Monday, January 25, 2010

Is there more to femininity than nature?

The girls, especially the kindergarteners, at school make me wonder when and how they lose their girliness and become typical Uhmerican women. The causes behind the transformation, feminist indoctrination within the schools and without, bad example from older women, and the unchecked formation of bad habits. (How is a tomboy made?)

It seems to me that there is more to being feminine than being female or having female characteristics (high-pitched voice, emotional and verbal expressiveness, and so on). There are several teachers at a certain school that can be said to have girly voices and expressions, and yet their demeanor is more masculine than feminine. One teacher, talking about her recent injury and surgery, remarked that she used to box and could do 250 pushups. I don't know what to think about the ability to do pushups; she found boxing to be a relaxing activity. (I forgot her exact words.)

There is some variability in the sort of bodies and temperaments we are born with. Some women may be more energetic and impulsive (the physical foundation for the development of a tomboy), while for other women, restraint and a tranquil disposition are natural. But what men see as "feminine" is not merely due to nature, but reinforced through training and practice -- how a woman handles herself, her movements, how she speaks to and with others and what she says, the manner in which she treats others, her reactions. Just because some women have a natural disposition to act in a "feminine" manner does not mean that not all women cannot learn to act similarly. And even a natural disposition should be raised up through the acquisition of virtue, and so learning does not destroy nature but perfects it. It used to be that deportment was one quality which separated ladies from women who were less educated.

Feminists would deny many of women's desires (and interests) are really different from those of men. Virtue is necessary for the right ordering of desire (and the actions that issue forth from them). Still, as Aristotle rightly points out, the virtue of a woman is not the same as that of a man.

Feminists who conform their behavior to their radical ideology, instead of being ladies with their proper virtues, give men the impression of being weak, pathetic attempts to be men. Rather than redirecting male energy through grace, gentleness and supportive persuasion, more and more Uhmerican women try to do it through direct confrontation and conflict. Maybe they should learn taiqi.

Two posts from the Thinking Housewife on Sarah Palin: Sarah the Feminist and "The World is Her Oyster."

And so-called American conservatives continue to believe that she is their ideal politician? "We've all become feminists."


Enbrethiliel said...


What an interesting post!

Women in sport, in politics, in the military, and in other formerly all-male fields may be great role models for feminism, but not for femininity.

I agree that femininity is partly a natural tendency of women and girls, and partly a tradition that is passed on by women to girls. Once the thread is severed, it will be difficult to weave together again. I know I've had to check myself, once or twice, from regurgitating a feminist talking point when confronted with a woman making a choice I was not trained by my default upbringing to understand.

Angela M. said...

The military needs nurses and most of the time they are women. I know a lot of military nurses and they are way more feminine than I am.