Femininity Essay

Femininity Essay

The New Femininity Femininity is not a word that we are encouraged to use these days. A lot of people would argue that femininity is the thing that keeps women obedient to men. However, there is a hidden assumption behind this term. The assumption is that masculinity is superior to femininity; that femininity is not a beautiful and powerful thing in its own right. I believe that women have something men do not have. Women have special qualities that belong to them as women, and they do not intend to suppress those special qualities. I think the world would be a much poorer place without femininity. ?gWhat means to be a woman??h What first came to my mind was stereotypical. Passive, dependent, altruistic, intuitive emotionally open, and impulsive?cis this what meant to be the ideal women in our society? In general, men have more power in the public place such as economic and political order, while women have more power in the private place such as domestic life, family. The social whole will be best suited if each sex does those tasks for which they are best suited. In fact, men and women have biologically different capacities and interests (aggressive vs. maternal feelings, etc) In the role of the family, men have power in making decision and the women have control of housework. ?@?@?@?@I had encountered to see the different aspects of gender role in two societies. These two societies have their own values and beliefs that keep the man and the women different. However, the role of man is somewhat similar, though women have no similarities in a large scale. In Japan, women are considered to be gentle, modest, marry and take up housekeeping,...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Femininity in Eighteenth-Century England Essay

1749 words - 7 pages Concepts of femininity in eighteenth-century England guided many young women, forging their paths for a supposed happy future. However, these set concepts and resulting ideas of happiness were not universal and did not pertain to every English woman, as seen in Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. The novel follows the Bennet sisters on their quest for marriage, with much of it focusing on the two oldest sisters, Jane and Elizabeth. By...

An exploration of femininity i Essay

3413 words - 14 pages An exploration of Femininity in Shakespeare's Tragedies.(Hamlet).In a patriarchal structured society femininity and the female are restricted or defined by the socio-cultural precepts imposed by the male hegemony. Therefore, in order to examine the feminine as presented in Hamlet and other plays, I believe, we must have at the fore-front of our minds the...

Constructions of Femininity within the Punk Subculture

1598 words - 6 pages The punk movement is a boys' movement. The culture is made by boys and for boys. However, that hasn't stopped girls from trying to eke out a place for themselves. While boys make up the majority of the subculture and the majority of the rules about the subculture, girls still have a visible presence with in it. However, as Leblanc states, "[Punk is] a subculture...

Femininity in Goethe's Iphigenia in Tauris

1731 words - 7 pages When we are first introduced to Iphigenie, she laments her life as a woman, and contrasts it with the life of a man. Goethe's Iphigenia in Tauris abounds with references to gender roles: behavioral norms considered appropriate for an individual based on their gender. However, while Iphigenie is portrayed as the epitome of a feminine being (compassionate, gentle, pure/devout, honest and effective at communicating1), her interactions with the male...

The Construction of Femininity In Taming of The Shrew

1665 words - 7 pages The Construction of Femininity In Taming of The Shrew In Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare tells the story of two sisters with conflicting personalities representing constructions of femininity. I will be looking at the different constructions of femininity throughout the play and the different ways a female can be constructed through illusion. At the start of the play, a tinker called Sly has a trick played upon him. The trick is a...

How The Eustace Diamonds Changes Representations of Femininity

5707 words - 23 pages How The Eustace Diamonds Changes Representations of Femininity in Vanity Fair Since Anthony Trollope published The Eustace Diamonds (1872), readers have associated Lizzie Eustace with Becky Sharp of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair (1848) (John Hall 378). Both Becky and Lizzie perform a femininity made all the more dangerous by contrast to the femininity of their idealized counterparts, Amelia and Lucy. Both novels involve a...

Gender roles in society: A look at masculinity and femininity

1110 words - 4 pages "The Dangers of Femininity" by Lucy Gilbert and Paula Webster discusses gender roles in society, and Messages Men Hear: Constructing Masculinities by Ian Harris discusses specifically the gender roles of men. According to Gilbert and Webster, "the two-gender system mandates masculine and feminine beings who are unequal, giving one set social power and the other none." (41) These masculine and feminine qualities are not just determined by sex....

Images of Masculinity and Femininity in Shakespeare's Macbeth

2735 words - 11 pages Images of Masculinity and Femininity in Macbeth         Lady Macbeth does not have the traditional role of ‘mother’, ‘daughter’, or ‘wife’ but ‘partner’. Macbeth’s letter refers to her as: ‘My dearest partner in greatness..’ I (v) In spite of his military culture, Macbeth perceives Lady Macbeth as an equal, it would seem in all things; his political life, his career, his personal life; i.e. she is his significant other. Noticeably the...

