December 18, 2010
Almost a year ago, the bloggers Brett and Kate McKay from the Art of Manliness Blog posted an article based on a Marital Rating Scale that had been published in 1939. Check out the article here. It basically asks the spouses questions about how the other acts or skills they have, and then spouses get graded on the number of demerit/merit points and are judged as either a good wife/husband, or a poor one.

I was interested when I read the scale designed for the husband, because today men are still expected to follow the guidelines that were laid out 60-70 years ago. ie. A wife is to check off whether her husband "Stares or flirts with other women while out with wife" or "compares his wife unfavourably with his mother or other wives".

But I was astounded by the wife's scale - as almost every single item on the list was either passe (5. Wears red nail polish), silly (7. Seams in hose often crooked) or downright sexist (3. has meals on time). What was astonishing to me was just how much feminine ideals have changed since the 30's and 40's....and how feminism has done away with just about every feminine standard we used to have. I'm not saying we should all head back to the barefoot and pregnant kitchen, but if a lady wishes to check out womens skills of yesteryear, she almost has to do it in secret. It seems feminists dislike the smallest hints that *maybe* women enjoyed certain aspects of pre-feminist times.

And what about these societal standards that suggest that women can and should be men: that women can do anything men can do, only better. Why not acknowledge that men are men and women are women? What traits do we share in common with men, and what makes us unique? And why do the sexes battle so fiercely against one another?

I spent some time ruminating - and searching the blog world - for sites dedicated to femininity, and not just on how to keep a house clean or how to attract a man, but how to be a truly modern woman: how to be independent yet loving, virtuous yet strong, graceful yet courageous and humble yet elegant. And I couldn't find one.

So about a month ago, I attended a retreat for women and happened to mention to a good friend my thoughts on the subject and I found that I was not the only one pondering the lack of femininity in our world. In fact, several women there were interested in creating something to help ourselves and others re-discover true femininity.

And you're looking at the result. We've been excitedly working away at the what and how of this site - so welcome.We're so pleased you're here.

3 comments:

  1. The blog looks lovely! Well done. The picture is beautiful and the quote is inspirational. Much to ponder upon! I am so excited that the blog is up and running and am praying that it will feed the feminine souls who come here to visit.
    <><
    Tash

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  2. « Why not acknowledge that men are men and women are women? »

    Indeed, this is something I've pondered a lot.

    One can, indeed, make generalizations; but a generalization can easily become a stereotype.

    Example for the sake of establishing a principle: Men are, in general, taller than women. Yet that is no guarantee that any randomly-selected man will be taller than an equally randomly-selected woman. Odds are in favour of it, certainly, but it is not a sure thing.

    Ought one consider short men or tall women somehow not "true to their sex?"

    A more concrete example: More women than men are interested relationships and shopping for clothes and indifferent to mathematics. Should it be suggested, then, that a particular randomly selected woman---say, er, *myself*---who is rather introverted, positively loathes clothes shopping, and truly enjoys mathematics, is deficient in some way?

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  3. Hello Anon. You make an excellent point: generalizations can become stereotypes.

    There is often a grain of truth to a generalization, however. While femininity is difficult to define, and is something we feel or sense, there are qualities that set women apart from men to greater or lesser degree according to our individuality.

    We all have characteristics in common by virtue of our humanity, which set us apart from the rest of creation. Within those characteristics, the masculine and feminine are further differentiations, and then the further distinctions of our personhood.

    The qualities of femininity are not rules or explicit requirements that must be met in order to 'be in the club', they are innate, but you must make allowances for your individuality. Your femininity may be expressed in less obvious ways, but is still a fundamental part of who you are.

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What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!

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