Women Are Passive? Think Again

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter

Most of us think women are more passive than men. It’s natural, right? Men’s testosterone makes them tough and assertive.

Think again.

Actually, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology and society.

In fact, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology, alone.

Testosterone makes men aggressive?

Yes, men have more testosterone. But: 

  • Men can have a lot of testosterone and still be very gentle
  • Women have less testosterone than men, but they are more sensitive to it.
  • Estrogen is tied to aggression. Think of mama bear defending her cubs.

And culture has big effects:

Latinas had strong foremothers

Strong Indian Women

Strong Indian Women

When Europeans reached America’s shores they were shocked to meet strong Indian women. They were leaders. Men didn’t make decisions without consulting their partners first. And women controlled several staples, like corn. If they didn’t want their men going to war, well, “No corn for you!”

But European patriarchy turned everything around.

When whites came to American shores, they introduced rape and battering — virtually unknown before. Missionaries taught women to be obedient, like Mary. And men were rewarded for taking charge.

Machismo took over, and once-strong women turned more submissive.

Assertive next-generation Asian daughters 

Back in Japan a male cook commands:

Now stir this.

Strong Japanese Woman

Strong Japanese Woman

His female counterpart gently asks,

Now, if you would please do me the favor of stirring this.

She may smile, but with a closed mouth. Because showing teeth might be too brazen.

And don’t draw attention to yourself, because the nail that stands out gets pounded down.

But when Japanese girls are raised in countries that value assertiveness, maybe America, they grow up to be much more strong-willed.

It’s nurture, not nature.

Black women are passive?

American stereotypes say women are more passive than men.

But not black women.

That’s probably due to “male scarcity” in their community. Which has a long history.

A Strong Michelle Obama

A Strong Michelle Obama

When slavery ended men were more likely to move north, leaving a lot of young women without husbands in the south. They learned not to depend on a man.

After World War II America became prosperous and white women could depend on men to support them.

But the college educations and union jobs that allowed white men to support their families were denied to blacks. African American women knew they couldn’t expect a man to support them for life.

The US has a long history of disempowered boys entering crime or joining gangs, whether they were Irish, Italian, Asian, Latino… or African American. But that leaves them more likely than their sisters to end up dead or in jail. (Plus, police officers are more likely to randomly stop and question black men than black women.) And that’s another source of male scarcity.

These girls don’t grow up dreaming Prince Charming will rescue them. Their mothers teach them to be assertive, independent and strong.

No wonder we don’t think black girls are passive.

 * * *

Hmmmm, women are naturally passive? And it’s because they lack testosterone?

Doesn’t look like it.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 6, 2015, in feminism, gender, psychology, race/ethnicity, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 64 Comments.

  1. I usually tend to compare my kinda two cultures. The Italian and the Venezuelan. Because my whole family is raced by Italians, and the generation of my parents and my aunt from my father side, are born in Venezuela. But the rest, even my mother’s sister born in Italy. So it is pretty mix. In Italy, I realized that the woman is the one who rule the house, and even men and woman are equally independent. You might at first look and believe that the men is the one who rule the house, but if you know the people well, you’ll see how the woman is the one who raise the voice in a dominant tone, and scary may I say. Even with my parents, because my grand parents taught them their way, my parents were the same. My mom was the dominant, but more dominant than the women of my family in Italy. My mom did all the “men job”. Like cutting the grass, cooking, repairing stuff from the house, carry heavy stuff, etc. My mom was more like “mom-dad” thing. My father didn’t even know how to play sports. So, when I compare my life with someone else who’s raced as Venezuelan, from Venezuelan family, I get surprise. The women is more passive, sometimes make decision, but usually is just an object, following the men like a dog. Like if she is trying to be independent but is so insecure of herself that usually fails her goal. So I am like, okay I know more than just one way of how to rule the house. But at the same time I’m like, I’m gay so it doesn’t matter. But its good to see how society, men and women, act. And all of the stereotypes that are like a brick on the way of improving ourselves. And that part on the article that says about the europeans brought the “machismo”, well now is the opposite. What happened? What make them change?

