Monday, August 22, 2011

A leftist woman responds

Earlier this month I wrote a post titled "How do leftist women justify the feminine?" One feminist woman, Georgina Charlotte, left a comment explaining her own attitudes to femininity. I thought it interesting as it highlights the differences between traditional and modern attitudes.

Georgina Charlotte's comment begins like this:
How do leftist women justify the feminine, you ask?

Why should they have to? Personally, I reject the concept of femininity. By that, I mean that I reject the idea that there are a set of behaviors or personality traits that are essential to being a woman. I also reject the idea that I have an obligation to conform to what is considered feminine.

So for Georgina the very concept of the feminine is false. Furthermore, it is a false concept that is oppressive: it implies "an obligation to conform".

Not much support for the feminine in those beliefs.

Traditionalists, in contrast, are likely to argue that there do exist inherent differences between men and women, so that it makes sense to talk of masculine and feminine behaviours and traits. I'm at the most "essentialist" end of the traditionalist spectrum when it comes to sex differences. I do believe that there is a masculine and a feminine essence existing as part of the nature of reality and that men reach maturity by developing along masculine lines just as women do along feminine ones. That's one reason why our self-identity is so closely tied to a sense of ourselves as men and women. It also helps to explain why we usually admire particularly feminine women and masculine men.

Does the traditionalist view mean that men all have to be the same and act the same? No, it doesn't. Men will develop along masculine lines in different ways depending on their talents and personal characteristics. One man might be a scholar, another a sportsman. And something similar goes for women. An outgoing woman might be vivacious and feminine, a more retiring woman might be sensitive and feminine; one sister might appreciate the solitude of nature, another might like parties - but both can express a feminine nature in what they do and who they are.

Georgina goes on to write:

I also think that there are certain aspects of what is considered "feminine" that those women who have those traits should overcome -- timidity, weakness, and gullibility, for example.

But just because I find the concept of "femininity" profoundly silly (and perhaps damaging when social mores elevate weakness as a positive quality in women)...

This is Georgina's double whammy. She rejects the very concept of femininity as being "profoundly silly" (odd then that it has been taken so seriously by every successful civilisation) and she connects it negatively to weakness in women.

In one sense she is right. What we usually think of as feminine qualities aren't as "hardened" as the masculine ones. If that is what she means by "weakness" then perhaps she has a point.

But there are other ways to look at it. The masculine and the feminine don't exist in isolation from each other. They exist in relation to each other and go together to make up what is human. They are two parts in a dynamic relationship which together form what is human. So why see them as competing principles to be weighed against each other?

Georgina goes on to add this:

Most people are a mix of what was traditionally considered masculine and what was traditionally considered feminine. I practice law, argue with people, read history, play and watch sports, trade put-downs with men in the office, lift weights, cook wonderful desserts, wear dresses, and adore Jane Austen.

In my earlier post, I ran through a range of strategies leftist women use to permit themselves to be feminine. One that I listed was the following:

Another strategy is to claim to be mixing and matching, e.g. that you are wearing lipstick and high heels while drinking beer and putting up a shed in the backyard, or riding a Harley-Davidson whilst wearing lace.

Georgina is adopting this mix & match strategy - or something very much like it. The wearing of dresses and the making of desserts is offset by the lifting of weights and the watching of sports.

It's true that the interests of men and women overlap. It's not true, though, that the average person is a random mix of the traditionally feminine and masculine.

And there are limits to the mix & match strategy. Taken too far it would put people off. Do men really want to be in a relationship with women who are half masculine and half feminine? And how would Georgina really react if her husband were to say to her "Today I'm going to play football and have some drinks with my mates at the pub, but tomorrow I'm going to put on a dress and get my nails done down at the mall." The mix & match strategy is more like a game that middle-class lefties play to indicate political awareness - and part of the game is to know how far it can be taken.

Finally, Georgina writes:

I don't spend a lot of time worrying about where I fall on the spectrum of traditional femininity, as it is simply an irrelevant category in my life. What is important to me as a feminist is whether I have equal status and dignity in society, and whether I conduct myself in a morally responsible way.

