The Lost Art Of Femininity

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"Femininity is a gentle tender quality found in a woman's appearance, manner and nature. A feminine woman gives the impression of softness and delicateness. She has a spirit of sweet submission, and a dependency upon men for their care and protection. Nothing about her appears masculine, no male aggressiveness, competence, efficiency, fearlessness, strength, or the ability to kill her own snakes." -Henry Makow, Ph.D

Hello all,

It's Sunday night, and I have pondered over this topic for a couple of weeks now. I thought to myself, when does a woman first really feel pretty, feminine, and in control. Is it her first date at sixteen, when she takes time to really think about what she's going to wear, what perfume will she take from her mom, does the purse match the shores, is it her debutant ball, or is it her first school dance, such as the prom when she's able to select formal attire.  

After doing some online research, I came across, Helen Berry Andelin, founder of the Fascinating Womanhood Movement. In Andelin's published book, Fascinating Womanhood she writes-that women don't have to be beautiful to be feminine. "Acquire a feminine manner by accentuating the differences between yourself and men, not the similarities. Since the masculine manner is strong firm and heavy, yours should be gentle, delicate and light. Apply this in the way you walk, talk, use your hands and carry yourself."I Can Simply Say, I Was Raised To Be A Lady; I’m Very In Touch With My Femininity.

I can still remember how a girl I knew closed a kitchen cupboard with a motion of her hips. This happened 43 years ago when I was 20!

When Andelin writes that a feminine woman is never "crude, vulgar, harsh, overbearing or critical," it is apparent that the fair sex is being deliberately degraded and neutered by the media. "All your conversation should reflect tenderness, patience, forgiveness, tolerance and love."

As I read the inserts from her book, I was reminded of the article Kiran, of Genuine Elegance By K,  wrote recently, "what it means to be a lady," (style and grace is a way of being). In this article she wrote for andreasmoak.com she shared; You Can Begin To Draw Out The Elegant Lady You Are Within. We Can Start With Sleeping More Elegantly By Wearing SomethingThat Looks Pretty And Feels Pretty To You. Yes You Are Home, But That Does Not Mean Your Hair Is A Hot Mess! Pull It Back In A Nice Chignon, And Put On A Little Lip Gloss. A Few Dabs Of Perfume And For Heaven’s Sake Some Lotion Too. You Should Feel And Smell Good To You. If You Have A Gentleman Or Not, What Matters Is How YOU Feel. Treat Yourself Like A Lady First, And Then Everyone Else Will Follow.

So here we are, now I've put on my Natori gown and robe, sprayed my Bond No. 9 Scent of Peace and drinking one of my favorite glasses of wine. I wanted to think of how women represent themselves as a lady with a hint of feminine their being. Unfortunately, most of us are not models, singers, or married to the president of the united states. So how does the day to day woman carry out her femininity? That's my question. We have created such a relaxed society, that most men would rather not wear a suite and for some women heels are a no no. 

As I glance at women who exude femininity, I wonder why is it a dying art. For me it feels so good to carry out my womaness daily. I love for my husband to give me that special look. I believe every woman loves to feel good about themselves and enjoy a compliment here or there. We have to be honest, it secretly feels great to be acknowledged. 

So behold the elegance and grace of a woman. Try to make an effort just because. Now granted you may come to my home on a random day at noon and find me prancing around in a sequence gown, that's just the kind of girl I am. Sometimes I have to just play dress up for no apparent reason other than, I want to feel pretty in a ball gown that day. Funny I know, its just your girl friend, enjoying life. Can you blame me? 

One of my favorite movies is Mommy Dearest, not so much for the topic but for her women's, she exuded femininity. From her lounge wear, how her home was kept, her nightly routine of removing her makeup, to her leaving the house with her gloves in tow. I loved watching how she operated as a woman, not a crazy mother. I noticed too in that era, women seem to always have a genuine happy smile on their face.

Today, its so different. I won't complain on how far women have come, but we have somehow forgotten our real power. For me its not trying to be a man, its being myself and reaching the same levels he can. The New York Times, wrote an article titled, France's moment of truth for femininity. In the article it stated, indeed, the French are proud to claim that no "war of the sexes" exists in their culture, as it does in all those "Anglo-Saxon countries" (read: the United States). Women and men in France supposedly have a special relationship, based on a history of chivalrous heterosexual seduction, harmony between the sexes, and the sacrosanct concept of "mixité," which ensures that in no sphere are women and men ever separate. The role and strength of femininity has not been lost on the modern French woman even in a feminist era and now.

According to Susan Walsh, who wrote the article, How American Women Lost Their Femininity-American girls were not taught to be feminine in their behavior. Femininity meant using wiles to trap a man into protecting and providing for you, something only a woman with no self-respect would attempt. The disdain of femininity was ushered in by feminism, predicated on the belief that biological differences, where they exist, should be minimized to allow women to prosper independently from men. This worked quite well for women who were not particularly interested in men. But women who longed for love and romance found themselves trying to get the job done with a shortfall of the qualities men find attractive.

What destroyed American femininity?

Susan Brownmiller, a feminist best known for her radical views on rape, wrote Femininity in 1984. Here’s how she defined it:

“Femininity is a nostalgic tradition of imposed limitations on women. Biological femaleness is not enough. Femininity always demands more…

One works at femininity by accepting restrictions, limiting one’s sights, by choosing an indirect route, by scattering concentration and not giving one’s all as a man would to his own, certifiably masculine interests. Femininity is a grand collection of compromises, large and small.”

Susan Walsh: She goes on to illustrate femininity as “whimsy, unpredicability, emotional patterns of thinking and behavior, including tearful expressions of sentiment and fear,” and notes that all of these behaviors lie “outside the established route to success.”

It’s no wonder that women of my generation did not cultivate our femininity. We were sexual, yes, but suppressed femininity, at school, at work, and in relationships. Not having developed that part of ourselves, when we became mothers we were hardly in a position to teach our daughters about it.

This topics seems to always bring me back to lifeship moments that we share with our mothers caregivers, friends, and others we meet along our life's journey. We are all a helping hand to one another. We're each others greatest influences. So for those who are raising young ladies right now pass on the knowledge of being a lady. Share that it is okay to be graceful and loving. Continue to feed into the next generation its so powerful. Its our chance on our Lifeship journeys.

The power of the feminine and how being a woman has and always will be celebrated by me, will never sway. I cherish each day and love the skin I'm in! Kiran and I have formed a new Pinterest board titled, Femininity. Follow us there!

xoxo

The Next Best You
Live Life in Color

-Andrea

Article References: Susan Walsh, New York Times, Henry Makow