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Emasculation and Objectification

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some of the challenging ways men and women relate to each other, particularly in the context of intimate relationships. The biggest themes that have leapt out for me involve emasculation and objectification.


It’s fairly self evident that emasculation refers to the masculine energy (often embodied by a biological male) and that objectification effects the feminine energy (often embodied by a biological female). Masculine energy can reside strongly within a biological female and vice versa, but for the purpose of ease in this article, I will be referring to men and women.


Some of the biggest challenges couples face are not feeling respected, valued, heard or needed by their partner. As we all know, these are the fundamental elements needed to sustained a healthy relationship. While we all just want to feel loved regardless of our sex or gender, men and women tend to have different needs when it comes to giving and receiving love.




Women tend to need to feel valued, and to feel seen. They also want the freedom to show their nurturing side, to feel sexually desired, and to feel appreciated. Men tend to need respect, trust, space and praise or approval from their partner. They also need emotional connection and physical touch.


Both parties need a sense of security in order to feel safe to open up fully and trust the other. When each partner can give the other what they need the majority of the time, a divine partnership based on mutual understanding and unconditional love can start to blossom and unfold.


It can all go pear shaped when a woman automatically assumes that a man is untrustworthy, that he doesn’t value her, and doesn’t understand her. This can cause a man to react and behave in certain ways that serve to confirm her underlying beliefs about men, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle.


Now, I’m certainly not trying to blame women for bad behaviour in men, that is the least of my intentions. There are also some men (and women) who behave in dysfunctional, disrespectful or even downright abusive ways regardless of what a woman (or anyone for that matter) says or does. We only have to look at the statistics around domestic and family violence to see this.


What I am more so pointing to, is that mature feminine can be very powerful . They have the capacity to nurture and uplift.. Mature masculine is also very powerful and has the capacity to protect and inspire. When men and women embody these qualities it can have a transformative effect on intimate partnerships.


In her book The Queen’s Code, Alison Armstrong explores this very concept. She refers to the problematic behaviours that women display towards men, and their consequent reactions as ‘frog farming,’ . This can be summed up in the answer a man gives a woman about why her partner stopped paying her attention and showing her that he cared:

You’re a Frog Farmer. Some women turn frogs into princes. You, my dear, turn princes into frogs.
-Alison Armstrong

Armstrong further notes that it is this very ‘frog farming’ that can ultimately result in a man feeling emasculated in his relationship. Contrary to the view that men don’t really care about what their partner thinks or feels, a lot of men can actually be deeply sensitive and vulnerable to how they are perceived and responded to in a relationship, as one of his core needs is to feel needed.


When a man feels emasculated by his partner, over time he will start to ignore and distance himself emotionally from her, become defensive, compete rather than collaborate with her, take her for granted and objectify her. It is this very objectification in particular that can make a women feel resentful and angry, leading her to emasculate him further, and thus perpetuating the aforementioned vicious cycle in intimate partnerships.


Objectification can occur when a man feels overwhelmed by a woman’s beauty, sexuality, intellect, humour, anger or demands. In the context of this article, it can often occur in response to the ‘frog farming’ behaviour of a woman towards her partner. Objectification is defined as stripping someone of their human status, and reducing them to an object purely for the gratification and service of the other. There is nothing like turning a woman into an object to make her feel insignificant!


By contrast, an emotionally healthy partnership is based on both parties building each other up and fulfilling each other’s needs whilst also maintaining independence and a solid healthy sense of self. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? It's definitely achievable.


At the end of the day, we are all mirrors of each other, and we are always going to attract to us externally what we hold deep down inside. So whilst an emotionally mature relationship is certainly achievable, it can’t be sustained without first completing the necessary psychological work to address our fears, wounds, illusions, and conditioning.


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