An irrelevant category? Georgina, your femininity is significant to your self-identity. It is significant to your spouse. It is significant to how you serve your family and community. And it has an inherent value that you have the opportunity to be closely connected to.

30 comments:

  1. This isn't the first time I've seen feminists equate femininity with weakness. It reminded me of a cousin of mine whom I recently had dinner with. A more lovely and traditionally feminine woman you could never hope to meet, and she and her husband are expecting their second child. The delivery of her first child literally almost took her life. I asked if she had thought twice about having the second one. She said absolutely not. She considered it her womanly and christian duty to bring new life into the world. This is weakness?
    According to feminists it is. To them, strength means turning your back on your responsibilities and wasting your life trading snarky put downs with male office mates. (A behavior that I have found annoying and petty every time I've encountered it in female coworkers.)

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  2. Anon,
    Good points. I wonder how "trading put downs" jives with conducting one's self in a "morally responsible way". Of course the feminist definition of "morally" is probably just as "profoundly silly" as femininity (or lack thereof). If we can reject "femininity" so cavalierly, why not "morally".

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  3. I reject the idea that there are a set of behaviors or personality traits that are essential to being a woman.

    In short, like all good liberals, I reject reality.

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  4. Rejecting that the sky is blue doesn't make it any less blue.

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  5. Georgina is a mere cipher, an empty vessel filled to the brim with dogmatic cultural Marxist rot like “equality” who merely regurgitates what her liberal society has placed into her head; she then has the conceit to believe that she has arrived at her liberal-society-approved positions independently when nothing could be further from the truth. She is the true conformist.

    Trading put-downs with men in the office is an example of exhibiting psychological neotony,but this immaturity is redefined so as to flatter herself as being an example of how a grown-up in a liberal society conducts herself: who is calling who silly?

    Living in an age of mass manufactured culture and mass manufactured opinions and mass manufactured self-identities in which all the mass media messages are clearly designed to steer women to become the not oppressed but oh so “liberated” corporate drones, being a stay-at-home mom is clearly the nonconformist choice. A woman who places her children and husband as her top priorities in today's world is truly the one who bucks this media manufactured milieu and can think for herself, thank you very much. Not some go-with-the-corporate-flow feminist, who was so weak, timid and gullible in her teen years when deciding what she should become in life, that she couldn't say 'no' to the barrage of toxic liberal mass media messages but meekly absorbed them all internally, went along with them (as a true conformist should) and then convinced herself that her liberal-society-approved conformity and weakness and gullibility were actually the strong choices in life.

    It takes no courage to go with the flow; it takes no courage to be a liberal. Nor mental fortitude, I might add. Hence, if most people are liberals then most people are cowards.

    Having XX chromosomes does not make one a woman; it makes one a female. Female bonobos, female kangaroos, female ostriches, are all female but they are not women. Only human females, with proper instruction during their early years can become women, otherwise they will remain only females. Said differently, being a female is a biological trait, being a woman is a trait of civilization.

    Therefore, females who comport themselves as men are aiding the liberal project of unraveling our civilization; a project that is more than half way complete thanks to all the “independent-minded” liberal conformists. A project whose final destination is grass huts, high infant mortality, frequent famines, etc., and wherein one's life ambitions solely consist of eating and copulating.

    The absence of civilization is spelled s-a-v-a-g-e-r-y, and looking at the increasingly degrading behaviour of the white lower class today (out of wedlock births, having children with multiple men, etc.,), savagery is just around the corner.

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  6. How much of her 'mixing and matching' is to be more appealing to men?

    All the women I know who have 'man' hobbies are trying to Meet Men.

    I hate sports :) (except women's volleyball, and a few heart pounding Olympic ones)

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  7. When I hear women say the want to reject the feminine because it is weak, I just remember the 19 year old girls at uni, the sexual and social power they have is insane, and these days many of them know it.

    I know one girl who got through a law degree by being incredibly cute and smiling a lot. Nice girl, not one to sleep around too much, but she was amazed when after wiggling her way through her Articles year she was sacked by one firm after another.

