The imitation of Man

Susan Walsh highlights a fundamental feminist deceit to which far too many women subscribe:

As you can see, there is considerable confusion about the concept of the feminine among contemporary young women, as well as decidedly different political philosophies….

I’m not qualified to give advice on how to be feminine. I’m guilty of having nurtured the feisty tomboy persona myself. That’s why I’m all ears when men describe what femininity is and why they value it. It’s clear they know it when they see it. In closing, I’ll share with you reader detinennui32′s first of 10 Commandments for Women:

1. Thou shalt cultivate a feminine demeanor and bearing. Thou shalt not try to be, look like, or act like a man. Thou shalt observe and obey this Commandment above all others.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that the vast majority of men are not attracted to men or male qualities. Around two percent of the male population is and those men are called “homosexuals”. Logic therefore dictates that cultivating an attitude and behaving in a manner that appeals to a very small minority of men who are not sexually interested in women will be counterproductive for the woman who wishes men to find her attractive.

One of the core components of feminism has been to provide social incentive for women to imitate male behavior. This is reflected in the increasingly androgynous female attire over the last fifty years as well as the increasingly masculine appearance of women who are held up as paragons of female achievement in the media. (Also, so few women genuinely look good in jeans that it’s really best to avoid them altogether.) Consider Madonna, who is one of the leading examples of female accomplishment, and yet was likened to “a piece of gristle” by her ex-husband, Guy Ritchie.

Now, since what is feminine is by definition the opposite of what is masculine, one can readily determine feminine traits by considering masculine ones. Confidence, courage, independence, ambition, strength, decisiveness, straightforwardness, simplicity, and self-reliance are all core masculine traits.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon the woman who wishes to be perceived as feminine to avoid exhibiting these traits. This doesn’t mean that a woman needs to be cowardly or weak, only that she should avoid projecting her manly fearlessness even in the unlikely case that it is genuine and not the customary false female bravada that crumbles the moment it is challenged. Of course, since even the most masculine woman is less masculine than the average man, the attempt to imitate these masculine traits tends to ring false, hence the inherent humor in young women who march about asserting how strong and independent they are as they visit their therapists on Daddy’s dime.

Get the feminine attitude right and the superficial aspects will eventually follow. Men are attracted to women who smile, who bat their eyelashes, who blush, who are supportive rather than challenging, who trouble to make themselves pretty, and above all, who appeal to their sense of play rather than their sense of work.

And finally, since it’s been reported that about a third of tomboys grow up to be lesbians, it should be apparent that imitating male behavioral patterns is likely to send unintended messages to men and women alike.