  2. True, black women are not seen as passive here in the US, instead we reject assertion by creating the stereotype of ‘the angry black woman’. In this way assertion is invalidated and even made fun of. It is interesting how you bring up the shock colonial men felt when they witnessed the power native women were able to use. I believe that white supremacy is tied to and also relies on the continuation of inherently sexist dynamics of subordination. I am not sure that we value assertiveness here in the States, so much as individualism as this is what drives, for example, our great level of consumerism and also separates us from collectivist/respect dynamics that are upheld in many Asian cultures. I agree that culture (nurture) seems to have the greatest effect on whether assertion will be utilized by women or not. As many scientists themselves are sexist and this goes on to effect their research, one has to roll their eyes every so often when reading about how women are biologically designed to be passive.

  3. We know Men have created by God differ she than women. They are created to be the dominant of the household since their structures are stronger than women. Even though they are more capable in doing everything more than women, but women are stronger. God gives women the ability to do many things at a time. They are more powerful in handling difficulties and face the obstacles. If they are not powerful, they would not reach to their rights, achieve to bright the world and change it completely. So, if people still think that women should not have to have equal rights as men have because she is weaker and not that smart, they should ask themselves who is the reasonable in changing the world to the better and better? We all know that when women have become an important and valuable members, they have changed men’s ways of thinking to more wisely and have helped them in handling and facing the difficulties together. So, to sum up, God has created eve from adam’s rib to complete each other. So, men cannot live without women, and women either, but women are more independent in herself and more powerful because she thinks before doing and more smartness. It is not about the color or competition in having more rights, it is about men and women live beside each other to path the way and reach the goal. and here what approve my comment that women are the reasonable in changing men in everything, ” President Obama asked Michelle, “Why was he so interested in talking to you.” She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her. President Obama then said, “So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant,” to which Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would now be the President.”

    • There are certainly some sex differences between women and men. However I don’t see that those would have anything to do with men being dominant in the household. And in fact in some cultures there has been gender equality, So gender inequality cannot be based on physical differences.

  4. I definitely agree with this – though not as prevalent as perhaps twenty or more years ago, I definitely feel that there is a certain societal perception that women should be gentle, submissive etc. I work in an industry which seems to be dominated by powerful and opinionated women, but the message which is transmitted loud and clear from the media is that women are passive, weak and helpless – yet this message does not tally with my experience of real life. You only need to look at articles ranging from women’s health, to social studies, political affairs, crime reports and fashion which are accompanied by captions featuring model photos of women, invariably looking very slim, vulnerable and sometimes in very compromising situations, whereas the male photos portray powerful, fully clothed and muscular figures. You’ll also see tons of social research articles reinforcing the old stereotypes that women tend to be more emotional and more neurotic than men etc. Again, this does not tally with my experience in the real world – there is far more diversity in reality. Why does the media insist on portraying gender differences in this way, when science has shown that less than 10% of the brain differences in men and women is attributable to sex alone and the differences which is attributable to gender is more likely than not, down to social conditioning rather than “hardwiring” (one Professor has recently argued that if human brains were “hardwired”, evolution would not be possible!).

    Looking at cultures across the world, it seems that like the breast fetish, female pasdivity is not universally replicated. As can be seen from certain egalitarian societies and latino cultures. Furthermore, I recall studying history and noted Tacitus (the famous Roman Historian) who remarked at the peculiarity of the ancient British and continental Celtic tribes of Europe when they first invaded, due to the equal ferocity of their women, who like their men, could (and often would) marry whom they chose, drink as much as they chose, own property in their own right and rule armies (as did Boudicca and Cartimandua). The ancient Egyptians weren’t too adverse to equality either with around three queens ruling in their own right.

    So, why does the concept of strong women (both physically and mentally) still continue to be relatively alien in our 21st century Western and supposedly “modern” culture?

    • Yeah, to the extent that women may be more passive in a particular culture, It seems to be due to living up to (I should say down to) expectations. Not biology.

