I thought it was an intersting wuestion there, and I think it is here, too.
In general, I find that the older I become, the more comnplex my gender identity is. I feel both masculine and femine traits in myself, but the ones that I associate most with feeling feminine are:
Feelings of deep compassion and empathy Babies that make me giggle Long, hot baths The way my hips move when I walk Decorating myself, and sparkles certainly help. The smooth feel of my own skin My curves Talking to my mother, even when it isn't always pleasant! Making music Ovulating and menstruating (yeah, duh, I know) How the sound of low, deep voices make me shiver very pleasantly Flirting Appreciating other women
Hee hee, I was just going to post this topic. Anyway, my boyfriend and I had an argument about the "manly" topic last night. I'm kindof divided on this issue.
Basically I believe that gender is a completely SOCIAL construction. Therefore, I feel uncomfortable associating things other than my body with being "female".
However, I also realize that it's impossible to escape your past. I can see how it might be comforting to be able to link yourself to the traditions of your gender. For example, I sometimes feel like I am linked to other women through time when I sew, or clean, or care for children. I feel like I am better able to understand why I am a feminist, when I can feel a kinship to women through history.
Similarly, I can see how doing physical labour would make men feel manly. Perhaps men can better understand the hardships of men who went to war, or who were slaves. Hopefully this will make them understand pacifism, etc.
I suppose that what I'm saying is that I don't really think we should celebrate differences between genders, because these differences are actually oppressing us. However, I think it's important to recognize past and present inequalities so that we can improve the future.
I think Rizzo, that if you looked at a large groups answer to something like this, what you'd start to see is more commonality than difference.
I don't think it is recognizing differences that opress one gender or another. It is not respecting those differences, taking advantage of them, or using them to control any one group. It is also all in how you look at it.
I'm simply not of the mind that ignoring the differences that are there for WHATEVER reason -- be it cultural, physical or emotional, etc -- is the solution to anything, and even if it were, it'd be a quick fix. We all in the long run need to be able to accept others and appreciate our uniqueness at the same time.
Anyway, I just think that things like makeup, shaved legs and dresses shouldn't be what make us feel like women. That's not a value judgement on people who DO feel womanly because of those things, it's a judgement of society. I wish that men would be accepted if they wore makeup/shaved their legs/wore dresses.
The whole idea of being told what is masculine/feminine is distasteful to me. The media tells me I should pluck and shave and wear makeup if I want to be a woman. But, funny that, I feel like a woman anyway! Because I think the core of what being a woman is, is our bodies and our histories, NOT the way we pretty ourselves up to conform to what men think women should be like.
But that's the point here, Rizzo. Pixie is asking how YOU identify feeling female, not what you're told.
Again, as with other things, I really feel that if you're asking others to accept your own notions of something, you have to accept theirs too, even if they aren't yours. It just strikes me as a bit hypocritical to say that your notion of something is okay, and someone else's isn't. I also think that jumping to the idea that lipstick making a woman feel feminine is about what they're told is hasty. for some people, it may be because society tells them it does, and for others it may simply be because *THEY* feel that it does.
I'm not disagreeing with you in terms of what you're saying, in fact, I generally do agree with you. However, I think that if anyone spins on someone and tells them their definitions aren't okay because they are traditional, it's no better or different than someone spinning on you because yours aren't.
I know men in my life are accepted on a myriad of levels, and by who they are, not what they look likel or how they fit a mold. But i also know that I can accept them -- and women -- regardless of if that mold is what mine is.
*lol @ Starpoet* I was just gonna write that ... because that song makes me think of the same things!! hehe I have a lot of things that make me feel "womanly" ... hmm
Playing w/ barbies (weird, i know ... sexist?) Being held by my boyfriend (ya know, those "i'm the big protector" kind of hugs ... makes me feel all safe and warm and fuzzy hehe) Menstruating (yes, guys can't do it ... hehe) Holding babies (even baby animals ... i know that i would have the parts to be it's mommy if i were only half cat ... *lol)
There are a few more but i won't bore you too much ... hehe
Rizzo I see what you're saying, and that's not what I implied. Actually, all the "popular" guys at my school all shave their legs. Why? Who knows, but almost all the guys do it. I know a lot that wax their eyebrows (can we say unibrow?) And no one calls them less masculine for it. I didn't mean to offend anyone, I just wanted to know what makes YOU feel womanly.
I hate barbies, I love soccer. While I love sparkles and glitter I don't wear makeup. "Dressing up" for me constitutes putting on a non-faded non-baggy non-torn to shreds pair of jeans and a nice shirt. I only wear mascara probably less than once a month, and I use chapstick. But the makeup might be because I was in a performing dance group for three years and you have to wear a ridiculous (but necessary) amount of makeup!
