Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Whats the word?

The words emasculate and effeminate are many times used as synonyms, though I think its not right. May be one thing leads to another. Emasculation is widely used in novels when the man has been presumably deprived of his pre-ordained position as the male in the family or society or any organization. In a patriarchal set-up when the strength, power of the man is snatched from him and his spirit broken which renders him unable to fulfill his role as the male be it in social or physical context then it is said that he has been emasculated. It is said that physical or psychological emasculation is the greatest damage that could be done to a man.
I was wondering about the word to describe the opposite phenomenon. I mean, how do you describe a hardened woman; a woman who has no traces of femininity in her except for the form. Tomboy is a term usually used for girls and teenagers. What I am looking for is a word not to describe a woman acting like a man but for a woman who has lost the spirit and charms of a woman. For lack of better word I am using unwomanly here. I know, I am treading on a dangerous territory here. Unwomanly behavior is not uncommon. Just think about sex-workers. Long ago when we met a few of them that was what struck me. I thought how can they do business if they are so uninviting. May be we were not customers, that why they were so hard on us. But I felt that they had lost that femaleness in them. I don’t think there is any word to describe that loss of feminine touch.

No comments: