How American Women Lost Their Femininity

January 12, 2011 277 Comments

The classic representation of femininity

I don’t know what femininity is. I was raised in an era when 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.”

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.

Sheila Rothman, in her 1978 book Woman’s Proper Place: A History of Changing Ideal and Practices, highlights how definitions of femininity have changed over time in America.

Late 19th century: The prevailing concept was of “virtuous womanhood.” Women organized into groups to combat society’s ills, e.g. the Temperance Movement.

Early 20th century: The ideal woman was an “educated mother,” learning and employing all the best available theories of child rearing.

1920-1960: The “wife companion” focused primarily on providing a sexual relationship to her husband, with less emphasis on child development.

1960: The introduction of “woman as person.” Feminists successfully argued that femininity was “an attempt to mold women in ways that are determined by men.”

There may be no stronger divide on femininity than between Americans and the French. In 1920, a Frenchman offered the toast, “Vive la difference!,” which has become the caption that sums up the French appreciation of the differences between the sexes. Kathleen Woodward, in her book French Late-Style Femininity and American Feminism, summed it up this way:

French women tend to wax poetic, fatalistic, and serene, while Anglo-Saxon women tend to wax angry, energetic, and political.

I don’t know about French women, but her description of American women is right on. Born shortly before the Women’s Movement, I have never considered myself particularly feminine – I was always more the feisty tomboy type. I did OK, probably because with a shortage of feminine women around, guys had little choice but to recalibrate their attraction triggers and select from a fairly androgynous pool of females. When I was in college, typical clothing for women students included overalls, painter’s pants, army pants and surgical scrubs. We literally hid our bodies under shapeless garments. And this was in a sorority!

For women of my generation, pursuing the feminine ideal meant turning away from female role models (including our mothers) and toward Madison Avenue, which never stopped selling beauty. The beauty culture provided ways for us to look female and we spent enormous sums on cosmetics, fashion, and plastic surgery. Starving oneself became a way to look fragile, vulnerable, and terribly in need of both protection and provisions. To some extent, this addressed the problem of not looking female, but could not alter the fact that feminine behavior was still politically unpalatable in American culture.

Women in the 80s learned that they could attract male attention by participating in wet t-shirt contests, and by the new millenium femininity meant flashing one’s bare breasts for the TV crews of Girls Gone Wild. Today women display their feminine assets by making out with other chicks for the entertainment of guys, showing as much flesh as possible when they go out, and grinding into guys’ junk every chance they get. Yet many men argue that this aggressive form of sexuality is anything but feminine.

For women, the problem with this approach is that it is not getting them what they want, beyond short-term sexual validation from the male. By aggressively displaying their biological difference, they’ve gone from 0 to 60 mph without any of the art, or “wiles” their great grandmothers used to draw men in, both physically and emotionally. It’s no real achievement to give a guy wood, but to engage his curiosity and pique his interest, and to encourage that interest over time to comprise emotional investment is far more difficult.

What is femininity and how can we recapture it?

In nearly every culture on earth, femininity and masculinity are opposites. They exist on a continuum, and there is considerable variation in the natural population. No straight man wants to be perceived as effeminate, and no straight woman can bear the thought of coming across as manly. However, research does show that prenatal hormones influence brain development, which will influence behavior. Female fetuses exposed to higher levels of testosterone in utero are more likely to exhibit masculine behaviors from birth, and the reverse is also true.

As always, nature plays a role. But femininity can be cultivated to reflect your values and priorities. It can communicate enormous self-confidence as well, as you embrace being feminine, and refuse to be ashamed of “acting like a girl.”

Today women aren’t just complementary to men – we’re also frequently in direct competition. However, being feminine doesn’t mean being weak and dependent. It means embracing your identity as a woman. I believe that smart, strong women can be very feminine.

Is femininity an attitude? A set of qualities? A certain style of behavior?

As a woman, how do you define femininity? Do you aspire to it?

As a man, what does femininity look like in a woman? What feminine qualities do you want in a a partner?

In my next post, I’ll explore the specific qualities of femininity, and how to practice them. I would welcome and appreciate input from all of you in the Comments!

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  • modernguy

    Why do you need to be smart and strong? Strength is not feminine and smarts is somewhere at the bottom of the list. Even when calling for women to be more feminine women can help but insert some caveat that’s the total opposite. And wiles are not part of what makes a woman attractive. Why not just call for women to be pretty and demure, not so loud and opinionated?

  • Aldonza

    …I was waiting for the first poster to mention a version of femininity that was basically “look good and shut up.” I didn’t have to wait long.

  • Obsidian

    Hi Ms. Walsh,
    Just wanted to pop my head in the room to let you know that I’m alive and kicking, and, to let you and everyone else here know that the new and improved Obsidian Files is just about ready to go! Will be launching in the next few days, so stay tuned for the big official announcement. I’ll probably be linking back here to your blog with my own take on things here if you don’t mind; there’s quite a few things I want to get to that can’t really happen in this venue, because I respect what you’re trying to do here and I don’t wanna take the focus too much off of that. A recent post Dalrock had up about Chivalry was something that caught my eye, mainly because of your comments, and thought to myself, that’s something I’ll definitely be addressing sometime next week when the blog’s officially back in business.

    I’ll tackle the current topic over at my place, too. Just wanted to drop that on ya. Oh, and you’re on my blogroll, permanent spot. :)

    O.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    Obsidian,
    Glad to hear you’ll be back on the scene soon. I await your views on these topics with interest, heh. As I recall, I quoted you over at Dalrock’s – your ears must have been burning.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @modernguy
    You’re so far off the mark here, by HUS standards, that I won’t even bothering debating you. Ridicule will have to suffice.

    Strength is not feminine and smarts is somewhere at the bottom of the list.

    Hope you find your weak, vulnerable, needy bimbo and make beautiful stupid babies together.
    .

    Why not just call for women to be pretty and demure, not so loud and opinionated?

    You have half a point here. I said myself that we’ve lost something when we present as angry and political (channeling Amanda Marcotte). But pretty and demure? Wake up Rip van Winkle, we’re never going back to that. You’ll need a mail order bride, or to expatriate.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Aldonza
    I sort of understand how guys with this attitude find me, but I don’t understand why they stick around. I can’t believe this dude calls himself “modernguy.” Doubt it.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Here’s a think piece by the excellent former blogger Cassandra that may be useful in this context: the womanliness project

  • AnonymousF

    I also don’t know what femininity is. I don’t see the benefit of investing time into modifying my behavior to capture or practice it. I’m not opposed on principle though. If I was lacking something I wanted and being more feminine was likely to help me get it, I’d look into it.

    I feel the same way about “beauty industry” things. I’m not theoretically opposed to investing a lot of effort in my looks, but the cost/benefit analysis never favored it.

  • Jess

    Aldonza/Susan,
    Modernguy should change his name to pre-renaissance thug.
    .
    I actuallynthink

  • Jess

    Susan brown miller was spot on in her analysis and yes, she won the argument.
    .
    Personally I find faux feminity ludicrous. I know intelligent women who suddenly turn into demure, eyelash fluttering idiots in the company of handsome men.
    If that’s being feminine you can keep it. I have always been told I’m naturally feminine and when I ask people to qualify the supposed compliment they end up with statements that sound like insults.
    ‘you have a fragile quality’- WTF ?
    ‘you are demure’- observe my partner wet himself laughing.
    In some cultures, being feminine means having a bone through your nose.
    Its bollocks, of the worst kind.

  • NGII

    I’m not theoretically opposed to investing a lot of effort in my looks, but the cost/benefit analysis never favored it.

    The same applies to men’s self-improvement. I think the key here is to find the right balance. As a small guy with a baby face, I can only work better to be more sociable and discipline myself to be more confident. Spending lots of time working out, getting out every night in bars will not be effective because of inherent physical built and going against my nature way too much. You should always pick your own battle.
    .
    I always think untied hair, a little touch of makeup, some manicure (no chipped nails) and classy clothes (i.e. stop wearing your summer camp T-shirt) can do wonder on a woman, making her looks feminine. Hopefully it’s not very time-consuming and costy as you sound.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @david foster
    What a shame she no longer blogs, I really enjoyed her piece. In particular, I found this interesting:
    “A man is strong, but how he exercises that strength is a function of his unique personality. A woman’s essence is more that she is gentle and loving, but again, she chooses the application. But also men and women, if they are wise, respect each other.
    .
    Also, she asks some good questions:
    1. Are there such things as “womanly virtues”; qualities typical of most women, though they may be exhibited to a greater or lesser degree by different individuals? Or should there be one standard that applies to both men and women (the “be a grownup” school of thought).
    2. How do we channel those qualities in a positive way in a world without traditional gender roles? How do we encourage women to take pride in their femininity rather than suppressing it – to use their strengths rather than becoming “Men Lite”?

    Thanks for the link.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    If I was lacking something I wanted and being more feminine was likely to help me get it, I’d look into it.

    This is a very interesting statement. How did this impact your getting together with your fiance (obviously it didn’t hurt)? Do you believe that men prefer more or less femininity? Do you care? It’s very unusual for a woman to eschew beauty supplies, treatments and routines, as they perceive that the cost of the effort is rewarded by the benefit of male interest. That’s why early feminists were known for cultivating physical unattractiveness by hiding their bodies, not shaving their legs, not wearing makeup, etc. They refused to do anything that might make them attractive to men. Ultimately, of course, straight women who sympathized with feminism realized this was not working so well, and the lipstick feminist was born.

  • Mizzou Girl

    There is an old Hayley Mills movie called Summer Magic, and there is a song in that movie that goes:

    “You must walk feminine, talk feminine
    Smile and beguile feminine, that’s what every girl should know.
    If she wants to catch a beau.”

    Feminity is very much an attitude, but it is an all encompassing attitude. My intelligence plays as much into my feminity as my looks. I make sure my bra and panties match because I think it looks nice, no matter if anyone is going to see it or not. I like to make sure my nails are done and my clothes are pressed. I learned to apply make-up correctly to enhance my natural beauty, not look like a stripper. Evern when I am with male friends. I do not become just another one of the guys. I can still look nice in jeans, but it is about attitude and presence and how you carry yourself. The most feminine women I know, are also the most confident. In my opinion it is something women should strive for, not look down their noses at.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mizzou Girl
      Well said. I think you’re right – women should embrace femininity. Taking care with one’s appearance signals self-love, which is a prerequisite for expecting love from someone else.

  • Lavazza

    Watch a couple of French movies and you will get a good idea what femininity is.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Lavazza
      Yes, there is something truly incredible about French women. I have a huge girl crush on Charlotte Gainsbourg, for example. Books about French women’s way of doing things are always big sellers in the U.S. I think American women could learn a lot from the French.

  • Badger Nation

    I’m not a big believer in this “American women are not feminine” meme, and I really try to stay away from gendered behavior profiles because it’s only a matter of time before the “real man” shaming starts up, etc etc. The major problem I and and my friends see with American women is women who are entitled and who lack knowledge and appreciation for how men are.
    .
    I do think young women have lost the middle ground between dressing slutty and dressing like a bum. I see young women dressing down a lot, and jeans, Uggs and a hoody is not unfeminine as much as it is just not flattering to anybody’s form. It looks like you don’t respect yourself or anyone around you and couldn’t be bothered to dress well.
    .
    “She goes on to illustrate femininity as “whimsy, unpredicability, emotional patterns of thinking and behavior, including tearful expressions of sentiment and fear,””
    .
    I’m not sure if Brownmiller was cultivating a straw(wo)man or what, but I see that more as a cartoon that some women themselves would like us to believe so that they don’t have to be nice or held accountable for their actions – i.e. they can blame it on their “genes” and not have to cop to standards of behavior. (It’s like blaming your anger on PMS as if you had biological permission to be flaming bitch five days a month.)
    .
    I will say one thing about the F word – I see women who try to win arguments with men in social situations, shut them down in public and such, and I do find it unfeminine when a woman tries to cut a man down in front of other guys. It seems like intentional emasculation and a step too far. (Stepping up to men in front of other women I just take as part of the game for some reason, and arguing your case in a business context is kosher of course.)

  • AnonymousF

    @Susan

    “Do you have what you want in terms of relationships? Do you believe that men prefer more or less femininity? Do you care? It’s very unusual for a woman to eschew beauty supplies, treatments and routines, as they perceive that the cost of the effort is rewarded by the benefit of male interest.”

    Yes, I have what I want in a relationship (I was the one with the upcoming nuptials). Whether men prefer more or less femininity depends on how you define it. If the definition of femininity centers around what most women are like empirically, then I don’t think that men prefer more femininity in every aspect of a woman’s behavior. If you define it in terms of what most men want, then the question collapses on itself.

    As for beauty, I have a nice body, good skin and a OK-to-cute (don’t want to oversell myself) face. I dress casual, mostly jeans, but ones that flatter my figure, not hide it. No makeup. I’m also very comfortable socializing with men and have always had a lot of male friends, since kindergarten. Aside from an awkward phase in grades 8-10, I’ve never lacked for guy attention. But really I now only care about one guy. If my fiancee asked me to wear makeup, I would.

  • Joe

    The major problem I and and my friends see with American women is women who are entitled and who lack knowledge and appreciation for how men are.
    .
    Badger, you and I will be upbraided for bringing men into a conversation about femininity. I’m not sure how to avoid it, though.
    .
    I see women who try to win arguments with men in social situations, shut them down in public and such, and I do find it unfeminine when a woman tries to cut a man down in front of other guys. It seems like intentional emasculation and a step too far.
    .
    And that’s why. There was a rebellion that was meant to be against a kind of female subservience and obsequiousness, the kind that people imagined in June Cleaver and her pearls. But it somehow became translated into a lack of respect, if not for men, then for all of mankind, its institutions and its works. It was a large part of the counter-culture back then. The word patriarchy was used a lot, generally spit out with vehemence.
    .
    Honestly, I don’t know now if some of that disrespect was deserved or not. But I do know that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. A lot of men stopped trying to be worthy of respect once it became clear that respect was not ever going to be forthcoming. The next generation learned neither to give nor earn it.
    .
    But not universally, of course. There are always good individuals to be found, and dialogs like this forum go a long way to re-establishing the broken lines of communication.

  • Lurky Lu

    I always thought feminine and pretty was the way to go, but after reading that OKCupid article on the mathematics of beauty (that women who get a more polarized range of ratings — lot’s of ugly, lot’s of hot — get more messages, I’m left wondering if I had it all wrong! It kind of explains why fashion is so ugly, and very often, unfeminine.

  • SayWhaat

    @ Lurky Lu:

    Hmm, I think the main takeaway of that article was to play up your flaws in order to find the people who would love them. Not so much downplaying femininity and prettiness….

  • Badger Nation

    “I know intelligent women who suddenly turn into demure, eyelash fluttering idiots in the company of handsome men.”
    .
    There is actually a biological term for this, I forget what it is but women will semi-consciously feign stupidity in front of men so as to better evaluate the men’s own intellectual gifts.
    .
    But I don’t think that’s what’s going on with what you see. Sounds like the intelligent women you know are attention-starved or captivated by the tingle (which is sometimes an unintended consequence of teaching women to be “independent”).
    .
    As a fan of intelligent women, I can tell you that smart girls who flip into bimbo mode around hot guys go onto my pump-and-dump ladder (not that I do pump and dumps).

  • Badger Nation

    “Watch a couple of French movies and you will get a good idea what femininity is.”
    .
    Extramarital affairs define femininity? :P

  • Badger Nation

    “It kind of explains why fashion is so ugly, and very often, unfeminine.”
    .
    I’ve fallen in with the manosphere explanation that the fashion industry is run by gay men and that’s why the models look like teenage boys more than properly-curvy women. Heidi Klum was supposedly too “curvy” to break into high-stakes fashion. WTF?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger
      There’s no question that the fashion industry is run by gay men and some rather tough women. There is zero sensuality in any of it. I recently watched a documentary, The September Issue, about Anna Wintour of Vogue. Seriously, this is a weird and twisted world. Clothing means more than people to these folks.
      .
      As for the models, not only are they incredibly skinny, but many are truly ugly. A woman who is 6’+ tall and 120 lbs. can be a runway model, no matter how bizarre looking she is. In fact, the more bizarre her features, the better. Clearly, the ideal for selling clothes to women (runway models) and the ideal for selling to men (Heidi Klum and Victoria’s Secret models) are very different.

  • http://www.colonzone.org Dr Natura

    Femininity can definitely give a boost in the attraction.. even if the girl isn’t “hot” by any means. By feminine, I usually look for compassion, softness, and an easy smile. Someone who laughs and is very playful, and fun to be with. Someone who loves to be nice and make your day.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dr. Natura
      Thanks for the comment! It’s interesting, playfulness is something that I’m hearing a lot from men. It sounds like men want women to be fun, a diversion from more stressful concerns.

  • 108spirits

    American women (I’m Australian, for Aussie women, just add extreme social laziness and small city syndrome to the list) are known around the world to be:

    – Loud
    – In-your-face aggressive
    – Snarky (perfect examples in this very blog)
    – Dumb – yes including the ones with multiple degrees; highly credentialed != smart.
    – Unhappy – they have everything, but you always see a permanent scowl on their faces, no smiles
    – Fat
    – Poor fashion sense
    – Can’t cook to save their arses
    – Easy – but in an aggressive masculine way.

    So maybe doing the exact opposite of each of the above will help American women to be more feminine.

    I don’t think any man can teach women how to be feminine. Just like masculinity can only be taught to young males entering adulthood by older men, you ladies will need to go ask your grandmothers. Not the feminist ones, the ones who’ve had a Gold or Diamond anniversary.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @108spirits
      Ouch. Fair enough. I do object to your characterization of female readers here as snarky. In general, I’d say the men are more aggressively snarky, and the women tend to be a bit defensively snarky…

  • 108spirits

    …and ask them quickly before they pass and that knowledge is lost forever.

  • terre

    It’s funny, because I’ve wanted girls to be “silent” in the same sense I’d want any male friend to just shut up for a while: most people don’t have anything interesting to say but by God if that’ll prevent them from running their mouths off 24/7.
    .
    If anything, I find intelligent or funny women extremely attractive, but “intelligent” is hard to define (it doesn’t have anything to do with ‘career’ success or some Alexandria-like compendium of mental knowledge) and funniness… well, as Hitchens said, humor is not exactly the demesne of femaledom. Am I talking about “character”? Possibly, but that’s too easily confused with “strength”, which is far and away the most misused word on women’s part today.
    .
    I’m definitely turned off by “masculine” women, but you scratch one hard enough and her real side comes out. So as for femininity, I would say some desirable traits are modesty, kindness, pleasantness, pride in one’s appearance, charity, coquettishness, a lack of sternness and… conversational ability? None of these translate to being some kind of doormat in any case.

  • SayWhaat

    - Snarky (perfect examples in this very blog)

    Hehehehe :p

    Dunno…around men I’m interested in, the snark quickly turns to witty playfulness, which hopefully most find appealing.

  • SayWhaat

    I’ve fallen in with the manosphere explanation that the fashion industry is run by gay men and that’s why the models look like teenage boys more than properly-curvy women.

    Yeah I can totally buy this. Fortunately, it seems like the media has started to revert to a curvier perception of women:

    Exhibit A

    Exhibit B

  • Obsidian

    Ms. Walsh,
    Watching Season Three of The Wire and reading along with the comments here. It may hurt to hear it, but what 108Spirits said is something that one reads/hears about A LOT in the Manosphere, about American Women, and it really doesn’t do said Women any good to try to deny it or play it off like it doesn’t matter. It does.

    If Women are interested in knowing what being feminine is, they need go no further thant the courtesans of France and so forth, since someone, I think it might have been you, mentioned French Women. I think it makes sense, at least in part.

    O.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Obsidian
      Hmmm, I’m trying to recall how season 3 of the greatest show ever might enlighten this discussion. I am aware of the view of American women in the manosphere. I wrote this post to highlight the importance of femininity – something I’m afraid our young women have not really been taught. I believe that they can benefit tremendously in their personal relationships by learning and respecting the power of femininity.
      .
      How would you suggest women learn about this?

  • Plain Jane

    “Clearly, the ideal for selling clothes to women (runway models) and the ideal for selling to men (Heidi Klum and Victoria’s Secret models) are very different.”

    The runway models aren’t selling clothes to women. Which women can afford to buy that stuff and who would actually wear such bizarre designs? The runway models are simply modeling avante garde designs in a competition of designers to see who can design the most odd thing in the world.

    Victoria’s Secret on the otherhand DOES indeed sell mainstream clothing to regular women at pretty affordable prices for the middle class.

    “You must walk feminine, talk feminine
    Smile and beguile feminine, that’s what every girl should know.
    If she wants to catch a beau.”

    I guess I don’t want a beau badly enough. LOL!

    I’m real. I don’t like fakeness or inauthenticity. So much of what seems to pass for “feminine” or “flirtatious” behaviour these days strikes me as being fake and manipulative.

    I’m bathed and well-groomed (hair is always clean and brushed). I dress in an occasion-appropriate way. However, I don’t like jewelry or makeup. In any case neither makes me look any better. I’m pretty simple. If given the choice between a day of learning at the museum or an awesome University lecture and the salon/spa – I’ll take the one that’s going to increase my knowledge base.

    When I do go to spas its for the hot stone massage – never the manicure.

    Why should any of this be considered “unfeminine”? If it is that means then that means feminity is based on falsehood and fake stuff like chemical-laden nail polish.

    Yuck!

  • Cercando di capire

    I think folks are conflating cultural values with gendered ones. For example, I’ve known French men (since this was an example) and they take time to look as nice as French women. This is part of their culture and both men and women conform to it as we conform to ours. Americans in general are simply more casual (and bigger). The fact that men are grouchy because American women are too fat (and thus un-feminine), misses the point that we as a culture are fat (and loud and )
    .
    And as I run the risk of stereotyping further with my anecdote, Frenchmen will definitely “wax poetic, fatalistic, and serene” like French women. Don’t get me started on the Italian men either. But in my experience it’s always been the culture determining these “masculinities & femininities” and less so the person’s sex. Look how we code nudity (what’s considered risque clothing, if breastfeeding is offensive, etc) for example. Same thing. Some cultures do not blink at breasts. Americans for some reason can’t get over the fact that women have boobs. It’s truly bizarre.
    .
    Also, even being considered feminine is and has been to a large degree a class privilege. I’m not sure it’s helpful or even accurate to look to centuries past to the elite class as a model for moden femininity. We are in an industrial and information age now; it makes no sense to look to the past for how to be. Look forward.
    .
    Also, I feel that Americans tend to romanticize/fetishize a bit other people’s cultures without having spent time in them to understand the big picture. I’m saying this as someone whose mind has changed by marrying into another culture, living there, talking to women of several generations from that culture and experiencing life where women are expected to be “feminine”.
    .
    Lastly, I do think there is a lot of room for individuality for femininity that complements masculinity and vice versa. I doubt if it’s something that everyone will agree upon though. Which is a good thing.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Cercando

      Also, even being considered feminine is and has been to a large degree a class privilege.

      Could you expand on this a bit? Feminism has certainly been taken up by the privileged, but I don’t see how elites had a lock on femininity.

  • Blue Blazer

    If you believe a standard is a limitation,you have lost your femininity.If not,you have retained your femininity.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Blue Blazer
      I assume that here you mean the standard of sexual conduct?

  • Obsidian

    Hi Ms. Walsh,
    LOL. The Wire, Season Three, which deals with legalizing drugs and drawing analogies between the war on drugs and the Iraq war, doesn’t have anything to do with the topic. Was just saying that I was watching it while reading over the comments in this thread – and, because I know you’re as big a fan of The Wire as I am. :)

    As for the question you put to me, well, based on what I’ve read in the virtually all White Manosphere, the number one thing American White Women can do is lose weight. This is a huge, pardon the pun, sticking point for White Men. Simply put, they want you all to be slimmer – much, much slimmer. To them, being slim and petite is synonymous with being feminine. *shrugs*

    It really starts there. Lose the fat, ladies, thats’ what the White guys are saying.

    Holla back

    O.

  • 108spirits

    Cercando di capire, all you have to do to prove yourself wrong on this topic is to compare modern American women with American women from the Golden era of Hollywood and prior. Night and Day, as far as femininity is concerned.

  • Obsidian

    Cercando,
    You mivght as well go on ahead with that stuff you’re talking. Spend some time in the Manosphere and see for yourself, what I said is most definitely true. White American guys want their Women to be slim, period, end of story.

    Simple as that.

    O.

  • Cercando di capire

    @Obsidian,

    I don’t dispute what anybody wants because wanting something doesn’t change facts. And it’s a fact that American obesity is largely due to cultural habits and not because anybody stopped being feminine. So men can say all they want about how skinny they like women, but until cultural norms change, everyone will keep getting fatter (some faster than others)

    @108spirits, the proper comparison is modern American elitists to American elitists from the past; but these folks are such a tiny tiny minority, the comparison is almost meaningless outside of a thought experiment.

  • Plain Jane

    “Cercando di capire, all you have to do to prove yourself wrong on this topic is to compare modern American women with American women from the Golden era of Hollywood and prior. Night and Day, as far as femininity is concerned.”

    You want to compare today’s ordinary women with yesteryear’s Hollywood starlets.

    I get what he’s saying about the cultural thing. By America’s standards, French men would be considered “feminine”. I mean, here people compare metrosexuals to homosexuals. Metrosexual is considered so alternative that it has a name. In France its mainstream and part of the cultural fabric.

    There’s also an “exotic, romantic, passionate French man” stereotype in the minds of American women. We picture poets and artists and, well, cultured gentleman.

    If American men want us to become like French women, maybe they should first become like French men to inspire us.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      If American men want us to become like French women, maybe they should first become like French men to inspire us.

      No one has said that. I observed in my post that the French have a distinct appreciation for the differences between the sexes. We don’t need to act French to share that.

  • http://www.relationshiptalk.net/ Arlene

    I am new to this blog, and am glad to have found it. Its nice to have an intelligent read every now and then.
    I am not American, but I think that what happened to American woman happened world wide, to a certain degree, and was a necessary evil – for woman to step up and out of the sub position, and into one of self respect.
    Accepting ourselves as women, is the way to go. It means realizing that nurturing, which is a big part of a woman’s nature is something that is essential to society and to ourselves, and should be embraced and revered, instead of the other way round. That’s not to say that other human qualities such as intelligence, uniqueness and other talents should be over looked or pushed down in importance, but I think (and have learned from my own life journey) that to deny oneself the most unique part of being feminine is to stand in the way of happiness.
    I think its wonderful that men and women are different, and both men and women should learn to respect and love the difference.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Arlene
      Welcome, thanks for leaving a comment.

      Accepting ourselves as women, is the way to go. It means realizing that nurturing, which is a big part of a woman’s nature is something that is essential to society and to ourselves, and should be embraced and revered, instead of the other way round.

      I agree with you that nurturing is key. It is perhaps the thing that men crave most from women after sex. And I believe women enjoy nurturing. We need to stop making women feel that nurturing behavior is not appropriate – even in the workplace, IMO.

  • Florence

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for the inspiring post. I’ve lived in 3 different countries, two of which were European, and one North American (Canada). I’ve also been in the USA on numerous occasions as well. Thus, my view on femininity is somewhat mixed.

    1) Is femininity an attitude? A set of qualities? A certain style of behavior?

    Femininity consists of a set of physical qualities and an attitude, but not a specific behavior.

    Physical qualities: curves, softer facial features, smaller physical stature (on average), soft voice, strong intuition, and other female characteristics.

    An attitude: Having a feminine attitude to me means taking pride in being a woman. A woman is a beautiful and an important creature for a reason.We can give birth and ensure that life will continue and that in itself is fascinating. One way a woman can take pride is by taking care of herself and by ensuring that she looks great. Another way a woman can take pride is by allowing a man to be chivalrous when he wants to be.

    I hope that what modernguy meant by “loud and opinionated women” had nothing to do with being smart or not. There are plenty of “loud and opinionated” people who are not smart and vise versa. The kind of woman modernguy was probably trying to describe is a woman who is inconsiderate of his opinion during an argument. Respect should be mutual among the sexes.

    A behavior: I can’t think of a specific behavior that makes a woman more feminine, neither would I ever consider a specific behavior as defining a person as more feminine or more masculine. However, it has been observed that women tend to be more risk-aversive than men when choosing specific behaviors.

    2) As a woman, how do you define femininity?

    My definition of femininity consists of owning, embracing and appreciating a female body.

    3)Do you aspire to it? – Definitely.

    Cheers!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Florence
      Thanks for answering my questions, that was an awesome comment!

  • modernguy

    @Susan

    Yes femininity has an element of weakness and vulnerability. The possibility of being penetrated is itself a metaphor for vulnerability if you haven’t noticed. And as to intelligent women, that seems to me to consist chiefly in a woman’s ability to navigate the social world to her own maximum personal gain, which is a lot different than the intelligence men are capable of.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @modernguy
      I agree with you that vulnerability is feminine – and also that the root of that is biological.

      And as to intelligent women, that seems to me to consist chiefly in a woman’s ability to navigate the social world to her own maximum personal gain, which is a lot different than the intelligence men are capable of.

      Sorry, are you in the U.S., or maybe Tehran? I’m trying to figure out if this is a culturally influenced view. If you were American, you would know that 60% of college graduates today are women, and the percentage is climbing for masters and doctorates. Men cluster more at both ends of the bell curve, and the mean IQ is 2 points higher for men than women. Your statements about intelligence are stupid.

  • Plain Jane

    @terre, you wrote, ” A society that gives even the slightest inch of free reign to the judgement of young women leads to grass hut countries, because hypergamy is such a tremendous wrecking force.”

    Honestly Susan, I don’t know where these guys come up with stuff like this but its not based on any empirical evidence or even a basic knowledge of world history and geography.

    All of the societies that have given free reign of judgement to young women are high-tech Western societies.

    The counties wherein people are still living in grass huts are the ones who have not yet given free reign to women.

  • Florence

    @ modernguy

    “The possibility of being penetrated is itself a metaphor for vulnerability if you haven’t noticed.”

    The penetration aspect during an intercourse probably has to do with the seed being deposited in the right place. However, the possibility of being raped is due to to the fact that women are physically weaker (possess a lower muscle mass) on average than men.

  • 108spirits

    Obs the chubby chaser is here! He has that one single thing on his mind and he uses it to explain everything else.

    For sure the getting fat part makes them less feminine in some ways, but that’s not the main factor. We’re talking about attitude here.

    Swearing like sailors, talking dirty (not a turn on when it’s in public), drinking like there’s no tomorrow, puking in the gutter, fist fights on nights out, loud & argumentative etc. I’ve seen plenty of young slim & attractive girls do this, and it’s very much unfeminine and a huge turn off. I can give more examples but they would quickly get to some dark territories that would distract from the main discussion here.

    Cercando, tell me those behaviours were at all typical for American women many generations ago. I wasn’t talking about Hollywood stars, I was referring to the era.

  • Florence

    @ Cercando, 108spirits

    Obesity is now pandemic or global. It used to be a problem of developed countries such as the US and Western European countries, but is now a fast growing problem in developing countries as well. That is mainly due to the introduction of cheap, fast food chains in countries such as India. The result is people eating larger quantities of cheap food that fills the stomach but still leaves the body without essential micronutrients.

    What does strike me as very common in America though, in comparison to other countries is how large portions are at restaurants and during home dinners. Soft drinks over-sized. People often resort to packing their food and taking it home, something that isn’t very common in other countries. Others lose control over the tasty meal and force themselves to finish it. In addition, people consume massive amounts of food during the holiday season, then try to starve themselves in order to burn the excess calories off, after the holiday season is gone. Such variation of consumption patterns surely has an impact on the metabolism.

    Another problem in the US is that fast food is cheap and available, while healthy food is much more expensive. That puts students and the lower socio-economic class at an increased risk. A lot of countries are aware of this issues and their governments are taking an action on lowering the prices of fruits and vegetables, while increasing the prices of fast food through taxation.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Florence

      Another problem in the US is that fast food is cheap and available, while healthy food is much more expensive.

      This is not true. Yes, you’ll pay more for salmon filet than a Big Mac, but most people could save a ton of money by primarily eating fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Many poor countries have figured out how to be healthy on rice and beans, which make a perfect protein. Obesity in the U.S. is directly correlated to income, and the obese spend a much higher percentage of their disposable income on prepared and processed foods.

  • Obsidian

    Cercando,
    Again, walk it off, Man. No one’s really trying to hear what you just said. Please spend some time in the Manosphere and see things for yourself. It is what it is, and all this yammering about culture this, that, it all sounds like excuse making. White guys are pissed that their Women have gotten fat and its a huge turn off for them, what part of that don’t you get? This ain’t France or Italy, this isn’t about taking on Archer Daniels-Midland, this is about White American guys wanting their Women to exercise some self control and back up from the table, chief. For them, slimness and femininity go hand and hand. All else is just making excuses.

    O.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Obsidian
      Take a chill pill when you address Cercando, or any other woman here. She is new to the board, and I am interested in hearing what she has to say, so your judgment is incorrect.
      .
      It may well be that American women being overweight has destroyed their femininity, but it’s not the only thing. As I wrote in the post, femininity has been deleted from the culture to a large extent. Physical characteristics are one part of it, but not by any means the only part.

  • Florence

    * Soft drinks are grossly over-sized.
    I think that obesity has reached a stage in America that is beyond individual choices. The American government really needs to take more serious actions to protect its people.

    PS: So don’t blame the women. I have a lot of American female friends and I can tell you that they are extremely knowledgeable about obesity and healthy dieting. Some of them are the most conscious food consumers that I’ve ever met.

  • Anni

    A few people here have pointed out that femininity is an attitude of pride in being a woman. This seems to me quite good starting point.
    .
    After I finished secondary school almost 5 years ago, I remember I was thinking “what now, what next” and in the process came to think about what it means to be a woman. If I am to be proud of being a woman then it should be helpful to first understand what this role entails. It doesn’t seem like a difficult question but it is one that I’m still struggling with. In my search for the answer I took an interest in feminism, but soon found that even asking such question was called “essentialism” and in reality there is no one essential core to being female. It does seem plausible to me that there is no one “right” way to be a woman. However, I am reluctant to renounce any and all similarities between women either, and render all thought on this issue meaningless since everyone is an individual. I think there are things connecting women, but I don’t know where to draw the line, form when does it become some women oppressively telling others how to be women.

  • Florence

    It’s funny how the men on this forum describe femininity as a set of characteristics/attitudes they find hot and anti-femininity as a set of characteristics/attitudes that turn them off. LOL

  • http://thunear.wordpress.com Thunear

    @Susan: Nobody much has really answered your question about what feminity is. So, here’s what it is to me and here’s what turns me on:
    -demureness. This is really important for me. Every women, I’ve been really attracted to has fulfilled this. (Sort of the opposite of girls gone wild).
    -caring. It’s very important that a woman demonstrates (note: not “talks about”) a sense of concern for the people she loves including her parents, grandparents, her siblings and any nephews and nieces.
    -dressing. A feminine woman has a certain dress sense, even if it isn’t quite to my taste. If we’re out on a date, she should dress up. Dressing and applying make-up are both arts that many women don’t get right, but the effort should be there.
    -a certain domesticity – when I go to her place, it should have a woman’s touch, not all matt-white and blank walls.
    -hour-glass figure

    I hope that helps.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Thunear
      Thanks, that is great, specific information!

  • http://thunear.wordpress.com Thunear

    @108Spirits: totally right about Australian women. Awful. Truly, awful. Fortunately, they only form a tiny minority of the world’s population and therefore can be safely ignored.

  • Obsidian

    108Spirits,
    Whoa, hold on chief. First of all, I think this is a case of friendly fire, LOL.

    Let me explain.

    If you will kindly go back to the top of the thread and look where Ms. Walsh directly addresses me, she asks me what, in my opinion, will assist Women in our time achieve a more feminine persona if you will. I took note of what other commenters were saying and to be frank I thought what you said was right on point. Moreover, I felt this way because its something I’ve seen repeatedly stated in the largely White Manosphere over the past few years I’ve been observing and often taking part in it.

    Without a doubt, all the attitudinal things you’ve mentioned about American White Women is something that many of my fellow White American male countrymen would agree upon; but please take notice of the fact that you, like so many other White Men, did indeed mention that American White Women being heavier in our time was an area of concern, and to be frank, while I don’t necessarily share that view myself, I think its a legitimate one. Why?

    Because, let’s face it, the vast majority of White Women are going to get with White Men as mates. I don’t see any Asian Woman styled exodus where White Women enmasse get with Black or other Men of Color anytime soon, and yes, we tend to prefer them thicker than you White Men do. So, I think if for simply pragmatic reasons, White Women should take heed to what you and other White Men are saying here.

    But another reason why I think it’s a legitimate point is because Men are first and foremost visually stimulated. Yes, you’re right, slim Women can and often do have bad attitudes, but as Ms. Walsh’s previous discussion about bitchy Women having the pick of the guys clearly shows, Men are willing to put up with your bad behaviors a goodly bit more if you’re physically attractive to them. Throughout the Manosphere, the weight issue with White Women is a huge one, pardon the pun. Go to Roissy’s blog, or Chuck Ross’, or In Mala Fide, you name it, and a month will not go by without these guys and others, bemoaning how White Women have gotten fat. Men are first and foremost seduced through the eyes, what they see; and on this note, the jury’s in, as you’ve said yourself above – White Men want their Women to be slim. And they’ve proven that they’re willing to put up with a bit of snark and bitchiness to get it. YOU may not, but again, as the previous discussion clearly proves, there are arguably millions of American Men who can and will put up with it.

    So, I really don’t see why you’re jumping all over me, Man. I’m actually on your side here! And let’s face it – this discussion here ain’t about Black folks, or Black Men, so in many ways, what I like or don’t like is largely irrelevant in this venue, one that to be frank, caters to a White audience of a certain socioeconomic demographic, though I do intend to takeup this and other issues Ms. Walsh has written about of late on my new blog, which launches tommorow(!), and there you can call me all kinds of names if you want to. Really, I don’t care because its juvenile and takes away from the validity of one’s argument, but whatever floats your boat.

    *shrugs*

    Holla back

    O.

  • Florence

    @ Annii

    “I think there are things connecting women, but I don’t know where to draw the line, form when does it become some women oppressively telling others how to be women.”

    I absolutely agree. I think that it is an individual choice on how exactly a woman should take pride in being a woman.

  • Florence

    @ Badger Nation

    After reading the criticisms I received, I agree that using the term “real man” was a bad choice. However, calling women “hardworking rationalizing hamsters” or “sluts”, is pretty awful as well…

  • Badger Nation

    Arlene,
    .
    “I am not American, but I think that what happened to American woman happened world wide, to a certain degree, and was a necessary evil – for woman to step up and out of the sub position, and into one of self respect.”
    .
    I completely disagree that this is what’s going on. The American women that are scorned in the manosphere (not all AWs) lack self-respect in the extremis. Slutting it up, binge drinking, dressing like an unmade bed, not being able to take any criticism, cursing, getting fat and not caring – they’ve replaced self-respect with a puerile sense of selfishness, narcissism and short-term gratification. They don’t lack for self-esteem though – they feel proud of themselves in the bargain.

  • Badger Nation

    On the topic of weight:
    .
    “Wanna Lose 10 Pounds This Year Without Dieting? Stop Binge Drinking.”
    .
    http://calorielab.com/news/2011/01/12/binge-drinking/
    .
    Lots of young people male and female seem flabbergasted when they gain weight in their mid-20’s, still drinking like college students and munching gross bar food.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger
      That Calorie Lab article was GREAT. Very persuasive stats there.

  • http://the-spearhead.com zed

    @Susan: Nobody much has really answered your question about what feminity is. So, here’s what it is to me and here’s what turns me on:

    I agree that the core question of what this thing that American women have supposedly lost actually is remains undefined. There is a big difference between describing what something is and what it looks like. I’ve scrolled through a lot of descriptions of what it looks like, but what it is seems very difficult to pin down.

    A trite example is that an automobile is a form of self powered conveyance that can move people and stuff from one place to another. What it looks like is that it has wheels, and seats, and controls, and an engine, etc.

    Thunear has offered what I consider to a “looks like” sort of definition, with the what it is – “femininity is what turns me on” tacked on almost as an afterthought. However, that assumes that women are concerned about what turns Thunear on, which they may not be and which feminism and feminists have assured us that women aren’t.

    I have a lot of thoughts about all this, far more than will fit in a simple blog comment. But, a key point I would like to understand is what it is that women are concerned about. Would anything called “femininity” be of any concern at all in a community made up entirely of women? Can femininity only be defined in terms of how men react to it? If it boils down purely to the ability to harvest the low-hanging fruit of male attention – which most young women can easily do simply by taking off their shirts – then surely the stars of Girls Gone Wild would be considered to have more of this thing called “femininity” than old stuffed shirts like Audrey Hepburn.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @zed

      However, that assumes that women are concerned about what turns Thunear on, which they may not be and which feminism and feminists have assured us that women aren’t.

      Women are concerned about what turns Thunear on! Well, perhaps not Thunear specifically, I don’t know, but yes, I’d bet that a vast majority would read a post such as this with interest because they want to improve their odds in this SMP. They’ve learned, either through personal experience, absorbing the culture, or witnessing first-hand, that taking off one’s shirt yields a very specific kind of temporary reward. Since women obviously spend enormous time, energy and money on improving their physical appearance, it might be interesting to find out just what guys prioritize. And if it turns out that feminine behavior is important to men, then women can benefit from learning what that behavior looks like, according to males.
      .
      Feminists are a problem – they’re adamant and effective in perpetrating a view of femaleness that achieves some things for women, at the expense of other things. Each woman needs to decide for herself what tradeoffs she is willing and able to make. It’s already obvious that women cannot have it all. On the other hand, there have been some very powerful and sexy women throughout history, e.g. Cleopatra. Today though, we don’t allow that in our women leaders. I recall a news story about Condoleeza Rice wearing black boots with stiletto heels. She was accused of trying to look like a dominatrix while meeting with Putin, or some such nonsense.
      .
      Aside from the question of what men want, I do believe that femininity would be, or should be, relevant even in an all-female community. Why? Because it is an essential part of womanhood. When we suppress key elements of our feminine nature, such as nurturing, we deny our biological reality. This cannot possibly be healthy or desirable, in my view. And it harms men too, who cannot find women with the qualities they are programmed to seek and reward.

  • OffTheCuff

    I have a friend who is one of the most feminine people I’ve ever met. Even when she’s dressed in sweatpants and sneakers, she still is feminine.
    .
    It is a lot of things: posture, body language, facial expressions, eye contact, how she walks, tone of voice, the occasional giggle, things left unsaid (a bit of mystery), subtlety, even silly things like that little pinky that splays out.
    .
    She is feminine because she *knows* when and how to dress to kill, and it suffuses her personality – it’s not merely *when* she dresses up. Very big difference.
    .
    While femininity can be used to trap a man, I think it’s crude to define it as it’s only purpose. She is still feminine when not trying to attract a man. I’d go far to say that femininity is when those attribute permeates your personality so much, they transcend sexual use.
    .
    It is NOT ditziness or stupidity, whether real or feigned.
    .
    It’s not some sort of box that’s she’s forced into, which is why she still can let out a rip-roaring burp, and laugh it off. All the other stuff makes up for it.
    .
    Also, there’s a woman at work who is well over 300 lbs, but due to her dress, demeanor, posture, voice, and all that stuff is *far* hotter than the skinny, loud, openly tattooed chicks. A classy lady is feminine.

  • Badger Nation

    I think we need to paraphrase Athol Kay’s definition of sexy – femininity is anything that helps a woman make and raise families. Masculinity is anything that helps a man make and raise families.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      femininity is anything that helps a woman make and raise families. Masculinity is anything that helps a man make and raise families.

      That is probably the simplest explanation, from an Evo POV. By definition, it means that both femininity and masculinity are perfectly calibrated to produce sexual attraction, copulation, and pair bonding.
      .
      Is there room for some crossover? For men to be nurturing, a typical female trait? Or for women to objective and logical, something men are generally better at? I think there is, obviously. Perhaps where we’ve gotten off track is that we’re currently all too masculine.

  • Maura

    I don’t see a problem with modernguy’s comment that simply being less loud and opinionated would make American women more attractive.

    Who enjoys the company of aggressive blowhards? Either as friends or romantic partners, most people don’t like the company of others who always have to be heard. Americans (women and men) do have this reputation world wide and with good reason. Subtle and understated are not words most foreigners would use to describe us even though not all of us are bombastic.

    @Badger
    I’ve heared that the Anglosphere has a particularly problematic version of feminism (although Sweden gives it a run for its money.) So if that is correct, it is not limited to America but since this is the highest profile country it seems the worst here perhaps.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Maura
      For the record, that was the only part of modernguy’s comment I agreed with. The part I objected to was when he said women are not intelligent, and shouldn’t be.

  • Chico

    As a man, what feminine traits would I look for in a woman?

    – Ability to empathathize with others.
    – Warm. Likes to cuddle. Playful.
    – Is she nurturing? Could I see her as the mother of my children?
    – A genuinely good person who wants to add something positive to the world.
    – Opinionated is fine, as long as she isn’t domineering and going on negative rants all the time. Women like that are very unpleasant to be around. They need to lighten up.
    – Oh, and of course, all the right lady parts. ;)

    I can’t understand the mentality of people like ModernMan. I can only imagine that would come from the insecurity of little-d!ck-syndrome. Afraid of a woman out-manning you, ModernMan?

    Obsidian is right about overweight women being a major turnoff. It’s at least as big an issue as the lack of femininity in North American women. But his whole racial obsession about white women getting with white men seems so very….stormfront. Just sayin’.

  • SayWhaat

    things left unsaid (a bit of mystery), subtlety

    I’m interested in learning more about what makes a woman “mysterious” to men. I recall Susan had a post where she advised us to always hold back 10%, and I’m curious as to what this means, specifically.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @SayWhaat
      I’ll let the guys chime in on the mystery question. But I’ll also make a note to take up that 10% concept again soon.

  • Obsidian

    Hi Ms. Walsh,
    Replies below:

    SW: Sorry, are you in the U.S., or maybe Tehran? I’m trying to figure out if this is a culturally influenced view. If you were American, you would know that 60% of college graduates today are women, and the percentage is climbing for masters and doctorates. Men cluster more at both ends of the bell curve, and the mean IQ is 2 points higher for men than women. Your statements about intelligence are stupid.

    O: I know you were talking to Modern Guy, but with all due respect, you might want to pick another country to make your point. Iran boasts one of if not the highest number of formally educated Women by country not only in the Islamic world but in the world in general, and has been for quite some now. Look it up.

    SW: @Obsidian
    Take a chill pill when you address Cercando, or any other woman here. She is new to the board, and I am interested in hearing what she has to say, so your judgment is incorrect.

    O: I didn’t judge her at all for one thing, and for another, I reject your inference that, because she is a Woman she has to be treated with kid gloves. If she’s as up on the way things are done in places like France and Italy, she should have no problem with spirited debate, and I for one don’t intend to change the rules because she’s a girl. I dismissed what she said because it didn’t deal with what I said which was in direct reply to what YOU asked ME – remember? Now, to be sure, American White Women, or any other group of Women, can choose to accept or reject the desires of White American Men; but when you go to asking what Men find feminine in a Woman, and you get the answer, it really is kinda outta pocket to start talking outta the side of one’s neck about all these excuses. You either deliver on what the market demands or you don’t, and that’s true for all of us. Later for the excuses. Be like Nike and Just Do It.

    Boom! ;)

    .
    SW: It may well be that American women being overweight has destroyed their femininity, but it’s not the only thing.

    O: But it IS a very, very important thing to White American Men, Ms. Walsh, and there is nothing – NOTHING – you or Cercando, or anyone else can say to get around that. Again, its all well and good if American White Women don’t want to do what White American Men want, they have the right to do that. But they don’t get to tell White American Men what is or is not important for them. You asked me what I thought about the matter under examination and how Women can improve, and I am telling you, since this is a venue built by and catering to White folks of a particular socioeconomic bent (afterall, ain’t no Southies here, am I right?), that after having spent nearly 5 years in the Manosphere as we know it, a very common area of concern for its denizens, virtually 100% White males, is that American White Women are fat and need to slim down. This is seen by American White Men as one of the things that makes for femininity. It’s really as simple as that, Ms. Walsh. No, it’s not the end all be all, but when so many guys throughout the internet are saying the same thing, you really have to stop and consider the possibility that they just may be onto something there.

    You just had a discussion as to why certain types of Women seem to never be at a loss for boyfriends, am I right? Well, one reason why that is is because those Women in question tend to be considered and deemed as attractive by the groups of Men in question. For White Men of your and your reader’s social class, that means a Woman who is slim – dress size 6 or less for a height of say, 5’6″ or so? Obviously, it’s a heck of a lot easier to be a snarky you know what if you’re that size than if you’re double that.

    So yea, femininity ain’t all in the dress size, granted, and sure, we all know the deal about obesity, but at the end of the day, White American Men are pissed off at American White Women in large part because in their view, the latter has allowed themselves to let themselves go, and that includes getting fat. Lose the fat, and things will markedly improve.

    Again, you asked me, and I’m telling you, based again on my years of observation of a sector of the Internet where lots of your male readers come from and where a lot of the readers of your blog will interact with. Keep in mind please, that i don’t have a dog in the fight – you’ve seen firsthand what kind of Women get my motor running and it ain’t some dress size 0 chick, LOL. There are other things to be sure that Women need to tighten up on in terms of femininity, and I’ll be addressing them more in detail over at my blog, but I just thought to hit you off with something that is easily observable and is a top concern of so many White guys in the Manosphere. Kill the messenger at your own peril…

    Holla back

    ;)

    O.
    As I wrote in the post, femininity has been deleted from the culture to a large extent. Physical characteristics are one part of it, but not by any means the only part.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Obsidian
      Good point about Iran. I probably should have used Peshawar or some other place. Maybe some Taliban-controlled region. You get the idea.
      .
      Re spirited debate, I’m all for it. But I believe you were saying something along the lines of “get out of here.” And you also told her no one was interested in her views. I do not personally have a problem with anyone saying what makes women attractive or unattractive. And I’m not going to start ranting about “fat-shaming.” As I’ve said many times, shaming tactics have been an important way for societies to achieve maximum productivity throughout history.

  • Chico

    Sorry Obsidian,

    I guess I jumped the gun on some of the things you wrote, and got the wrong vibe from it.

    As someone who is also a white man, I would have to say I fully agree with your overarching point though. Obesity is an epidemic on this continent, and white women seem to be the most affected by it. White men have this problem as well, but since the attraction triggers in a woman aren’t as visual, it mostly just affects the dating pool at the other end.

    It also means that the minority of white women who take care of their bodies end up with hyperinflated egos, as they’ll get all the attention. If the majority of white women took care of their bodies, we wouldn’t end up with such a lopsided 80/20 rule.

    I always get disheartened when I hear some propagandist talk about how unfair it is that we judge a woman sexually by her weight. By that logic, we should just be programmed to find all women attractive just because!! Of course the people doing the complaining ignore the fact that men are judged on other criteria that are every bit as superficial, such as their wallets, their social dominance, their height, and the number of women they have slept with (as more is seen as better).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Chico
      The qualities you call superficial can provide some pretty strong clues about a man’s genetic fitness, which is why women respond to them. Today, we don’t need for our men to be able to defend against wild invaders, but our brains have not caught up with our technological advances. Similarly, an obese woman should read as less than perfectly fit to bear and raise children. Still, Obsidian and others often make the point that even the most heinously unappealing women will not lack for sexual partners. Perhaps they attract men who would otherwise have no hope of reproducing.

  • http://www.decoybetty.com Deidre

    Well, for me it certainly doesn’t has anything to do with what I wear. I feel equally as girly when I am mucking out stalls at the family farm or wearing a cute little sundress. I hardly ever wear make up, but does that make me any less feminine?

    When I was at my all girl’s college I used to worry that it would. That my distaste for make up and my lax attitude towards primping would make guys not notice me or even more awkward make the girls notice me. Like that was the definition of femininity as to whether I attracted men or women. (as a side, it was mostly straight girls who assumed I was gay do to my lack of make up wearing…and guys still hit on me, so clearly a misconception). I am kind of embarrassed to admit it, but when I was in college that certainly my barometer of how feminine I felt – as if femininity and sexual orientation have a strong correlation.

    Of course men and women are different, and I think in every relationship the “stereotypical” factors of what makes the ‘masculine’ half and ‘feminine’ half are going to different per the couple. But it’s the fact that both halfs are represented not who is representing them. if that makes sense?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Deidre

      Of course men and women are different, and I think in every relationship the “stereotypical” factors of what makes the ‘masculine’ half and ‘feminine’ half are going to different per the couple. But it’s the fact that both halfs are represented not who is representing them. if that makes sense?

      That is pretty interesting how you experienced this issue attending an all-women’s college. I think you’re right about couples being different, with different kinds of balance – the yin and yang. What’s important is that two people find that balance in their own relationship. Honestly, I’m amazed sometimes that any of us ever get together!

  • http://thunear.wordpress.com Thunear

    @zed: However, that assumes that women are concerned about what turns Thunear on, which they may not be and which feminism and feminists have assured us that women aren’t.

    Weird comment.

    IME, there are at least some women who were concerned about turning me on.

  • Chico

    “Is there room for some crossover? For men to be nurturing, a typical female trait? Or for women to objective and logical, something men are generally better at? ”

    The first of these is a question that can only be directed at women. Men can be nurturing (some more than others), but does the WOMAN think there’s room for that crossover, or is it seen as being too “beta”? Answer honestly.

    If a woman can be objective and logical, I would welcome it. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen this done in practice.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Chico
      Very good point about the degree to which women will welcome beta traits. As for objective and logical, my feelings are a little hurt, haha.

  • someguy

    Just my idea:

    If I am out in the wild all day long, fighting with animals and other men to win meat and to defend my social position, then at the end of the day when I return to my cave, I will want to relax with a playful, sweet and nurturing companion.

    As men, we are constantly pushed to compete and win. As a man, I am implicitly in competition with all other men… and increasingly with many women too. I think many men would like for their women to provide a refuge from the hostile outside world, hence our grief when our companions compete with us, humiliate us in public (which amounts to undermining our hard-earned status in the male hierarchy — very uncool) or nag us endlessly, even if the nagging comes from the woman’s ultimate desire for us to improve as competitors. We get tired of it!

    A female friend of mine recently asked me very generally what in a woman turns men off the most. I remembered this site and a post that came out about this a while back. Of the archetypes explored, many guys (myself agreed) claimed that the bossy lady is the least attractive. I told this to my friend, but she balked: “What’s wrong with a woman who has her own opinions/accomplishes things/etc.?” Of course that wasn’t what I was trying to say. It’s not about being a cypher or a Stepford wife, but I do think it is about leading a more carefree attitude, one of wonder and of enjoying the moment, which I think women are generally better at than men. Our abilities to tap those feelings alone can end up getting dulled with all the conflict and power games we go through all day, every day. And after a long day in the trenches, if going home just means more combat, then you can bet I’ll be heading for the bar instead.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @someguy
      Thanks, you shared some great insights there. I am with you on the nagging question – I don’t understand why anyone would want to do it, much less listen to it. However, I will also say that my husband is pretty intolerant of my being in a less than playful mood. Sometimes I’ve had a hard day too, and I resent having to act like a perky and cheerful wife just because it’s 6 pm. He will nearly always point out my bad mood as a personal affront to himself. I usually just tell him to give me a bit of time, and I’ll pull out of it. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does his response is always the same. He really does want to come home to a playful, sweet and nurturing wife.

  • Obsidian

    Chico,
    Please read for comprehension. I clearly said that I was getting my information from what I had gleaned by being an observer of the Manosphere over the past few years. Now then – do you deny that said Manosphere is made up almost entirely of White Men? Yes, or no?

    What I said comes directly from those blogs and venues, Chico. Perhaps you’re familiar with Roissy? There isn’t a month that will go by where he isn’t talking about this issue, and he’s not alone, and yes, they are all White, just as this venue is, and for you to suggest that I am akin to members of Stormfront for simply noting all of that is utterly ridiculous. I made no value judgments, only citied what my two eyes were telling me.

    Again, we can ignore what White Men of the Manosphere are saying in this regard, and Women are under no obligation to do as they want. But if we’re serious about this whole femininity thing, the weight issue cannot be ignored because it is a huge area of concern of White Men per the Manospehere. I’m just sayin.

    Holla back

    O.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Obsidian

      they are all White, just as this venue is,

      This venue is not all white. There are several regular commenters of both sexes who prove it. I also know from my offline convos that I have a diverse following among college women. It is perhaps more accurate to say that this venue is made up of pretty highly educated and intellectual people. Not the same thing.

  • Hope

    There are several different types of femininity, and I think therein lies confusion. There are several distinct (but possibly overlapping) types:

    – demure, quiet, shy, reserved, “seen but not heard”
    – emotional, caring, empathic, cuddly, “sweet and loving”
    – nurturing, organized, cooks and cleans, “motherly and gets the job done”
    – playful, fun-loving, outgoing, full of laughter and energy, “loud but cute”
    – hot, seductive, flirtatious, make-up wearing and fashionable, “sexy temptress”

    Most people tend to focus on the very end of this list, both men and women alike. The earlier part of the list tends to be just “bonus” or “flavor.” We’ve all heard about the ugly but sweet girl doesn’t really get anywhere no matter how good she is at cooking and cleaning, how kind she is for volunteering in her spare time, or how much she would sacrifice for her children.

    The earlier part of the list also don’t usually “turn men on.” They are unrelated to how sexy or hot a woman is, physically. Thus in a “shortcut” fashion women have abandoned those qualities for other ones that give them instant and abundant attention.

    American women haven’t really lost their femininity. They have simply “specialized,” which means they try to focus on one or two narrow areas, and fail to be the “total package” that men dream of these days.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Hope
      I think you’re really onto something there. It’s like the female archetypes – they are all different but can all be feminine in their way. And I don’t believe that femininity as desired by men is strictly about turning them on, it’s often about creating a desire to know more about a woman than sex.

  • Obsidian

    OffTheCuff,

    Replies below:

    OTC: Also, there’s a woman at work who is well over 300 lbs, but due to her dress, demeanor, posture, voice, and all that stuff is *far* hotter than the skinny, loud, openly tattooed chicks. A classy lady is feminine.

    O: And how does she do with Men, may I ask, and do you know? Is she White or Black? Do you deny that what I reported from the Manosphere is true, or false? Do you agree or disagree with the points I made in that regard?

    Finally, are you Male or Female? Just curious, because your comments sound like something a Woman would say, though I want to be 100% sure; in any event, it is highly unlikely a White Male from the sociometric background of Ms. Walsh and her readers would say what you just did that I quoted above.

    All things being equal, a Woman like you described, and one who has slightly more than a third of her weight, put side by side, will invariably lose out to the lighter version in the sexual marketplace among the Males I’ve been talking about. This is what they have repeatedly said over the past five years that I have directly seen being an observer of that sector of the Internet. I am inclined to take what they say over what you say above.

    Holla back

    O.

  • AnonymousF

    @Susan

    “Well, perhaps not Thunear specifically, I don’t know, but yes, I’d bet that a vast majority would read a post such as this with interest because they want to improve their odds in this SMP.”

    With all due respect, if the point is to maximize odds in the SMP, then isn’t femininity a red herring? Why not just cut to the chase and talk about ‘what do men respond to’ instead of having to debate two much more nebulous questions (1) what’s femininity and (2) how important is it to men?

    Second, there’s really no single “SMP” out there in the US right now, and I think a lot of women run into trouble when they flail about aimlessly without identifying the SMP they want to be in. Their odds are worse because they’re fishing among a random mishmash of whatever guys happen to be in their vicinity, and when they do hit it off with a nice cute guy, it’s often only to realize the pair isn’t compatible for the long term. I’ve been there myself, so I’m not being judgmental.

    A woman needs to identify the pond she wants to fish in and the traits that are desirable there, or reverse-engineer, i.e. choose a pond where her type is more likely to be in demand and the men appeal to her. My fiancee and I met in an SMP of highly educated, mostly high-income Jewish young professionals. All else being equal, women with fancy credentials or careers will do better in that SMP and demure women will be at a disadvantage. Even if I wasn’t religiously inclined, I probably would’ve targeted that SMP, because my odds are better there and I like that type of guy. Win win.

    Improving on physical traits will help in any SMP, but I think most women know how to do that. Those that don’t would probably be better served by a fashion, makeup, diet or exercise blog with practical tips rather than abstract discussion.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @AnonF

      if the point is to maximize odds in the SMP, then isn’t femininity a red herring? Why not just cut to the chase and talk about ‘what do men respond to’ instead of having to debate two much more nebulous questions (1) what’s femininity and (2) how important is it to men?

      We know what men respond to sexually. That’s happening in abundance already, and every young woman knows how to generate a male response if she’s willing to go that route. Personally, I was curious about how men define femininity because I often hear them complain that women are not feminine. OK, then, what exactly is lacking? One commenter mentioned that men and women are competitors in American society. This is unquestionably true. Competition between the sexes can fuel sexual tension, or kill it. It probably hampers emotional bonding between two people. So how do we get around that?
      .
      Also, I asked both men and women for their views on femininity. I did that because I feel that it is important for women to embrace their female qualities – well at least the positive ones. I’ve been researching the topic and you’d be surprised how often things like “gossipy, shrill, nagging” get mentioned. As a woman, I know that it is OK to need a man, to be dependent in some ways. I feel that way about my husband, and also feel comfortable that he is the same. He needs me to be happy in his life. He depends on me to appreciate him, nurture him, mother our children, and the list goes on. Stepping off the fast track was hard for me – it felt like quitting at the time, and I recall being embarrassed to attend my 10th b-school reunion. I’m not one of the women who knocked the cover off the ball. I spent 15 years as a SAHM. It was an experience I would not trade, and I truly do not care that I’m not a partner at Bain or McKinsey.
      .
      Your point about subsets of the SMP is an excellent one. I’ve written about this before – figuring out what kind of guy you like, figuring out where he’s likely to be, and then going there. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. I give you a lot of credit for tailoring your own search in terms of both your strengths and your wants. For the record, I do not plan to advise women to be demure. I reject the notion of women being submissive to their husbands as a policy. I stand by my claim that strong women can be very sexy. For starters, a demure woman is not going to rock your world in the bedroom. There’s no doubt in my mind that women today are much better at sex than they were 50 years ago, because they have fewer inhibitions.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Susan Walsh, et al.
    RE: Strong Femininity, Demonstrated

    I believe that smart, strong women can be very feminine. — Susan Walsh

    Look at the femininity of the female leads in classic movies, e.g., My Fair Lady and Guys and Dolls. Or, more recently, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the vampiress.

    As for the comment about….

    ….choosing an indirect route….</cite — Susan Brownmiller

    ….let me, as a professional military officer and subsequently military historian, inform you that one of the greatest military officer in history—Napoleon—perfected the 'Indirect Approach' to achieve numerous victories. It and many other thinks that were cited in the original article, e.g., keeping people 'off balance', i.e., 'guessing'. STILL work.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [A beautiful woman is a picture which drives all men nobly mad. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson (paraphrased)]

  • Rhen

    One thing that de-feminizes many women is the habit of excessive verbal aggression: directed not only at relationship partners, but also people at work, store clerks, waitpersons, etc. Upper-middle-class and above women seem especially bad at this.

    They probably think they’re just doing what a man would do, but in many cases they’re much more aggressive than most men would be…and also, fairly or unfairly, it makes a particularly bad impression when a woman does it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Rhen

      One thing that de-feminizes many women is the habit of excessive verbal aggression:

      Good point. I think we can agree that a spoiled, entitled woman is not feminine. Although, as evidenced by the last post, they probably won’t stop her from getting the man she wants.

  • Chuck Pelto

    P.S. Another good movie for reference….

    Jean Simmons in The Big Country: school marm, land-water heiress, local historian about ‘burying surivors of an indian massacre up to their necks in red ant hills’.

    Beautiful. Smart. Strong. AND feminine…..

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Chuck,
      Oh, as a child I adored Jean Simmons in old movies. In fact, speaking of Napolean, didn’t she play the lead in Desiree? And although someone ridiculed Audrey Hepburn earlier, to me she is the quintissential graceful and feminine woman. In Roman Holiday, her dignified femininity is truly something to marvel at.

  • Chuck Pelto

    P.P.S. Lauren Becall in The Big Sleep. She adds ‘sultry’ to the admixture….

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Susan Walsh
    RE: [OT] REALLY??!?!?

    Today, we don’t need for our men to be able to defend against wild invaders…. — Susan Walsh

    Your perception is probably based on the fact that you haven’t had to deal with such, on a personal level. Or so I suspect.

    But that’s another topical thread, different, altogether.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [The feminist movement died milliseconds after the first impact. — Niven & Pournelle, Lucifer’s Hammer

  • http://the-spearhead.com zed

    femininity is anything that helps a woman make and raise families. Masculinity is anything that helps a man make and raise families.

    That is probably the simplest explanation, from an Evo POV. By definition, it means that both femininity and masculinity are perfectly calibrated to produce sexual attraction, copulation, and pair bonding.

    A perfect example of this is a guy I know whose grandparents were both immigrants to America. They were on the same steamship coming over and, despite the fact that he was from northern Europe and she was from eastern Europe and neither spoke a word of each other’s language, she was pregnant when they embarked in New York. They went on to have 6 children and over 20 grandchildren. She was about 18-19 and apparently learned whatever she needed to know about femininity according to the above definition while she was growing up.

    American culture has definitely lost something if so many women beyond that age no longer even know what femininity is, and need to regularly poll men for their input on what it looks like.

    Women are concerned about what turns Thunear on! Well, perhaps not Thunear specifically, I don’t know, but yes, I’d bet that a vast majority would read a post such as this with interest because they want to improve their odds in this SMP. They’ve learned, either through personal experience, absorbing the culture, or witnessing first-hand, that taking off one’s shirt yields a very specific kind of temporary reward. Since women obviously spend enormous time, energy and money on improving their physical appearance, it might be interesting to find out just what guys prioritize. And if it turns out that feminine behavior is important to men, then women can benefit from learning what that behavior looks like, according to males.

    Well, with that introduction, I’ll offer what I think femininity is. It consists of three parts –
    1. The ability to attract the attention of a variety of males, giving the woman the ability to choose from among what those males have to offer, what she considers the best package of desirable mate qualities.
    2. The ability to attract that attention in a safe social context which minimizes the chances of her attracting the attention of some severely unsocialized males who would take their reaction to her bids for attention way beyond what she is willing to or comfortable with happening.
    3. The ability to convert that attention and attraction on the part of the male into a long term strategy of commitment and investment in their offspring.

    #1 is easy for a woman, if she is even moderately young and attractive all she has to do is take off her shirt. However, the temporary reward she gets is like the rush from using drugs – it creates a high, but wears off and leaves nothing of lasting significance. It also presents some serious risks WRT #2, and makes #3 somewhat to highly unlikely.

    I came of age with 2nd wave feminists, in the days of holocaust haircuts, bib overalls, and baggy sweatshirts, precisely because women of my age either believed or were told that they were wrong to want #1, #2 was “oppression”, and #3 made them traitors to the sisterhood.

    #2 is where a good part of the friction in the gender war comes from, and is part of the conflict about the issue of being “demure.” Casting a wide net for attention runs the risk of catching a few sharks along with the tuna. It also creates a lot of resentment toward women from men who think “If you really didn’t want my peaches, then why were you so vigorous in shaking my tree?”

    Taking #1 & #2 together, it is easy to see how the MMP (Mating Market Place) has been turned into the SMP. Other qualities which go into making good mates have been sacrificed to short term attraction. Women find it easy to get their foot in the door, but much more difficult to close the deal.

    And, #3 is where it all begins to fall apart. Few men are much motivated to invest resources in someone who is essentially a competitor, particularly when those resources could be turned around and immediately used to give the competitor unfair competitive advantage. Hanna Rosin may be cackling about “The End of Men”, but I can’t really see the elimination of all eligible buyers from the SMP as being something which benefits the average woman.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @zed

      American culture has definitely lost something if so many women beyond that age no longer even know what femininity is, and need to regularly poll men for their input on what it looks like.

