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

  1. #26
    Cyburbian
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    The responses on this thread partly reveal how skimpy a traditional idea of womanhood is compared to the more robust identities of the women on this board. When masculinity and femininity are mutually exclusive, the woman side of things gets all the wussy, passive stuff, while the dynamic and powerful characteristics generally fall into the male category.

    I feel very secure in my womanliness, and this includes social aptitudes and domestic skills that do fall into a traditional idea of womanliness. But I also know myself to be assertive, sharp, responsible, and creative, traits once ascribed to a masculine ideal.

    Now this isn't to say that women of past generations were not every bit as tough and dynamic as human beings as modern women. It is just the idea of what men and women are and should be has shifted and melted more than a little bit.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    One aspect of "womanliness" versus "manliness" that I see in how each sex regards their own bodies.

    Men, in general, do not give our bodies a whole lot of thought from day to day. A man's body is a vessel that he uses to take his being from place to place and to sense the world. Which is probably why we men often don't take good care of it. We treat our bodies like a Comanche treated a horse. We ride it until it collapses then we pick it up and ride it to death.

    Women are much more attuned to their bodies. Partly it is a societal thing. Women are judged positively or negatively on how they look. Women's bodies make people and feed them in infancy. It has been said that when a woman looks in the mirror she looks for flaws and a man looks in the mirror and sees what is right. Women, as a rule, spend al ot more time of body maintenance than men. And it shows. Women are more aesthetically pleasing than men.

    I take a shower and I brush the hair I still have, put on deodorants, get dressed and go. My wife takes a shower, shaves her legs and armpits, brushes her hair, moisturizes, accessorizes, applies creams, goops, lipsticks, etc. In the evening she kneels in front of her mirror and reverses the process.

    Women, as a general rule, treat their bodies like a vessel that will get them from here to there in style and savor their sensory information more than men. Women know colors other than those found on the spectrum chart. They know the nuances of scents and sounds.Women seem to be more keyed into the sensory aspects of the world and themselves.

    Women are more likely to go to a doctor if their bodies are not feeling right. Men often don't see a doctor about their ailments volunatarily and have to be wheeled into an ER with a crash cart for last minute intervention.

    Another aspect of "womanliness" is that women are more attuned into other people than men tend to be. When I get off the phone with my family, my wife always quizzes me on the conversation and has about four questions about my family that I did not even think about asking. I actually now think about what my wife might ask me as I am talking to my mom. There is going to be a test afterwards. I want to pass.

    So, in conclusion, I would say aspects of "womanliness" are being more in the moment, being more aware of themselves and their bodies, and more aware and concerned with other people.
    Last edited by otterpop; 08 Dec 2008 at 11:55 AM.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  3. #28
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    Another aspect of "womanliness" is that women are more attuned into other people than men tend to be. When I get off the phone with my family, my wife always quizzes me on the conversation and has about four questions about my family that I did not even think about asking. I actually now think about what my wife might ask me as I am talking to my mom. There is going to be a test afterwards. I want to pass.
    It's that being primarily relationship oriented instead of task oriented thing. I call my son to ask about something, get the answer, say goodbye and hang up. Mrs. ofos wants to know everything that's been happening in their family and he's getting grilled on his end too. We just don't think to ask. We've gotten or given the answer that we needed. Neither of the wives interrupt us to ask or ask to speak to each other. We never learn and they don't either. I guess that's the common ground of the sexes.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  4. #29
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I tended to think of women as the "nurturers" which sounds outdated but I really think it can be intuitive (or at least the way we were raised) to many women. I want to take care of everyone I love. Many men pull back and go AWOL over this concept. But, I know much of that can be attributed to how they were raised; they may want to do the right thing, but don't know how. But you guys are getting better.

    Once, my brother's wife and newborn were sick with a horrible intestinel ailment. When my mom finally tracked him down, he was drinking beer with his buddies and she reamed him out for not taking care of his wife and child. He allowed that he knew what to do but expressed amazement that the guy was expected to do it. He thought leaving a message for his mom to go over and take care of them was enough. I guess that was the way we were raised.

    Sometimes womanliness is just that we can articulate things first. So we sound more sensitive.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by southsideamy View post
    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.
    Are you not naturally charming, girlish, non-aggressive, etc.? Just curious....did you find you had to modify your management style to be something that you aren't really? If so, are you ok with this?! (I'm asking in a completely curious, non-judgmental way because.....) I too have had to shift strategies so to speak and it really kind of pissed me off because I kind of resent having to be (or to portray) something I'm not in order to be considered professional.

    Yes, I think that everyone has their different personas for the different parts of their life - family, friends, work, etc. but I think women are expected to play all sorts of roles and but yet vary their personalities depending on the situation. And it almost seems as though men can just be themselves at all times and its ok. Like going into a meeting and talking about sports and beer, but if I were to do that it (which I don't) it comes across unprofessional.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner View post
    And it almost seems as though men can just be themselves at all times and its ok. Like going into a meeting and talking about sports and beer, but if I were to do that it (which I don't) it comes across unprofessional.
    Glad you mentioned that because I have actually been in meetings where I have said "Can we cut the sports s*it and get something done, because I have better things to do with my time?" And the men look at me like I'm nuts. I don't make them listen to us "girls" discussing child-raising, quilting, or other crap related to "womanhood". Sheesh. It's like sometimes they can't meet on business until they've discussed every sports result from the previous weekend.

    So I reckon that cutting the crap and just doing business is "womanliness"? But apparently that's a bad thing.

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