  5. Looking back in history, women were shown to be passive but now years later women are becoming more independent and strong. Women were taught that they had to obey and men would take charge of both their life and the families. An example that is seen in my culture at times is machismo, in which the father of the family showed strongly. He was the one that took over the family and their decisions; there was no democracy involved. He had the last say on what was to go on and whether or not one was allowed to do something. Most women now in these years are becoming independent and they do not let men get their way. Meaning women know what they deserve and are deciding to do things on there own because they know they can. This is all-important because all women need to believe that they matter and that they can do things on their own without a man/husband in the picture if they choose to. Women need to be respected more and not seen as passive or weak because we are not, we are showed that way in society but we are not.

  6. Emily Quintanilla

    I really enjoyed this article. But I do in a sense feel like the article is making it feel or seem like men and women could be equal at some point. Which in or at some point there should be equality. Women for years have known to be the caregivers or the home, while men have the “power” and have the last day as they make the desition, but we fail to keep in mind that- just like the article notes- women have a lot of the last say such as men has to ask the female partner to make sure certain situations or decisions can be made. Sometimes I feel like if a female shows to much strength or power it’s not viewed as positive as it were to be if a male figure showed this strength. Women can be as stron as men- yes I do believe so and this can be mentally and physically.

  7. It’s really interesting how masculine and feminine are perceived in various settings. As an Asian woman, I’ve encountered people who want to stereotype me as passive and obedient. I don’t want to attempt to associate that stereotype with a specific country in Asia, but I will say that as a Filipino woman, I was raised in a family filled with really amazing women who were anything but passive. Most of the women I was raised with were also well educated, worked for a living (or made the choice on their own to stay home with their families,) and definitely did not play the role of passive Asian wife. I honestly didn’t encounter that stereotype until adulthood, and as soon as I did, I thought it was really strange given the kinds of women I grew up with.

    I’ve also come across people who have thought I was a “bitch” for being on the assertive side. I’m not afraid to speak up, state an opinion, ask for a raise, etc. It was a little difficult for me when I was dating, because men would often think that they wanted an opinionated feminist partner, go after me, and then realize that it wasn’t really what they wanted. Lucky for me, I finally found a partner who loves that I have my own ideas and opinions, and isn’t put off when we don’t agree.

  8. As the Blo writer mentioned “Actually, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology and society,” which she meant “the passiveness” is the product of both nature and nurture. Testosteron which is a male hormon and has been strongly linked to aggresiveness contributes directly to the nature aspect of passivenss. We can say that testosteron is associated with the biological part. On the other hand, nurture denotes the effects of environment and women surroundings which directly or indirectly have effect on women attitude and her passiveness. We can say that society is associated with “nurture” aspect of passiveness. To answer which one of biology or environmentis is more important in passiveness and has more active playing role, we should look back to each woman’ life and weigh on different precipitating and significant factors or meaningful and remarkable implications and components in each woman personal or professional life. In other word, the answer to this question is really individual and personal and it all depends on investigating and evaluating the net effects of different determinants to find out if a woman would behave in a aggresive manner or passive manner. Even when the writer points out to black women and states that black women are aggresive because they were left without husband and learned to take care of their own rights. So it is exacly corresponds to the fact that the net effect of different factors leads them to act in an aggresive manner to survive and continue to live in a white dominant population community. But on the other hand, you all know that Oprah Winfrey is a very black lady with very gentle and passive nature. So what made her to be passive is the net balance of different factors,i.e. economical, financial, social factors attributed to her gentleness; because she has everything and she has nothing to worry about. Even if something get wrong, she is able to fix it quickly as she has easy access to means of comfort and support.

  9. Howard Houston

    Women have grown so much since the years when they had “no rights.” As the years went by, women became stronger and gained their voices in society. Today, we see so many strong women in high positions such as politics and the medical field. Along the path to equality, women learned to be aggressive but in a good way. The journey was not easy and there is still more to be done, however, looking at all the obstacles women have overcome, you could not help but be proud in this country and their desire for acceptance.
    To me, to meet a women who is confident, a little aggressive in her ways, but yet soft and sensitive is extremely attractive. I believe as women become even stronger within society, confidence and aggressiveness will no longer be something to teach young girls. Instead, strong women in society will be teaching young girls how to contain themselves so as to not come off rude.