      Indeed. That’s why I started the post with a confession. This is really just a huge hole in the American female psyche. Of course, some of us have instincts, are naturally more feminine than others. For many of us, though, femininity was not only old-fashioned, it was morally wrong.
      .
      I like your analysis of the three kinds of femininity. I fail to understand how any woman could derive pleasure or satisfaction from males failing to thrive. Even if one is a lesbian, you have a father, perhaps a brother. It’s the same with Game – the women who hate it are only fighting the addition of eligible men to the pool. In fact, they are fighting against including men who are likely more commitment-oriented (assuming they don’t go to the dark side.) We can hardly afford to do that, since, as you say, it is much more difficult to close the deal on commitment today.

  • OffTheCuff

    @Obs: I’m definitely a man, hopefully it’s obvious if you read my past comments.
    .
    The heavy girl is white, so am I. Further, I’m not good at guessing weight, so perhaps I was wrong with “well over 300″. She also was TALL– over six feet. But maybe she was 6’2″ and only 260 lbs. She was also blessed with a pretty face. I have no idea how she does with men in general, I can only report what I thought of her. I do agree with you that a lighter version of exactly her would be hotter, though. I am not advocating being that heavy as a strategy.
    .
    Perhaps my tastes run heavier than most guys. I think Christina Hendricks is the hottest woman on earth, so I have no “max size 6″ requirement. I definitely prefer shapely over skinny.

  • Obsidian

    Chico,
    Sure, no harm, no foul, LOL. Just wanting to make sure we were clear on the essential issues in question here.

    As for the whole femininity thing, and again I’ll be addressing this over at my blog which officially launches tomorrow, what I’ve been saying here wrt White Male concerns about White Female weight simply cannot be ignored. It is completely uinderstable as to why many White Women wouldn’t take too kindly to this, just like many short Men don’t take kindly to Women’s preference for taller Men, even to the point of trading off other character driven traits to get it (just like Ms. Walsh’s recent discussion about bitchy Women not having any lack of male company – a big reason for that is because said Women tend to be attractive, often above average in this regard, and the simple truth of life is that pretty people can and often do get away with more stuff than more homelier people do). So, Women are free to define femininity for themselves any way they like, but it means nothing when it comes to how Men define it. And in THIS venue, one that is founded for and caters to White Women of a certain sociometric group, they need to hear and clearly understand, that the Men of their target group expect their Women to meet their femininity standard, of which bneing petite and thin plays a huge part.

    So, if you’re a White Woman reading along and you’re in the market for a relationship, you need to know and clearly get through your head, that the Men of your group really isn’t all that interested if your dress size is in the high single digits or worse, double digits. Ideally, if you’re White and middle class and above, you need to be a dress size 6 or lower, assuming of course you’re about 5’6″ in height or so. If you’re taller, you might be ablle to get away with being a dress size or so bigger. But that’s really about it. This is what the virutally all White Manosphere is saying, and short of flatout refusing to conform to the femininity ideal they find attractive, there really isn’t much you can do about it. Forget what you heard about having a nice personality and all of that – being the kind of 300lb Woman who is the quintessence of femininity that OTC talked about earlier, will NOT get you the kinds of Men you want. Simply put, you simply must lose the weight and come into weight and figure compliance if you want things to ro smoothly.

    Now – if you’re not out to snag a middle class and higher, higher educated White Male in his 20s-30s, then you have nothing to worry about on this front. As I’ve noted before, it is well known that Black Men, pretty much accross the board, but especially of the more Blue Collar classes, tend to like their Women thicker, especially around the hips, thighs and behind. You can be a double digit dress size among this cohort and do very well for yourself. And, if you have all the other feminine qualities that I’ll go into on my blog when it launches tomorrow, all the better, you’ll definitely be in high demand among the Brothas. But White Men by and large, they don’t like the extra padding. They just don’t.

    So, we can go round and round with Cercando and others making excuses for obesity and this and that, what French Men do or don’t do or what goes on in Italy, etc, but at the end of the day, for the White Men many of the Women here are interested in, part of being feminine, is being petite AND SLIM. Size 6 or less.

    Can’t make it any plainer than that.

    Holla back

    O.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Obsidian
      You’re wrong about “size 6 or less.” First of all, a 6 at Wal-Mart is not the same as a 6 at Bloomingdale’s (with the latter being larger, in general). I believe you exaggerate what white men want – they want the .7 WHR just like anyone else, and you’re not going to get that on a rexy girl. I do agree that men do not want women to be overweight – but that is very different than being a size 8.
      .
      There is one exception – men will abandon their natural preference for curves if another look is correlated with high status. This is probably what’s behind reports that the skinniest girls – and I mean anorexic here – do well with guys in college.

  • Obsidian

    Hi Ms. Walsh,
    Replies below:

    SW: This venue is not all white. There are several regular commenters of both sexes who prove it. I also know from my offline convos that I have a diverse following among college women. It is perhaps more accurate to say that this venue is made up of pretty highly educated and intellectual people. Not the same thing.

    O: There is a website that I frequent called Very Smart Brothas. You should go and check it out, and then come back and tell me with a straight face that you two share the same demographics. Come on, Ms. Walsh, you know what I’m talking about, and in the case of VSB, that’s a heavily college educated crowd.

    Yours is a venue that is majority White. Yes, there are non-White participants here, I do indeed stand corrected on that point. But let’s not fool ourselves here. It is indeed a rather niche market, like I said, are there any Southies in attendance here? LOL. You know exactly what I mean, and I don’t mean to be curt or short with you, but that sort of thing is important to keep out in front because I find, in my role as something of an alien, that assumptions are made that can be dangerous. We need to keep in mind that we’re dealing with a somewhat narrow focus of folks and talior what we say accordingly.

    back to you… ;)

    O.

  • Chico

    “Very good point about the degree to which women will welcome beta traits. As for objective and logical, my feelings are a little hurt, haha.”

    Well, the women on this site may be a little more analytical than most. However, even with seemingly logical women, I usually see something happen down the road that makes me think, “ahhh, now the woman in her is coming out again”, lol.

    To be fair, I’ve seen my fair share of guys engage in self-denial and try to backwards rationalize something. Ever heard of one-itis? Even us guys sometimes need a little shaking to deal with reality up-front.

  • Chico

    Anorexic is by no means ideal, but it’s usually more attractive than being a whale.

  • Chico

    Susan, the hips-to-waist ratio preference is not the same for all men.

    I myself, like a nice hour glass shape, but nothing too extreme. I had a roommate last summer who was showing me video clips of women he thought were hot. He asked me if I agreed, and I told him they had enough ass for an entire group of 10 women, haha. It should be no surprise that he was black.

    I’m stereotyping here, but most stereotypes have a grain of truth to them.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Susan..”Today, we don’t need for our men to be able to defend against wild invaders”…but evolution needs to preserve critical survival traits even if they are only needed every 10 generations or so. An upper-class Roman woman in 200AD probably wouldn’t have needed defending against wild invaders; her descendants 300 years later might have needed such defense very much. Similarly, an average American of 2011 probably doesn’t need to worry about the wild invaders; that doesn’t mean that relevant defensive traits won’t at some point again be relevant within that gene pool.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @david foster
      I agree, which is why I believe women still select men as if they did need that physical prowess for protection.

  • Chico

    Susan, you are right to say that those shallow, “dominance” based traits are a good measure for a man’s genetic fitness. Men must come to grips with this. But in the same light, women have to come to grips with the idea that their genetic fitness (i.e. for child-bearing) is determined by a set of criteria that are equally as shallow, although not really any worse. In both cases, it’s counter-productive to call the other sex “a bunch of pigs”. People need to find their own strategies for ‘moving up the charts’, so to speak, and they must do it for themselves, rather than expecting society to change their tastes to accomodate them. Nature does not give a damn about someone’s politics or grievances.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Chico, @Matt T

      People need to find their own strategies for ‘moving up the charts’, so to speak, and they must do it for themselves, rather than expecting society to change their tastes to accomodate them. Nature does not give a damn about someone’s politics or grievances.

      True. Feminists have achieved a great deal, but they have not succeeded in dictating what men find attractive. Nor can men rework the female hindbrain. That’s why Mystery was such a genius – he dissected it until he understood how to work with it.

  • Matt T

    Speaking as a man, I don’t really care about how feminine you are if you’re physically unattractive. Between two attractive people, feminine traits are the tiebreaker, but it can never compensate for being fat.

    I realize that women may resent men for focusing on their bodies (feminism has put this resentment into vogue), but men resent women just as much for focusing on their status.

  • Hope

    I forgot about the female archetypes, and yes they are all recognizably “feminine,” including the strong warrior heroine, the shy libriarian, the black widow, the neurotic waif, etc. Some of the archetypes are less suited to be relationship material, but they are still female archtypes.

    Also, some of the archtypes have a particular “look” associated with them. The Xena warrior look is definitely not super skinny or petite, but some guys go wild over it. There are also “milf” and elderly matron looks that some guys like. Some guys prefer the young schoolgirl look (Britney Spears when she was first famous), and other guys prefer the sophisticated woman look (Catherine Zeta Jones in Zorro).

    For all the talk about guys not liking female aggression and bitchiness, there are also guys who do like it and are actually turned on by it. That’s why there’s the “bad” girl, devilish and harlot look, and there’s the “good” girl, angelic and princess look. For every guy turned off by a girl’s tattoos and piercings, there’s probably also a guy entranced by such decorations.

    To be properly “feminine” I think a woman should know her own preferences, then dress, change and act accordingly. A girl who is not comfortable in cleavage shirts should not wear them, for example. There are also women covered in tattoos who are absolutely comfortable in their own skin, and project a very feminine demeanor. Attitude-wise, there are spunky, loud girls who can be said to be more feminine than a reserved, stiff upper lip ice queen type.

    There’s no single “absolute” road to femininity. Yet it seems like people want to codify it. It’s too easy to say “this list of traits is feminine,” but when men are actually confronted with women fitting such lists they often find other faults. Too nurturing is smothering. Too reserved is devoid of passion. Too emotional is exhausting. Too skinny is not enough T&A, etc.

    Being too petite, by the way, can have the unfortunate side effect of not having big enough hips for a baby’s head to fit through. With modern medicine and c-sections, it’s not as big of an issue. But as I’m about to give birth next month, I keep looking at women that have bigger, wider hips with envy.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Being too petite, by the way, can have the unfortunate side effect of not having big enough hips for a baby’s head to fit through. With modern medicine and c-sections, it’s not as big of an issue. But as I’m about to give birth next month, I keep looking at women that have bigger, wider hips with envy.

      Ha! I always figured my hips were perfect for childbearing. Turns out they’re super narrow on the inside. Two c-sections. So you never know. It really isn’t such a big deal today, but when my OB told me that I would have died in childbirth 100 years ago it was very sobering. Best of luck, Hope, keep us posted!

  • djb

    This is a good post, and thought provoking. I don’t define femininity as a absolute, but only in reference to masculinity. Feminine is that which is not masculine, and vice versa. And, yes, American women are not generally feminine. I don’t consider French women to particularly feminine as well, but more so than American women. The concept of the feminine, being that which is not masculine, is probably best exemplified in the Far East. In China, for instance, young girls dress differently than young boys, but also act differently. In Japan, they used to use a whole different phonetic system, Hiragana, but now mostly it is pitch and tone. Women intentionally throw higher pitches, especially in public. There is very little in the way of intramural sports for girls in either country (or for boys but less so). Women define themselves through their nurturing capabilities; the success of children being reflected in the status of the mother. Dress emphasizes the fragile beauty of the woman, as opposed to the the robust, strong handsomeness of men. Most Western women who believe they are feminine have a distorted view of what men perceive as feminine. I’m not saying all of this is good, just that it is.

  • Hope

    The notion that East Asian women are more feminine is not universally held. Why else would there be comments about Asian women that they look like “sticks,” “little boys,” “flat,” and that their faces are ugly?

    I’ve heard other critiques about East Asian women, that we are too quiet, boring, nerdy, not adventurous enough, sexually repressed, too goodie two-shoes, and so on.

    Furthermore, Asian men are infamous for having mistresses, so all these skinny and demure Asian women are apparently still not “enough,” despite pitching their voices higher and dressing differently.

    A final thing about Asian femininity and masculinity — East Asian men, particularly of the educated class, are seen as feminine by Western standards. So defining East Asian women as feminine in terms of not being like East Asian men seems somewhat strange.

  • Obsidian

    OTC,
    Oh, OK. You can see what I’m saying here. Coolbeans.

    Wrt Hendricks, yea, I know who you’re talking about, the redhead gal from Mad Men, right? Personally, as a Brotha, she comes a lot closer to how I like my Women, but from what I’ve read from many of the White guys in the Manosphere, she’s a bit too heavy, which lines up with what I’ve been saying all day now and I know some of the ladies ain’t trying to hear that, but they got to. I looked her up online and got the following site:

    http://www.christinahendricksgallery.com/f-a-qs/christina-hendricks-measurements/

    According to it, she’s a dress size 12-14 and stands at 5’8″, which is fairly tall for a Woman. The national average is about 5’6″, and White Women as a rule don’t have the same kind of “big bones” Black Women have. So not sure the average White Woman can pull off a plus size like Hendricks can.

    Anyway…

    Ms. Walsh, replies below…

    SW: @Chico
    The qualities you call superficial can provide some pretty strong clues about a man’s genetic fitness, which is why women respond to them. Today, we don’t need for our men to be able to defend against wild invaders, but our brains have not caught up with our technological advances. Similarly, an obese woman should read as less than perfectly fit to bear and raise children.

    O: Actually, a Man’s height is obsolete in our time, and is like you said, an antiquated “requirement” on the part of Women, yet they tenaciously cling to it, and there is very little Men, especially shorter ones, can do about it. Women don’t want to admit that they are every bit in thrall to their hindbrains as are Men, its just Men are much more open and honest about it. As for obsese Women, have you ever seen a flick called Quest For Fire? Today’s skinny gals probably would not have lasted long in prehistoric environments.

    SW: Still, Obsidian and others often make the point that even the most heinously unappealing women will not lack for sexual partners. Perhaps they attract men who would otherwise have no hope of reproducing.

    O: Nope. Case in point? Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors. Was known for smashing anything in a skirt, and that included quite a few chunky gals, LOL. Nor is he alone, topshelf Alphas have been known to do the same thing, Bill Clinton, anyone? Most Omegas never get anything, and as we all know, most Men didnt get any nookie at all historically. That hasn’t changed all that much.

    As for really homely looking gals, come on Ms. Walsh, there is an upper limit of straight monsterness that a Man simply cannot cross in order to do the deed. Take Rachel Kramer Bussell – I personally would need about half a doze Viagra pills, a bottle of Polish vodka and a few hits on a serious spliff before I could even bring myself to hit that. And it would definitely have to be from the back. Looking at her face could very well turn me into stone on the downstroke…

    SW: @Obsidian
    Good point about Iran. I probably should have used Peshawar or some other place. Maybe some Taliban-controlled region. You get the idea.

    O: Oh yea, and no problem at all – and now I trust you see why I make such a stink about distinctions along racial, ethnic and class/social lines, because its too easy to make easy and lazy assumptions about things. Most people have no idea just how variegated the Islamic world is -they think “burka”, Afghanistan, maybe Saudi Arabia, and leave it at that.
    .
    SW: Re spirited debate, I’m all for it. But I believe you were saying something along the lines of “get out of here.” And you also told her no one was interested in her views. I do not personally have a problem with anyone saying what makes women attractive or unattractive. And I’m not going to start ranting about “fat-shaming.” As I’ve said many times, shaming tactics have been an important way for societies to achieve maximum productivity throughout history.

    O: My point was, look, Ms. Walsh asked me what Men think is feminine, and I gave a response that the Women of this forum just might be interested in, because I happen to know what Men in their same or similar social group says on the regular. All that other stuff about the EU, obesity and what not, they are trying to hear it. Thats what I meant.

    SW: @Obsidian
    You’re wrong about “size 6 or less.” First of all, a 6 at Wal-Mart is not the same as a 6 at Bloomingdale’s (with the latter being larger, in general). I believe you exaggerate what white men want – they want the .7 WHR just like anyone else, and you’re not going to get that on a rexy girl. I do agree that men do not want women to be overweight – but that is very different than being a size 8.

    O: You know what Ms. Walsh – I’ll take your word for it. After all, I’m not a Woman. But I DO know this: White guys don’t like their Women fat, and by that its meant, usually, double digit dress sizes. They like em slim and petite. I done lost count of the number of times I’ve seen this sentiment from White guys, and having studied a bit of the Manosphere yourself, I know you ain’t gonna front and act like you don’t know what I’ m talking about, right?
    .
    SW: There is one exception – men will abandon their natural preference for curves if another look is correlated with high status. This is probably what’s behind reports that the skinniest girls – and I mean anorexic here – do well with guys in college.

    O: Yup, status is huge for the group your blog targets, Ms. Walsh, so again, the ladies who read it and are i the market really do need to hear what these guys are saying. They want you to be petite and thin, because that’s a big part of femininity as they see it. It’s about being delicate and vulnerable and needing protection and all that. Now again, American White Women don’t have to do any of that. But they can’t get mad when White guys start voting with their feet and start snapping up the Asian Hopes of the world, or head off for the Eastern bloc nations and whatnot either. I’m just saying.

    Holla back…

    O.

  • Höllenhund

    I’ve recently discovered on youtube the American actress called Heather Morris. Does anyone else agree that she comes across as very charming, cute and feminine?

  • Plain Jane

    @Susan, “I agree with you that nurturing is key. It is perhaps the thing that men crave most from women after sex. ”

    If this is true then why don’t they cuddle after sex?

    Many of the people who are eating the $2.00 burger-fries-soft drink combo on the regular have not been taught how to shop and eat healthy in a way that pleases their taste buds, saves them money AND provides them with nutrients. Most of them don’t even know proper cooking. They think preparing a Kraft Mac n Cheese box is “cooking”.

    These are things that need to be taught in school if they are not being taught in the home, and I assure you, they are NOT being taught in most homes.

    Some kids are being raised to grab a soda before water just to quench their thirst.

    Doctors tell parents to give their kids “liquids” when they are sick so the moms and dads bring Junior a tall glass of 7-UP.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      “I agree with you that nurturing is key. It is perhaps the thing that men crave most from women after sex. ”

      If this is true then why don’t they cuddle after sex?

      Ah, I didn’t mean after sex in terms of timing. I meant in terms of priorities. Men’s bodies are designed to sleep after sex. Women shouldn’t take it personally.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Hollenhund
    On the hit show Glee she plays a dumb slut. So it’s hard to view her outside that context. She’s certainly attractive. I’m curious to see what the men think.

  • DF

    Ms. Wash

    (excuse the typos this is a third world computer terminal and board)

    I will help clear up a few issues, and try and make this as comprehensive and concrete for your female readers. As adding more beauty into the world shouldn´t need justification.

    The fat western women is a problem, physically, but to be more precise it´s that men reward women who have an understanding of their own Aesthetics.
    However you require a mature artistic culture to be able to teach people in general the finer beauties of life. This is why men in general refer to women of european and other cultures.e.g.
    french women.

    European women tend not to wear as much or as bold make-up as american/anglo-saxons, same as with dress. Subtle class and elegance.

    I`ve Known powerful women who, travers the world of powerful men. They understand how to have an engaging intelligent conversations. Men, but powerful men especailly, find this fascinating remember cleopatra.

    Western women turn off, as soon as the conversations turns not to their liking the fact of the matter is that feminine wiles require ways to respect a mans intelligence. Men like being authorities on whatever they find fascinating, give him respect for the time and energy that he contributes to the conversation. It is not about playing dumb and just nodding, men enjoy intelligent women, but there is a way and a-way. It would be the same if men were to merely give a women, a cursory glance of unacknowledgement, considering that she has taken time to look pleasing. Also these women tend to move slowly and gracefully, this also mirrors the speech.

    A reading of turn of the centuary europeam literature, can provide many clues to asethetics and behavioral traits that american women could collate into their beings.
    For instance russian women use many female characters(the good ones of course) from classical russian literature as sextons to forge their own relationships with the different typse of men and what attracts these men.

    I have travelled around the globe, and have talked to many different men from different cultural backgrounds. After first meeting within a few beers, the topic raises itself.`So the women?`. The stories are both beautiful and instructive.

    Many american men, hard men aswell, turn to schoolboys when having experienced an encounter with foriegn women. The cultural quirks that different foreign women have create an almost irresistible fantasy, so these they relive they`re youth.

    Often cited french women love to seduce and love being seduce, it is the artistry of it.

    Italian women are passionate, any silent moment and a stare can change the universe.

    Latin American Women, are very tactile they enjoy touching and sensuality. Touching his hands a moment too long, while smiling with those full mocha lips.
    (anecdote, my sister boasted that in a party she touchs all the men reassuringly on their upper backs and shoulders, consequently (sadistically) hordes all the male attention from the other women)

    Asian women perfect the angelic form

    Czech girls, are niave and want to pull you into their own romantic world of strolls in european woods passionate kisses against gothic castles. They weave the fantasy and bring the men into it.

    These ancedotes come naturally to these women, because it pervades there being like a religion, it`s unconscious feminity and it is capital P, power.

    I hope this helps

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @DF
      Thank you so much for taking the time to offer such a thoughtful comment, and on terrible equipment no less! I appreciate your contribution.

  • karen

    I’ll just add my two cents and say that in college I felt that I didn’t have to be feminine and guys should just accept me the way that I was. I only wore jean and t-shirts and no makeup. Needless to say, I was ignored by guys. But looking back now, I think that the way I let myself look gave off the impression that I did not care about myself and that I was unfriendly. To be honest, I was just a nerdy, studious female who had no idea how to apply makeup or dress fashionably. I told myself that I was happy but honestly I wasn’t. I’ll admit that when I dress up and wear makeup, I do feel feminine and pretty. And I am more confident.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @karen
      Good observation, thanks for sharing that. Acting feminine makes us feel feminine, and that feels good. It’s not surprising that would lead to more confidence. And neither is it surprising that more confidence will lead to better interactions with others.

  • Mike C

    Late to this one.
    .
    What is femininity? Tricky question that could easily be like navigating a minefield.
    .
    Quick thoughts.
    .
    I think Zed is mostly right that this is a complex question, and distilling the essence from a list of characteristics is difficult, but the same could be said of masculinity.
    .
    Thunear has some good stuff there.
    .
    I would second, third, and then emphasize yet again the part about nurturing. I think your comment Susan is spot on, although I’m not sure about carrying that over to workplace. I would think nurturing is best kept to personal relationships and not professional.
    .
    Couple other bullet items on what is and is NOT feminine.
    .
    Sarcasm and snark. Oh God, is this so NOT feminine. I can’t possibly emphasize just how strongly this is a turn-off to most guys. Sarcastic, snarky women are just obnoxious and annoying. I’ve got a few female bloggers in particular in mind. If you want to guarantee that a guy never calls you again after a date 1 or date 2, then amp up the sarcasm and snark. Note sarcasm and snark are not the same as a quick wit or being intelligent or incisive.
    .
    Playfulness. This is feminine. I’ve seen a few scenes from the old movies. Some of these women really had the playfulness down. Don’t be that hard-charging, aggressive, super-serious girl. Have a goofy, silly, playful side. Thinking back over my relationships, both my ex-wife and my current GF of 5 years have extremely playful sides. I think the super high-achiever Type A personalities really need to try to develop this side.
    .
    Emphathy and emotion. This is feminine. To see the cute bunny rabbitt or squirrel and go “Ooooohhh”. Not to be ruthless. Maybe this is best demonstrated with an opposing example. Take a general and a young soldier in war. He will send that soldier to his death, because a job has to get done. Masculinity at times demands turning off empathy and emotion to achieve a necessary objective. That said, I don’t want to be with a woman like that. That level of ruthlessness is not attractive or feminine. Think Hilary Clinton. Frankly, I think she would probably make a good commander-in-chief, not sure about being a wife, and probably why Bill strayed so much. He was looking for empathy, emotion, and nurturing elsewhere.

    Now that I think about it, she is probably the quintessential anti-feminine, masculine woman.

    Obviously, not a comprehensive list, and doesn’t mean women who lack femininity can’t get partners, but all else being equal men prefer feminine women just as women seem to clearly prefer masculine, dominant men. Simply the way us human beings are wired.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mike C

      I’m not sure about carrying that over to workplace. I would think nurturing is best kept to personal relationships and not professional.

      Let me explain what I meant by that. There are several ways in which I think women deny their true nature in the workplace. One is that we get hyper-competitive with other women. Every female boss I ever had was a complete shrew, because she viewed me as a threat. If we felt secure we might instead try hard to mentor our female subordinates. Some women do this, but far too few.
      .
      Another example is trying to be a total ball-buster at work. A dear friend of mine from b-school was the first female Managing Director at Merrill Lynch. She ran the trading floor, essentially. Wow, did she have a mouth on her! She was one of the guys, and she was very successful. However – as much as she wanted to meet a man and marry, she never did. I think she was too effective in making herself into a male.
      .
      I also can attest that when my career was active, a large part of my success came from having strong advocates/champions in my male bosses. Was I good at my job? Yes. But I also nurtured those relationships – I cared about making them look good to their superiors, I was a good listener, and I was affable, with a very positive, can-do attitude. My male bosses always felt that I looked up to them, and when I met their wives, I told them how lucky they were to be married to such good men. I meant it too – I adored some of those men. As a woman, I was able to create a bond that was professional, yet did reflect the differences between the sexes.
      .
      Re sarcasm and snark, I can’t help but point out that this is stock and trade for the feminist blogs. It reeks of mean spiritedness, and in my view, it also suggests a weakness in the argument – otherwise such bluster would be unnecessary.
      .
      Great examples of playfulness and nurturing there. These two themes seem prevalent among men.

  • http://the-spearhead.com zed

    This is really just a huge hole in the American female psyche.

    For many of us femininity was not only old-fashioned, it was morally wrong.

    And that huge hole has a lot of implications for, and major effects on, men. That is why I don’t see it as a very helpful strategy to ask men what they want and equate that to femininity. It’s a bit like asking a kid what s/he wants for dinner – ice cream, cake, and cookies may top the list, but they aren’t very good nutrition.

    I wonder if you realize how powerfully accurate your choosing the metaphor of a hole in women’s psyche really is. That is exactly how it feels when dealing with an American female – there is an emptiness inside that no man can fill, because it is an emptiness and lack of female energy, not male energy. A woman cannot become feminine by feeding on male energy. A lot of women try to fill that emptiness with shallow attention, or material goods like jewelry, new cars, and McMansions, but it all just disappears into the hole and they never feel any less hungry.

    It is probably an answer that won’t do women much good, but what a man really wants and needs from a woman is what he cannot get for or give to himself. He wants and needs feminine energy to complement his masculine energy. One of the reasons that men attached such value to women in the past is because women could manufacture feminine (yin) energy that men couldn’t.

    I quite disagreed with the women who told other women that it was morally wrong to be feminine. I think it is morally wrong for a woman not to be. They were born to be women, and have to work hard pretending to be men.

    I like your analysis of the three kinds of femininity.

    I don’t see them as 3 different kinds, but rather like 3 legs of a table, or stool, or tripod – take away one and the stability is gone and the table falls over because it is no longer stable. There are plenty of fat and ugly women with husbands, so there is more to femininity than beauty. No matter how much men may appreciate female beauty, if it is displayed completely without class few men will consider that woman as a potential mate.

    Men commit to women who they believe will add something to their lives on a continuing basis, not to women who seem as though they would be little more than a load to have to drag through life.

    Attractive enough, able to be attractive honestly and with class and not use that attractiveness as a weapon, and have something more to offer than emptily sweet high-fructose-corn-syrup looks – any woman who can do that will be seen as feminine by enough men to not have to worry about what the rest want.

  • DF

    I`m surprised no one has ever mentioned camille Paglia. A must read, thopugh i disagre with her paganism. Feminity and masculinity are too tied up in culture. A proper analysis of femininty requires culltural analysis. I think Mrs Walshs over reliance on a sexual market place economics, obscures.
    Do you fall in love because Q* and P* reach an equlibruim? Or do you fall in love because the other person completes something in you and you in them? With no disrespect, but only to illustrate a point in an intimate way, Mrs walsh is your marriage an equilibrium, I suspect not. And the same for most women.
    The real problem is that western-american women have forgotten how to relate intimately to the other sex, to understand what and who man is. Thats why the grandmas know best they know what men are. They have the traditions to navigate a mans interior

  • Plain Jane

    @DF “However you require a mature artistic culture to be able to teach people in general the finer beauties of life. This is why men in general refer to women of european and other cultures.e.g.french women.”

    DF, I assume from your comment that you are Latin American? If you’ve ever been to North America then you would see that not only are many North American women “artless and uncouth” but our male counterparts are as well. Just as there is a fantasy, as you say, about foreign women in the North American male mind, similarly we North American women tend to pedastalize foreign men and automatically assume they are more cultured, intelligent, refined and gentlemanly than our North American cheap beer and Lay’s Potato Chips men.

    Just as you say a hard North American man turns to an awestruck little boy in front of the wiles of a foreign woman, we North American women are ready to give our left breast to meet a tall, dark, handsome, suave, debonair, cultured foreign man who can sweep us of our feet – literally, with his dancing and romantic overtures.

    It goes both ways.

  • DF

    Thankyou Mrs. Walsh,

    I would like to add a further anecdote for your readers particularly female to consider. I was conversing with a dutch women just the other day about seduction. I said that many western men have a fetish(though fetish isn`t quite the right world fascination would be more like it) with middle eastern women. It hasn´t to do with the their lack of independence, infact the western men are unusually very chivalrous in this particular case. It is because the male mind spins in sexual fantasy about what lies beneath her Hijab. The dutch women agreed but added also that middle eastern women know how to have sex with their dark striking eyes.

    Even the most sexually repressed cultures women have methods, expressions of their feminity.

  • http://grerp.blogspot.com grerp

    I liked what Hope said about the overlapping types of femininity, and I agree with Athol that feminine is what gets the next generation started. I think, though, we are focusing too much on what men find sexually attractive in defining femininity. This is certainly a key aspect, but maternal behavior is also important. That is, are you the type of woman a child would choose to be his mother? Babies have to get made, but they also have to be raised and raised well if society is to continue to be healthy (or, more accurately, get back to being healthy).

    I would ask, would anyone here want Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte, or Jaclyn Friedman for a mother? I sure wouldn’t.

    I had a lovely mother. She made me feel safe. Our home was orderly and predictable. She gave me both boundaries and affection. I had my own anxieties as a child, but I felt there was nothing my mother couldn’t handle if it came her way, and without whining or kvetching either. She was on my side and in my corner. She loved my dad and made him happy. She didn’t compete with me when I hit adolescence. She was a mature adult who frequently sacrificed what was in her interest for what was in ours.

    When I get sick as an adult, I wish my mom would come and take care of me. She knew exactly what to do if I spiked a high fever and when not to worry. She would touch my forehead and say, “You’re as cool as a cucumber,” and I would know I was getting better. I never, never felt like I was a burden to her if I got sick at school and she had to come and get me. And sometimes, I’m sure, it was very inconvenient. It was always a hug and a kiss on the forehead and, “Let’s get you home.” Being around her was like taking natural valium. Still is.

    My mother is in her mid-sixties now and physically compromised, but she is still feminine. Not at all sexy, but she makes my dad happy. They’ve been together 43 years, and I know he never regrets marrying her.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @grerp
      That’s a lovely testimony about your mom. I can’t imagine aiming any higher as a mother. I agree with you, too, that maternal qualities are a key part of femininity. Nurturing is a big part of that. It occurs to me that one common problem couples have is that the wife redirects a lot of her nurturing energy towards children once they arrive. Husbands often miss being the focus of their wives’ attention, even though they understand the need for her to focus on the child. If I had to name the most important component of femininity, I think I would say nurturing.

  • DF

    Of course Jane, and many of the game proponents instruct men to investigate romantic foreign cultures known for having those tall dark debonair men. However this blog is aimed at women.

    If men are sloppy, and don´t inculcate some renaissance. They are partially to blame.

  • terre

    Honestly Susan, I don’t know where these guys come up with stuff like this but its not based on any empirical evidence or even a basic knowledge of world history and geography.
    All of the societies that have given free reign of judgement to young women are high-tech Western societies.
    The counties wherein people are still living in grass huts are the ones who have not yet given free reign to women.

    Jane, I’m not sure why you’ve used this thread to reply to a comment from weeks ago, but it’s your knowledge of demography that is lacking. This thread from Steve Sailer’s blog goes into much greater detail supporting my hypothesis (he quite literally maps hypergamic societies over failed ones). The crucial facet that allows a ‘patriarchal’ society to climb out of the mud is in establishing paternity; as in sub-Saharan Africa or matriarchal tribes in China, without paternal certainty, there’s no motive to work, and without male work, there’s no civilization.

  • AnonymousF

    @Susan

    “We know what men respond to sexually. That’s happening in abundance already, and every young woman knows how to generate a male response if she’s willing to go that route.”
    Sorry, I was unclear in my wording. I meant “respond to” in a long term interest way in context, not just sexually. But thanks for your response, reading the rest of it clarified your purpose some for me.

    @zed
    “Few men are much motivated to invest resources in someone who is essentially a competitor, particularly when those resources could be turned around and immediately used to give the competitor unfair competitive advantage.”
    What makes a woman essentially a competitor? Are you solely referring to the adversarial divorce process? Or something more?

  • terre

    What makes a woman essentially a competitor? Are you solely referring to the adversarial divorce process? Or something more?

    Women haven’t entered the workplace to fill a perfect 50% void of work that had existed before their general emancipation. This means most jobs that had one person filling the role now have a competitor; three people vying for the role will now be six, five-thousand to ten-thousand, etc. Even worse, women’s hypergamic instincts have not changed in the last fifty years as opposed to the last 50,000; they’ll still only settle for men equal or above their station (men have no such scruples). Men will either drop out and find some other means of alpha-ing themselves (crime, music, art, game) or essentially lose (and potentially go crazy: c.f. the recent shooting). This is not a recipe for a healthy civilization.

  • Chico

    “Men commit to women who they believe will add something to their lives on a continuing basis, not to women who seem as though they would be little more than a load to have to drag through life.”

    Well said.

  • Gudenuf

    Well there goes the last of your feminist credibility.

  • Gudenuf

    It’s all well and good to talk about “femininity” in a vague, amorphus sense. But it all falls apart when you try and talk specifics.

    Here’s my challenge for Susan and anyone who buys into this “femininity” bullshit: can you name a single non-physical trait that is a virtue in women and a vice in men?

    Some traits that fail this test:

    Submisiveness: It’s a myth that submissive women are more attractive. I’ve link to this study god-knows-how-many-times, but it’s worth repeating that men love being sexually dominated. Why do you think there’s a demand for professional dominatrixes?

    Cooking skills: Men love a good cook, but so do women. When’s last time you heard a woman say “He cooked me a delicious sea food dinner…and that’s when I knew I wasn’t going to sleep with him.”

    Nurturing: I can tell you firsthandwomen love a guy who’s good with kids. It just makes evolutionary sense that a woman would want to be with a man who would take care of her babies.

    So don’t even think about citing these as examples of “femininity.” Everything non-physical men find attractive in women, women find attractive in men and vice-versa.

    BTW boys, there’s a wonderful paradise where women are free from the corrupting influence of feminism. It’s called Columbia.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @GudEnuf
      I just read through the seduction science article, and big surprise, he’s thankful for Sex Positive Feminism! Of course he is – players have benefited enormously from feminism, as they watch all the promiscuous girls make a beeline for them.
      .
      I think it’s interesting that you consider femininity bullshit. As it is the polar opposite of masculinity, are you saying that you would prefer complete androgyny? I would suggest that we both desire and need differences between the sexes in order to procreate. Without femininity or masculinity, we’d all be sexually omnivorous (no particular orientation), and the birth rate would plummet.
      .
      I grew up at a time when there was considerable pressure, by women, to eradicate the feminine in women. I believe something was lost during that time, and it resulted in femininity being something that could be purchased – something you could apply, rather than something you were.
      .
      I object to anyone’s trying to take femininity away from me. I enjoy being female, and I resent the notion that wearing high heels or applying makeup is caving in to the patriarchy – what if it makes me feel good, as several women have said in this thread? I also believe that masculinity complements femininity – both within myself (I’m nurturing, but also rather analytical) and within my relationships (my feminine traits and my husband’s masculine traits are complementary). Many men are analytical, but also rather nurturing. Many cultures through history have incorporated the balance between the masculine and the feminine in all things.
      .
      For the record, I reject submissiveness and cooking skills as feminine traits.

  • Plain Jane

    @Gudenug, excellent points! Perhaps femininity and masculinity are social constructs. I’ve discovered while overseas that much of what passes for “guy stuff” in the US is US specific. Which leads me into Terre’s positions.

    @ Terre, the most patriarchal countries on the planet right now are still living as if it were 500 or even 5,000 years ago – backwards, uneducated and poverty stricken.

    Regarding hypergamy I saw a documentary about worldwide polyandry and the tribes that practice it have a way of determining paternity because the women rotate living with different husbands after each monthly menstruation. These are highly organized and regulated sub-cultures in Nepal, India, Africa and a few other places. They are few and far between but it shows that women can have more than one partner and paternity can still be determined if the rules and taboos around mating rituals and their timing are followed.

    And polyandry in these cultures has nothing to do with “feminism”. It is purely due to other reasons. Feminism has not made inroads into these areas.

    Not every polygamous society – be it gyny or andry – is as wild as the L.A. club scene.

    Quite the contrary.

    Nevertheless, the only countries on the planet that are high tech and forward are those that have been highly influenced by feminism. No one can dispute that.

  • Plain Jane

    EVERYBODY PLEASE READ THIS!

    http://www.seductionscience.com/2010/in-defense-of-feminism/

    A PUA covers everything here – from femininity to feminism to capitalism to bitch shields.

    The first PUA I actually agree with. The manosphere has got it wrong, but this guy got it right!

  • Jesica

    This is a controversial topic. During my life I always believed I was born pretty and feminine just to like boys. Femininity is just a cultural thing. In ancient times, in America women were the tribe guides. I am talking about 10000 years. Think about the amazon warriors. Were they feminine? Here is the real thing: We girls have far more capacity than any man could have. We are even more equipped than man in brain neurons but that does not mean we are better nor they are. I am American I lost my femininity when I was 15 when I realized we are more than that. Girls do not realize what they are missing.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    Just wanted everyone to know:

    The wait, is over.

    The Obsidian Files has returned.

    obsidianraw.bravejournal.com

    Spread the word…

    O.

  • filrabat

    I’ve concluded that “Femininity” is like what Justice Potter Stewart said about hard-core pornography: I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it. Beyond this, while I agree there is a biological basis for one gender to act more or less a certain way, I think the majority of so-called gender role behavior is trained into us by our culture rather than inate in our biology. Still, I’d say, in the current climate, probably at at least 40% of it IS biological. The issue’s so complex that I doubt we’ll ever come to a consensus about this one.

  • Badger Nation

    “I’ve been researching the topic and you’d be surprised how often things like “gossipy, shrill, nagging” get mentioned.”
    .
    Funny, because when I call women on being gossip, shrill or nagging, they tell me “but that’s how girls are!”
    .
    As I said above, one of the reasons I try to avoid feminine/masculine archetypes is because women I know use “femininity” as an excuse to act distasteful, rude or out of emotional control.

  • Maura

    @Plain Jane

    Matriarchal Sub-Saharan Africa contains most of the world’s poorest countries, full of superstition, disease, and a general lack of development.

    By comparison, patriarchal Chile, for example, is not such a bad place to live for most people.

  • terre

    That PUA’s blog is almost chronically fallacious. Women wear makeup now and smell nice because of feminism? But then he brings up the 50s as a point where women both wore makeup and still behaved traditionally… so which is it? Perhaps it’s because women looking good has absolutely nothing to do with feminism and everything to do with the fact that straightening irons, heated plumbing and cheap cosmetics hadn’t been invented yet.
    .
    His point, however muddled, does contain an element of truth: women are far more sexually open, far more likely to leverage their sexual assets (read: dress the part) and men correspondingly have far fewer commitments or expectations. Is that a good thing? As Devlin has noted, even the most horny teenage boy, when placed on an island full of nubile, available ladies, would eventually grow tired of such a lifestyle.

  • Badger Nation

    “For the record, I reject submissiveness and cooking skills as feminine traits.”
    .
    Few young people know how to cook today. It’s a huge problem wrt health and socializing. I tell all men who want game to learn to cook – it’s the best of both alpha and beta.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I tell all men who want game to learn to cook – it’s the best of both alpha and beta.

      Definitely. Also, cooking together is a really fun, and very economical date. It’s an especially nice way for a woman to reciprocate for a second date.

  • Gudenuf

    Susan: “As [femininity] is the polar opposite of masculinity, are you saying that you would prefer complete androgyny?”
    My claim is descriptive, not normative. “Femininity” is an empty concept, at least with regards to non-physical traits. There is no personality trait or habit that men find attractive in women do not also find attractive in men.

    I enjoy being female, and I resent the notion that wearing high heels or applying makeup is caving in to the patriarchy
    High heels and makeup are physical. My objection was simply to the idea of non-physical “femininity”.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      My objection was simply to the idea of non-physical “femininity”.

      Well, I do think that the sexes are different, and tend toward different traits. However, I also believe, as I mentioned, that any individual is ideally a mix of the two. I believe that a problem we have today in the U.S. is that women have suppressed the feminine, and have become a lot more masculine. This is true in standards of beauty as well.
      http://www.femininebeauty.info/feminine-vs-masculine
      That’s a great site, and it’s fascinating how Playmates have changed over the years. Ferdinand started a blog featuring pics of women who meet the “old” standards of beauty, and I believe it’s been quite popular.

  • http://the-spearhead.com zed

    What makes a woman essentially a competitor?

    Being competitive. Turning everything into a competition.

    For example, to terre’s point above – http://www.economist.com/node/15174489

    Women and work
    We did it!
    The rich world’s quiet revolution: women are gradually taking over the workplace

    Gonna bit a bit difficult to find men to finance women’s SAHM lifestyle if women have the majority of the jobs, isn’t it? I’m not sure who all is included in the “we” which the author talks about, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not part of it.

    Of course, there is Jessica’s view that men might as well not even bother –

    Jesica says:
    January 14, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Here is the real thing: We girls have far more capacity than any man could have.

    There you go – the final and definitive word. It’s over, the end of men is apparently on the horizon if you believe women like Hannah Rosin – http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Here is the real thing: We girls have far more capacity than any man could have.

      A ridiculous, sexist, misandrist statement.

  • Hope

    There is definitely a cultural component to this discussion; women cooking and cleaning are quintessential in non-Western countries. I remember growing up and all the women knew how to gut a live chicken, stoke a coal stove, and cook a large meal. It’s highly unusual for men to cook unless they were professional chefs.

    As for a sharp, biting tongue, I think that is a personality trait thing, like introversion/extroversion. The women in my family were ruthless with words and held nothing back. They critiqued everything about me from my dress to my demeanor. But it probably worked out for the best, because I didn’t grow an overblown ego.

    The competitive aspect is not so black and white, because I think men do appreciate a competent and skilled woman who is on “his team,” rather than competing against him. However, before she’s on his team, there is a general sense that a woman is competing against him on the job market. I don’t know how this conflict can be easily resolved, because there are very capable and smart women who contribute to the economy and the workforce.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Hope
      I don’t know your exact ethnicity, but I think I recall you saying that you are Chinese. Did you by any chance catch the article in the WSJ about Chinese mothers being superior? It was fascinating, and has caused quite a bit of controversy. It’s off topic, I know.

  • Plain Jane

    One thing you notice when you go overseas is how testosterone filled United States culture in comparison is, to many cultures, even patriarchal ones. That’s why I taked issue with the premise that American men have been “feminized”. The entire culture has been testosteronized. When you go to artful countries, the culture is more refined. American television and radio is very, well, angry.
    There is just no refinement in our culture here anymore. Period.
    The unfortunate thing is that this aspect of our culture is being exported through globalized corporatism, more so than the positive aspects of our culture.
    (Disclaimer: this is not to demonize testosterone. I know its a goal achievement hormone. It is also an aggresive hormone if not reigned in through discipline. Human beings have developed culture to reign in our natural instincts when not appropriate to act on)

  • Gudenuf

    Be warned, Susan’s latest link is very NSFW.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @GudEnuf
      Oops. Thanks for pointing that out. It’s interesting stuff, don’t you think?

  • Plain Jane

    “That PUA’s blog is almost chronically fallacious. Women wear makeup now and smell nice because of feminism? But then he brings up the 50s as a point where women both wore makeup and still behaved traditionally… so which is it? ”

    No, women wear makeup and smell nice because of mass consumerism. Mass sConsumerism really took off in the 50s. Of course mass consumerism is tied into the industrial revolution.

    I refuse to patronize the cosmetic industry. Do we really need 1,500 different brands of shampoo that all contain the same chemical ingredients?

    Natural and organic cosmetics can be made from home.

  • Badger Nation

    “Definitely. Also, cooking together is a really fun, and very economical date. It’s an especially nice way for a woman to reciprocate for a second date.”
    .
    I’m cool with the second (woman) date, but it’s rare I allow someone in my kitchen when I am at the helm. I’m creating masterpieces, and I can’t have my workflow interrupted!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger
      Oh, lucky girl who gets invited to your place. I hope you get her a glass of wine, and let her watch your mastery. That is guaranteed tingle fuel.

  • Badger Nation

    I encourage everyone to read the Chinese mothers article. It is breathtaking in its hubris, and presumptive racism.
    .
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html
    .
    Having gone to school with lots of Asians kids myself, it read like a satiric compilation of every one of their parents put together – although those with Jewish mothers could fill in similar stereotypes. It must be humiliating for her daughters to have this cited in a major newspaper.
    .
    Ferd Bardamu called it “child abuse.” I can’t say I disagree much with his judgment, it does sound like an unusually humorless way to raise your kids. I also wonder if the fact she has only two daughters affects things – boys would certainly present different challenges.
    .
    To say nothing of the fact that fatherhood and how it complements her motherhood is not at all discussed, except in anecdotes of how she overrules her husband.

  • Plain Jane

    Maura, Terre and other matriarchal debaters: I’ve been all over Asia and the Middle East (which IS Asia, by the way). These are patriarchal cultures and Feminism has not made major inroads into many, if not most of them. There are mud huts and extreme poverty throughout them, even if the urban centers are modern. As far as sub-Saharan Africa, in which of those countries are tribes that allow free sexual reign to young women. I studed some tribes from that area of the world and the marriages are arranged by the elders in the family. If there are some tribes that are sexual free for alls – please name them.

  • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

    Bag Lady, er, “Plain Jane”, question for you:

    If American Men are just so whacked, why are you still here|? And I just want the record to show that I am being consistent here, because I ask the same question of the guys in the Manosphere who whine and moan nonstop about American Women, but extoll the virtues of foreign Women from the comfort of their American shores homes. Why not move over to those areas of the world where you claim to have been, find a really hot foreign dude, and call it a day and ride off into the sunset? Whjy are you here on American shores, complaining about American Men and life, while at the same time extolling the virtues of other places? If they’re so much better, why aren’t you there?

    Your response?

    Holla back

    O.

  • Hope

    Susan and Badger Nation, yes I read that article and also overheard an interview with the woman. I have mixed feelings about it. The whole thing sounds like a sensation made for the media. But it is a pretty accurate representation of the general Chinese parenting style. In this case the father might be non-Chinese, but plenty of Chinese parents, both mothers and fathers, are very strict and aim to be drill-sargents rather than supporters of their children.

    I have had tons of problems with my very Chinese mother and her authoritarian, unemotional and demanding parenting style. But I should also admit that this discipline did a lot of good for me in my personal and professional life. I was a “disappointment” in Chinese terms, but I got good grades, make a good living and never got caught up with drugs, smoking, alcohol or partying.

    On the other hand, I do not like to talk to my mother, I feel no real love or affection for her, and I don’t want her involved in my life in any significant way. She still treats me as if I am a child, berating me and criticizing me despite the fact that I am an adult and have my own life and family in good order. She is not going to be present at my birth, and I won’t be leaning on her for advice or support. Instead I will be turning to my mother-in-law, who is an American woman and raised her son well — both lovingly and with good rules.

    One thing that stuck out to me about the article is the narrow-mindedness of the Chinese parenting style. They only cherish musical aptitude in violin and piano — nothing else. My huband was a guitar prodigy, and his mother (my MIL) cultivated this. I also remember my mother going on and on about mathematics, law school, medical school and business school, but my natural talents were in computers and visual arts. I ended up doing well for myself in my chosen field, and seasoned professionals I work with say they are impressed by my coding / programming / design skills. But my Chinese parents (both medical doctors) never thought much of what I do.

    In summary, I don’t disagree 100% with the article, but I also have no real love for the Chinese style of parenting. My husband and I will be doing things our way, and it will be a negotiated and ongoing discussion between us, our friends who have young kids, and our families.

  • AnonymousF

    @zed

    It’s true that unemployed men won’t have anything to invest in a family. But I don’t see why that would make gainfully employed men less likely to marry or see every woman they come across as competitors, and they can always avoid workplace dating if fear of direct competition is a problem. Is the employed man supposed to be turned off of marriage purely by the idea that the woman he’s dating beat out some other man for a job and that in itself is offensive?

    This is probably a matter of cultural perspective, but I’ve always seen the competition for resources as between the extended family and “everyone else,” not as between men and women. In addition to being all cute and romantic, marriage serves the very practical and mutually beneficial function of linking two families. Every member’s access to the cumulative connections, expertise, assets and sometimes even straight up cash of other members makes him or her more competitive in the outside world than otherwise would be the case. Done right, the entire clan benefits and its resources grow over time.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Re the parenting article: I’ve written many posts critical of the squishy “self-esteem, everyone gets an award” style of parenting and education which has become too popular in the US. But I also think there are many inexcusable aspects to the style described in Chua’s article.

    How much human talent has been lost by kids being force into careers that don’t fit their true talent and inclinations? What kind of leader can someone develop into when his life has been micromanaged for a couple of decades? Indeed, if an individual *should* perchance become a leader of some kind, after repeatedly being denounced by his mother as “garbage” for some failing, isn’t it likely (s)he will treat subordinates in the same verbally abusive style?

  • Badger Nation

    “Oh, lucky girl who gets invited to your place. I hope you get her a glass of wine, and let her watch your mastery. That is guaranteed tingle fuel.”
    .
    Not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not, but I have her arrive when the meal is almost done. Of course, if she’s staying for breakfast that means I have to get up early to cook it ;)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger
      I am 100% in earnest! I wrote a post once about watching Food Network on a plane, and getting tingles from Guy Fieri, Tyler Florence, and some other guy chef, one right after the other. It was seriously hot watching them cook. I suggest you give a woman a chance to watch you in action. Delivering a great meal is impressive, but watching you make it will have her wanting to drag you into the bedroom.

  • DF

    Obsidian has a point, and I have frequently prescribed men who I have met and who are unhappy about the sexual market place to ; go east young man.

    There already are a sprinkling of American ex-pats who are married right where I am, I was talking to one just the other day. Many of these men had to make radical changes to the way they see themselves and carry themselves.

    In terms of american women pining for suave foriegn men. What is culturally seductive about american women, for him to be sufficiently interested? You want a romantic man but are you yourself romantic? these are serious questions.

  • Badger Nation

    Also gotta link:
    .
    http://cooktobang.com/
    .
    Cook to Bang – Recipes to Get You Laid. Y’all gotta check out the banner picture.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Badger
      That Cook to Bang site is fantastic! He totally deserves to be famous.

  • Plain Jane

    “In terms of american women pining for suave foriegn men. What is culturally seductive about american women, for him to be sufficiently interested? You want a romantic man but are you yourself romantic? these are serious questions.”

    The same things that are culturally seductive about American men to foreign women. The foreign men I know who have dated and/or married American women say they like the open-mindedness and sense of adventure that American PEOPLE have and the way we can talk openly about things that their culture represses. I would chalk this up to the West’s “therapy culture.” Basically foreigners, both male and female, see in the American spirit a forward-thinking mindset that allows for growth and expansion on many levels from financial to emotional.

    At least the foreign people I know have expressed as much.

  • SayWhaat

    Any guys have anything to say re: what makes a woman “mysterious” to men? I’m still curious.

  • Sox

    @SayWhaat,
    .
    I always found women who could flirt subtly and who were confident without being brazen mysterious. The type where you know there’s a lot going on beneath the surface and it makes you curious.

  • http://the-spearhead.com zed

    they can always avoid workplace dating if fear of direct competition is a problem.

    Competition takes many forms – from always having to “win” every argument, no matter what it is about or what the issues are or how dirty one has to fight in order to win, to a lot of silly one-upsmanship games.

    I knew one two-career couple who were both on the partner track in their respective fields and place of employment. Susan may have been very much like the wife before she chose to stay at home to care for her children. There was a very clear and obvious competition between them over who made partner first, which translated into a very subtle resentment of every success the other achieved, and celebration of every setback. The competition was not within the same workplace, but it was just as real and cutthroat.

    All in all, it was a very poisoned and ugly marriage.

  • Lupo

    Plane Jane wrote: “So much of what seems to pass for “feminine” or “flirtatious” behaviour these days strikes me as being fake and manipulative.”

    That’s because you’re not feminine. Thank you for not trying to fake it anyway; watching American women try to ape this is … horrifying. Femininity isn’t something that can be faked; it is something you exude. Most American women have the soul of a gay man, therefore they’re not feminine. They wear pants for chrissakes.

    I agree that no man is going to explain this to you, but Fred Reed provides some of the most eloquent descriptions I have read.
    http://www.fredoneverything.net/AsianWomen.shtml

    “To begin with, look at the American women in the Spot. Perhaps a third of them are stylishly dressed. The rest of the gringas run from undistinguished to dumpster-casual: baggy jeans, oversize shirts — often male shirts — with the tails out. They seem to affect a sort of homeless chic, actually to want to look bad, and do it with more than a touch of androgyny. A high proportion are at least somewhat overweight.

    Listen to the American women at neighboring tables, and you will frequently hear phrases like, “He’s a fucking piece of shit.” In what appears to be a determined attempt to be men, they have adopted the mode of discourse of a male locker room and made it their normal language.

    The default position of American women is what men refer to as “the chip,” a veiled truculence, mixed with a not-very-veiled hostility toward men and a shaky sense of sexual identity. The result is a touchiness reminiscent of hungover ferrets. There is a bandsaw edge to them, a watching for any slight so that they can show that they aren’t going to take it. They are poised to lash out in aggressive defense of their manhood.

    As best as I can tell, they don’t like being women. Here is the entire problem in five words.”

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Reimer.shtml

    “You have to be fifty to remember women who were resilient, sane, psychically strong and, within the limits of an often sorry existence, content.

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Mexicanas.shtml

    “To my eye, they are almost quirky in their distinctiveness, strong, content with being themselves, and psychically stable. They are also women, delightfully so, vibrantly feminine. They are wonderfully amorous without being loose, uninhibited, frequently beautiful, and they are…ladies. They do not drink themselves silly in bars and shriek obscenities.
    It is not easy to explain to an American readership under forty what is meant by being a woman. We are accustomed to androgynous, litigious, Prozac-sucking shrews who would inspire erectile dysfunction in an iron bar. Yes, there are exceptions and degrees, but here is the main current. (If there is anyone with less respect for women than the average squalling dyke feminist, I haven’t met it.)

    Feminists of course say that femininity cannot be distinguished from subservience. But it ain’t so. The Mexicanas I know are not subservient. They work harder and bitch less than we do. They are not weak. They do not need support groups, Depacote, Paxil, Welbutrin, or classes in self-esteem (which idea they find puzzling or ridiculous). They are self-sufficient adults. “

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Bob.shtml

    “Villainous overweight lemon-sucking shrews with thick ankles. They lurk in Hurman Resources departments like misandrous hagfish. They loathe men after the third inexplicable divorce. Eat ice cream out of the box and watch Oprah.”

  • NGII

    @SayWhaat
    .
    With very limited experience myself – here’s my go: think how you want to write a novel. Do you want to tell a story chronologically? If it is a crime novel, will you start out by describing the criminal and the crime itself? Using Harry Potter as an example, JK Rowling did not reveal what happened the night Harry’s parents were murdered until book 7.
    .
    You know who you are, so as a strategy, you may want to save some important experience/talent/facade of yourself to be revealed later in the relationship. You may want to start off giving a guy a hook with something intriguing about yourself, then stop revealing yourself until you think the guy does something to make a progress in the relationship. The key is you need to reward the guy with something about you that gives him a greater hook for your relationship to flourish. Don’t reveal more than 90% until you get married.
    .
    So building a mystery can be as simple as shuffling the story about yourself and tactically and sequentially reveal a little bit more here and there. But you must have a plan and have the discipline not to reveal too much and too early.

  • Mike C

    Did you by any chance catch the article in the WSJ about Chinese mothers being superior? It was fascinating, and has caused quite a bit of controversy.
    .
    http://humblestudentofthemarkets.blogspot.com/2011/01/about-that-chinese-mother-article.html

  • Mike C

    Regarding the Chinese mother article, there is a pretty big sane middle ground between being a complete lax parent who raises total losers with nothing but “faux” self-esteem, and being an authoritarian tyrant that is going to produce high-achievers full or neurosis.

  • Badger Nation

    “Any guys have anything to say re: what makes a woman “mysterious” to men? I’m still curious.”
    .
    SHOW DON’T TELL.
    .
    Ergo, don’t go on a coffee date, or sit on the couch, and talk about what you’ve done and what you like to do without context. If you like jazz, take him to a jazz club instead of
    If you like to hike, go hiking. Show him pieces of yourself as they happen, not in some chit-chatty bubble where you trade resume items. You’re in NYC, there’s plenty of ways to get away – have a flair for the spontaneous.
    .
    Don’t know if you do this or not, but a lot of women have some kind of a need for verbal diarrhea to men about their day, their exams, what went wrong in the lunch line, etc. Avoid this if you want to be mysterious.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      SHOW DON’T TELL.
      .
      Ergo, don’t go on a coffee date, or sit on the couch, and talk about what you’ve done and what you like to do without context. If you like jazz, take him to a jazz club instead of
      If you like to hike, go hiking. Show him pieces of yourself as they happen, not in some chit-chatty bubble where you trade resume items. You’re in NYC, there’s plenty of ways to get away – have a flair for the spontaneous.

      Ah, I took a day off and missed some great stuff – sorry for the delay in responding. This is brilliant advice. Interestingly, it’s common advice for writers as well – both fiction and non-fiction. Telling is boring. Showing is intriguing. I’ve noted this as a possible future post topic, thanks.

  • Chico

    Susan, I rather enjoyed your NSFW link. I found it to be quite…useful, haha.

    As for cooking…really? I should try that one out, as I’m a pretty decent cook myself. If the night goes especially well, I could cook her two eggs and a sausage to really get her in the mood. There is something to be said for subtlety, after all. :P

  • NGII

    @Badger Nation
    .
    “SHOW DON’T TELL”
    .
    Thank you for a great advice. I would argue this works with guys who want to date as well. I do have the verbal diarrhea problem (for a guy). Maybe I can repackage that with jokes and smart repartee.

  • Plain Jane

    @ Lupo, “That’s because you’re not feminine.”

    You don’t know anything about me.

    You’ve been brainwashed as per;
    http://www.seductionscience.com/2010/in-defense-of-feminism/

    Such such systematic conditioning makes you shallow and materialistic, typical of blue pillers. Consume away, “Lupo”!

  • Lupo

    Plane Jane wrote:
    “You don’t know anything about me.”

    I know what you wrote in your little tirade about not wanting to be feminine because it is “fake” above. That’s enough to know you are not feminine. Your linking me to some goofball’s argument about how feminism is awesome is also not feminine any more than it is logical. QED: you’re a non-feminine American female. Don’t worry: this makes you much like everyone else around you. If you were actually feminine you’d be the weirdo.

  • Plain Jane

    Lupo, all your qoutes about “American women” apply to the general American population. Our entire country is overweight and on Paxil or some type of anti-depressant or drug for OCD/ADD/Whatever. That’s the culture. Men, women and children, yes children. That’s why I prefer dating foreign men. Nonetheless, like Obsidian pointed out, “why don’t you move abroad?” Well, I’ve lived abroad and travelled extensively and I still keep coming back to my country and I still love it. Why? It’s home and I’m one of those corny patriots who believes the USA is STILL one of the best countries, if not the best, in the world. And with my travelling record, I have material to compare it to.
    What is it with the anti-American hate? Is that still popular even after Obama got in?
    Jealous haters.

  • terre

    Plain Jane, I’m interested as to whether you saw my response to that quite silly article. Its confusion of history and logical coherency was remarkable enough that I managed to crank out a comment in just a few minutes while reading it.

  • terre

    As an aside, even that dude’s grasp of game is way off base. He claims that “[as long as] you’re non-judgmental, self-proclaimed feminists, socially conservative Christian girls, and all the woman in between will love you [...]” which couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, with game you’re supposed to be ‘judgmental': negs, qualifiers, ripostes and frame-switching (i.e. making her prove herself to you) is the height of a judgmental mindset.
    .
    He realizes he’s driving the car down a one-way road in game theory and attempts to backtrack by claiming that being judgmental brings “negative energy” to your game, and that it’ll hamper your efforts. Here, he’s on slightly surer footing; that’s why you don’t talk serious politics or whatever during the process of seduction. But women crave drama and look up to selective men; the only caveat is that you’re dramatic after you’ve slept with her, and not a minute before. If he’d had any real experience, he’d be more than aware of the effects of both qualifying yourself to a girl you haven’t slept with and the effects of qualifying yourself afterwards. But this guy is just another McMystery.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    It is easy. The cultural root of America is Puritanism. If you read “Albion’s seed”, you will see that the Puritans tried to discourage any femininity.
    .
    The hard life in the frontier demanded hard work. Traditional male values (resistence, endurance, facing difficulties, hiding emotions, blunt and direct modifications) where valued because they were fit to an extreme life. All this was especially suited to the Puritan ethic of trying to avoid all earthly temptations to focus on work and on God. A woman was supposed to be the helpmeet of the man, to work hard together in a family unit of production (farm) to ensure subsistence.
    .
    This cultural fabric (which was somewhat different in the Anglican South) extended to the West in America during the age where the East Coast was the cultural center of the country. So American women, on average, have always been less feminine than in other countries.
    .
    This is why Victorianism and feminism were so radical and extreme in America. Feminism came to America with Puritan undertones. The traditional male role (provider) was overvalued and the traditional female role (homemaker) was despised. Women were supposed to be liberated when they assumed the traditional male role and exhibit all the traditional male characteristics: being blunt, being assertive, being agressive, ambitious, not having femenine clothes or make up, being work drones and so on.
    .
    So every hint of feminity was regarded as a concesssion to the patriarchy. Gender theory explained that the only difference between men and women was “la différence” so male behavior and female behavior should be the same. In practice, this meant that female behavior had to mimic male behavior. Women not only rejected feminity completely but they were proud of it.
    .
    As a person who lived in America for one year, this always surprised me. The extreme masculine way in which American women behaved. I was amazed when I entered in Walmart and saw women dressed as a low-class men, swearing, moving swiftly and rudely, with T-shirts with sexual sentences (“I like it from behind”, “I have the pussy I make the rules”). It is not that they looked like men, it is that they looked like vulgar, low-class truckers.
    .
    In the dating scene, the women I date tried to be feminine during the date but it is was forced and contrived. Because American women conceive femininity as a dress that you put on where the occasion arises but it is more than that: it is a personality, the way a (foreign) women is and it is natural. You learn it from childhood and it is your nature and not something separated from you (the same could be said about masculinity).

    America was born as a land of frontier. As a result, gender roles were more necessary than in other countries, because a division of labor was needed for the survival of the community. “Democracy in America” (Tocqueville, 1840) explains that .

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @NBTT
      Fascinating historical perspective on Puritanism there. I’ve never heard that before. Truly, even in 2011 the Puritan roots of our culture are still deeply influential.

      I was amazed when I entered in Walmart and saw women dressed as a low-class men, swearing, moving swiftly and rudely, with T-shirts with sexual sentences (“I like it from behind”, “I have the pussy I make the rules”). It is not that they looked like men, it is that they looked like vulgar, low-class truckers.

      OMG, this cracked me up. I do not understand a woman who would dress and behave this way. There is a great divide in the U.S. – many of us have never set eyes on such a woman, unless we were traveling perhaps. There is just enormous variance geographically. It is not possible to generalize about Americans for this reason. We are a country of numerous sub-cultures.

  • nothingbutthetruth

    Sorry for the last paragraph. I forgot to delete it.

  • Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Teutonic Power Edition

  • Migu

    Quit competing with men. We don’t women for adversaries. As long they remain so, this man will be having nothing to do with lot of you.

    There really is no need to prove to me you can change your own damn oil. Good for you, I was already doing it go the hell away until I”m finished.

    I don’t care if you can also use hammer. I would hope so considering it is a pretty simple skill.

    Other than that. Get rid of VAWA, IMBRA, the Family Courts, and must arrest. Then I’ll think about it. And please if you must act like men for some sort of validation act like good men instead of thugs.

  • Plain Jane

    @ Terre, I didn’t agree with EVERYTHING that PUA wrote. What I did agree with was that all the bad stuff that is chucked up to “feminism” in the manosphere is usually just the result of a mass consumerism – materialism – which is the only ideology which is pimped out to us in American Style Capitalism. His point about the “good ol days” was also spot on. Men think that before feminism women were naturally prettier, shaplier and “softer” somehow. Most women led hard lives, labored all day, wore no makeup, their feet and hands were scaly, teeth crooked, skin hardened due to harsh weather conditions and no SPFs, etc. I know that this was the life my great-grandparents and ancestors led. There’s not a “hottie” among them! I mean, they are decent looking but they look like they lived – hard. The manosphere takes television sitcoms like Leave It To Beaver – based on the prosperous decade after WWII – the 1950s, and assume all women for the entire history before hardcore feminism were like June Cleaver – pretty moms who had some light housework and cooking to do at home with the aid of laundry machines, modern stoves, ovens and vacuum cleaners, and who got their nails and hair done on a bi-monthly basis, and were thus able and willing to appear at the door when hubby returned home from work all dolled up with tea and biscuits in hand!

    Like NOTHINGBUTTHETRUTH POINTS OUT,

    “It is easy. The cultural root of America is Puritanism. If you read “Albion’s seed”, you will see that the Puritans tried to discourage any femininity.
    .
    The hard life in the frontier demanded hard work. Traditional male values (resistence, endurance, facing difficulties, hiding emotions, blunt and direct modifications) where valued because they were fit to an extreme life. All this was especially suited to the Puritan ethic of trying to avoid all earthly temptations to focus on work and on God. A woman was supposed to be the helpmeet of the man, to work hard together in a family unit of production (farm) to ensure subsistence.
    .
    This cultural fabric (which was somewhat different in the Anglican South) extended to the West in America during the age where the East Coast was the cultural center of the country. So American women, on average, have always been less feminine than in other countries.”

    So true! However, ironic that Lupo qoutes another man as finding “strength and resiliance” as feminine qualities that American women LACK.

    I would say, as someone else pointed out, there is no inner quality that is not valuable in a woman that is also not valuable in a man. If “strenght and resilience” are seen as valuable for a woman, wouldn’t they be seen as valuable for a man? Indeed, many people would argue that “strength and resilience” are masculine qualitied, not feminine.

    Strength and resilience are HUMAN qualities that are desirable for both sexes. Hence that brings us back to the point that someone else was making; “feminine qualities” appears to be something that men are listing based upon what they as individuals find attractive in women. And most of it is externally based – which brings us back to the PUA article regarding Hollywood and mass media SELLING us an image so that we will rush out and buy stuff. They do it to men as much as they do it to women.

    Nothingbutthetruth also said,

    “This is why Victorianism and feminism were so radical and extreme in America. Feminism came to America with Puritan undertones. The traditional male role (provider) was overvalued and the traditional female role (homemaker) was despised. Women were supposed to be liberated when they assumed the traditional male role and exhibit all the traditional male characteristics: being blunt, being assertive, being agressive, ambitious, not having femenine clothes or make up, being work drones and so on.”

    Yes, women saw that for whatever reasons, they were not given the same rights as men in society and therefore concluded, and rightly so, that their role in society was not AS VALUED as mens’ role. Had men and women been valued equally from the get-go, there would have never been a need for “feminism”.

  • Lupo

    @Plane Jane: “I’m one of those corny patriots who believes the USA is STILL one of the best countries, if not the best, in the world. ”

    Of course you do: this place is set up to cater to irresponsible women. There is no better place on earth to be if you’re a woman; perhaps Canada or Sweden is a bit better, but I doubt it. I, on the other hand, am not a woman, therefore I have some issues with the land of my birth. This isn’t the same place that sent men to the moon and defeated the nazis; two feats we would be unable to pull off today.

    Anyhow; nice subject change -that was almost a feminine trick, yes?

  • Lavazza

    Lupo: If USA “defeated the Nazis”, how come the Soviets was given so much influence over the Eastern bloc countries?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article625175.ece

  • http://attractionreaction.wordpress.com/ Jeffrey of Troy

    @zed
    “She was about 18-19 and apparently learned whatever she needed to know about femininity according to the above definition while she was growing up.”

    Humans need to be taught the natural gender roles; this paradox is apparently too much for some people, who insist on referring to the biologically-appropriate roles as “traditional.” (Actually, SW, you did it upthread.)

    @Susan W
    “I would suggest that we both desire and need DIFFERENCES between the sexes in order to procreate. Without femininity or masculinity, we’d all be sexually omnivorous (no particular orientation), and the birth rate would plummet.” (emphasis added.)

    HETERO means “different”; HOMO means “the same”. By trying to erase the difference between men and women, Feminism is an attack on heterosexuality, and therefore – as you noted -endangers the human race. The birth rate has already plummeted, hasn’t it?

  • http://attractionreaction.wordpress.com/ Jeffrey of Troy

    @PJ
    “What I did agree with was that all the bad stuff that is chucked up to “feminism” in the manosphere is usually just the result of a mass consumerism – materialism – which is the only ideology which is pimped out to us in American Style Capitalism.”

    The Liberals can see the psychopath-ic and Capitalism factors, the Conservatives can see the Feminism and group differences; but both deny what the other can see.

    P.S.
    That “PUA” you linked to is an obvious idiot just trying to sell his product.

  • (R)Evolutionary

    Hi Susan,

    It’s been a while since I wrote you here. Congrats on getting so many comments, it’s clear that your work is far-reaching and influential, and I’m grateful for this movement.

    I wanted to chime in on the loss of femininity. Much of it is the mundane, day-to-day actions and mannerisms that modern American women seem to have co-opted from men, particularly, as an above commenter noted, from low-class men.

    Specifically, I refer to two classes of behaviors–verbal and kinesthetic. In the verbal category, many women swear like sailors. I was engaged to a very, very beautiful woman, and despite being truly and deeply in love with her, I’d wince every time she dropped an F-bomb, which was/is very frequent. I just can’t take women seriously as a woman to date exclusively, much less to marry, when she has such a potty mouth. It ruined her in my eyes. I’ve also noticed lots of modern US women seem to have cultivated very manly voices and verbal mannerisms. Perhaps, it’s an adaptation so that men will take them more seriously in the workplace, but I’ve also noticed it’s a sure sign of a woman who ‘busts balls.’

    Kinaesthetically, I’ve noticed lots of women move like men. There are distinct biomechanical differences between men and women–upper vs. lower body mass, hip width vs. shoulder width, carry angle at the elbow, Q-angle at the hip. All these differences conspire to give women the ability to walk and move with a grace, a fluidity that men cannot aspire to, but many seem to throw it away by aping, consciously or unconsciously, the blocky, shoulder-dominated movements of men. Again–another attempt to fit in with men? Either way, not sexy and not feminine.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @(R)Evolutionary
      Good to see you! Thanks for your thoughtful commentary. I have to agree about profanity, though for me it is something that I respond differently to depending on the person’s age. I know a woman my age who constantly swears, and I can barely stand to listen to her speak. On the other hand, I’m used to hearing some swear words from young women. Profanity has definitely worked its way into the everyday language of of college students. In either case, it’s crass, and I would definitely advise women to ease up. After graduation, such language will certainly not be well received professionally, and if it’s too ingrained in speech it becomes difficult to omit.

  • Plain Jane

    Revolutionary, many people have noted that low-class has become mainstream in the US. Do you ever watch American television? Lowest common denominator behaviour is normalized on it so thats what people grow up thinking is normal, mainstream behaviour and indeed, it has become so. I’m so embarrassed when I’m abroad and the people have satellite TV beaming in our television. And yes, foreigners DO think we are ALL like that. Can we prove them wrong?
    Nonetheless, I still say there is hope yet for this country. I just tune out the negative and focus on the positive, of which there is still a lot.

  • terre

    Jane, you’ve missed my point again (in fact, you’re describing my own argument back at me). That PUA — and by extension, yourself — didn’t claim that technology liberated women from domestic drudgery (which it did); he claimed that it was due to feminism (which it wasn’t). You’re now being so incoherent that you’re trying to make some kind of point about consumerism (?) being “to blame” for women’s state: would those be the consumer products our PUA friend so avidly adores, since they decorate and sexify up the womenfolk so? Either consumer products are great (which you and the PUA apparently think they are) or they’re not. Which is it?
    .
    I don’t really know or care if people are romanticizing the 50s, since the institution of monogamy and sex differentiation did not depend on a ten-year window in history and appears to have thrived quite contentedly for thousands of years prior. Maybe it was all rows of Ward and June Cleavers, maybe not.

  • Plain Jane

    @terre, the PUA celebrates consumerism because it makes women that he picks up look better, in his opinion, than they would if they weren’t consumers. Do pedicured feet look better than a farmer’s or gardner’s un-pedicured feet? Sure. So he likes that. Its not something I’m game for. As long as my feet are clean and toenails clipped, a little roughness is inevitable if you are using your feet, so what’s the big deal? While he and I agree on what factors make Americans the way they are today, we disagree on whether or not all of it is a good thing. However, I’ll take his attitude anyday over these crazed MRAs in the manosphere.
    If a woman doesn’t want to be pumped and dumped by a PUA all she has to do is say, “ciao dude”.

  • terre

    One would be surprised how few women do say “ciao dude”. That’s what PUAs learn game for.

  • halo

    I’m confused. So I have to wear skirts, makeup, and pretend to be stupid to be feminine?

    I don’t care if you think uggs, jeans & hoodies don’t flatter my figure. I am not dressing for you!!! I am dressing for me. I have anemia. I am always cold, so even if you begged me to wear more feminine clothes, I would still have to wear 3 layers of them.

    Skirts? You have to be kidding me. Please see above. Very feminine & sexy to have to wear leggings over tights under a skirt & still be cold.

    Makeup? If I have time. If I don’t guess what? You get to see what skin looks like. OMG, can you handle it, Beyonce?

    I refuse to pretend to be stupid. Any man who can’t keep up wouldn’t be in the running anyway.

    And the times I have been more demure? “Sat down & shut up”??? When I got tired of the boor and stopped returning his calls, it was like an invitation to stalk me for weeks! What had he done? What had he said? He hoped I’d speak up if he had crossed a line, blah blah blah fucking blah. Much better to speak your mind the whole time & blow demure out your ass. Why should I have to lie? It’s BS.

  • Lupo

    Lavazza: “how come the Soviets was given so much influence over the Eastern bloc countries?”

    Because Truman was a naive dimwit who didn’t let Patton march to Moscow like he wanted to?

  • Lavazza

    Lupo: Well, if you think that would have been a good idea, USA should have waited even longer before fighting the Nazis. If by “defeated the Nazis” you mean “singlehandedly” or “killed/wore down the most Nazis” no historian will agree with you.

    Anyway, for your “what if” question you can go here and present your view:

    http://blizzforums.com/showthread.php?2612-1946-The-3rd-army-invades-Russia.

    I am not interested in your view on the question.

  • ExNewYorker

    @Susan
    This is an interesting quote of yours…

    I believe that a problem we have today in the U.S. is that women have suppressed the feminine, and have become a lot more masculine.

    .
    My wife and I were abroad over Thanksgiving, and managed to overlap the trip with a visit from my youngest brother (single since last summer), and I talked to him a couple of weeks later, seeing what he was up to and what he did after we’d left.
    .
    He was happily enjoying being single in NYC before traveling, but the first thing he noticed abroad was that the women were “feminine” . His NYC dating, while fruitful, was stressful, requiring him to deal with women who, as he described it,”hated and loved being women, all in the span of the same minute”. To deal with these “neurotic” women required a level of effort and artifice, that frankly, was exhausting to him. Abroad, the women actually enjoyed being women…and did not see his maleness as competition or a challenge, but a difference to be accepted. It’ll be interesting when he gets back to NYC, to see how he readjusts, but he already has taken a summer job overseas (in yet another country), so he’s voting with his feet, so to speak…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @ExNewYorker
      I’m not surprised by your story. To be honest, when I visited my daughter in Florence last year, I was struck by how feminine the women there were. European dress very smartly, so that’s part of it, but there’s also a regal female dignity in their posture and the way they move. Even the women over 60 looked pretty good – much better than the men!
      .
      I can only guess, but if an American woman could cultivate that in herself, and “read” as a feminine creature without artifice or any of the unfeminine behaviors outlined in the post, she might attract a higher quality of men by appearing to be someone who won’t be P&D’d.

  • troy

    American women can blame themselves for why alot of american guys are gravitating
    toward asian/foreign women.The truth why this is happening isn’t because of a sexual stereotype (that they are tighter) or that they are more submissive or easily controlled.Its not even because the guys think that foreign women are thinner,better looking etc..its because alot of american females are hellbent on denigrating men:publicly and privately and are content to run a smear campaign against men.Its been going on for decades and the post feminist generation who had zero to do w/oppressing women are bearing the brunt of alot of this pisstaking and that is your worst mistake–that will sever all ties and burn all the bridges.Coupled with alot of modern women with unreal expectations of men (“i want a guy of high monetary value,white picket fence,attractive,tall,large crank etc etc”) and that elitist,perfectionist mentality is driving the gap even further.

  • the truth

    Now, Okay ive read through some comments…this is ridiculous.First off there are PLENTY of us (white american guys) that are not obsessed with our women being thin,perfect and looking like they came off a covergirl shoot.We (white men) prefer our women and continue to date,sex,marry etc. white women (regardless of what their weight etc..is) What was it the last time i checked?? Still around 95% of american white guys are married to american white women or something.There is no mass exodus of white guys seeking out thin,asian or (insert nationality or race here) women.MOST date exclusively women our own nationality and race to boot-contrary to what some may propagate or try to social engineer some folks to believe all over the net among other mediums.I could see how a gal could come across some of the trash written here and go away completely angry,ticked-off,frustrated and having a general feeling of inadequacy (especially if she is a white american woman/girl) Everyone has their flaws get the h-ll over it already—-so in closing again MOST american men <3 AND accept american women regardless of their flaws (or perceived flaws) PERIOD

  • Cercando di capire

    @Susan “To be honest, when I visited my daughter in Florence last year, I was struck by how feminine the women there were”
    .
    Me too!. But c’mon, tell the truth now. The men seemed kinda “feminine too” ( in scare quotes because I’m not convinced that this is a true feminine) compared to American men now didn’t they? The kissing on the cheek. The ironed jeans. The perfect shoes. The relatively slender builds. The poetry of language (a guy tells me , “la primavera non si sentiva”…which is barely translatable because we just don’t express ourselves that way in English).
    .
    And since Italian women are among the oldest to marry and have one of the lowest birthrates in the world, surely you can’t be saying that they are more feminine?
    .
    Cultural values/behaviors that are shared between men and women do not equate with true femininity if the men also share those values and behaviors.  Which is why you really can’t say that American women are “more masculine” if those behaviors have value in some settings such as in the labor market–like competition and negotiation and being bossy.
    .
    I do give the Italians (and other countries) props for maintaining positive cultural norms—instead of pandering to the lowest common denominator of consumerism. They simply have expectations which  render it easier for individuals to maintain their health and look good despite smoking more and possibly drinking more.  For example conspicuous overeating and getting shit-faced are cultural no-nos among friends and acquaintances.
    .
    Can’t say that for the US though. Hell my Dad used to be brag about overeating–that is, before diabetes kicked in. I love my Dad but sometimes but some of the things he does…like making a big production out of farting and letting everybody know about it. My husband’s ( Italiano) Dad wears a tie, shirt and slacks EVERY DAY and always smells nice and keeps his farts too himself. Oh, how oh how did American men lose their masculinity? (joking).
     

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Cercando

    You make some good points. Cultural context is very important. I think for European women, displaying as feminine is very important. It must be – you see 60 yo women wearing high heels on cobblestones. Here in the US, we’ll switch into sneakers or flip flops on our way to work, even with a skirt! That’s really what I was getting at.

  • Athlone McGinnis

    @Cercando: While I would agree that there is certainly some cultural component to the masculine/feminine divide, I’d still say there is definitely a strong biological basis for it to.
     
    While Italian men do exhibit some characteristics we’d call feminine in the way they groom themselves, many players I’m familiar with online would argue that they’re actually among the more “alpha” men around, especially in Europe. There are also many who would argue that the way your father in law dresses is indeed quintessentially masculine, and that American men have in fact lost their masculinity by failing to take pride in the way they dress.
     
    There are behavioral and physical traits(and preferences, etc) linked to the different sexes that do transcend culture. Gender isn’t an entirely social construct.
     
    As for the birthrate issue and its link to femininity, like I said before, I do think motherhood and the pursuits linked to it are crucial aspects of what it means to be feminine. That being said, even Hillary Clinton is a mother. There are other physical and behavioral factors that constitute one’s level of femininity. A lack of a high birth rate does not necessarily mean that the female population is not feminine.

  • sharpfight

    Obisdain,

    you are a moronic fat bastard. The average American woman’s height is 5’3”. Average weight is 160 pounds.

  • Gss

    I’m a guy. I find compassion and a nice smile to be irresistible almost regardless of her facial beauty. A woman who likes to give hugs is amazingly sexy. A feminine woman is one that likes to be intimate. She likes to get close but in an innocent way. She’s not “trying to get laid” like some american women put it these days. I met a very feminine once……once. So I know what to look for, she was perfect. I would ask her, “where do you want to go?”. And she would say….much to my surprise, “I want you to pick”. Oh boy, that was so sexy. I arrived to pick her up for a date once and she had something that she needed to return in the mail and she didn’t know what to do so she handed it to me and asked me to help her with it. That’s sexy. She wasn’t easy by any means. It took me about 3 months to finally get her in bed. She wouldn’t let me kiss her the first night I met her. I tried. She liked me. She geniuinely loved being with me and having fun with me. I think that was the most striking difference between her and most american women. She also played video games with me sometimes. I loved her so much that I would randomly bring her red roses. She would hang them on her wall upside down. She was amazing.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry but these comments and generalizations about American Men hating American Women letting themselves go are HILARIOUS to me, because I walk down the street and I have never seen so many fat, unattractive men in my life.

    I am an attractive, healthy, trim American Woman and I’m tired of looking at all the fatty men and listening to them talk about how they deserve an attractive fit female and gripping about overweight women. You guys have been deluded by the media that you deserve this. It’s not realistic. I agree that looks are important and so is sexual attraction! I *love* looking at attractive men, and many of the younger generation of women do too and we want mates we are attracted to as well!

    What I have a problem with is the double standard- If you don’t take care of yourself you don’t deserve a woman who does! Be realistic! Sheesh! You deserve what you are yourself!

  • Brian Bailey

    Hmm…lots of good comments covering various angles of this topic. When I was 26 I moved to Japan from Canada and found the women there to be captivating. What I love about Japanese women (and yes, I am generalizing) is their sense of time and place. That is, different behaviours apply to different situations. It keeps things somewhat mysterious and that is so sexy! I do not want to know everything about the person I am interested in right off the bat. I want to find out gradually and occasionally be surprised, especially when it comes to sex. I’m not in a rush to have sex right away, and find that assumption from women to be a turn-off. I like the game. North American women (once again, generalizing) are too direct and completely miss the point that being equal does not mean being the same. Men are NOT interested in competing with women.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Brian

      Great comment, thanks for sharing that perspective that comes from living in another culture.

  • http://masirjones.blogspot.com MaSir Jones

    First off. Happy New Year!

    I’ve been doing my own analysis and research around this topic after visiting Asia recently and even living there for a few years and I agree with Susan’s assessment for the most part, but let’s get down to brass tax shall we?

    At one point in my life I had a French boss who summed up all the reasons why he couldn’t stand American women. Everything from being very manly, opinionated, fat, husky, demanding, snarky, etc etc. I chuckled a bit because at the time I didn’t understand what he was talking about. I was born and raised in the US my entire life and believed this to be the norm. Isn’t this how most females carry themselves in the world today?? Wow. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Now I realize that America is very hell-bent on being P.C. and maintaining this notion of “high self esteem” for everyone, especially women. The issue with this is that very few American women want to face the reality that the world doesn’t revolve this way. I say with conviction that most men want women who possess feminine traits just as most women want men who possess masculine ones. In other words, they aren’t rugged, sexpots like Angelina Jolie, but also can show winsome and then some. They aren’t fat and won’t go calling you an asshole because you pointed out a simple fact. Look, at least you can do something about your weight. What about the guy who is 5’6 and every woman he encounters says to him, “I only like tall guys. It feels more masculine” or the infamous, “I only date white guys. Sorry not into Asian guys. They just don’t seem masculine enough.” Does that stop me from pursuing to better myself and be more masculine? No, because we’re men we should be able to take such constructive criticism. At least that’s what’s been communicated to me.

    Speaking of which, notice the trend of American men and their growing interest for Asian or European nationalities (ethnicities too but I want to specify nationality here)? Just go on Craigslist and conduct a search for how many men are looking for one. As Troy and Brian mentioned above, ask yourself why do you think that is? I’ll echo the spirit of this article and many other male commenters — The American woman doesn’t know how to be feminine anymore. Yes, I said it. The idea is absolutely foreign to her. Sad part is, she refuses to do anything about it because her high self-esteem (more like protective ego) mindset kicks in and says, “Men should like me for just the way I am.”

    LOL…Yes just like American women should be more “open minded” and not just look for a guy who is tall, confident, funny, chilvarous, ambitious, athletic, rich, maybe even white on many occasions and definitely MASCULINE.

  • Babydoll

    This is an interesting post. I’m only starting to go through the older posts on this site and there are plenty to get through!

    A couple of things:

    1. Feminism has ensured I have a career, or the option to have one but it hasn’t made it easier for me to get married. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so ambitious and independent. These traits were encouraged in me by my parents who were high achieving professionals, but looking back on my upbringing I think they focused too much on equipping me to succeed in a male-dominated profession and didn’t spend enough time on teaching me to be feminine. And I mean feminine specifically to attract and retain a good man to start a family with. Instead, my father encouraged me to be one of the boys and my mother wanted to guard my virtue by placing me in a tower ala Rapunzel. I find myself somewhat bewildered in the dating world. I know I am attractive to men but no one has ever proposed. I struggle to find what must be the necessary balance between driven career woman with balls when need be, and sexy cuddly woman that men want to protect and spoonfeed. If anyone knows the magic formula, I’d love to know it.

    2. Regarding the trend of white men and Asian women, could this just be an effect of globalisation and an increasingly smaller world in terms of travel and communication? In other words, the two are merely having more exposure to each other? I am South East Asian myself and have never had an Asian partner though I have been on dates with Asian men. I think I am too feisty for them. Though I must admit that I am the typical Asian most men think of, I imagine the typical Asian female that white men dream of are demure, submissive, walk two paces behind their men and never contradict them?

  • Babydoll

    Oops I meant I am *not* the typical Asian woman

  • http://masirjones.blogspot.com MaSir Jones

    @Babydoll

    If anyone knows the magic formula, I’d love to know it.

    There’s no magic formula for that one. There is however a way to optimize all of your female assets from your physicality to your personality. It requires a woman to be surrounded in that environment where femininity is embraced and not shunned by other female peers like it is here in America. It means being open to experimentation and letting go of your current paradigm in order to find that delicate balance between ambition and femininity.

    You say you’re someone of Asian descent. Well for starters, have you ever been to your parents’ motherland in Asia or visited Europe to see how women are like over there? It’s amazing to see women who actually take care of their complexion, wear cute skirts regularly, do their hair and makeup everyday all the while carrying a confident and professional demeanor.

    That said, being ambitious doesn’t mean that you have to lose touch of your femininity as a woman. Let’s take for instance, Marilyn Monroe from the 50s-60s. She was ambitious enough to make it into the incredibly challenging entertainment industry at the time. Whether she got there by pleasing a lot of men behind closed doors I don’t know. What I do know is that she is a notable female figure who is also the poster child of femininity for lot of men. If I were to choose some more modern women, what about Meg Ryan and Diane Lane? I think those two are quite feminine.

    Regarding the trend of white men and Asian women, could this just be an effect of globalisation and an increasingly smaller world in terms of travel and communication? In other words, the two are merely having more exposure to each other?

    No. I disagree. Globalization, yes. But how do you explain the lopsidedness of interracial couples out there. Though you follow it up with…

    Though I must admit that I am the typical Asian not most men think of, I imagine the typical Asian female that white men dream of are demure, submissive, walk two paces behind their men and never contradict them?

    Most of my white male friends don’t dream of Asian women being any of those, nor do I as an Asian-American male. Women in Asia can be feistier and harsher toward men than women over here in the states, nor do they walk two paces behind their men. Your stereotypes are outdated and sound like something extrapolated from Hollywood.

    You might have seen the link in my last comment which is to say I’ve started doing my own analysis and started blogging about this topic myself. Maybe you should check it out and you’ll see that even women in Asia have difficulty with this, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Hell, I’ve had some of the worst rejections from females that would make some men cry and just throw in the towel, but that never stopped me from doing what women argue men should be doing more often which is approaching with confidence.

    With that, I’ll say that the magic formula doesn’t exist. Instead, the magic lies within the variables of the femininity equation that you may not have ever considered as being significant. You want an example of one?

    For starters, be cute and cuddly once in a while.

  • Anyman American

    Bravo to the feminazi who can only refer to the other half of procreation as “the male” of the species. Boy we sure have come a long way from placing a label on the different genders in this country (said with the greatest of sarcasm meant).
    If we want to just boil everything down into the lowest common denominator, lets just elect a sex-free, world leader and all women are good for is eggs, and all men are good for is sperm.
    If you want to be a robot to your genitalia, then by all means, keep up this line of thinking. If you want to join in the human experience, then get over yourself and our collective past and learn how to appreciate the french toast you reference in this article “Vive la difference”.
    I am sure that you will soon see how women who subscribe to your philosophy end up alone and wondering “whats wrong with all these guys” when the real question all along should have been “whats wrong with being different”.
    Good luck in your loneliness and I hope you don’t drag too many women down with you on your descent into obsolescence!

  • Xia

    Wow,
    Looks like you gotta lotta negative remarks to this article. Good! Ure making waves. How lovely! I support what you say & would like to express that I’m currently finding my own sense of femininity- disdained with how masculine & aggressive I had been raised/developed.

    <3.

