Sexism and forced feminization

I received this comment on my Why Idiots are Idiots post:

Dear Jen,

I would really like to know your opinion regarding forced feminization.

You see, forced feminization means that a male submissive is being degraded and humiliated by training and transforming him into a more feminine role and body. Does this imply that the femininity is somehow inferior to masculinity? I’m honestly confused about this.

Also, I find it interesting that there is no counterpart “forced masculinization”, where a maledom for example cuts his subs hair short, binds her breasts back and makes her fix his car.

Alright, I’ll be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve been asked this question, and of course I’ve seen all the articles and angry blog posts talking about how forced feminization is sexist because it reinforces the idea that feminizing a man makes him less, because femininity is less.  Usually, I just roll my eyes, shake my head, and ignore it.  For many reasons, and I’ll get into a couple here.  However, since you were polite in your comment, I’ll take the time to answer.

But before I get into all that, there’s one thing I want to point out, because this mindset pervades many different kinks and fetishes.

The BBW fetish demeans plus size women. Femdom porn demeans women because it’s unrealistic and puts women in overly sexual outfits.  Being into blondes or Asians or petite women is demeaning because it fetishizes their appearance.  With basically every fetish out there, you have people who say it’s demeaning.

Here’s the thing, though.

I don’t fucking care.

I don’t care whether my fetishes are politically correct or not.  I’m not watching porn or feminizing Jessie for social commentary.  I’m literally just trying to get off.

It’s what I do, in private, with consenting adults, that doesn’t affect anyone else outside of the people right there with me.  It affects literally no one else.

It’s just a fetish.  People have some pretty fucked up ones.  As long as mentally sound adults consent to the fetish and it doesn’t cause unreasonable damage (No, I’m not castrating a man in my living room because he has a castration fetish), who cares?  It’s literally just a fetish.

It’s not like a sexual fetish is going to determine one’s vote.

And sure, maybe the BBW fetish is demeaning.  Maybe the only reason some men have been into me was because they fetishized my body.

But quick, guess who still got off on those guys.  So why do I care?

So that’s the quick answer.  But as far as forced feminization goes, it’s not the right answer.

The seemingly popular idea that forced feminization is sexist or implies that femininity is inferior is just plain wrong.

Why?

The answer is laughably complicated, and yeah, some of it has origins in toxic masculinity, but mostly it has to do with one’s identity.  My last post touched on the subject of identity, and the brain’s habit of desperately clinging to that identity.

For most men today, masculinity has been put up on this pedestal and heralded as the end-all, be-all of manhood, to the point that anything feminine, any show of sensitivity or softness or vulnerability leaves a man open to ridicule.

It is a massive part of what it means to be a man.  It’s a huge part of manhood as an identity.

And it’s sad, it really is, because it cheapens manhood as a whole.  It makes manhood shallow, nothing more than a collection of behaviors and attitudes current society has deemed masculine.

Back in the day, the epitome of manhood was being considered a gentleman.  And culturally, what was a gentleman?  He was kind, polite, responsible, and protective of those around him, quick to sacrifice his own comfort for the comfort of others.  He took care of his responsibilities, he did what was best for those who depended on him, he had the balls to admit when he needed help, and vulnerability or sensitivity were part of his identity.

A gentleman was not an unfeeling dudebro who could outdrink his buddies.  His identity as a man was not wrapped up in how masculine he was.

Of course, society back then was very, very far from perfect, so don’t think I’m putting that type of man on a pedestal.  I’m simply pointing out that society had a better relationship with masculinity back then.

This hyper masculinity is a relatively recent thing.  I’ve read it speculated that it has to do with the rise of women’s rights and feminism being seen as threatening to men of that time, who in turn clung to their masculinity and created the toxic relationship with it that they then pounded into their sons and grandsons and so on until it became a societal norm, something expected from all men.

Whether that’s true or not isn’t the point.  The point is that we as a culture have developed an extremely unhealthy relationship with masculinity and masculine behaviors.

Obviously that’s the problem with toxic masculinity, and one of the many effects it has had on many men is that it influences their identity greatly.  Masculinity is a huge part of the average guy’s identity.  Whether or not that’s a good or bad thing is a different conversation, trust me, this will be long enough.  The result is still the same.  It’s a big part of who they are.

And what happens when you force someone to give up such a big part of their identity?

It’s uncomfortable, even painful, and, depending on the context, deeply humiliating.

Just as with pretty much anything else, there is a group of people who have fetishized that discomfort and pain, and when performed in a consensual relationship with clearly-defined boundaries and limitations, those people can enjoy the discomfort the same way physical masochists enjoy the pain of being hit.

And it’s true not just with masculinity and femininity, but with anything an individual holds as a major part of their identity.

For example, Kazander and I used to switch for his birthday.  My longtime readers are very much aware of how much I dreaded and disliked it, how unnatural and uncomfortable it was for me, how it took days to literally shut off portions of my personality, and even that wasn’t enough to make me a “good” sub.  And yes, it was often humiliating.  Unfortunately for him (and me), I don’t fetishize receiving that humiliation, and it annoyed me more than anything else.

It was humiliating because my Dominance is such an integral part of who I am, and switching runs so deeply counter to that, it was a constant struggle for me.

But does the fact that I found it humiliating mean that I see submission as inferior to Dominance?  No.

For example, you don’t have to be a longtime reader to know how much I respect and admire Jessie.  And as it happens, I asked him how he would feel about switching.

20170928_005612

Needless to say, he was not a fan of the idea.  It would be so deeply uncomfortable for him, he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.  Because that is far outside the boundaries and limitations of what becomes fetishized in his brain.

Because that’s just not who he is.  That’s not how he relates to someone in a sexual capacity.  That’s not how he and I relate to each other.

Trying to force him to be my Dominant in a session would be far more uncomfortable than putting him in a dress, or even forcing him to take a man’s cock in his ass.  The fact that it would create so much nervousness and anxiety in him would absolutely manifest as humiliation.

Does that mean that Dominance is inferior to submission, because he would find it humiliating?  No.  It’s just counter to who he is.

Have you noticed how effeminate men, or men who don’t have masculinity as such a big part of their identity, don’t feel the same discomfort or humiliation at being feminized?  Forced feminization as a tool to humiliate and degrade only works if masculinity plays a central role in who a man is.

As it happens, it’s a societal norm for masculinity to play that big a role in a man’s identity, so it is humiliating and degrading for most men in today’s society.

And yes, toxic masculinity is responsible for the sheer number of men who hold their masculinity as such a big part of who they are.  But it’s not any more sexist to fetishize that than it is to fetishize a skin color or hair color or height or weight or literally anything else.

You don’t see forced masculinization because women don’t have that same problem.  We don’t hold our femininity as such a huge part of our identity.  We have more cultural freedom, so we’re all over the gender expression spectrum.  We aren’t particularly attached to one or the other the way men are.

So we don’t feel the humiliation, but we can still feel that discomfort.

Like me, for example.  I don’t like sliding too far to either side of that spectrum.  Sure, I can dress up and be uber ultra feminine, but I have to be able to move back to the masculine side.  You mention a Dom forcing a female sub to fix his car.  I can change my body language and speech patterns and be just as masculine as any guy, and talk cars with the best of them, but I have to be able to move back to the feminine side.

Too far in either direction doesn’t cause the same humiliation that it causes in most men, because gender is not as big a part of my identity, but it’s not pleasant, because it’s not who I am.

So I mean, this idea that forced feminization is sexist or implies that femininity is inferior to masculinity just doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny.  It doesn’t work.

13 thoughts on “Sexism and forced feminization

  1. dave94015 says:

    Reblogged this on dave94015 and commented:
    why is #forcedFeminization humiliating & degrading to some guys and not to others? And to guys believe that femininity is inferior to masculinity?

  2. dave94015 says:

    We still hold ladies night at the bar I work where guys either pay a cover charge (which goes to an AIDS charity) or dress up as best as they can (we have a changing room with spare clothing & makeup for guys who show up after work). From my experience, macho guys who are ‘forced’ to wear feminine things by their partner are often embarrassed and act defensively (i.e. mocking their stereotype of a drag queen).
    I think your posts about how you help a guy with his makeup and women’s clothing is pretty cool. It just would look a bit off for guys with 5’oclock shadows and bulging biceps!
    In the end, a fetish for one may be uncomfortable for another but we have to respect those differences.

  3. furcissy says:

    Thank you for the excellent post. The gender association with masculinity is something I had not thought about before in this context and gives some very interesting food for thought but I agree with what you have written.

    I do have to wonder why people are so quick to get offended on this topic. In most of the situations I have known of where feminization was used, it doesn’t even remotely resemble anything like what an actual woman would wear or look like. I chalk it up to the obsessive joy some people seem to derive from being offended 🙂

    Take care.

    • furcissy says:

      After gathering my thoughts on this, I have to say that I agree with this post even more. The male peer group does a lo reinforce the necessary projected masculinity. Without it, you run the risk of ending up as the omega in the pack.

      After thinking about why I react so strongly when this topic gets brought up I believe it has much to do with my past. When I was very young I was the dumping ground for my sister’s hand-me-downs, especially when it came to seasonal items that would be quickly outgrown. One winter I was thoroughly humiliated by the older kids at my pre-school for wearing my sister’s girlie hand-me-down hat and mittens and on several other occasions by my older sister and her friends. Couple that with an abusive “old school” father that didn’t want a weak/sissy/pussy boy and the hyper-masculine front became a necessity for survival.

