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So, can girls be boyish too?

Indeed yes, when one's femininity craves an alliance with a form of masculinity within one's soul.

This issue discusses the nature of duality in sexuality, gender polarity and externalized expectations in building a relationship with the meanings we offer to the opposite and alternate 'sexes'. We are all chromosomes and hormones, signalling thought and emotion while interacting with the outer world and the inner identity that we construct for ourselves.

Beyond the binary lens of heteronormativity, our intrinsic core thirsts for clarity on inclusivity amidst the LGBTQ+ community. If we surpass social norms and obligations toward societal appropriateness, then we begin to question the nature of queerness within and the acquisitions, queer culture receives from witnessing individuals.

To reach a dialogue with the confusion within, and to converse with the conflict thrown at us by society-at-large, one must willingly accept oneself in the entirety of being. Embracing all aspects of the confused state of heart, expressing that ruffled mess which disturbs the intrinsic peace is the only solace to fighting the wars outside and internal to our very raw souls.

This soul-based seeker of truth, justice and freedom can be channelled into positive activism, only when the mind attains stillness. Being charged with extreme feelings of hatred, denial, etc. only worsens our intent and makes our purpose impure.

To observe the relational dynamics across genders and relationships, our thought patterns enable a process of deciphering one's dialogue with gender roles that one expects or submits oneself to, in coexisting with the world of discord.

For instance, consider a mother and son, a sister and brother, a father and daughter bond. All these project experiential wishes and desires onto their spouses, grandchildren, and even bosses, colleagues or friends.

While manhood and boyishness are two very different extremes of a male spectrum, the gap isn't so wide in female transformation (girl to woman), unless modernized norms (as to do with current reality) have been imposed on women to be independent workers and men to be homemakers.

This shift makes men want to experience girlishness, and women take charge of their inner patriarchy formed out of continued domination in a household where masculine decisions were the rule. It makes boys clingy to smothering-maternal love and girls desperate for or to rebel against the 'daddy-hubby' void. It contorts daughters who turn asexual while witnessing parental abuse, or adolescents turning queer as they don't understand inter-genderized arguments within abusive household environments.

Boyish isn't only limited to men who don't want to grow and mature or take responsibility for an imposed structure of gendered hierarchy. It is also a feminist fight for freedom from patriarchal demands, and oughts verses shouldn't. And this could be true of a queer man refusing marriage as he witnessed his parents quarrelling every day while he grew up in a conflicted home situation. Or a daughter taking up the role of a son, when her father indulged in alcohol.


A masculine woman weds a feminist man:

A man denying himself privileges of being dominant in a power-relation gives in to an independent and strong woman having manly features and traits. From taking care of finances to driving him around, she enjoys the freedom she would have strived for while constantly proving to her patriarchal dad that women can be assertive and active in decisions. On the other hand, the guy has chosen a life of bondage, in reverence for the divine feminine expressed by his controlling mother. He now expects a partner, to replace and continue this dynamic so he succumbs to the power-play that shifts across genders worldwide.

In enabling her to work, he gains an ego more rewarding than mere equality amidst the relationship and she adores his values on feminism. In doing so, both are content with new roles flipped across genders. He anchors in nurturance and maternal instincts of house chores. She finds liberty in being the breadwinner. He educates the child. She pays the bills and fees.

These roles also exist in homosexual relations, where one takes womanhood to be the responsibility they could work around, and the other feeds off this feminine care to liberate oneself from oppression.

While positive relations are rare, the flip side of negative reinforcers cripples both partners with struggles to break free from toxic weddings. If a man hates the smothering love received from his mother during childhood, he'd view a wife to be as dominating, leaving him choiceless in terms of food habits for example.

A woman who had a strict father would rebel against her husband even though he gives her all the free will she wanted. These are relational trauma imprints transferred to newer relationships. The projection of patterns associated with limiting beliefs only makes the new bond dysfunctional. With generalized assumptions and insecurities from past experiences, the mind won't be ready to accept anything against the norm. Normalized tendencies thus continue to dominate fear-based reactive behaviour, rather than reflective trust-grounded responsive adaptations to new equations.

Concluding, awareness and journaling of the internal dialogues of the mind are key in being receptive to change in relational dynamics across genders and gender roles. With this reflection, one can escape repetitive hurt and judgments, avoiding stereotyping of gender rules and expectations. Bringing fluidity in ascribing oneself to genderized duties, allows for a dialogue that bridges the relational exchange of roles and eases out what we expect from our partner.


Note: The author (Hussain Ebrahim, a PhD scholar at Yelahanka - Bengaluru, Karnataka] is aware of biological choiceless identities of queerness, as well as socially framed identifications of questioning one's sexual preferences. The author only offers a sense of clarified action to the LGBTQ+ activism and fully empathizes with inner struggles in breaking free, coming out or choosing to stay closeted. They (the author) can be reached for further works on similar lines.

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