In our culture I think masculinity and femininity are clearly set apart. There are physical, emotional, and instinctive characteristics that clearly define the two. If you saw facial hair and a deep voice on a woman you would consider that masculine. If a man had a high voice and shook his hips as he walked then that would be considered feminine. The majority of women and men just have characteristics that set them apart. For example, some feminine characteristics might be a woman's maternal instincts, sensitivity, ability to soothe, and her small frame. Some masculine characteristics would be facial hair, chest hair, deep voice, sense of roughness, and need to be strong. Another difference is that women are more emotional and tend to hold grudges while men let things go easier. Sometimes men feel they have to provide for a woman while women want to be the caretakers in a different way. A lot of the ideas that have been created through society have set roles between males and females. For years women have been known to do more housework such as laundry and cooking. Men have been expected to work and even be served in some cases. It almost seems as if society looked at these masculine and feminine characteristics and broke them down into roles and sociological ideals that are hard to escape. Our born gender not only separates us by natural causes, which is ok, but also by causes created by people who set the roles of society.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes knows how femininity is viewed. She knows what people expect. Beauty and grace are expected. When the Butterfly Woman comes in front of the crowd most people are confused and stunned. They are stunned because they expected a gorgeous woman to come out and do this amazing graceful dance. Their idea of femininity doesn't match up with that of the overweight, old, natural woman. When most people think of a butterfly they think of a beautiful creature.