  10. Geovanny Cadena

    I found this article the most interesting because of how it can be seen in many different view. People might think and say this article is wrong but i kinda agree with it because some women can be more assertive then some men. This is because a women might have “toughen” up because of the life they lived. Like how it mentions African American being left without a husband. Also there could be some men that have a great life and are less assertive so this article makes sense. i believe some women could be more asseritve

  11. Sabrina Szpetkowski

    I absolutely love how women and girls are showing how stong they are now. Now more than ever women are taking control of their lives and pursuing their dreams. I’ve met many girls who are not afraid to speak their minds when they feel the need and it’s truly inspiring. I am guilty of not standing up for myself in the past but now I definitely would. I still know some people who don’t like being assertive because they are afraid they are going to offend or give themselves a bad image but I hope they will change their minds in the future because women are so capable.

  12. I would totally completely agree 100%! There has never been a situation were I have let anyone walk over someone I care about or even me! I grew up in an Indian household where I was told to respect my elders, do not talk back and be a quite Indian girl, however my parents also gave me a voice to stand up for myself and not let myself get walked all over. When someone is being disrespectful to you, do not stand there and take it. I have always appreciated my parents for that, they may not so much now because I speak freely with them and I am told that I talk back too much, but if something is wrong I tell them. I would disagree with the statement that men are aggressive because not just men but women too, we have had to fight for our rights, which were given freely to men. We are still fighting for our equal pay rights and we do not hide passively and say “please give us equal pay” we announce it to the world and we do not care that we may seem aggressive in our plights but more often than not we are frustrated with the fact we even have to fight this fight it should an automatic inclusion in our society, we are all human so we should all be paid the same. So the next time anyone says that women are passive show them the women’s suffrage movement, show them women who are CEOs, COOs, and scientist who have fought aggressively for their place in history.

  13. Marissa Martinez

    In this blog, this says a lot about women. I agree with what this statement is addressing. If one is taught to be independent, aggressive, and strong then that is the way they will be. In my family, there are mostly girls that were taught to stand up for yourself and not let anyone say anything else that will put a person down. The most interesting part about this article is the fact that Indian women were the strong ones before the Europeans came to America. Since then the women were treated unfairly and with little respect. Another interesting ethnic group was Japanese women. The fact that they have to be nice to their husbands, yet the husband give them demands.

  14. I do not think that women are passive, because I know we women can fight for ourselves. Talk for our rights, and defend ourselves the same way men do. The reason why women are seen passive, is because of societies expectations. Women hide their assertive sides, to please society’s expectations. When we are little we are taught by our parents or in school how we should and should act toward different sex/gender, we grow with that education and we now think that doing the opposite of what we’re taught is wrong. I believe that everyone or every gender has assertiveness… If women could be able to do whatever they fear to do, they’ll not be seen passive anymore. Society’s expectations lower us women down. We should no fear to say or do whatever we feel. We are all humans, there is no difference between women and men.

  15. I don’t think all women are passive. Nowadays, many women are more authority than men. Also, we can see there’s more and more houseman then before which can prove that women are not passive, yet men aren’t passive as well. It’s because in both gender, it also have the passive example but just because women has been innuendo they are passive in olden day. The article has bring out a great idea is in Latinas, women have more power than man and women control anything even if their man wants to go to war. So, I don’t think we should keep limit women are passive and men are aggressive, it’s kind of old school and there has more and more evidence to show women aren’t only passive, they also have aggressive one side.

