I was chatting to a friend a few evenings ago and she commented, while we were talking about something else, that I am very feminine. Which landed, and settled and made me think. I realise that I don’t consider myself particularly feminine. But if I consider what friends have said to me – they do. I wear dresses. My hair is long. I took it on to mean only the physical.
So I googled feminine and Wikipedia has this to say:
“Femininity (also called girlishness or womanliness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Femininity is made up of both socially-defined and biologically-created factors. This makes it distinct from the definition of the biological female sex, as both males and females can exhibit feminine traits.
Traits traditionally cited as feminine include gentleness, empathy, humility and sensitivity, though traits associated with femininity vary depending on location and context, and are influenced by a variety of social and cultural factors”.
I considered the other traits mentioned. I don’t consider myself especially gentle. I can be empathetic but am not always. Humility – at times. Sensitivity – yes, depending on the circumstance, although by my age I have learnt to squash it. An interesting little self-study.
And then my opinion/ judgement: Do I want to be feminine? Have I spent much of my time denying my natural self? Did I make choices based on someone else’s take and thoughts on femininity? Were my career choices affected by this? And the development of my identity?
In my 20s I worked on a yacht as chef and the work was fairly demanding. I was strong and tanned and dressed every day in a man’s uniform of shorts and a collared shirt. I clearly remember suddenly falling in love with pink. I even bought a most beautiful pink floaty scarf from a small boutique on the Italian riviera. I was craving the feminine.
So now in my mid 40’s maybe I could try a new tack: being me more confidently and consciously. A more natural me which others seem to see anyway. It will definitely affect my work. And as that has been something I have always been interested in developing, I long to see where it all goes.