Edited by Mikko Salmela and Verena Mayer
[Consciousness & Emotion Book Series 5] 2009
► pp. 113–132
How to be “emotional”?
Traditional prejudice says that men are rational while women are “emotional.” According to empirical studies this view seems to be held globally even today, while at the same time other results show that men are judged to be more aggressive and “angry” than women. These paradoxical results can be explained by a proper interpretation of what “emotional” means: the ancient Greeks did not believe that women had more emotions than man had, but rather believed that women were not in control of their emotions, and thus were generally “weak.” This background belief can be traced throughout history until today. It imposes a certain paradox on female gender identity: to be or to become a woman seems to demand not being in full control of oneself, which again contradicts the possibility of voluntarily becoming a unified person. There is no rational way to be “emotional.”
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