BDE: The complexity of confidence for a woman in a man’s world.

By Natalie Greener for MAD WOMXN MAGAZINE Issue 1

I have always wondered why our society subconsciously perpetuates sexism through a digital megaphone. Messaging and memes, we blanket anything positive for our state of mind with masculine undertones – as though it’s off limit to us girls. Why a big dick? I’m confident yet dickless. I guess designer vagina energy is definitely a phrase I am down to coin.

The frequently used ‘big dick energy’ (BDE) is one of those terms that gets thrown around but it does more damage than good. The argument I have with myself is either reclaim or change this phrase. The fire was started by female power icon Ariana Grande and was explained as “confidence without cockiness” by the Independent.

From what I can gather, BDE is based on the historic link of penis equals power. An example can be evident in Greek artwork and statues through their amazing lack of shame when it comes to embracing nudity and the human form. But why is it that only the male genitalia is used to exude confidence? Probably because talking about women’s sex parts is condoned or just taboo full stop. I figure that the reason it’s big dick rather than big boobs is because of the stigma around the female form. And of course, you can be a woman and have BDE but you aren’t ‘lucky’ enough to have a dick in real life. It is truly mad how even in the 21st century, we are condemning women over what they lack rather than what they have. You may be confident but you still don’t have a dick… the term basically gives confident women the bird. Yes, boobs are out and proud throughout history yet the connotations of them aren’t necessarily ‘confidence’. The fact is, female bodies either represent vulnerability or promiscuity but never assertiveness.

By Natalie Greener

I founded Tits Upon Tyne in 2018 and since then, topics like this have grabbed my interest. It has become clear that my confidence is seen as vanity or narcissism rather than simply pride in my work. It is known that women can have BDE yet when we do, it’s extremely disapproved of. Confidence in men is attractive. Having them around offers safety and security which is nice in such an unstable social landscape. However, the confidence of a woman, if that be with or without cockiness, is simply just a no. Most see it as gobby or too opinionated but the truth is that it is threatening. Similar to when a straight cis man wears a skirt, a BDE woman will make those around her uncomfortable because it is just not seen as normal in our monochrome world.

I say to hell with it. 

I would rather be up my own arse hole and happy instead of worried about being too confident. Can you even be too confident? Surely self-awareness is something we should all be striving for yet we put others down when they are. And unfortunately, it is horrible to admit that other lasses’ are the ones who are quick to judge their counterparts’ BDE. Despite some amazing anomalies in female empowerment movement and the sisterhood that comes with it, I fear that the girls lacking BDE are scared to break down their own inbuilt stigmas around it. I mean, we are mean towards things we don’t understand and I don’t blame those who can’t open their eyes to the possibility of everyone being poised rather than just men. But it means the work for equality is just that bit more harder. Normalising BDE in women is a start – or we could normalise putting vagina in a colloquial phrase when we text?

My first step to growth in my awareness of others is recognising the toxic masculinity aspects of the phrase. It isn’t just something that impacts women. Is dick size even relevant to your success or who you are as a person? Clearly not. The negative impact BDE would have on men, especially those who are insecure, probably harms many indirectly. Not to mention the harmful exclusion of those dealing with gender dysphoria or who are transitioning. Unfortunately, big dick energy started as something light hearted but evolved into subconscious micro aggressions towards gender fluidity and progression. We need to break down the stereotypes of emotion and how they apply to people based on their social factors. Instead we should just embrace our mind set and normalise self love. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can say you don’t have big dick energy so own it.

2 thoughts on “BDE: The complexity of confidence for a woman in a man’s world.

Add yours

  1. Interesting post and brought me to think about this topic in a different way. It is a shame that so many topics like these are rooted in a derogatory feeling toward women, while promoting toxic masculinity.

    Liked by 1 person

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