  16. Lisa Hopewell

    I am often confounded by the passiveness of people, mostly women. I have never understood the idea that if I ignore the issues and don’t make waves that life would be better, smoother or that the problems in life will just disappear. I work at a company that is primarily female however the owners are male. The women in my office are all passive except me. None of the women I work with will point out any problems with business plans offered by the ownership but will complain to the highest woman in charge about the issues. The female VP rarely brings any of the issues to light because she is passive as well. At some point they all come to me complaining about the issues. Passively asking me to speak up for them. All of the passiveness drives me nuts.

    • It comes from a mix of unconsciously internalizing societal messages about how women are supposed to be. Plus, Women are more likely to be punished for acting assertively than men and so many may avoid it for that reason.

      • Michael bullock

        I understand what this article reflects , but it should not be related to every single woman in the world. Women must gain strength from some of their hard times in marriage and life. Some women portray themselves as passive victims. What is it when women choose to stay with the same man that nearly beat them unconscious. Oh, maybe they think that love is supposed to hurt them like that. Love is pain right, No. Some women even stay with the same man that has no job or does nothing to support his wife and children. Is that being passive ? Some women do accept and allow what happens in any situation of life, because they think it will take a U turn for the better. I feel that Michelle Obama is beautiful and strong with a creative mind, there is no way that she is passive. That is the type of woman that makes her own rules for everyone else to follow. I understand that opinions are useful and have some meaning. One hundred percent of women should give an active response to anything happening against them and give resistance. There is a way for women to not be so passive.

  17. Overall, a great job….But…

    “When slavery ended men were more likely to move north, leaving a lot of young women without husbands in the south. They learned not to depend on a man.”

    This is factually incorrect. Most of the Black men who did go North (a tiny % after the Civil War) were married. So, they left young wives behind.

    As the Moynihan Report noted, the % of Black single mothers was less than 20% as late as 1950. It was the rise of the welfare state, increased urbanization, as well as the emergence of “ghetto culture” that has destroyed the Black nuclear family. That’s what social engineering usually creates: dysfunctional outcomes.

    Yes, Black women are the way they are because they must be so for survival. However, this “strong Black woman” mentality has caused many Black women to regard ALL Black men as beneath them. This too has led many well educated and professional Black men to look elsewhere. I can say this from experience.

    Black women do what they have to do. Unlike their white sisters, they do not have the liberty of sitting around dissing good men, or worrying about patriarchy…….Hence the disconnect between Black women and White women when it comes to feminism.

    Lastly, when you say, “…..not to depend on a man.” we are talking about two different men. First, Black who was deprived of human rights, dignity, and a way to earn a living. Second, White men have always ran the show for their benefit. Why even today White men can cause the near collapse of the world economy and be rewarded with bailouts and record bonuses! No woman period should depend on a man for anything. And vice verse I might add.

  18. I wouldn’t say aggression is necessarily the same as assertion, at least it shouldn’t be. Aggression is often defined as the will to enforce you own will upon someone by means of inflicting unpleasantness. But you don’t have to be aggressive to show that you’re assertive.

    • Yeah, there are different definitions of aggression, One being “Super assertive” and another being “wanting to do harm.” I was referring to the first definition — hopefully context helps clarify which definition I was using.

    • Yeah, that’s an interesting article. And interesting that the Wall Street Journal would publish it, Given that I always think of them as being very conservative.

      It seems that among early cultures that plant-cultivating people were more egalitarian, whereas those who were more on the hunting/warrior side were more patriarchal. And then the warriors conquered the more peaceful people, leaving most of the world in patriarchy. But nowadays we would probably all benefit from more equality, As the author says.

      • Interesting that the article imples that the world would be better off if actually run by woman rather than egalitarian.

      • I found the basic argument a little confusing. In the end it sounded to me like he was suggesting that women’s traits were better suited to the future, and that in the future men and women would be more equal.

        But I disagree with his view that Women are better suited biologically. Even he admits that not all men have the negative traits that cause problems.

        It seems that in the past plant-based societies tended to be more goddess oriented and more peaceloving and equal whereas societies that were marked by hunting and war were more patriarchal. Eventually the warrior societies over took the Peaceful societies and brought the values of men being aggressive and hurtful with them. But in the plant-based societies men seem to be more like women are today.

