January 17, 2012

Here at The Feminine Gift, we have tried to focus on encouraging women to be more themselves, more feminine.  We have been living our own lives attentive to anything we come across daily that might help and encourage you, lovely readers, in your own female-ness.  

Not too long ago I sat down, opened up one of my pretty notebooks with the intent to put down "What femininity means to me"...and while I could articulate a few nebulous abstractions like "pretty" or "modest", I could not write anything lucid about myself as a woman.  Since then I've been struggling with my own femininity - wondering what exactly it means to be a lady - and I find I'm at a loss for words...not a great place for any writer to be.  

I sense this writer’s block of sorts is due, in part, to feminism blurring any concrete sense of what the feminine truly is.  Not too long ago, women had a clear idea of their roles, responsibilities, duties and talents and while society pigeonholed women into only those ideals, it still must have been comforting to know your domain.  I am definitely not an advocate for  giving all women two choices in life - housewife or housewife - but it seems that the meaning of my own femininity has been hidden from me, probably for a combination of reasons, not least of which has been society telling me "you can do anything you want, as long as it has nothing to do with homemaking".  

So how do you write anything for women?  If I write on cooking, I'm pigeonholing and stereotyping.  If I write on changing the oil in a car...well...that’s decidedly un-feminine.    These topics, not uninteresting in themselves, don't get to the essence of femininity.  So what does it mean to be a woman if femininity is beyond cooking, cleaning, changing the oil or chopping wood?  

I just don't know.  Helpful, eh?

But I do know this.  I am going through a period of growth where I am becoming more and more aware of myself, my likes and dislikes and I find that I am intently craving beauty - which makes me stop and wonder.  Just how does a person crave beauty?  It's not like I'm desirous of a juicy burger from any number of burger joints where I know what I need to do and where to go. –and once I get it, I’m satisfied.  It seem that the more loveliness I see in the world, the more I yearn for it.    

And I think I crave beauty because I've seen enough of the world's ugliness and I’m done with it.  And here is where my gender has stepped in to ‘save the world'. 

I've discovered that I can bring a tiny little bit of beauty back to the world of ugliness by acting upon what I love. 

Shortly before Christmas I picked up a crochet needle and armed with a handy dandy internet tutorial here is the beauty I created through that endeavor.  It's a mug cozy - not exactly useful, but it warms my heart just to look at it and drink my tea out of it.   

You see, your very BEING, when you are true to what and who you are, creates beauty in the world.  Be what you love and who you are, not what you think you "should" be and you will add bits of loveliness that weren’t there before.  And this is what it means, in part, to be feminine, to add beauty to your surroundings by your existence. 

I have discovered that along with crocheting, I am enamored (ok, slightly obsessed) with cooking and baking, photography, drinking tea, the psychology behind masculinity and femininity, anything Jane Austen and establishing good housekeeping skills (take that feminism).  I have been finding beauty and satisfaction in pressed, clean, fresh-air-smelling sheets and warm blueberry crumble muffins with butter.  
But that's me.  What do you love?  What's your secret 'shame' - that you couldn't tell your coworkers for all the tea in China?  Our late Holy Father John Paul II would be heard saying "Young people, be who you are."  I finally get it.  He was calling us on to be ourselves, and transform our little corners of the earth into our own Gardens of Eden, a little Nazareth for our families.  

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had more of the traditional feminine arts in my repertoire. I'd like to know how to sew, and be able to keep plants alive, and be a more confident cook.
    In a more positive light, I get a great deal of satisfaction from puttering and baking. I'm a good organizer, and I really enjoy stocking the boys' bookshelf with new library books. I suppose we all fluff our nests in different ways, don't we?

    ReplyDelete

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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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