Part of masculinity is exposing one’s own desire. Femininity is exposing what others desire. I’ve always felt uncomfortable exposing my desires. I wanted others to do that instead. Throughout my life, I’ve worked hard on developing many skills (in visual art, music, writing, graphic design, computer programming, etc.), so that I would be desirable. I do not actively go out there and get what I want. I wait for others to want me. That part of me is rather feminine, which is the part that made me want to be a girl in childhood. I felt that my attitude towards my desires would be more in sync with how I look outside if I were a girl. But many other aspects of me are stereotypically masculine. Different aspects of ourselves can be masculine or feminine. Integrating them into our sense of self is a big challenge in life.
Exposing one’s desire is scary because our desires are fundamentally irrational. When criticized, it’s hard to defend our desires. Leadership, in this sense, is willingness to be vulnerable. It’s easier and safer to follow others who are willing to expose their desires.
Everything in life is born out of our irrational desire, but once it’s born, what we need to do to keep it alive appear to be perfectly rational. It’s much easier to defend our actions for the latter, but we are defenseless for the former.
For instance, if asked why we need another child on this planet, we would have no good answer. Ignoring such questions, many of us go ahead and produce our offsprings simply because we want to. But once they are born, everything we do for them seems perfectly rational. The scariest part is desiring.