  19. I started watching Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt yesterday and one of the lines this post reminds me of is “I’m always amazed at what women will do because they’re afraid of being rude.” Even though it was meant to be funny (and it most certainly was brilliantly delivered), the line suggest it’s not always a lack of female aggression or assertiveness, rather it’s more about the perceptions of femininity and what is proper behavior for a woman.

    • Yeah, Women often learn that they will be punished if they behave in an assertive way, And tone it down. Or, a lot of women do things that and a pretty themselves because they don’t want to seem rude — because women are taught, More than men, not to be rude.

  20. this post was so empowering! I know that women are far from passive. Look at the hard work we do to raise our families, have a career, and all the sacrifices we have to make along the way. Thanks for posting 🙂

  21. The Professionally Depressed Professional

    It would be interesting to do a study on the differences between male and female managers in unionized environments. The pay is equal, but the relationships with and reception by staff often vary as a result of societal views of women being more passive than men. If a female manager, for example, communicates assertively is it perceived differently than an assertive male counterpart? I would argue that it does, but then I’m only speaking to my own experience with unionized employees.

    • I’ve seen studies that show that when women and men act equally assertive that men are perceived more positively, and I imagine it would work in unions, too. Thanks for bringing up that point.

      • The Professionally Depressed Professional

        Well, I’d have to agree with those studies. Mind you, I have discovered the difference between being an assertive communicator and being an aggressive communicator; subtle changes in how I speak with people are making a difference in my personal life. Can’t wait to try them at work. But, a jerk is a jerk is a jerk – male or female. Someone won’t like it because I’m the one in charge. I think I digress 🙂

      • Yeah, more than one factor can be in play. Both gender stereotypes and jerkiness.

  22. Well, I can’t say that I thought passivity was a gender related thing…but then Australian women are known for their straightforward style 🙂 It certainly makes a difference if you have strong female role models, although I am much more direct and argumentative than my mother. Just born that way I guess!

    • It’s funny how so many people can maintain an idea that women are more passive even when they probably personally no people who are exceptions. But now I’m curious about Australian women and how they compare to the women I talk about here, and the back story.

      • Yes…an American friend of mine who lived here for a few years was surprised and shocked at how straightforward Australian women are, and how no nonsense they are towards their husbands lol :). I’m not sure if it’s because we come from convict/frontier stock, or if it’s just the energy of the place, but I’ve never heard of passivity being described as a feminine thing here, although certainly I’ve heard it elsewhere. That’s not to say there isn’t gender inequity or ill fitting stereotypes, but not that one.

  23. I never thought to consider female passivity(or any other stereotype) in terms of cultural context and partner availability. Very interesting.

  24. Such good points. And I also wanted to add that I think a lot of time what is considered assertive behavior in our society is defined through the prism of male behavior. There are a lot of feminine powers that would fall under the passive category when viewed through that lens- our ability to be receptive, for one, which is actually a pretty assertive action and not everyone can or knows how to do this.

  25. Very interesting analysis. I think it may not even have to do with the hormones, but simply ‘biology’. There are simply bigger women out there, and they are wanted for jobs in the healthcare industry, for lifting heavy patients, either in nursing, therapy or recreation. Anatomically bigger women may also be able to compete with men for jobs which require heavy lifting. It doesn’t mean they lose their femininity, it just means that for biological reasons, they are more fit to do certain jobs. The ‘work’ culture is also in there somewhere. In some professions, such as nursing, women have far surpassed men in strength and leadership, although now that is also changing.

  26. She’s more than amazing… She’s awesome!!

  27. There is nothing sexier than a strong woman. My wife is Latina and has a gentle yet assertive personality. She’s very intelligent and we share mutual values so I inherently trust her judgement and decisions. Her mother has mentioned on several occasions that I do as she says and I just smile. Her friends have remarked that I’m very well trained, and I thank them for the compliment!

    She was a self-proclaimed Tomboy growing up (her father was in the military and she was the only girl with three brothers). I don’t know whether this is related to her confidence and assertiveness or not.

