Friday, February 3, 2012

Masculine Things I am Rejecting

PhotobucketI remember growing up seeing messages encouraging women to do masculine things. I support women doing beneficial things that they were prevented from doing in the past such as getting post-secondary education, entering professions that require intelligence, living alone, voting etc. But I resent that I felt pressured to do traditionally masculine things because someone else thought that behaviour was better or somehow advanced the feminist cause. An article on Madame Noire called Foul Mouthed: Women Now More Vulgar than Ever inspired this post. I didn't like the way a feminist professor seemed to support the trend of women cursing as though it was a step closer to women's freedom. I made the comment below:
I think cursing is very unladylike and I hope that Black women decide to hold themselves to a higher standard. The feminist quoted in this post seems to think it's a good thing that women are cursing more just because men do it. That is what I don't like about feminism. I support equal rights and protection of women but I don't support the idea that we should do whatever men do, as though what they do is better or more correct. Beware of this type of thinking. Sometimes when Black women take on this thinking their behaviours are judged more negatively than the White women who endorse it! It's not fair that we have to be twice as good to be considered equal but that's sometimes the way it is. Black women have to act more feminine than White women to be considered equally feminine (it's not fair I know, but if you want to be considered feminine you have to really express it). 

I think women should not swear, men should not swear in our presence, and men should swear less. Men are not carrying themselves like gentlemen and women are not carrying themselves like proper ladies.  Reality tv is garbage and I can see why it's having a negative effect on girls. They think that drama is a common thing in people's lives and the behaviour is normal.

This inspired me to make a list of the masculine things that I now reject because I felt some unhealthy pressure to like or want to do these things. Think about this, no one would criticize a man for trying to be as masculine as possible and taking up masculine pursuits. But if a woman tries to be as feminine as possible and chooses feminine pursuits some people will actually look down on that! Now I don't think that is being supportive of women!
  1. I am not interested in watching or participating in aggressive sports like boxing, mixed martial arts, football, or  hockey.  I have never been interested in sports and I'm not ashamed of that. I may decide to play volleyball, tennis, or golf  to be active and social. Once I start playing I may watch those sports for instructional purposes. I will not pay attention to or admire women who play aggressive sports in order to "support the feminist cause". 
  2. I will not try to become muscular. I used to buy fitness magazines that showed fitness competitors and articles about weight training and weight loss. These women were very muscular and I tried to look like them. I thought that it would protect me from others. That was unhealthy and must have come from some insecurity or fear that made me feel vulnerable. I will now exercise to look feminine. 
  3. If a man tries to protect me or do me a favor I will NEVER say no (unless it puts me in danger). I will let them open doors, walk me to my car, carry large packages, and prevent me from being harmed. They like to do this and it benefits me if they do, so why fight it?
  4. I will not speak like an unrefined man. This means I will not curse or speak in a vulgar manner to anyone. My speech will be intelligent and pleasant not ugly or boorish. I will speak in an appropriate tone, not speak loudly in public or air my dirty laundry in public, and I will never argue in public (and I will maintain my poise when I have disagreements in private). 
  5. I will not wear masculine clothing even if designers start a trend. I am not interested in boyfriend jackets, pant suits, or androgynous attire. I will always wear clothes that look nothing like men's clothes.
  6. I will not go without make-up, long hair, or styled hair. I will make myself look attractive. I will not let any feminist ideas convince me that trying to look good is vain, it makes me a slave to male desires, or that I should not strive for attainable, feminine, (Black) beauty ideals. Not doing this is detrimental to Black women. We need to try to look better than other women so that we can be deemed equal (unfair I know but that seems to be the only way). Looking like a man, sloppy, or unattractive is not going to help me or the progress of women. We need the world to accept that women can be beautiful, intelligent, hardworking, and capable at the same time. 
  7. I will not become a workaholic and neglect family so that I can rise to the top. For me, once I finish my education and enter my field, I will be at the top. I will work for an organization and eventually for myself, but I am not in competition with anyone. I will not sacrifice having a family for awards, fame, or to show off to others. I am not in business or a high stakes field that is full of competition so I will only work as much as I need to (glad I chose a non-competitive field).
  8. I will not drink heavily or smoke and I will leave that to the men. These things are unhealthy and I would prefer a man who didn't do these things either. I will not let other women or men entice me to drink heavily or smoke. 
  9. I will let men do the "masculine" household tasks. I'll let them shovel snow, mow the lawn, fix the car, change light bulbs, make home repairs etc. They like these things and I don't so they can do them. I'll do more of the feminine household things (but I expect a man to clean up after himself and cook for himself when I can't. He can't be a total dependent slob lol). 
  10. I will let men be men when it comes to dating. I will not be the pursuer or the aggressive one. I don't care what feminists say about being empowered and chasing a man, being sexually liberated (i.e., promiscuous), or deciding to have a child on my own. I don't think these things will be beneficial to me.


