Yin and Yang. Female and male energy. I used to use these terms quite often in order to describe my perception of gender. To describe that for most of my life, even though I felt like a woman, my energy was „male“. Till I was 18, I rejected my femininity in order to protect myself. I know this today. My female sex was the source of so much pain I went through, was the reason I had experienced sexual violence, rape (and I still have problems with writing this word), that I was harassed on the street and afraid to walk home alone. Being emotional, caring and benevolent was the engine of bullies to transform my school life into something I don’t like to remember. I became hard and carefree and tried to hide my vulnerability for quite a few years of my adolescence. Being raised in a capitalist and patriarchal society, it is the „male“ish people that seem succeed. It is the „male“ish ones that receive the highest positions, the most admiration, the medals and money. For people of all genders, it means that in order to be successful, you need to adhere to certain attributes that compose an image of masculinity in our society which is the source of so many problems. Destruction of the planet. Lack of empathy and communal sense. Oppression of the unprivileged or less privileged. No wonder that the women who are in high positions are often described as „male“ish – they need to respond to those criteria. HOWEVER, this construction of masculinity, which is called toxic for good reasons, is, in the end, a construction. We are not determined to respond to it in order to succeed – which counts for people of all genders, especially men who are pressured to respond to this construction by society, family, partners. In the end, what I realised, is that we don’t need to gender every element of a person’s being. A man is not „feminine“ because he is empathetic. He simply is an empathetic person. I am not more „masculine“ because I’m a dominant person and usually take space with my presence. I’m simply like that, as an individual. Let’s stop to determine ourselves and others with these kind of words. Let’s accept our diversity and that in the end we’re nothing more but ourselves.