Comparing Femininity in The Woman Warrior and King Lear

2645 words - 11 pages Femininity in The Woman Warrior and King Lear         What is femininity? What role should women play in society? These are questions that humanity has faced ever since the first hunter-gatherer tribes developed. Gender roles, at least in the popular imagination, were clear; the men hunted for big game, the women picked nuts and berries. There were clear reasons for this - hunting required the brute muscular strength of the male, while...

Representations Of Masculinity And Femininity In Miguel Street

1938 words - 8 pages Representations of Masculinity and Femininity in Miguel Street      It has been said about V.S. Naipaul's novel Miguel Street that "One of the recurrent themes... is the ideal of manliness" (Kelly 19). To help put into focus what manliness is, it is important to establish a definition for masculinity as well as its opposite, femininity. Masculinity is defined as "Having qualities regarded as...

The Representations of Femininity in Pride and Prejudice

918 words - 4 pages Jane Austen, one of the most well-known 19th century novelists recognized today continues to captivate people with stories of love and romance through the transformation of her novels into film and television. All of her novels are about women dealing with romance, courtship, and marriage during a repressing period. Most of her characters and stories revolve around the lives of the upper class. It centers on the values, rituals, and manners of...

When I was young, my mother told me it was more important to be smart than feminine. Being feminine meant I was weak. If I were to take care of myself in a world I couldn't trust with men I couldn't depend on, I needed to be smart, strong and independent. I assumed this was the opposite of being feminine.

It took me many adult years to allow myself to appreciate clothes that flattered my body and wearing pretty pink nail polish while being smart, strong and independent in the business world. I still don't know how to cook, I disturb my nest by moving about every three years, and my male partner does the grocery shopping. Am I still fighting off my femininity?

I don't think so. I think we are in the process of redefining what it means to be a woman in today's world. As women become more self-reliant and self-sufficient, they have more choices. They are free to discover their passion and contribute in ways that feel meaningful for them. I think this is what my mother really wanted for me because she never got to live out her dreams. She just didn't know we could blend feeling beautiful with feeling accomplished.

So we don't have to give Barbie some muscle to go along with her brains. I believe we are past the stage where a woman has to be a man to be successful. Unfortunately, it's not clear yet who a woman should be at work, even when she is being "authentic." Maybe we should encourage young women, and men, to be who they want to be without defining masculinity and femininity and judging people by their gender.

If acceptance and inclusion are feminine qualities, I guess I have strong feminine tendencies after all. And so does my strong, body-building male partner.

I just returned from teaching leadership and coaching skills classes for two weeks in China. I loved the beautiful, young women in my classes. Their clothes were exquisitely feminine as were their smiles, embraces and dancing eyes. To my surprise, when they handed me their business cards, they held titles of Director, Regional Vice President, and Managing Partner.

China may be lagging in development as a country, but their glass ceiling if full of open windows of opportunity. Young educated women have equal opportunity to advance. The decisions are based on competency, not gender. Femininity is accepted in female business leaders in China as long as they are smart, focused and willing to learn.

I wondered if I would have enjoyed being a woman more when I was younger if I didn't think it would get in the way of my success.

At this stage in my life, I'm inclined to say that being feminine means I am okay with who I am, no matter what type of girl I am, what clothes I like to wear, or how I relate to the concept of family in my personal life. I enjoy my feminine side when it shows up and my masculine side when it emerges. And I accept others for who they choose to be.

No one should define femininity for me. And I should not define it for them. I accept others for the choices they make as long as they aren't blocking mine.

I think it is good that women are rising in power around the world. As women gain in economic and political power, there are corresponding gains in world health and education. Companies who promote their top talent women do financially better than those who don't.

Does being successful in the world take away from being feminine? I believe the opposite is true; that the more there are smart, strong, independent females successful in the world the more we can all openly express our true selves.

My desire is that we look each other in the eyes and with a lovely sense of curiosity, seek to know the person standing in front of us. Who is the person beyond the labels? What strengths, gifts, talents and perspectives does he or she bring to this moment? When we truly honor each other as humans, we are feminine in the sense of creating community and masculine in the sense of acknowledging the individual. I believe this is the balance we should seek to achieve.

What does femininity mean to you?

Marcia Reynolds, PsyD is the author of Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction. She is also a Master Certified Coach and teaches classes and coaches executives around the world. Read more at http://www.outsmartyourbrain.com.

One thought on “Femininity Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *