I’ll admit. My definition of femininity is very different from most. We can call it raising. Background. Socio-economic status. Whatever. All I know is, to me, being feminine is being able to take care of yourself while still being a lady, or dainty, about the situation. Well, in all my years of writing and reading, I’ve never really….looked up the word “feminine.” So today, after a conversation with a friend, I did. The definitions I found were 1) pertaining to a woman or a girl and 2) having qualities traditionally ascribed to women, as sensitivity or gentleness. So, with this in mind, this is my question:
When did “feminine” start meaning “helpless”?
Case and point. In the earlier conversation, @Not_Spice_Tree (follow her on twitter) says (in so many words) “well, I met this girl, she can’t hook her printer up. She doesn’t know how to work the thing. She has a list of things she needs done that are so simple. How can a woman be so helpless?” To which I say (in so many words) “I think we are taught to be helpless because it appears feminine.” I think that’s true. A lot of women, in an effort to attract “the manly man” go into what I call “damsel in distress” mode, complete with the whiny voice, white handkerchief, and princess tears. This way there’s never any real expectations put into certain situations. She won’t have to change a tire. She won’t have to move furniture. She can get away with saying “oh, I broke a nail” in the middle of hard labor and everyone will say “oh. okay. She can’t work anymore.”
Now, I’m not saying a woman should run out and go change a tire. Not what I’m saying at all. But the basics of taking care of home, hearth, and self, is something all women should know. If you plumbing started leaking, do you know how to turn the water main off? Can you check your own oil? Do you at LEAST know what a screwdriver is? What’s the basics of your computer? Can you trouble shoot a bit on your own in regards to anything?
As a woman…as a lady….I ask….does your idea of “feminine” equal “helpless?”