  • http://www.alchemymeditations.com James

    And also – ‘wiles’ is just code word for ‘class’ and that’s what makes you charming.. classiness, femininity, submissiveness, (this you would disagree with because you have this idea that men are all tyrants and etc. etc.) I personally do like a degree of intelligence in a girl.. that doesn’t mean though that she should compete with the guy.. there has to be no competition in any way.. all that bs came from the feminist movement.. All girls want to do is compete with guys, and become guys; nowadays. Whether it’s sexual promiscuity, being rowdy and violent, acting tough and independent, they are constantly competing with guys.. Yes, you can be intelligent, please don’t be stupid.. But that doesn’t mean that you should be constantly correcting your guy and controlling him.. LET GO and let HIM..

  • http://www.alchemymeditations.com James

    The guy who referred to the ‘penetration’ metaphor had it right.. That is a direct symbolism of the relationship between men and women. Yes it’s also for depositing sperm as she said, the same way that life is deposited into a relationship by a woman’s submission to her honorable husband.

  • Andrei

    Wow. So much debate!
    Well simply yes most men are attracted to thin women.
    I don’t know if men or women define femininity.
    Although I believe what men consider feminine is a set of actions that enables them to consider the woman “pleasant” and is a biologically driven desire.
    It is interesting to argue this but at the end of the day for practical advice I will say you can never win. Because nobody likes all sets of actions at any given point. A man may like a feminine woman in private and want aggression in public or vice versa and they may judge you for taking a feminine action when they felt you should have taken a masculine action.
    Also it seems feminine is considered by men to be simply indicators of higher estrogen and thus indicators of a “good” mother (biologically). Also a feminine woman is considered more approachable where as an “aggressive” woman would in a man’s eyes be more likely to reject him.
    As someone who has a powerful body build and is tall men always seem to think aggression will be accompanied by it and seek me for that reason only to become frustrated by my “feminine” antics. And that is why I said that although the debate of this topic is interesting… in real life it isn’t so useful.

  • Andrei

    Also in response to James I don’t understand what this whole competition with men is about. Loud women are nothing new, before it was just socially accepted to shut them up. And it still is. Men PERCEIVE women to be attacking them. Just as a woman would perceive a man who disagrees with her to be putting her down. Neither is true in all circumstances. And the perception has to do with our desire to be accepted by the opposite sex. No one feels good when someone attacks you and a loud voice is indicators to us of an attack.
    Look at everything objectively. Accept how much influence our animal instincts have in our social interactions. Femininity is not a hard defined characteristic. Neither is masculinity. In situations where you find yourself saying wow he/she is so feminine/masculine, ask yourself what is at the base of that reaction. Logical? I am a meditator and I have learned that the sensation comes first… unpleasant… then the emotions and thoughts (rationalization and explanation).

  • http://becommingofyou.weebly.com Gina

    I was inspired to look into femininity because I spoke with a man recently that said he wanted a feminine woman. It made sense to me because I want a masculine man. It had me thinking though, what is feminine exactly?

    My belief is it’s a attitude, set a qualities and style of behavior. However, I believe there are different types of femininity. I believe that being feminine is a power that can not be taken away from you. It comes from the source of tenderness, caring, sentiment, listening, empathy, assertiveness, self-confidence, self-love, appreciating the beauty in life, anything natural and also the desire to feel good about yourself both inside and out, to smell good, to appear attractive (in whatever form you think that is). I mean obviously a woman who isn’t feminine may be acting like a drunk man, burping, farting, having short-messy- non-styled hair, making sharp hand gestures, speaking in a deep, blunt voice, etc….

    So I believe that being feminine is really desiring to be with a masculine energy (and, not to the degree I described above!) The truth is we all have masculine and feminine combined qualities, I believe that depending on what degree is what makes others a good fit, and others not with their energies balancing each other out. I enjoy a manly man, but I do appreciate a bit of femininity as far as him enjoying taking care of his appearance, hygiene, and being polite and non-abrasive. Just as I am a feminine woman but I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, I’m not a damsel in distress but I do not claim to be stronger than a man physically and do not mind a man taking the lead, but in that case in order to respect a man to let him take the lead, the man has to truly respect the woman.

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  • Jasmin

    @Susan,

    I’m confused. You begin the article by saying that you don’t know what femininity is. You conclude it by writing that you are going to list specific feminine qualities and how to practice them. Hmmmmm. You bring up some wonderful points, particularly about today’s young women and the unfortunate take they have on what it means to be feminine. I must say that although modernguy expressed himself with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer, if you look below the surface of what he said you’ll find that he has a valid point. Why not engage him further and see what else he has to say? Yes, you can be soft, vulnerable and strong. Frankly, I don’t hold out much hope for a return to a truly feminine American woman. For those women who do get it, the hills are alive with the sound of men, longing for a girly girl. Your rather loud and aggressive dismissal of a man who was trying to make a point you disagreed with doesn’t give me much hope for the rest of your series. I’ll read it anyway,though. Obviously, you are an inteligent, thoughtful woman. BTW, the reason that men don’t easily commit to women today is because they have become desensitized to the the hamfisted way that today’s women flaunt, well just about EVERYTHING, including, of course, their sexuality. In short, men don’t have any reason to be intrigued. These women don’t realize that a normal guy can get excited just by seeing beautifully painted TOENAILS, or a woman in a pretty, flattering summer dress.

  • Jasmin

    I’m addition, I blame a lot of the loss of feminine my story on OPRAH!! She singularly ushered in the trend of telling every #%{^|< thing about ourselves within five minutes of meeting someone. Hey, let's bring all of our baggage to this party! Women today want to be "real"which they unfortunately interpret to mean, ahem, oversharing.
    What a bore.

  • Rice n Beans

    American women have not lost their femininity because femininity cannot be created or destroyed, just transferred.

  • Jasmin

    “Mystery”‘ not “my story.” Dang iPad!

  • Jasmin

    Touché! LOL!

  • http://www.eternalplanner.com Voice of Reason

    Hey,

    Feminism, whatever, call it what you want, has had 1 major drawback that is putting our whole society at risk.

    1) Birth rates in the Western world are plummeting [look it up for yourself, the statistics are everywhere]

    Why is that? Because women a) Are more interested in making money (have sick mentality of trying to one-up and compete with men, as if it was a game) b) Have less time (in some cases, no time) to raise kids.

    Men aren’t good at taking care of kids. Did you know that merely holding a baby causes a man’s testosterone levels to drop precipitously? [Go ahead and look this up as well] Why would you ever want to put a man in that kind of situation??

    Meanwhile, women who are breadwinners/ corporate execs etc. have actually become less happy! [Look this one up as well]

    Someone commented earlier about defining what makes a woman feminine. Feminine = supporting the man. Period.

    This means supporting the man in terms of 1) Bearing children 2) Taking care of those children 3) Raising children 4) Making a good environment for children to grow up in.

    Am I saying that women should all quit their jobs? No. But YES if you want to get married and have a family. At least work a job that gives you flexibility so you can prioritize completing your womanly duties of raising children.

    So women have to make a decision. If you want the fancy job, money, independence etc. Go ahead and have a high-powered career and climb that corporate ladder. NO ONE REALLY CARES! But don’t expect men to be particularly attracted to you, find you a good catch, or want to marry you. Sure, they will have sex with you. But it’s a different story when men are looking for someone to settle down with. Guys will banter with you, you can be like one of the guys, talk dirty and even hook up with as many guys as you want. But don’t EVER EVER expect marriage. If you ever do sucker a guy into marrying you, it will most likely be doomed from the start.

    If you want to get married, then do what I mentioned earlier. Make raising children your priority. This will make you the MOST ATTRACTIVE to men, hands down because that’s the way God made it.

    This is why that hot au-pair is more attractive wife material than that hot Magazine Editor for a big magazine who has no time for anything else. Nothing will ever change this. NOTHING.

    God made women as a support for men. This is the way men and women BOTH feel the most satisfied in the relationship. Not just one or the other, BOTH.

    If America doesn’t get it’s act together, we will fall behind Arab countries and the Muslim world, whose birth rates are HEAD AND SHOULDERS above ours. Why? Because over there, the women actually support men by rearing children, instead of here, where we have to compete with women as if they were men.

    There is such a thing as universal truth and things that don’t change with time. Things like male-female relationships fall under this category. These things are NOT EVOLVING. They don’t. Accept it.

  • sally

    It’s very funny to me that modernguy thinks femininity equals not smart. Femininity is ALL about smarts! Just very, very well covered-up smarts. ;)

  • Mikala

    I am actually writing a paper on the topic that women are loosing their femininity. From a young age you are told that you are just like all the boys out there, and that is not true. Boys and girls are meant to be different, and, news flash, different does not mean worse. Women deserve the same respect as men, but also need to embrace the differences that make them a women.
    I am a soft more in high school and last year, I felt the pressure to conform into the tom boy picture that in modern times describes a strong modern women. I wore t-shirt and jeans everyday and didn’t bother to do more then brush my hair in the morning. The one day that I did wear a skirt, my girl friends would hardly talk to me because I was being too much of a girl. I felt pressured and humiliated and not comfortable in my own skin; needless to say that I went back to my normal attire. This year, I have made new friends and devoted the school year to find the inner girl in me; I am wearing make up for the first time in my life, I wear what I want, when I want, and because I want to, and I have never felt more like a women nor have I ever been happier. I feel like a stronger women because I don’t let others pressure me, AND I feel like a women instead of a boy in a bra.
    Today, there is so much pressure to just give all that you have away up front and dress like a slut, or show nothing at all dressing like a boy. I don’t do either of those now and find myself being the out-lire at my school; some people even say that they remind them of the way a housewife would dress, but I feel so confident that I don’t care. Being feminine has really changed me as a women for the better, and young girls are being brainwashed into thinking that it makes them lesser. I don’t feel lesser.

  • Plain Jane

    sally August 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    It’s very funny to me that modernguy thinks femininity equals not smart. Femininity is ALL about smarts! Just very, very well covered-up smarts. ;)
    —-

    What’s particularly “feminine” about “covering up smarts”?

  • Mikala

    Plain Jane
    Guys get intimidated by women that are smarter then them or are better then them in general. In my opinion, we don’t have to dumb ourselves down, we just have to make it so we aren’t making them feel bad. No one wants to feel stupid.

  • Mikala

    That is, not are.

  • Jasmin

    @Mikala,

    Kudos to you for embracing the beauty of femininity. You will definitely have to deal with the haters. Some women are threatened by the power of a woman who embraces her feminine energy. Let those friends go, or gently try to bring them into the fold. Courage!

  • Ed C

    Im tired of woman that cant smile, or are a spoiled little snob like alot here in small town’s,
    no one owes them anything its time for them to wake up and quit having this borderline spoiled , or butch attitude.where are the feminine woman that are nice, and treat you like a person and not like whatever thier attitude is at the moment.
    Not into had looking woman trying to compete with guys out of thier own insecurity.

  • http://dudester5@wordpress.com Dudester

    @PlainJane:
    That was the point of Terre’s argument: societies that provide no formal mechanism for male investment in certain progeny remain, comparatively at least, less advanced because the male then has no incentive to work for another’s offspring. The 1 study you quote (versus many that attest to the contrary) refer to either polyandric or matriarchal cultural traditions which do indeed exist; but if you looked at his reference, you’d see historical hypergamic outcomes mapped nicely. Look it up.

  • Cara

    There are femininity in all walks of life.

  • wondering

    always likeing the woman in the 60’s and 70’s
    how they acted and what they wore and carried themselves,
    I thought Mary Frann on Newhart a few yrs ago was incredible,
    woooow what a woman,
    and mary tyler moore was always really something too.
    I liked Carol Burnett, and Suzanne the wife of Ted Baxter on mary tyler more,
    they were feminine,but with a sense of confidence and personableness that i alway’s liked,
    Julie on Love boat would totallly wooooo me
    ohhh hunnnny
    these kind of woman id go nuts over,
    but the ones like stephenie on Newhart were worthless,
    snob;s and spoiled brat’s,

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  • spok

    Yeah, eh….. women are not watching their figures anymore. They are wearing jeans everywhere, have zero fashion sense, never flirt, and so on and so forth. Lastly, most women actually look manly these days. Not oddly enough, the men have become more feminine than the women, what with their man boobs and so on and so forth. The wrong people had kids. End of mystery.

  • Timber

    Women should not aspire to be like men. The same way men should not aspire to be like women. Both sexes should understand that they are biologically different and respect each others differences. Men are naturally geared towards being breadwinners while women are geared towards child birth and raising children. This does not mean women cannot excel in professional fields, just that the naturally defined roles are different.
    Being feminine is natural for women, being masculine natural for men.
    Life is a celebration of differences.

  • Loneranger

    Gentle, well mannered, polite, courteous, educated, intelligent, perfume, nice dress sense, nice smile, old fashioned values, loving, kind, caring, patient and compassionate are all the highly desirable qualities that make girls and women feminie or lady like.

    On the other hand.

    Loud, arrogant, boistorous, agressive, egotistical, poor dress sense, foul offensive language and tatoos makes for a masculine or modern day feminist woman which puts most men right off unless he is a male who likes to be dominated and controlled or he has a low self esteem or he likes these types of women which is a minority of men.

    Males and Females are born with distinct or different phyisical and emotional makeups. It is when when women decide to defy mother nature and take on the male characteristics ie try to be less feminine and more masculine or male like then they are being feminst and all that does in the bigger picture of life is cause problems, friction and conflict in relationships and in the work place.

    Feminist is artificial or synthetic female made/invented and not of mother nature or what mother nature intended for women.

    That is why there are far more single men today of all ages who prefer to live a simple, happier and peaceful life and not get involved with women as so many of todays women are feminst and that puts off most men.

    Women be the real you and not be what is popular or to fit in with the mainstream or be leftout in the cold. Don’t follow the flock of sheep.

    Most men prefer gentle, well mannered, educated, intelligent feminine women. Fact.

    I rest my case.

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  • Dave

    Guys,

    After having resided in Europe, I can tell you from my own personal experience as well as those of my fellow American men that European women definitely are much more feminine (soft, less loud, resourceful, less fat, supportive, nurturing) than most American women I’ve come across. I often tell my friends here in the US that when you make eye contact with a European women, the feeling you get is much more heartfelt, feminine, and sincere. Of course, this is only just personal experiences of myself and numerous American men who have resided in Europe and have decided to reside there for these very reasons. ;) American ladies, take heed….you have needs as women too….recognize them.

  • Mikala

    A lot of people here are hating on the passive women: women have been fighting the great fight preaching strength and power doesn’t always mean masculinity. This means that a woman doesn’t have to be like a man to be strong and powerful, meaning that a woman can be feminine– IE, sweet and soft– while still being strong and influential. Women have this idea in their heads that they have to hate men (and ironically try to imitate their natural brashness that they claim to hate) in order to have their voice heard.
    That seems counter productive, no?
    Yes. Very, very counterproductive of what our fore mothers have fought for when they wanted us equal to our male counter parts: Equal shouldn’t be confused with being the same.

  • Lunastaria

    Femininity is the ability to be compassionate , wise, and vulnerable.

    Even the smartest , more independent, and rich working career woman can pull this off. Despite having a masculine stocky body build, she can “STILL” pull this off.

    All you have to do is show the man you have weaknesses, that you do need him, being needed is what men want. If you do everything you become his caretaker, his mother, and that is not a real relationship of equals.

    So, when a man and children are sick, you nurture and support them, when they are sad, you guide them with wisdom and you counsel them, and you show the female ability to multi-task. That is what men need. Many men actually have their wives handling their finances, because even though men make the wealth, they can’t multi-task and plan it!

    They need responsibility and intelligence, they need a companion to discuss and debate with, that’s a true long-term partnership… Common ground and things shared in common that you both enjoy, and the ability to talk and properly communicate feelings…

    Not all women like gentlemanly chivalry, and not all men are chivalrous, but if women show vulnerability, they can find the correct man that deserves them.

  • Lunastaria

    I’m half french, maybe that’s why I’m naturally feminine, but its really an attitude you adopt. You shouldn’t be “demure”, you should be a teamwork player who appreciates her own vulnerabilities and admits them. Let the man have a role, let him help you, don’t do it all yourself, and show him that you need a team.

    Both men and women should be healthy and eat good diets and exercise, men do preen for women in their own way, but I don’t think makeup is necessary, you should find men that appreciate your inner true beauty. Which, is showing wisdom , kindness, and vulnerability!

    Don’t scare them away, try to be inviting and honest open about what you can’t do yourself, about how a man would possibly fit into your lifestyle.

  • Lunastaria

    Oh, I Love to talk, and I mean I Love to talk, but I don’t try to be negative, its just everyone has their own opinions, and you know I don’t think women know what they are doing when they are “nagging” or being “shrill”, I think its just something we do when we get in a negative bad moon, it isn’t our fault for it.

    Men think its easier to sit there and be silent, because you are men, my brain doesn’t work that way. On the average women just talk more, which means we complain more, we want things better, and we want to communicate our need to make life better, instead of sitting in complacent apathy like men and just living in squalor….

  • Lunastaria

    Oh get this, the effeminate thing is totally a french european thing, my father acts the same exact way!! The Ironing, the sensitive effeminate all the way!! It’s just in the DNA. Despite growing up in America, he’s always been that way, and I grew up as a truly feminine girl despite being surrounded by American feminism!!

    There’s nothing wrong with effeminate men, its just called being European…
    Sure, its odd in America, but a genetic thing… oddly enough, none of his brothers act as effeminate as my father does, but they are all nice gentleman…

  • Lunastaria

    Oh I really do agree with that, if men want women to be slimmer and romantic, why don’t men start being slimmer romantic gentlemen? It takes two to tango, so unfortunately we are stuck this way, with both sides unable to learn how to dance.

    What slim hot girl wants a fat lazy dude? They’d go after the slim pool of men who are already taken, but then other men could finally wake up and lose weight when they see the girls getting slimmer? Time to bring back romance boys!! Women want to be woo’d !! We’ve missed it !

  • Gary A.

    As a male in his 30’s, I don’t think women in the U.S. have lost femininity, so much as they’ve had to step up to the plate. I swear, TOO MANY males I see just aren’t cutting it. They’re weak, passive, lazy, etc. As a result, women NEED to step up and fill the void, and if it means putting 1 of us in our place if we’re getting it done, then that’s what they have to do!

  • GirlgoneSMART

    I’m just gonna write as it comes to me, so hold on to your hats (this may be a bit disjointed):

    I find it so ridiculous that women all over this country are not outraged by how low we have sunk. And we have sunk LOW.

    We live in a society that puts perky tits and ass on a phallic pedestal.

    Mothers however, are ranked at the bottom…regarded with an unenthusiastic “meh”.
    Older women are simply invisible as well as women who are overweight or not considered pretty.
    Girls are taught from a very early age where their value lies (in their looks) largely, by the media. Parents can do all that they can to instill values and confidence, however, kids watch TV and surf the Internet frequently.

    Women on television are constantly bearing their breasts and asses.
    You can’t turn on TV without seeing the obligatory boob reveal or gyrating strip club scene.
    Women are actually being turned away from working in porn because there are an overabundance of us lining up to display themselves.
    And am I wrong in thinking there is something fundamentally f’ed about shows like Game of Thrones that throw tits and ass in our face with the frequency of strobe light flicker?
    Seriously…if they kick it up a notch ,(which I’m not even sure is actually possible) you may need to call 911, because I’ll be on the floor seizing.

    I had even read an article that one of the actresses on the show refuses to show her breasts anymore. Good for you. Literally. Good FOR you.
    SNL even did a parody on the amount of female nudity and BOOBAGE on the show.

    In addition to the TV, we have clothing brands with their raunchy barely legal ads. I passed one in the city and I threw up in my mouth a little.
    The girl is on her back with her legs spread up in the air…her face peering out from between her thighs, expression like a doe eyed deer on valium…sucking on a freaking lollipop.
    Really?? I’m not even sure I know what the actual outfit even looks like with the way she’s positioned…and I’m willing to bet I’ll never wear the outfit and assume that ridiculous pose. Its obvious what these freaks are peddling and I don’t buy diarrhea. No thanks. All I see is an object…and I’m not talking about the dum dum (the lollipop).

    It’s frightening that these ads run and no one vomits on them. That little girls can walk by that ad…and catalogue it some where in their subconscious. “This is what people like. This is what girls are supposed to look like/act.”

    I have to go on now to mention the LATEST TREND in women’s fashions…..

    Walk out of the house in the least amount of clothing possible! !!!!

    How ridiculously little can you wear in public and still actually be considered “clothed”.
    Its like a freaking PACMAN game but instead of eating tiny dots and running from ghosts…the game is to collect as many men’s cat calls and stares as you can while avoiding sexual predators.

    Wtf?

    I see women walking around in jean shorts that could easily be mistaken for denim underwear. If the white pockets are hanging out and I can see the outline of your housekeys and chewing gum…I’m going to stop you and ask you for a piece! (gum)
    I also may or may not casually point out that your buttcheeks are showing!

    I actually recently saw one woman sauntering down the street in actual black underwear. Real honest to goodness undies. 70% of her buttocks were just exposed in the light of day on a busy main street in the city….yet somehow she was wearing a fur vest. Say what?!

    I’m sorry…are you cold because your buttocks are exposed ,or is it that you only own one top, and its a big furry vest, so you have to compensate to cool off by wearing a thong on the bottom half of your body????
    Just tell me because I swear not knowing is STILL driving me nuts and its been a full month since I saw your rear end.

    Are these women that starved for validation? YES! Well let’s teach each other to look for it in other ways. To look to ourselves for our own approval and happiness…

    We have lost our sexual power. In part because of pornography and in part because we’re fighting to mimic it and compete so fiercely with each other.We’re so hung up on how we look and dress that the other wonderful intangible parts of us are grossly neglected.

    Beauty fades…if most or all you have to take stock in is your appearance…when its gone, what on earth will you have left?

    We need to stop settling for moronic partners….moronic TV…and a society that demands our flesh as currency.

    We do have a chance to turn this around. We just need to wake up.

    There are resources and groups out there, as well as great books:

    just type in keywords:
    sexual suicide
    end rape culture
    media objectification of women
    Fight the New Drug

    Goodnight ladies…and good luck.

  • GirlgoneSMART

    “And since Italian women are among the oldest to marry and have one of the lowest birthrates in the world, surely you can’t be saying that they are more feminine?”

    I had to comment on this one….

    How does the age at which you marry or whether or not you choose to have kids determine your femininity.

    Femininity encompasses an infinite array of factors…one important one being how feminine a woman FEELS. (not always how she is perceived).

    Ignorance doesn’t freak me out as much as it should…..what does scare me: utter simplicity and ignorance coupled with preachy righteousness.

    Yikes!

  • Genius

    @Gudenug A man to take care of her babies?

    Do you even realize that men exist? You go on.

    BTW There’s a wonderful place that exists without all the horrible “boys” who have developed individualistic identities and desires, it’s called Antarctica. There’s probably a few fellow man-shees up there for you to compare notes with. You probably couldn’t turn on a light switch.