Both males and females have right to choose personality

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/14 19:53:39

In a recent article in your newspaper, you have talked about whether males should be taught to be masculine. In fact, in modern China, the debate about males' masculinity has been quite heated. Some people think that males should be different from females and show their masculinity while others hold the view that too much emphasis on masculinity can lead to male violence and an excessive desire for power and status.

While everyone has his or her own opinions, what really matters is that one should have the right to choose their own personality - whether masculine or feminine. Besides, it is important that everyone should respect other people's choices, and should not discriminate against others because they do not conform to the mainstream.

One of my college classmates has suffered discrimination owing to his personality and clothes. He is a shy boy with a soft voice and he likes dressing in pink shirts, which makes him a little effeminate. Some students often talk behind his back, saying that he had no masculinity, and some even doubted that he might be gay. During group activities, some students deliberately alienate him.

This drove him crazy. He complained to me, "Personal behavior and clothing are my own choices. Why can't other students respect my choice and tolerate my difference?"

Indeed, no one can push others to be manly, but should learn to respect difference. The same goes for females as no one can force females to be feminine.

Nevertheless, in traditional Chinese culture, women should comply with the three obediences and four virtues, which stress that females should be family-oriented and subordinate to males.

In the Chinese traditional concept, females should be gentle and soft. However, in modern society, more and more women are beginning to focus on their own rights, and have their own thoughts. Some women have made extraordinary achievements in some fields. But brave, decisive and independent females with remarkable achievements at work are often labeled as strong women, which has derogatory connotations. Some people will say these females are too strong and lack the femininity women are supposed to have.

Meanwhile, females' clothing choices are often judged by others. Women these days often dress for comfort. However, this kind of clothing is criticized for not having female charm. There is even a prejudice that females who dress this way are often lesbians.

With the opening-up of China, our government pays more attention to citizens' rights, which makes for social diversity. However, more work needs to be done. Emphasis should be given to strengthen education for toleration and respect, so that people can be more civilized citizens. Then the society can gradually have more harmony.

In modern society, both males and females have the right to choose whether they want to be masculine or feminine rather than be limited by social stereotypes based on gender. Only in this way can we further harbor the benefits of gender equality and freedom of choice.

Yang Mu, a freelance writer based in Beijing

Posted in: LETTERS

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