I don't think I fall into the "stereotype" of being girly. I definetly ignore advertising, I buy whatever mascara is on sale. So sorry if I offended you, it wasn't my intent.
I just want to briefly interrupt to defend the poor unibrow.
No, really. I do. I feel it is my civic duty.
My husband has been plucking his for years. Recently, I suggested he grow it in, and he looked at me like I had just landed from Mars in a hot pink lobster suit. And yet, it seems he has now been growing it back in in the last couple weeks.
But I *LIKE* unibrows. Really, I do. And if you're thinking, oh ick, oh yuck, oh...oh...unibarf, I have two words for you that I have personally seen even make a straight man go speechless (and seemed to have convinced my honey that he, too, should love his unibrow) and say...
Heather and I seem to disagree on something. That's not a unibrow. Bushy, yes. One big caterpillar, no.
He is a hottie though!
As for the original question. I just feel like a woman by my mere exsistence. I have always felt like a female, but only in the last few years (say, at age 25) did I start feeling like a woman. I think it has something to do with adult responsiblities, but my gut says it is something more. I just haven't put my finger on it yet.
Lady Moonlight, I totally agree with you! Bubble baths all the way. I love bubble baths, it's at the tope of my list too.
I don't know what else makes me feel womanly. Maybe being looked at by men. (I could be looked at by women too, but that's just not my preference. I hope I didn't offend anyone.) Knowing that some one that I could fall in love with (or am in love with, at the moment) is staring at me, just makes me feel like more of a woman. I don't know if anyone gets what I am saying.
Even though, I am under age to vote, that would make me feel more of a woman too. If you think about it, women weren't used to vote. When I vote, it will make me be more proud to be a woman, than a citizen of the US. That goes with other woman's rights too.
I have to agree with some other ladies that have posted, my period is pretty high up there. Men can't do it.
Someone earlier said talking to their mother. She has a point. I feel the same way when I am bonding with my mother.
I think this post was a really good idea! I can't wait to read some more.
Writing, singing (I trained and worked as an opera/classical music singer for a long time), and cooking -- all are ways I express myself, and express very intimate, emotional, integral parts of myself.
Teaching -- always feels like a very maternal, nurturing thing for me.
Hanging out with close women friends
Appreciating other women
Being with my girlfriend
Being with my boyfriend
Enjoying my body and my curves
Gardening -- growing things, indoors or out
Working out and feeling my own strength
Building things -- I really enjoyed the powerful feeling when I rebuilt part of my back deck recently, and it felt very womanly and strong to be able to do that.
Swimming in the ocean
Sometimes doing the makeup-hair-dresses thing makes me feel womanly. Sometimes it just feels like drag. That depends on my mood. I find that in general, the things that make me feel happy and "in my own skin" are the things that make me feel most womanly.
ummm womanly??? For me its -having a closet full of skirts and dresses -spending time with hair and makeup -facials, bubble baths, pedicures, all that fun stuff -how I know I look good in my clothes (especailly my school kilt) -when guys check me out -how i mange to be happy even with those terrible cramps -reading a good book with my cat sitting on my lap -how my hair blows wildly in the wind when I'm in the car with the top down -cooking for people -cleaning and caring for others (yeah I know housewife stuff ) -my swimsuit - and of course when my bf just stares and smiles (even though sometimes it annoyes me) OK I'll stop there I'm a total GIRLY-GIRL and proud of it.
and on the unibrow thingy my bf has one and I remember at first not liking it but now 6 months later its part of him and more for me to like cause hes not changing himself just to look 'good' according to others. :̃
I'm sorry everyone. I wasn't trying to say I thought this topic was a bad idea. And I realize that I have no right to say what anyone should consider womanly about themselves. But I do think it can be enlightening to discover WHY you consider some things to be "feminine". I recognize that I am biased. I've known many transgendered people, and some have been very close to me. So obviously, my perspective differs a little from the norm (if there is one).
Posts: 582 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Aug 2000
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I don't think you need to be sorry, Rizzo. I was simply suggesting that *you* give as much thought to why you find certain things feminine (or misogynistic) as you're asking others too.
I'll be honest: I feel just as female with a shaved head, furry armpits and overalls as I do in lipstick and platfrom heels. Why? Because it's all me. Like anyone else, I am multidimensional.
