How People “Act Like a Man” or “Act Like a Lady”

WikiHow instructs us “how to be a lady” and “how to act like a man” with explicit procedure. By the look of it, this is CLEARLY the only way.

Man is “an adult male with masculine characteristics that involve [being physical].” Ladies are those who contain “ladylike behavior that is undying: elegance, courteousness, and sense of respect for oneself and others,” WikiHow continued on saying.

Society has influenced so many people to act and think a certain way, setting boundaries and limitations for men and women. Society usually says:

“Boys are strong because they play sports.”

“Girls are not strong nor athletic.”

“Men don’t cry!”

“Women are more emotional.”

“Men are more logical than emotional.”

“Women shouldn’t be too loud!”

“Men have to be strong.”

“Women are not as good at math and science.”

“Men are leaders.”

“Women are responsible for household responsibilities”

“Men are aggressive and confident.”

What happens when a boy or a girl practice each other’s “characteristics?” What effects will that have on the people and the society?

Samantha Cody, a learning facilitator from the Liger Leadership Academy claimed, “I’ve seen a boy cry and people told him to stop acting like a girl or, you sound like a girl. In this case, the society has declared that girls are the ones that cry.” 

The society tends to judge and characterized our actions and place us under two “labels”; do we “act like a man” or should we “be ladylike.” 

  • When girls, especially Cambodians, laugh or talk too loud, their parents often command them to “be ladylike” “talk softly and laugh silently.”

  • In a football tournament, when a boy is too tired and wants to rest, his coach often orders him to keep going and “act like a man.”

  • In a relationship, men have to “act like a man” and dominate while women have to act gently with her partner and “be the lady” of the relationship.

Yes, society has set those boundaries for us, but the only way we can be a man or woman is to be the best versions of ourselves. 

The only difference between “Act Like a Man” and “Act Like a Lady” is that we identify ourselves differently because we’re all human beings. Be the best version of yourselves, respect everyone’s story and personality.

Samantha also asserted that “those commands [should] simply just leave our vocabulary because as long as we have a set of expectations of both men and women, that limits both of them… Letting people tell their own story. Better than stereotypes. Not every person meets the standard and that’s the danger.”

We don’t become a strong woman by acting like a man.

We don’t become an emotional man by acting like a woman .

We become a strong man or woman by acting like ourselves.

Written by: Dalin Sao

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