have historically performed well in the situation at hand.