    You see she was in her mid 20's and not quite as insanely hot anymore, and was being required to do top level work she had limited experience with.

    She blamed sexism and wondered why I laughed my head off.

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  8. "trade put-downs with men in the office"

    She knows they probably think she is flirting right?

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  9. SP,I think in a previous thread she spoke about a husband.

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  10. @MR
    SP,I think in a previous thread she spoke about a husband.

    I'm skeptical.

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  11. SP,I think in a previous thread she spoke about a husband.

    I'd like to see a picture of this "Georgina" I bet she's a hag. Any man willing to consummate a marriage with her is worthy of a DSO, at least.

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  12. On the other hand, I'm not sure a medal for courage in order, it is foolhardiness, plain and simple.

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  13. Like all Maxist groups, organised feminism finds a percieved problem, builds on it and offers an earthly paradise for all those who follow the marxist edict, in this case feminism.

    They have mainly targeted mothers in western countries, the feminist line is that you can not be fulfilled as a woman if you spend time looking after your children and if having a child will get in the way of a fulfilling career, just kill the child before it is born. All this is doing is to simply destroy the fabric of our society and allow a population explosion of 3rd world children in western nations.

    If feminists were genuinely concerned about the well being of women I would expect to see them demonstrating against legal prostitution or the treatment of women under Islam. Strange, the feminists are completely silent on issues such as this.

    Now looking at the original post. what is wrong with a woman wanting to be feminine, it is no more being weak than for any normal male who wants to be masculine is necessarly a bully.

    Sorry all you chain-smoking Mizzes out there, males and females have been different since day one and it will always be that way.(Apart from occasional genuine medical trans-gender issues)

    I worked in an engineering orientated enviroment, occasionally we had women there who wanted to be one of the boys, it is really sickening. We also had a few women there who want to be women, they are quite accepted, no sign of weakness either.

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  14. Well, I once worked with a woman who had the exact same beliefs as this woman, and she was quite physically attractive, and married, so I think attacking her on grounds of being an omega or undesirable is the wrong way to go.

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  15. It's why we need a picture of her.

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  16. CamelCaseRob,

    My experience is the same as yours.

    The idea of mix & match is that the woman will do unattractively masculine things part of the time, but will compensate and repair the damage by dressing up fabulously and looking terrific at other times.

    This is something that's going to work better for a reasonably attractive woman. The thinking is that a man will be willing to put up with/deal with the confusing gender bending stuff because there is the reward of the woman looking great at times.

    The woman who engages in mix & match will do worse, though, than if she were more consistently feminine. A man with options is not going to go for a mix & match woman - he's not going to accept the disappointment of a masculinised woman on the basis that he'll sometimes get a physically attractive one.

    So the mix & match women, in my experience, usually partner below their own natural level.

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  17. "But just because I find the concept of "femininity" profoundly silly (and perhaps damaging when social mores elevate weakness as a positive quality in women)"

    Why yes, and what were you talking of gullibility, again?

    "Most people are a mix of what was traditionally considered masculine and what was traditionally considered feminine. "

    They are? And how did that come to be?

    "What is important to me as a feminist is whether I have equal status and dignity in society,"

    So when will society start considering random women as pedophiles?

    "and whether I conduct myself in a morally responsible way."

    Which btw I made up myself?

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  18. "Only human females, with proper instruction during their early years can become women, otherwise they will remain only females. Said differently, being a female is a biological trait, being a woman is a trait of civilization."


    "one is not born a woman; one becomes one"

    "then why not become a man?"

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  19. ""A man with options is not going to go for a mix & match woman - he's not going to accept the disappointment of a masculinised woman on the basis that he'll sometimes get a physically attractive one.""

    Wrong.

    Men of my generation quite like mix and match women. You have to remember men with options in their 20's have given up on marrying until later.

    When you want to get married, your perspective tends to change.

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  20. What an abhorrent response from Charlotte. It's saddening.

    Georgina is adopting this mix & match strategy - or something very much like it. The wearing of dresses and the making of desserts is offset by the lifting of weights and the watching of sports.

    Indeed.

