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Thread: Thoughts on Womanliness (AIB "Thoughts on Manliness")

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Thoughts on Womanliness (AIB "Thoughts on Manliness")

    OK. We've heard about what it is to be a man and what a man should be to be "manly." So, what about "womanliness"? What is the art of being a woman? How do you ladies keep it together?
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    To me, a confident and independent woman is the most beautiful.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    otterpop, I'm not a female and I'm hopefully not derailing this thread but what I observed in the "masculine" thread was that the observations were almost exclusively about what it means in the context of a marriage/committed relationship. That means talking about marriage roles or duties. I'd' like to see us set that aside and have some discussion on what masculine and feminine mean on a broader level. Other than physical/sexual characteristics, are there any primarily masculine or feminine traits that we can agree on?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Most all women I know are much more intuitive than me. After a three minute conversation, my wife told me that a fellow from the community next door was a real jerk...it took me a year to find that out.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I wonder if there is a strong correlation between identifying the ideals of masculinity/femininity and identifying qualities one desires in an ideal mate. Considering the question almost compels one (or me at least) to consider the gender issue in the context of relationships. Perhaps it’s just me, but don’t you tend to regard or interact with people, say, at the workplace in a sort of non-gender specific kind of way. I’m not suggesting one isn’t aware of the differences at times, just that the issue of gender tends not to come to the forefront of one’s attention very often. There is a set of personal qualities that is desirable in coworkers and those qualities seldom seem to have a great deal of bearing on the issue of gender or gender identity.

    If I were to list qualities I found appealing in an ideal mate they might include: high intelligence, possession of most traditional ‘domestic’ skills (both traditional male and female-related i.e. cooking, sewing, automotive, mechanical repairs, etc.), observant, effervescent sense of humor, level-headedness and not prone to emotional outbursts/drama, tactful, knowledge/interests in world cultures, beer, gardening, fine arts, proud owner of a bodacious set of …..now where was I? Oh yeah, in looking at that list I see that even many of those qualities are really not directly tied to gender or traditional gender roles. Intelligence, for example knows no gender and anyone can posses knowledge of any sort if they know how to read/learn.

    So what then is it that makes women feminine? Eliminating as many cultural/learned behaviors from the mix as possible, I’d say that women tend to be more emotionally astute/sensitive than males. They also tend to be more willing to sacrifice power for control (there’s a difference between the two and I’m not going to get into explanations at present). Females appear to exhibit nurturing behaviors more naturally/easily. Because of their more finely attuned emotional sensibilities they also tend to be more adept than males at maintaining/establishing relationships and social interactions in all their myriad forms. So I suppose the feminine ideal is one who excels at and exhibits all of the aforementioned traits in spades.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    So what I'm seeing here is that none of the women who freely offered their thoughts on what makes men manly are inclined to jump in and say what constitutes womanliness even though the men did some self-analysis. I guess that constitutes one of the female characteristics?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I agree with Maister that's it's almost impossible for me to discuss "womanliness" without doing so within the framework of a relationship.

    I think that defining what it means to be a woman/wife/mother is infinitely more difficult than defning what it means to be a man/husband/father. This is because in a post-feminist society, women have a range of options in terms of lifestyle, whereas for men, society is still struggling with the notion of men as not being the provider/protector.

    As referenced many times in the Manliness Thread, some men (particlurly older generations) scoff at the notion of a man doing housework, while at the same time have no issues with a working mother.

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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Maybe a woman should weigh in on this topic! I think its almost impossible to describe femininity without contrasting it to masculinity. As a female , I feel like I am more intuned with people's feelings and generally more supportive instead of competitive in certain situations. Working under a female boss compared to a male boss confirms that observation. Girls are raise to be more nurturings (think dolls) as opposed to boys who play (think action figures). Anyways just my two pink cents.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I think it's hilarious that only you boys have posted thus far and we gals have not been - perhaps we aren't in an identity crisis - for me, I'm just trying to get through the day so it'd be a luxury to be thinking what it means ot be a woman - lol, was that bitchy?