      While I was able to drop the masculine front when I entered high school, the sting of those past experiences still haunted me.

      When I have been feminized in D/s, it has a particularly striking effect on me as it manages to channel past trauma and stirs up strong feelings of ridicule and rejection. Internally I want nothing more than to have it stop, but it saps me of the strength to resist. On a macro level it becomes a symbol of being forced to experience something that I do not want.

      Take care.

  4. I never really thought that forced feminization was because females and femininity are inferior… seems a pretty foolish belief. Things that cause embarrassment don’t have to reflect inferiority but rather something uncomfortable and foreign to the person involved. Excellent post!

  5. Coyote from Orion says:

    Thanks for something to read and think about Jen. Your observations are always worth reading, from my view anyway. Thanks for putting up with some of my comments this year. Your blog is certainly one of the most interesting and you’re a wonderful communicator written word.
    Good luck this week with the Aries full moon

  6. wayne says:

    Would you please define “toxic masculinity”. It is a term that is used quite often in femdom blogs and blogs devoted to cross dressing and feminization, but I have yet to read a clear definition.

    Thank you
    Wayne.

    • Domina Jen says:

      I did define it in this post. I thought it was pretty clear. The National Coalition for Men defines it as harmful, gender based stereotypes that negatively impact men and boys. Wikipedia has a pretty clear definition, as well, and points out some differences between toxic masculine behavior and normal masculine behavior. Clear definitions are literally an 8-second Google search away, for anyone who is actually interested in educating themselves.

      It’s the idea that the only important thing that makes a man is a collection of masculine behaviors AND an absence of feminine behaviors. It’s clinging to masculinity as the cornerstone of a man’s identity, reducing manhood itself to a collection of behaviors.

      It’s the idea that men must be limited to ONLY masculine forms of expression, when the human brain simply doesn’t work that way.

      Many organizations and men’s rights movements cite it as the primary reason why men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide and why so many fathers don’t play active roles in parenting. Because men aren’t allowed to show vulnerability or sensitivity, they’re not allowed to show any emotion outside of anger, they have no release for their stress and are physically and emotionally isolated from other men.

      Men are not permitted physical touch with their friends the way women are. They’re not permitted emotional intimacy with their friends the way women are.

      And some men don’t need it. For those men, cool. They don’t need it. But to assume NO man needs it, or to assume that any man who does is less of a man, is harmful.

      I would suggest you watch a YouTube video of a man performing his poem called, “Ten Responses to the Phrase, ‘Man Up.'” He describes the effect toxic masculinity has on his life and the limitations it places on the way he’s allowed to interact. Number 9 is particularly powerful.

      Bill Burr also performed a standup routine about it, long before it had the catchy name, entitled, “What are you, a fag?” That’s also on Youtube. He cites it as the reason why men die of heart attacks at 55. He also describes his resentment, because women have that freedom, while men don’t.

      I mean, if you’re looking for a clear definition, that’s probably who you want to talk to, the men who are educated about it and affected by it. They can explain it better than any woman can.

      But I really, honestly don’t know how to get more clear than that.

  7. Ambidexter says:

    Thanks for this excellent reply.

    I think many men -myself included- thought: “So women got the right to vote, the right to have a career, even the right to join the military. And what did we get?”

    I honestly feel jealous at women for being able to behave both feminine and masculine and being accepted both ways, while men aren’t.

    And that’s the reason why many men have chosen toxic hypermasculinity. For women there was a clear idea or direction, what they should become i.e. pursuing the same career paths and hobbies as men did. Men on the other hand lacked a new direction and felt confused and insecure about their identity, so they chose the path of “masculinity at all costs” which gave them a clear cut direction or ideal, even though it had some pretty negative consequences.

    Feminists have made a mistake, when they believed, they could just improve womens position completely isolated from men and then neglect mens issues within the patriarchy.

    So this begs the question: “What’s the alternative for men?”
    I thought maybe it’s time for some sort of “mens liberation” from the outdated ideas of what it means to be a men.
    But as for the “How?”, I can only think of two things, where men and society as a whole could work on:

    1. Working on mens ability to express and deal with their emotions.
    This would be one of the most important points and ease a lot of mens issues, like suicide and violent crime.

    2. Improving mens ability to be a father.
    However currently the laws on paternity and divorce, as well as the working conditions in many parts of the western world aren’t exactly encouraging men to be a father and spend more time with their children.

    What do you think?

    Sincerely,
    Ambidexter.

  8. slave sindee says:

    Thanks for a well written article/blog

  9. Coyote from Orion says:

    Your posts are always worth reading Jen. Thank you ☺

  10. […] differs a bit for men and forced feminization.  Domina Jen recently wrote about how a man’s masculinity plays heavily into their identity so stripping […]

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