Femininity is a word that is difficult to say and tricky to understand for me. God has made each person (male or female) showing that there should be dissimilarity between the two. As women, it is our dependability to let our femininity shine. But what does that mean? Do I need to have my nails colored and makeup applied? Is it a crime to enjoy and play cricket? Am I a letdown if a continental dinner is not on the table by 7 pm?
Much of our discernment of what it means to be a woman is shaped by our view of the woman’s role in history. An old adage says timeless lady is known to others as righteous. She is trustworthy and hardworking. She cares for her family, helps those in need, and speaks with intelligence. Woah! Oh my good lord that’s a lot to endeavor for! Is my femininity, then, characterized exclusively by outer appearance and actions, as today‘s media would like to say; or is it characterized by a God-given inward worth I am expected to plant?
To be frank we women haven’t really changed from generation to generation. Proper etiquette, suitable dress, dreams and aspirations, available jobs and societal privileges have transformed, but a woman is still a woman no matter what historical age she lives in. Throughout history, though, judgments about what femininity means have changed but I am extremely thankful to be a woman of 2017. I can go to work in the morning, play sports in the afternoon, clean house and cook dinner all before getting dressed up for an evening of fun with my friends. My parents have not arranged my marriage yet nor am I so fraught to get married though I want to be swept down romantically by Prince charming. I am not likely to sit silently at social gatherings. I have had the opportunity to not only attend but also earn my PhD degree from the college. Yet these have not always been privileges available to a woman. In my opinion, never before women were afforded as many freedoms as we currently enjoy.
I would have never survived in Victorian and era wearing corsets, petticoats, bustles and hats, hair piled high like really high. They were commended for their resilience and capacity to hold fast to the model of femininity characteristic of their day; but no, that wouldn’t be the place for me.
Neither, though, would I have been at ease in the midst of the modern “feminist” society. Why do women try to present themselves as men’s equals? What do they have to prove? I don’t think women are weak and helpless, yet many women spend their lives trying to look and act just like men, but why? I guess they just want a chance to be treated as a man, but they’re not men and shouldn’t struggle to be one. I don’t know about you or other women, but I would enjoy having someone else hold the door for me, carry my luggage, and fix the plumbing and appliances. Could I do all of those things for myself? Absolutely yes. Would I take pleasure in the chance? Not in the least.
I would say to every woman, delight in the independence you’ve been given to be feminine. Pin your hair up; clutch on a fabulous set of pearls or diamonds; don a beautiful dress that twirls; sport a pair of fabulous heels. Femininity isn’t just an outward mark but an inward quality that comes from being comfortable, even satisfied, with being a female. For me woman is clearly feminine, who is strong and capable. That is the picture of femininity, the set standard for which I strive. I am thankful for the opportunities afforded to us as women today. No matter what generation you live in, God’s kindness, sympathy, and precision make it a blessing to be more than just a plain old woman.
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