    Although she professes to believe in equality between spouses, she is the matriarch of our family. My wife once told me that her mother lets her father make all the important decisions regarding world peace, politics, etc, but that her mother makes all the other decisions.

    I couldn’t imagine living the typical patriarchal lifestyle with a weak, submissive wife.

    I hope that on this March 8, International Woman’s Day, women everywhere will stand up, be more assertive, and take the initiative to lead. If so, the world would be a much better place.

  28. *So it’s NOT about male vs female.
    It’s about “assertive masculine” vs “passive feminine”

  29. This is supposed to make women look like they are the same with men, but it’s not exactly right. Yes, there are many women who are masculine and assertive.
    Does that mean that they are “closer” to men?
    and if so, does that mean that they are of higher value because they have so-called male attributes?
    I was reading an interesting article about how we have learned to value differently the genders. It’s not about male vs female but it’s about masculine vs feminine.
    A masculine assertive man is fine. He is strong and a fighter.
    A masculine assertive woman is fine. She is strong and can fight among men.
    A feminine passive man? he isn’t fine. He is weak and of lower value.
    A feminine passive woman? she isn’t fine. She is weak and of lower value.

    So it’s about male vs female.
    It’s about “assertive masculine” vs “passive feminine”

    Our society has learned to value masculinity and assertiveness and to consider femininity and passivity as signs of weakness.

    • Well actually it’s both. We value both masculinity and maleness over femininity and femaleness.

      A masculine assertive man is considered a very good thing.

      A masculine assertive female is too often considered a bitch.

      There are a lot of examples of this sort of double bind women can find themselves in.

      Another study found that there is mostly overlap between women and men when it comes to personality traits. But our social values can have a lot of affects, like encouraging them to be more assertive and discouraging that behavior in women. We tend to live up to or down to expectations. But our basic personalities are very similar, so it is surprising that we are as much alike as we are given the social pressures not to be.

      • “A masculine assertive man is considered a very good thing.

        A masculine assertive female is too often considered a bitch.”

        If an assertive woman is considered a bitch, it might be because she is one. Some women say this, and I’m a bitch because I’m assertive. No, it’s how one comes across, that’s decides how you are perceived. Maybe women with that aggression needed to be assertive, causes them to carry more of an attitude or “sassyness” creating a bossy and combative personality. But simply a woman who is assertive is not a bitch to me. It’s the gung ho woman on my back bossing me, giving me attitude, nagging me when I want to not be bothered or rude woman that I would see as a bitch. It’s weird, because, people think guy’s that are assertive are seen as good. Well many guys might be, because ambition is seen as good, but usually guys that are perceived well can be assertive without being jerks.

        But anyway, I and others don’t see guys who are assertive but with a domineering personality as good. I and most see such guys as bossy, egotistcial pricks. The difference is perhaps the same egotistical pricks above that man like it and promote him, because they themselves are egotistcial pricks too. So that may be the difference. An owner that’s a jerk and bossy as well as assertive sees a guy that way as well and promotes him to manager or ceo promoting a male manager up higher because of such traits. However, the employees working under such male manager don’t see his assertiveness as a good thing and that’s he’s a dick head just like a tough female manager would be seen as a bitch. Seems like men and women don’t balance assertivenes and being nice and considerate at the sametime. Usually something seems to give with a ruthless like nature and to be bossy or shrewd or be a hardass on people working for them.

      • One of the reasons that women make less money than men is that they are less likely to be assertive and asking for a higher salary. But when they do, the decision maker on the issue is more likely to feel put off. It’s not that all of the women who ask for a higher salary are bitches. So when you are used to — we’re having image in your mind of — Women being more passive, It’s just more of a shock and disconcerting and troubling. It something we need to deal with in our culture.

        Take Hillary Clinton, For instance. I’m more egalitarian, and I don’t see her as bitch. But my dad did. It’s not that she acted that way but more traditional people’s discomfort with women acting in masculine ways, and taking leadership.

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