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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

We’d All Like Some Humaninity

No, I did not misspell humanity.

I meant to say humanininty.

In this age with sharp divisions of what defines femininity and masculinity, we’re all tired of the toxic expectations.

We all feel the ideal version of our gender is limiting and not representative of who we fully are.

I’ve never met a single person who believes, “I love all that masculinity is and I’ve achieved it.”

Same with femininity. I’ve never met a single person who thinks, “I love all that femininity is and I live all of it”

Autistic art therapist depicts two outlines of a man and woman's face
"Masculine and Feminine" Illustration by Jackie Schuld

That’s partially because our visions of femininity and masculinity are mythical. They’re unachievable. Yes, we can achieve parts of them, such as being “attractive” or “strong,” but it’s impossible to achieve them all and be them all of the time.

Why is that?

Two fold: One, the combination of required traits are often deeply unhealthy. For example, an ideal woman is often described as someone sweet, sexy, kind, great in the kitchen, great in bed, a great listener, sensitive, free, etc. For any woman to achieve all of those would require a lot of unhealthy underpinnings, such as people pleasing or ignoring one’s own needs.

Second: The idealized traits often contradict each other, or are complicated to hold at once. Such as sweet AND sexy. Smart AND quiet. Free and Sweet.

Instead of more analysis into the toxicity of it all, I think we can all just acknowledge it sucks.

I’m done with it. We’re all tired of it.

But where do we go from here? I’ve been reading books and essays to explore just that topic.

My lovely Dutch Brothers barista asked me this afternoon what I’ll be doing the rest of the day. I told them, “I’ll be reading about how to undo masculinity!”

They were in full support and immediately launched into the exhaustive nature of both femininity and masculinity. They added, “How about some humaninity!”

I agree. Let’s set aside trying to define femininity or masculinity and let us ourselves explore humaninity. How we can be our fullest human selves, regardless of how we define our gender.

I think we’d all like some of that.


Thank you for reading. If you’d like to read more, sign up for my FUNletter. And if you're that Dutch Brothers barista, you should hit me up. I'd like to give you credit and a personal thank you.


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