    It's true that the interests of men and women overlap. It's not true, though, that the average person is a random mix of the traditionally feminine and masculine

    I agree. I'd say that in general people are at the core masculine or feminine with outer layers of the opposite.

    The mix & match strategy is more like a game that middle-class lefties play to indicate political awareness - and part of the game is to know how far it can be taken.

    Kind of reminds me of SWPL liberals. They live and stay away from Africans but continually praise them, uplift them and put away their faults.

    She blamed sexism and wondered why I laughed my head off.

    Reminds me of how contradictory it's when feminists go around approving of sexualization but are always putting out the rape allegation card.

    Btw good comment Slow Motion Fall.

    Wrong.

    Men of my generation quite like mix and match women. You have to remember men with options in their 20's have given up on marrying until later.


    You're right but it's because liberalism has become the mainstream worldview and therefore men are as supportive, influenced and affected by feminism as women (e.g. sections of men's rights activists, womanizers and others).

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  21. Charlotte's husband for example is probably quite supportive and understanding of her view on gender roles and the nature of men and women. Either that or he's a torn man because he wouldn't express his true feelings about this subject.

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  22. Well, I once worked with a woman who had the exact same beliefs as this woman, and she was quite physically attractive, and married, so I think attacking her on grounds of being an omega or undesirable is the wrong way to go.

    Just because she's physically attractive doesn't mean her soul isn't disgusting. She's pretty ugly on the inside.

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  23. There's nothing wrong with most of the things she does per se. I don't think anyone thinks reading history makes a women unfeminine, and being physically active is always good. The question is, can she integrate everything she does into an attractive feminine whole, or does she fall apart into chunks of contrary attitudes and behaviors adopted to make a point. Based on her tone, I'm guessing the latter. She has the wrong attitude - focusing on trading putdowns is a bad sign from any woman.

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  24. "Do men really want to be in a relationship with women who are half masculine and half feminine?"

    Speaking from experience: I think it depends which feminine traits they display, and which masculine ones!

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  25. Mark:
    " A man with options is not going to go for a mix & match woman - he's not going to accept the disappointment of a masculinised woman on the basis that he'll sometimes get a physically attractive one."

    Personally I always found rather masculine-minded women rather attractive, in that I liked spending time around them, talking with them, and they with me. It's one reason I've tended to find military and police women very attractive. I think this may be a different thing than the brainwashed feminist playing at being a man, though - those are not actually masculine-minded women, they're not the sort to do manly things like fix a broken car engine, sit in a piss-filled hole for days cradling a sniper rifle & waiting to kill someone, or (as my wife did) cram a maddened feral cat into a cat box after said creature has bitten her husband's finger to the bone. :)

    Speaking to my own marriage, one thing I found attractive about being with a rather masculine-minded women was that the relationship seemed to take less effort than one with a conventionally feminine woman would have. I think she was much less demanding of me than a girly girl would have been, just as she did less herself. And this suited me pretty well, until our son was born and I realised just how much of the feminine/maternal role I was expected to actually take on... (answer: 50%).

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  26. Orientation of gender is related to family background. Masculinity is a paternal inheritance and femininity is a maternal inheritance. according to the nature masculinity is basically designed for interact with the natural environment efficiently and femininity is basically designed for bearing children and for breast feeding. Both masculine and feminine gender specifications are there for sexual attraction. These things are not accepting by the feminists.

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  27. Oh, a post for me! Sorry I missed this when it first came out. I am fascinated by the reactions to my comments.

    ON TRADING PUT-DOWNS WITH MEN IN THE OFFICE: I am really surprised by the response this reference. Immoral and childish??? Perhaps I was unclear. The put-downs I refer to are jocular and affectionate, a way of enhancing collegiality in the office. It does tend to be considered a more "masculine" form of interaction, but I can't believe anyone would have a problem with it, unless traditionalists demand complete humorlessness in the workplace. I have to assume that my reference was misunderstood, perhaps because I was unclear.

    ON FEMININITY AS WEAKNESS: I think traditionalists absolutely equate femininity with weakness. That's why they are constantly bemoaning the "feminization" of the culture.

