There's no shortage of articles floating around the web listing all the ways that women emasculate men.
But it's hard to come across a quality explanation of why they do it.
The common argument is that it's primarily a result of second wave feminism.
Female equality meant that women could be the breadwinner. Thus one of a man's core roles as a provider was threatened.
There may be some merit to that argument, but that would suggest that women emasculating men is an entirely new phenomenon that rarely happened before the 1960s.
I'm not sure that's entirely true.
I was reading through the archives of the now defunct blog "Solve My Girl Problems" when I came across a different argument.
The author makes the case that women have been emasculating men since the beginning of time and that it is driven by a power game over reproduction.
Undoubtedly second wave feminism has had an impact. Yet I think there is quite a lot of merit to the view that a lot of this is driven by deep underlying biological gender roles.
Why Your Girlfriend Wants You To Be Insecure
The argument goes that a man's biological need is to spread his seed into many women to ensure the greatest chance of him having healthy offspring.
If he limits himself to one woman he runs the risk of there being some problem with the pregnancy. The best chance for the survival of his line is to impregnate several women with high quality genes.
A woman's biological need is to get pregnant, carry the child and then raise it.
A man can in theory have as many women as he wants, so he is less picky. A woman can only carry one child at a time, so she can really only have one man at a time. This is because it is in her best interests to keep the same man around, to help her raise the child.
Therefore women are more picky about that man who will impregnate them. Women too want to carry on their line, so she is interested in finding the highest quality male with the best genes.
So here is the problem in the modern day.
At one end of the spectrum you have the confident, secure badass man who is highly desirable. He is the alpha male with the good genes.
He knows he is good with women so he doesn't latch on to one woman like someone who is insecure does. He knows he has options and will probably date many women before settling down. He's not the type of guy to propose to his first girlfriend.
He is seen as a catch because he is perceived to be high value. A lot of women want to date him but they know he will be difficult to tie down.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the desperate 'nice' guy. Likely to be quite insecure, he doesn't have much confidence with women. So he gets very attached to any girl who shows interest in him and obsesses and fawns over her.
So women have two options.
1. She can go for the badass with the good genes who she might be more naturally attracted to. Yet there is a risk that she won't be able to tie him down and he won't stick around to raise the baby.
2. She can go for the insecure wimp, who will stick around to raise the child but unfortunately doesn't have the highest value genes.
Even though we have had the woman's liberation movement and we live in the 21st century, you can still see this paradigm play itself out in modern society.
In their teens and their early twenties high value girls will go for the alpha males. All the pill has done is let them have sex with as many of them as they want.
From the mid twenties onwards you will see a shift. Suddenly men who provide are seen as more valuable, even if they are more of the insecure and wimpy type. The biological clock starts ticking and if she hasn't already found a father for her children a high value woman will find she may have to settle. She might not get the high quality genes she wanted but at least she has a father who will stick around.
If she doesn't want to settle the other option is for a woman to find a confident and secure man with the high value genes she wants. She then gets into a relationship with him.
She knows if he stays confident and secure he may eventually leave her because he has options.
So she tries to emasculate him. She wants to take the alpha male out and make him insecure enough that he rejects his other options and sticks around for the baby.
This is a power play designed to take the high value genes but then ensure that she also has the attentive, fawning, slightly obsessive man with no other options to stick around and raise the kids.
This isn't necessarily typical behavior of all relationships. Mature, aware emotionally stable people can override this type of behavior. But I think it's valuable to understand the type of biological influences that may impact our behavior in relationships.
The idea that women have a subconscious desire to emasculate men in order to prevent them from straying is an idea that I think has merit.
Why This Is Destructive Behavior
A woman can't demonstrate this behavior early on in a relationship or it will turn her man off. So she has to get him hooked first and then start slowly.
Then over time he becomes he becomes more insecure and less confident and is moulded into the person his girl wants him to be.
The problem is that now he is no longer the confident, secure self respecting man she was attracted to in the first place.
He has changed and now she is no longer attracted to him to the same degree as she used to be.
This is naturally self destructive as you end up in a situation where both partners resent each other but feel they have to stay in the relationship because they have no alternative.
Why Emasculation Is Even Possible
There is another issue at play here that makes this whole phenomenon possible. It is the fact that you cannot challenge a woman's femininity but you can challenge a male's masculinity.
Society defines femininity by physical attributes. It is the ability to bear children that makes a woman a woman. Once she hits puberty and develops those attributes there is no going back. Once a woman, always a woman.
Nobody ever questions how much of a woman someone is or suggests that they have lost their womanhood.
Manhood on the other hand, is less of a physical issue, but more of a social construct. It is something that must be earned but it also something that can be taken away. When you earn it, you don't earn it for life. You have to keep demonstrating it and keep earning it again and again.
Someone's manhood can always be challenged and one of the most devastating things anyone can do to a man is emasculate him or challenge his manhood.
Men don't have this power over women, but women have this power over men. Men can challenge each other's manhood but that happens outside of the relationship in a different sphere. In the relationship women hold the exclusive power of challenging one's right of passage to adulthood.
This is what gives them the ability to emasculate men, the need to keep them around for child rearing is what gives them the desire.
Is This Even Possible In The 21st Century?
Maybe all of this biological reproductive power plays are irrelevant in the 21st century. Perhaps individuals are largely driven by more enlightened reasoning and acceptable social behavior.
After all most men are in monogamous relationships, rather than trying to spread their seed everywhere. And those who are polyamorous make sure they engage in that lifestyle with open communication and respect.
The only ones trying to speed their seed are single men who are sleeping with many different women. But they are trying to keep their genes securely away from any risk of impregnation.
So does that make this whole argument irrelevant?
Perhaps but I don't think it's a clear cut yes or no. As always the answer is probably somewhere in the middle.
Our primal urges still play some part in our relationship behavior. I can believe that there is a small part in some women that wants to make her man insecure so he won't leave. In some relationships this may play out in an obvious way.
But even if this is some kind of innate tendency I think it's perfectly possible for confident secure women to treat their man with the respect he deserves and override any desire to knock him down a few pegs.
Just like wives are no longer seen as the property of husbands, men are no longer seen as just a provider.
Mutually respectful relationships can and should be the norm.
If you are with a girl who seems intent on destroying your self esteem then talk to her about it. If it is bad enough then maybe you have to leave.
Look for a girl who is confident and secure in herself so she doesn't need to play tricks to keep you by her side. A girl who values herself and knows that you value her too is someone you can build a long term partnership with.
Some girls like to make their men feel insecure because it makes them feel more confident in the relationship. If they can make you needy then they feel better.
This comes from their own insecure and fearful mindset.
Perhaps it's an innate biological need to make sure you stick around for the kids. Perhaps not.
Either way a girl will emasculate a man in order to improve her pecking order in the relationship. This is not a healthy long term situation.
A healthy relationship is one built on mutual trust and respect where each partner values themselves and values the other. That way nobody needs to engage in power games at the expense of the other.
- How Society Emasculates Men
- 12 Reasons Why Normal Girls Become Crazy
- Signs Of Insecurity In A Woman
- Dealing With Insecure Women
- How To Handle Your Girlfriend's Emotional Baggage