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    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a woman who considers herself to be absolutely, unwaiveringly... womanly. Especially women in the planning profession.

    There are some "womanly" things about me. My cheeks are rosey, I'm extremely sympathetic, I can't help but say "awwww" when I see a baby, I love when guys offer to carry heavy things for me, etc. But, on the other hand I can be tough, I can take care of myself, I like juvenile gross-out humor, I'll drink bud light from the bottle, I'll flip off a driver who cuts me off, etc.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cch View post
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a woman who considers herself to be absolutely, unwaiveringly... womanly. Especially women in the planning profession.

    There are some "womanly" things about me. My cheeks are rosey, I'm extremely sympathetic, I can't help but say "awwww" when I see a baby, I love when guys offer to carry heavy things for me, etc. But, on the other hand I can be tough, I can take care of myself, I like juvenile gross-out humor, I'll drink bud light from the bottle, I'll flip off a driver who cuts me off, etc.
    I'm right there with you. I thought about replying to the thread but then wondered what I would post because apart from giving birth which is about the most "womanly" thing a woman can do, I think everything else can be done by either a man or a woman and it really doesn't matter who does it.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    I'm right there with you. I thought about replying to the thread but then wondered what I would post because apart from giving birth which is about the most "womanly" thing a woman can do, I think everything else can be done by either a man or a woman and it really doesn't matter who does it.
    I completely agree. I was trying to think of what constitutes "womanliness", but the typical things I tend to think of are the subservient role, barefoot pregnant cooking in the kitchen.

    Not that thats what I think it should be, just what I think of when I hear that term.

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Hmm... and what about those of us women who do not have (have decided not to have) children*? Does that make me less of a woman?

    I agree with kjesadak - I can't really define 'manliness' or 'womanliness,' I just think about good qualities in a person - any person - it doesn't matter what gender.

    *I have been thinking about starting a thread on the topic of childlessness but I haven't done it yet. Who knows, maybe I am the only Cyburbian who has made such a decision...

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    I agree with kjesadak - I can't really define 'manliness' or 'womanliness,' I just think about good qualities in a person - any person - it doesn't matter what gender.
    i concur.

    blah blah. <--message was too short.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    MP your right, I was just about to ask about women who don't have kids.

    Steve and I don't have kids and it does not make us any less human, caring, warm, less "selfish" etc. Grrrr yes this touches on a nerve as I am tired of folks thinking women are a womb with legs
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Perhaps we are moving towards a society where besides sex (for procreation or recreation) gender truly doesn't matter.

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    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Hmm... and what about those of us women who do not have (have decided not to have) children*? Does that make me less of a woman?
    I agree with kjesadak - I can't really define 'manliness' or 'womanliness,' I just think about good qualities in a person - any person - it doesn't matter what gender.
    *I have been thinking about starting a thread on the topic of childlessness but I haven't done it yet. Who knows, maybe I am the only Cyburbian who has made such a decision...
    You are not alone. Hubby and I aren't planning on kids - and have taken steps to prevent them. However, we are both under the age of 40, so if the time comes when we both wake up in the morning and desire kids, then it's adoption time!

    To me, a man is manly when he is confident in his abilities, comfortable around members of the opposite sex, can be romantic, kills bugs without a fuss, and is willing to help around the house. A woman is womanly when she is confident in her abilities, comfortable around members of the opposite sex, likes romances but does not require it on a daily basis, prefers someone else kill the bugs, and is willing to help around the house. The rest - how they communicate, how they dress, what they do, how they feel about pets and/or kids, hobbies - is specific to the individual, not to their gender.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl View post
    I am tired of folks thinking women are a womb with legs
    Well, according to the Catholic church, that's exactly what women are!! (Why I remain a Catholic is beyond me....) Wait....I think they wouldn't even admit that we have legs.

    I think feminism has pretty much laid to rest the idea that women have a unique set of traits that make us different or more fragile than men. The extent to which a women embraces culturally identified female traits is a different issue.