    ON MIX AND MATCH STRATEGY: I am glad you mentioned the concept of "strategy" because my point had to do with the need to transcend strategy. I think most women have to have some sort of strategy for coping with socially enforced expectations of femininity because they are so pervasive and because they tend to present a lose-lose situation for women. On the one hand, if you embrace too much femininity, you are potentially casting yourself in a powerless role. On the other hand, if you completely reject any form of femininity, you will likely suffer societal disapproval. You can, as Oz suggests, feign a sort of "mix and match" but if it's not genuine, you are just playing a role.

    I think the key is to figure out what you genuinely like and are good at, and be prepared to push back if anyone gives you grief about it. If I happen to enjoy knitting (surely a valuable activity and pleasurable for some!), it would be the height of foolishness to avoid it just because it is deemed a "feminine" activity. That was my main point responding to your query how feminists "justify" the feminine. I don't have to. I should be able to knit a sweater AND be taken seriously in business or politics -- and, in fact, I think most of us can these days.

    ON BEING ATTRACTIVE TO STRAIGHT MEN: It's fun when a man thinks I'm attractive, but it has never in my life crossed my mind that I should change my personality, ambitions, or interests for this purpose. Nor do I believe for a moment that every man is seeking only one type of woman, one of undeniably "feminine essence." There are a lot of fish in the sea. People who tell girls, "You need to act in such-and-such way so men will find you attractive," are lying.

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  28. ON "FEMININITY" IN MEN: I also wanted to address Oz's claim that I (or any other woman) would never tolerate any "femininity" in our men. Actually, that's quite untrue. The things I love most about my husband are his supposedly feminine qualities. He cares about his clothes; he is very nurturing and "maternal," towards young children (and towards me when I'm sick); he loves watching melodramas and soap operas; he gets along great with women, as well as men; and he is sensitive and easily hurt.

    I also think that metrosexuals and European men (who often put much more effort into their appearance than American and perhaps Australian men) are deeply attractive to a substantial portion of the straight female population. The sexual imagination of many women in my age group was formed by the 80s era of beautiful young men in eyeliner and fabulous very put together outfits.

    ON MY POSSIBLE HIDEOUSNESS: Ha ha ha. Nice try, commenters, but I'm not providing a picture of myself. I will leave my appearance to your most grim imaginings. I gotta say you all are kicking it old school with the whole "feminists must be ugly" argument. An oldie but a goodie! I am perfectly happy if we just assume I look like the creature from the black lagoon.

    ON WHETHER FEMINISTS ARE REALLY WEAK AND GULLIBLE: Someone commented that I must have been weak and gullible in my teen years to subscribe to all the feminist dogma. Actually, I was a feminist long before my teen years. But I am amused at the notion that, "Oh no, it takes REAL strength to be a submissive wife, unlike those weak, gullible feminists." This is such a transparent manipulation technique, like the person who says, "I will respect you so much more if you . . . [just do what I want you should do]." Apparently, you really do think women are stupid.

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  29. Georgina said,

    "ON FEMININITY AS WEAKNESS: I think traditionalists absolutely equate femininity with weakness. That's why they are constantly bemoaning the "feminization" of the culture."

    Excessive femininity in men is. And if feminine values become the dominant ones in society that is a feminised culture. Your good looking well dressed man still has to be able to hunt the mammoth, or defend the house when the going gets tough, or else you'll have to, or else noone will.

    "I think the key is to figure out what you genuinely like and are good at, and be prepared to push back if anyone gives you grief about it."

    Why should everyone have to figure out everything for themselves? If you do something hard odds on you won't want to do it, it might not be pleasurable, but you'll have the sense of accomplishment and social approval afterwards. Gender scripts push people into socially desirable behaviors not necessarily personally pleasurable ones. One of the benefits of our free society is that we have wide scopes and varieties of behavior and we aren't excessive in our demands on people, especially in comparison to other cultures. However, a wide scope of freedom of action doesn't mean that there are not socially desirable ideals or that we should do whatever we want at any given moment. Individual choice should play a role but shouldn’t be the sole determining factor when we live or direct our lives.

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