  1. I agree with your commentary whole-heartedly. Thanks for sharing your views regarding femininity.

  2. I would like to add the caveat that in regards to number one, I WILL and DO watch sporting events if I've been invited to do so as part of a date or the sharing of quality time together. I have found that men like it when their wives/girlfriends watch sports with them. In fact, my former husband and I enjoyed spending time together cuddling on the couch while he watched, "the game." He appreciated the fact that I was willing to share his interests and I loved being in his company.

    Last year a gentleman I was dating invited me to attend a boxing "smoker" with him. I had a good time at the match even though I had no idea what was going on. However, he was glad I was there with him and it enhanced our overall evening. He appreciated the fact that I did things he liked to do and he reciprocated by attending activities that interested me. It's all about being willing to extend oneself.

  3. As a feminine woman, it is possible to watch sports and keep your femininity. Sports are not just for men to watch and there is such a thing as being a girly girl and enjoying sports, so i do not agree with your first bullet. In fact, men LOVE it when you enjoy watching sports. I have been told by many that I am the "Perfect" woman because I can watch sports in my heels with the guys but still be a lady.

  4. Welcome to my blog Lady Arabella victoria (LOVE the name) and anonymous.

    Thanks for your comments. This post was about things that I have never liked or have grown to dislike. Some of these are traditionally masculine things. In the past I felt pressured to like these things.

    For example, I felt pressure to like things like aggressive sports just so that guys would like me. I don't like sports, especially the ones I mentioned. Pretending to like them or watching them with a boyfriend would be being fake for me, and I want to be my true self. If my boyfriend likes me better when I pretend to like what he likes then that's a major problem.

    There are masculine things that I like such as horror, action, and sci-fi films so I could bond with a guy about that. It's fine if you like sports, but I just don't.

    I know this blog is about trying to do things differently and changing. There are some things that I'm willing to change (e.g., the way I dress, or my point of view), but not my interests. I hope you understand what I'm saying. I'm accepting that I don't like these things when before I felt some sort of guilt or pressure.

    I don't think I could even date a guy who likes country music because I can't stand it!

  5. Miss Elegance:

    I absolutely understand your sentiment. Your blog post is titled, "Masculine Ideas That "I" Am Rejecting." Your points were specific to you and everyone is different. As Shakespeare said, "To thine own self be true." I truly appreciate you taking the time to share your personal femininity evolution with all of us.

    Also, thanks for your comments regarding my "pen" name. It has personal meaning to me.

    Take care.

    Lady Arabella Victoria

  6. I think this is a really great article. I like your resolve and insight. God bless!

  7. There are men out there who curse and I personally don't really care for them. I just find it to be an incredibly turn-off. :( Teenage boys, I can be a bit more tolerant of because they're immature but I think that when men are old enough to be called "men", they should take responsibility.

    A man doesn't have to curse to become masculine. I've always loved gentlemen. ;)

    On the note of aggressive sports, when I was in high school I played women's lacrosse and women's field hockey (and also tennis, but that's not as aggressive). Those were both very aggressive sports. However, men's lacrosse was infinitely more aggressive than women's lacrosse (you could actually hit your opponent with your stick). Although lacrosse and field hockey were aggressive sports for women, the uniform was kept feminine. We worse skirts (they were literally kilts), feminine fitted polo shirts, and before every game, one of the girls would be assigned to bring cute ribbons, and we would tie adorable pink ribbons in our hair (a different pattern every time, as we would take turns bringing them).

    Some feminists wanted us to dress in a more masculine manner, but thankfully, my traditional high school said "No!" I'm really glad because field hockey and lacrosse are aggressive sports and I enjoyed having that blatant feminine aspect to it.

    The pink bows in our hair (wrapped around our perky ponytails) and our "skirts" and our cute fitted polo shirts reminded us, as we were sweating on our opponents and pushing them aside, that we WERE feminine women playing a sport that was for only women (I say "only women" because the men's version of lacrosse was much more violent, which is why they worse padding).

    After every game, it was a tradition for us to change out of our sweaty gear, take showers in the gym, and change into heels, sundresses, and pearls that we had brought with us. Why? So that we could sit and have tea, lemonade, and scones with the opponents, socialize with them, and praise them on their grace with a lacrosse stick (they would change into their sundresses as well). Once again, embracing our femininity despite the aggressiveness of the sport. And this is ANOTHER tradition that the feminists tried to take from us.

    They wanted to take away all of the aspects of a very aggressive sport that preserved some sense of femininity. They wanted to make it a purely masculine sport. Purely aggressive. No skirts, no pink ribbons, no cute fitted polo shirts, and no tradition of changing into sundresses, sitting on the lawn, and socializing with the opponents so that we could praise them and their skill.

    In such aggressive sports for women, having these feminine aspects is important so that when we're pushing an opponent aside and throwing a hard ball 30 miles per hour at a goalie we don't forget that we ARE ladies off the field (and on the field as well with our sportsmanship, our consideration for the injuries of the opponent, and stopping to help out opponents who may have fallen to the ground).