You'll find that the staff here have pretty much run the gamut in terms of who we know, what we have seen and what we have experienced: I've had many transgendered friends and colleagues too, but I'm not sure how that relates to this.
Let me say this frankly: I did my time in the women's studies department in college, too, and I'm not sure that there is any less biased propaganda in that camp than there is on the other end of the table.
I believe that I have given quite a lot of thought to why I find certain things feminine or misogynistic. I realize that I am only 18, and I could change my views, but I do believe that I have thought about this issue more than others my age.
I also didn't mean to suggest that "I'm so great because I know transgendered people". I'm not at all surprised that you and other staff members at this site also know many transgendered people. However, I think you guys are pretty exceptional (in a good way). I also think that transgendered issues DO, in fact relate to the question of what you consider feminine. If you are close to someone transgendered, you're forced to think about gender stereotypes all the time. Or, at least that's what happened to me. I can't speak for everybody.
My womanly list(in no particular order): 1. Curves 2. Being naked 3. Being naked with other women in a nonsexual way. Maybe that doesn't make sense if you haven't been to sleepaway camp, but my bunk really bonded this summer when we would sit around naked and chat. 4. Masturbating 5. Menstruating 6. Being a witch(no, that's not a joke) 7. Feeling connected to the moon 8. Dancing 9. Long flowy skirts 10.Long flowy hair 11.Green hair 12.Learning Karate 13.Teaching(Karate, Spanish, Colors-little kids) 14.Spending time with small children and babies 15.Singing(I'm a soprano. . .pretty damn womanly.) 16.Writing poetry 17.Standing up for myself 18.Long hot baths 19.My fuzzy blanket 20.Lip gloss
Posts: 1101 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 2000
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-Looking in the mirror every morning for the last seven or so years and watching my curves appear. And now I admire them. I may gripe about them but I would feel much less womanly with out them.
-My cheekbones and my eyes and my lips. My cheek bones are semi-high like my mothers and my grandmothers, and they are women I have always looked up to. That makes me feel womanly. My eyes can show everything I am feeling or the can show nothing at all, usually they show everything if you know how to look. That makes me feel womanly. My lips are the lips that place kisses on children, dogs, cats and my partner in everything, they tell my family, my friends and my partner that I love them. They express my emotions in movement and set. That makes me feel womanly.
- My vulva, uterus and ovaries, not because they are something a man doesn't have, but because I am a woman and they are the parts that let me define myself as a woman if I so choose.
-Sex. It makes me feel womanly because I am sharing my self with another person which allows me to feel, moreso because I am sharing myself, who I am. And I am a woman.
-Being with my partner. My partner makes me feel like a woman. Not that I wouldn't be a woman with out my partner, but I feel more womanly when I am with them.
Those are a few of the things that make me feel womanly
Hmmm...me? Feminine? What a concept...j/k. -I LOVE barbies. I always made mine Amazons -The "power" I have over my significant other. You know. The look that says I love you dearly, but I'm lonely...come over here... -I love singing. I was a soprano before I stopped choir, but my voice has depened just a little. -My reproductive system. It's a miracle of nature, that only women can do. With a little help, of course... -Treating myself to a facial. One of the do-it-yourself kind. Those rock! -My curves. I always admire them before I take a shower. It's habit. -Spending time with my close buds. All of which are female(until last year I had a malephobia) -Hot baths with a little of my favorite insense. And some nice broadway classics in the background. -The theater. I have no idea why.
Hm...... Talking about stuff like periods, boobs and cute guys with my girlfreinds (and our friend Erich who sits and listens and talks about boobs sometimes.. *lol*) And giggling like Hell the entire time.
------------------ I'm a bitch.. And proud! But everybody loves me. Bad Boy! Go to my room!
Posts: 12 | From: Well, it all started whne my dad was too lazy to put on a damn condom....... | Registered: Sep 2000
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im love being a woman, having all the parts i have, everything..... except my period, i hate it soo much. but i guess if i lost it id feel left out. i also love being able to talk to my puppy and not get weird looks
------------------ u arent worthless if you can make someone laugh ****************** there is a difference between being stupid and being ditzy. i ought to know
I'm a male-to-female pre-op transsexual and what makes me feel "womanly" is the whole package. I really like being able to put put my clothes on from panties out to my dresses. I also like using women's restrooms and having to sit down all the time. It's finding out how some people treat me nice and others treat me bad.
I'd also like to add:
my women friends
and I'm even going to buried as a woman when I leave this earth.
[This message has been edited by RandiP (edited 09 October 2000).]
first off who ever started this, don't feel bad i saw it too. he he. come on we all look on the boys board.