    I feel like a mom most days. Which isn't really a "feminine" form in my mind. It's hard to feel girly and cute when you can't use the bathroom alone, take a shower without helpers, or sleep through the night without getting up to wait on someone.

    OTOH, over the last few years, I've had to moderate my management style to be more feminine....I've found that behaving like a stereotypical man would behave as a manager or as a professional planner doesn't work for me. I've found using charming girlish, non-aggressive ways seems to get me what I want more effectively.

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I agree that for many, and increasingly so, the quest for a partner we can stand to live with for the rest of our lives (or at least for a long while) touches on criteria that are beyond traditional "masculine" and "feminine" roles. That being said, I think there is an important role in society for people who espouse what have, in the past, been associated as "womanly" traits - nurturing, compassion, adeptness and sensitivity for the finer subtleties of human behavior, etc. But I'm not convinced that these are or will continue to be the exclusive domain of women. I feel the same way about the "manly" traits. They need not be executed by men.

    My wife and I split up certain duties in a fairly traditional way. She does the food shopping and household budgeting. I have the full-time job and do the home improvement work. But we both clean, cook, take the kids where they need to be (except during work hours), etc. And we are, for sure, equal partners in every major household decision. No separate bank accounts or anything like that. And I think the kids see us as equal parenting partners, too. While I sometimes use the "go ask your mother" line, she does the same, and ultimately, no one is allowed to do much of anything without the approval of both of us (assuming we are both home). As a marriage, we are partners, best friends, and confidentes. We are different, of course, but we are a team with different skills and talents that, together, make us a better household. I'm not sure our assets are particularly masculine or feminine, but they are different (now, how long before someone makes a joke about men's and women's "assets"?)
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I know the second I put this down someone will tell me differently but I believe that women have more of an ability to "find" things. Perhaps it is from the hunter gatherer days. Gathering food /berries goes hand in hand with shopping and hunting the bargain The human race would not have survived long had they not come home with something. Men tend to hunt bigger more obvious things. The example of men going shopping is more like "I am going out to get the thing (Bison) I need and come back. Yes, still hunting, but for something you couldn't miss even with bad eye sight.

    I have not been around any men in my life that will sift through unidentified things to find a missing item. Maybe I am wrong and I am not saying always but the general trait.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

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    Cyburbian craines's avatar
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    Womanliness------------should include a woman's ablility to turn our male masculine pride macho bs into something that is actually usefull to the evoulution of mankind.
    Looking for Sanity
    In this Crazy Land Of Ours

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    after this week...

    woman = hormones


    they give you the ability to do some wonderful things (have boobs & have kids*) but they also give you the ability to cry at a NAACP commercial, go from hysterically laughing to crying in a nanosecond, and lots of other fun emotions that men will never understand.

    *if you want.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    So what I'm seeing here is that none of the women who freely offered their thoughts on what makes men manly are inclined to jump in and say what constitutes womanliness even though the men did some self-analysis. I guess that constitutes one of the female characteristics?
    Nope. I just saw this thread for the first time right now.

    _____________

    While my body and outer facade are approximately female, my personality is that of the *stereotypical* male. Any info I give about myself--does not apply to the vast majority of females.

    Soooo.... ya'll sure you want my opinions on the two topics?

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Womanliloose - A hot looking babe shaking her money maker as she walks in the other direction?

    I'd have more thoughts, but I can't type very fast. It will take 6-8 weeks.

    Oh wait, maybe this comment is for another threat.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    To be fair, the manliness thread began with z's provoking thoughts. This one began with a question.

    I don't consider myself to be very womanly; I don't really like being around women, well at least more than one. I work on construction sites, in the mud, and I love it. I am trying to modify my communication style to be less masculine, without sacrificing any respect I get on the job.

    What is womanly? Well, all the things that make us good mothers and nurturers. Emotion, compassion, gentleness, ability to sacrifice what we want for the better of someone we love. Being confident and not weak, but knowing when to accept help. And, from my experience, knowing how to look up numbers in the telephone book.

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