How People “Act Like a Man” or “Act Like a Lady” – Gender Article


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

Man is “an adult male with masculine characteristics that involve action.” 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 football”

“Girls are not strong or athletic”

“Men don’t cry”

“Women are more emotional”

“Men are more logical than emotional”

“Women shouldn’t be too loud”

Men are strong”

“Women are not as good at math and science”

“Men are leaders”

“Women are responsible for house and children”

“Men are aggressive and confident.”

What happen when a boy or a girl practices 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 “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.”

Situations where “act like a man” and “be ladylike” was stated:

  • 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 of ourselves. These are not always the reality but the they are the expectations society needs from us.

The only differences 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 “I really want those commands to just leave our vocabulary because as long as we have a set of expectations of both men and women, that limits both of them. If we set those limitations then there will be a limited range of personalities and our world wouldn’t be better. Unproductive, might cause people a lot of emotional pains and self-doubt. 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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