Quick hit: GWSS reading

2 Nov

“Because emotional intimacy is about self-disclosure and revealing oneself to others, when people are intimate with each other, they open themselves to vulnerability. In the process of becoming intimate, one person shares feelings and information about her-/himself, and then the other person (if that person want to maintain and develop intimacy) responds by sharing too. In turn each gives away little pieces of her-/himself, and, in return, mutual trust, understanding, and friendship develop. Given the baggage of gender, however, what can happen is that one person does more of the giving away, and the other reveals less; one opens up to being vulnerable, and the other maintains personal power. The first person also takes on the role of helping the other share, drawing that person out, translating ordinary messages for their hidden emotional meanings, and investing greater amounts of energy into interpersonal communication. The first person has taken the role prescribed by femininity and the latter the role that masculinity endorses. The important point here is that intimacy is about power. Men who take on masculine scripts tend to be less able to open themselves up because of anxiety associated with being vulnerable and potentially losing personal power.”

– Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions by Susan Shaw and Janet Lee

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