Displaying items by tag: femininity

Embracing Femininity

by Lora CurrentEmbracing Femininity

Several weeks ago, I was working remotely in a coffee shop when a woman tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up from my computer as she leaned close to me and said, “I just wanted to tell you that you look so feminine.”

This took me off guard. She didn’t say, “You look pretty” or “I like your dress”.

I spent a great deal of time thinking about that comment, trying to understand the peculiarity of her using the term “feminine” rather than a more usual compliment.

The definition of “feminine” is just “having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women or girls.” However, when she said, “You look so feminine,” I heard much more than a usual compliment. I heard, “You look beautiful,” “You are strong,” and “You are gentle,” all at once.

Femininity is a complex mixture of beautiful qualities and characteristics that showcase what only a woman can. Femininity is attentive yet gentle, direct yet humble, confident yet aware, and independently dependent.

Unfortunately, the term “feminine” has been wrongfully smeared in the eyes of many women. It has become a dismissive term or rather a dismissive quality, that women now try to avoid as they strive to live bold and empowered lives.

Femininity has been shaped into an insult to say, “You are weak,” “You are needy or incapable,” “You are less than a man,” or simply “less than.”

There has even been a cultural revolt against the style or look of femininity with oversized fashion, unisex clothes, and a veer toward a more masculine physique.

Present culture tries to minimize any difference between male and female actions, looks, roles, and distinctions and says, “We are the same; therefore, we are equal.”

As a result, femininity has been an innocent casualty in a battle to discover what we perceive to be the true worth of ourselves and our gender.

"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." - Genesis 1:27

However, even many who consider themselves feminists have rejected the false idea of dismissing femininity, saying we need to empower femininity itself rather than deconstruct the reality of true masculine men and feminine women.

To understand femininity, or rather to understand the beauty and significance of true femininity, we must first understand the beauty and significance of the distinct differences between men and women.

My argument is we are not the same; therefore, we are the other’s perfect complement

"The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'" - Genesis 2:18

Women and the unique distinctions and qualities of a woman not only aid society, men, and families but also serve as an incredible complement to men in society and family. In the same way, when men take on the responsibility of being masculine men, they are not the equivalent but rather the perfect complement to women in society and family.

The unique role of each gender is intentionally designed for a specific purpose, which we each benefit from daily.

As a woman, intrinsically feminine, I rely on the men around me for leadership, protection, strength, and structure. In return, I offer insight, safety, encouragement, and patience. These roles are easier to see and appreciate inside the context of marriage and family, and within a mother’s role versus a father’s role.

However, there are many benefits of these differences outside of marriage and children. The dynamic of roles that I laid out applies to my relationship with my father and brothers, with my male boss, with the men in my church, and with other men who have specific relationships in my life. The exchange is a transaction in the sense that each party gives and receives; however, it is not a forced effort where we strain to be able to provide our side of the equation.

The beautiful thing about women is that we naturally lean toward femininity and exhibit feminine behaviors such as gentleness, sensitivity, empathy, charm, and collaboration. Because women were created and designed to be nurturers, those traits come naturally.

We should not feel pressured to suppress the want or desire to be feminine, to succeed like society says we do. In fact, when we embrace who we truly are, and our natural inclinations, we can fully utilize and benefit from the traits and qualities we have. The quality of femininity is to be valued and aspired to as we see the positive effects it has on our relationships, life circumstances, and personal growth.

Though, that is not to belittle uniqueness or individualism. For example, I am a woman who does exhibit some more masculine traits such as directness, goal orientation, and assertiveness. Those are qualities that I value about myself and that have allowed me to achieve the goals I have set for my life. Most of us express some degree of both masculine and feminine traits.

As women, we are capable of a great deal, including many tasks, jobs, or roles deemed “masculine.” And although there are times and seasons when we must step into those areas, we will always revert to our natural design and characteristics of femininity.

My warning is that when we embrace masculinity to the point of losing our feminine, definite qualities, we create a turmoil inside ourselves that is seen all too often. We will never have peace while fighting against who we are.

Women can and should be leaders. Women can and should be able to live independently. Women can and should be courageous. However, in terms of living fully within who we were created to be, women should strive to be, act, and look feminine. This does not mean “weak and incapable,” but rather empowered with the peace and fulfillment of being a woman. Understanding and appreciating all the responsibilities and benefits that come along with that.

When the woman came up to me in the coffee shop, I looked up from my computer as she leaned close to me and said, “I just wanted to tell you that you look so feminine.”

I smiled and said, “Thank you, I try.”

Femininity and Freedom

Working on an upcoming project to promote Women’s Sexual Wellness, Heartbeat team members, Valerie Harkins, Brooklyn Tizzano, Jessica Warner, and Lora Current, had a discussion with Dr. Joe Malone on how femininity is part of a woman’s Superpower. This Superpower empowers women to trust their instincts, design, and Sexual I.Q. creating true freedom in their lives as they embrace their femininity. They discuss the start of a “Romance Revolt” and much more! Take a look at this quick clip from the discussion and be equipped to share these concepts with your clients and those you reach in your prevention programs with life-changing potential!