Can Women be Masculine? Understanding Female Masculinity

All women have access to masculine energy. Masculinity is not something that only belongs to men but also can be found in women! This article will explore the idea of female Masculinity and how it varies from woman to woman.


Both men and women can exhibit Masculinity. Noted Psychologist Carl Jung believed that everyone had both Feminine and Masculine traits (Anima and Animus). Masculinity is not tied to biology and is more about how one identifies and demonstrates gendered traits. 

There are many ways in which women can express Masculinity. They will have different levels of access to these expressions based on their environment, culture, upbringing, socioeconomic status, and other factors. Women are not limited to the expression of femininity which is considered “feminine” in our society.

This was a basic explanation, but there is a lot we can unpack around Female Masculinity and how it’s not something to push away but to embrace.

What defines a masculine woman?

Women are not limited to the expression of femininity which is considered “feminine” in our society.A masculine woman is one who embraces qualities traditionally thought to be more male-like: Assertiveness, competitiveness, self-reliance, and ambition.

List of Masculine Traits:
List of Feminine Traits:
Selfless (giving)

A Masculine Woman is just someone that embraces and exhibits Masculine behaviors. These qualities don’t have to come at the expense of femininity, such as intuition, empathy, and nurturance. 

Women can express both Masculine and Feminine traits.

If you would like to learn more about Masculinity, read this article on what defines Masculine traits

Examples of Masculine Women

There are lots of stereotypes that bring up the image of a Masculine Women.

  1. The Tomboy is a woman who may be more masculine in appearance and/or behavior.  For example, a tomboy may wear jeans and any kind of shirt rather than dresses. She is also less interested in things like makeup or fashion trends.  A Tomboy might be more active and energetic, leading her to get into sports such as football or soccer, where she would try out for the team.
  2. The Butch is a woman who may have short hair and could even dress in traditionally male clothing. She can be masculine in her behaviors, such as being assertive, opinionated, or tough-minded.
  3. The Go-Getter Women might be more masculine in their appearance and behaviors. She can also be assertive in the workforce and not afraid to speak her mind or ask questions when needed. She may dress a bit like a man by wearing suits or oxford shirts with slacks, but she still wears dresses as well to show that she is not entirely masculine.

These are just stereotypical examples, and it’s important to note that people are more nuanced than this. Women might find themselves slipping to being more Masculine around a group of guy friends and more feminine when out on the town. 

A more specific example of a masculine woman would be the actress, model, and singer SZA. She has been upfront about her identity as a “feminine-bodied” person who identifies with Masculinity in her music videos. Her song “Drew Barrymore” from Ctrl tells the story of living life as both an introspective observer and active participant.

The artist Miley Cyrus often takes on traditionally male roles such as dressing up like Robin Hood or wearing power suits to show that it’s not just men who can do these things.

LEARN MORE: How and Why men find Masculine Women Attractive

Why do some women have more masculine energy?

In general, a woman has a more assertive Masculine Personality because they feel comfortable with the masculine side of themselves. 

Some women may have a more masculine personality because they are trying to be the breadwinner and provide for their family or because they’re balancing many responsibilities. 

Others might adopt this energy as part of their identity: it could come from identifying with certain aspects of Masculinity that resonate with them or wanting to rebel against society’s expectations about what is feminine. 

Biology can also play a role. A study on the effects of gendered behavior and testosterone in women and men found that an increase in testosterone can lead to more masculine traits. Other studies have found that women with more testosterone show dominance in group settings, which is generally preserved as Masculine. 

There is no “one reason” why a woman has more potent masculine energy. How women express their Masculinity is just as unique as their upbringing, biology, and personal preferences.

Can women have too much Masculine Energy?

Women can have as much or as little Masculinity as they want. There is no such thing as too much of who you are.

But if you are asking yourself this question, it might be helpful to reframe it into two other questions:

  1. Do I like the amount of Masculinity I have?
  2. Do I want to cultivate more or less Masculinity?

One of the most important steps when working with Gender is to accept who you are. If you are inherently more Masculine, that is great. Love that in yourself. 

You might be upset with the way the world treats you or feel unaccepted. 

That sucks, but it’s not on you. Whoever is projecting that onto you is the one at fault. 

At the same time, you might want to check in with yourself about a habit and a preference. Sometimes life will force you into a particular gender mode out of need. Like a high-stress work environment making you feel more Masculine.

If you want to feel more Feminine in your relationships and life, you might have to break down your habits and instill new ones. 

Only do this if YOU want to do it, and not because someone else is telling you you have to change. 

Am I Less of a Woman if I’m a Masculine Woman?

A woman that shows strong Masculine energy is just as much of a woman as the next. Your masculine identity is separate from your biology as a woman. Masculinity is about the traits you exhibit and identify internally and externally.

A woman can be any shape she chooses, which means that women may identify with being feminine and display Masculinity.

That doesn’t make them “not female” any more than it does for men to have strong feminine aspects alongside their masculine ones. A man is still male regardless of how he displays his femininity or takes on traditionally ‘female’ roles and housework outside the traditional gender binary.

Ruth Spencer-Lewis wrote a touching article on her experience as a woman with a strong Masculine personality and had this to say: 

I have experienced never fitting in with my Gender, being told I am ‘wrong,’ I bring on unwanted attention myself for presenting the way I do, and I hate that children are still growing up being told ‘no’ that’s for girls/boys and clearly not for them. Being comfortable in your skin, recognizing and loving the person you see when you look in the mirror matters far more than someone else’s discomfort. Never stop being you.

Ruth Spencer-Lewis

In Conclusion:

To review, here are some of the highlights from the article:

  • Both men and women can exhibit Masculinity
  • A masculine woman is one who embraces qualities traditionally thought to be more masculine: Assertiveness, competitiveness, self-reliance, and ambition.
  • There is no “one reason” why a woman has stronger masculine energy. How and why is unique to the individual
  • A woman is no “less of a woman” when they connect with their Masculinity.

I have written a lot of articles at HeroRise about how each has Masculine and Feminine potential within us. Women have access to their Masculine essence, as much as men have access to their feminine side. It is important to embrace the masculine side of ourselves, no matter what sex we identify with!

If you would like to explore your Masculine side, check out the Masculine Archetype Deck. It can be used by anyone to connect to the different aspects of Masculinity. 

Isaac Cotec
Isaac Cotec
Creator of HeroRise, Isaac Cotec has dedicated his life to empowering others through art and creativity. He is a scholar of the subconscious and has studied the power of symbolism to help create enduring change.

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