TGIF (thank GOD i'm female!!!!!) since my whole thing is individuality, i love being a girl cause its easier for me to be like a guy! that makes absolutely no sense if a guy acts feminin in any way they get beat on big time by their other guy friends. pansy and such. but if a girl goes around in baggy jeans one day she woun't have her friends questioning her feminity. that comes in handy for me cause i don't like all really girly things but i can act very feminin if i want to.
i love bein a girl!!! i think i look sexier then any guy - i'm not all hairy - i bathe more then twice a week - i'm not always grabing my croch - i have curves - i don't think about sex once every 12 seconds - my hands are soft - my nails are looong (but alll natural!) - i don't need globs of gel in my hair for it to look good - AND I DON'T NEED TO WEAR MY UNDERWEAR ON THE OUTSIDE OF MY PANTS!!!!!
but i'm not like those annoying girly girls who... - can't play any sports or they'll get all sweaty - who are "GOING TO MARRY NICK FROM THE BS BOYS!!!!!" yyyyuck - who talk on the phone forever - need to go to the bathrooms in groups of 5 - who can ONLY wear desiner clothes - who gossip - and who are scared of everything
i can just go around in a tight tank top and baggy jeans and i feel confident and happy with who i am. and nobody can tell me other wise thought i have been asked many a time if i think i'm a guy or a girl.
be yourselves ladies!
Posts: 20 | From: Basking Ridge, NJ, US | Registered: Oct 2000
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Before i got pregnant - i really didn't feel very feminine at all. I prefered pants over skirts, t-shirts to blouses... and now.. I just FEEL better in skirts...i FEEL better putting on a little makeup or shaving my legs occasionally. somehow, i guess it just brought out the estrogen in me
------------------ where is fancy bred? In the heart, or in the head?
Boobs. I seem to have these remarkably appealing mammaries, though they seem to function to comfort people more than as a sexual thing. It think it all goes with being sort of maternal. I'm very female in shape, protective, tend to try to comfort people, cook, serve tea, and just generally do mum things.
Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000
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Hmmm. I have quite a tomboy streak, but I prefer to refer to myself as the best of both worlds
Feminine stuff: *Being able to talk about girl stuff like periods and having babies. I hate the actual experience of having a period because I hurt SOOO much, I'm exhausted, and packing tampons around is inconvenient. But I like "being in on the know" *My breasts, minimal as they are. *Getting my hair done someplace expensive that pampers me. *Simple, flowwy sundresses *Being short. Being able to fit my shoes inside other guys shoes, borrowing a guy's sweater and it goes past my knees. For some reason I just get a kick out of being little. *When I sing along to the radio with guys it's a nice chord. *My favorite tank tops. *Stroking my boyfriend's hair and face, watching his expression turn to something just so...loved, peaceful, calm, amazed...wow. *Shopping with other girls *I practically never see guys hugging each other, or walking around arm and arm, or fixing each other's clothes and hair. I don't do that a lot, but I'm glad I can when I want to. *No hairy knuckles!
What makes me feel womenly? Well here is MY list. -make up (especially flavored lip gloss, my bf says he likes to kiss it off me) -long skirts & dresses -short skirts & dresses -getting dressed up for no reason -seeing guys heads turn when I walk by -bathing suits -snuggling w/ my bf (he makes me feel safe) -hanging out with friends -going to girls night out -being w/ my bf -trying on clothes (I know it sounds funny) -the way my hips move when I walk -my curves -dancing -singing -knowing that I can get a guys attention just by smiling a little in their way -having a guy ask I advise from a girls POV -having guys ask me why it is so hard to figure us out (I think it is funny that guys think we are so hard to figure out)
I guess that is some of my list (at least what I can think of now).
Posts: 4 | From: Cedar Park, Tx, U.S.A | Registered: Aug 2000
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Well, I think the first thing on my list would certainly be *lingerie*. Not trashy things that make me look like I stepped out of a pr0n movie, but really sexy, feminine things that allow me to *own* my body.
I also have to agree with PoetGirl's post (err, back in September?) - being naked with other women in a nonsexual way is a great thing. So many women in our society are not comfortable with their bodies: they are self-conscious of what they perceive as physical flaws, they are uncomfortable with the idea of their sexuality, or whatever. Just being able to relax and be open about your body around other women is a positive experience.
My friends and I used to sit around topless on the weekends while we watched movies and ate popcorn; sometimes we would ask each other questions about female issues (like periods, breasts, etc.), but mostly, we just ignored our nakedness and were comfortable.
It made us each feel more at ease with our own body, and it also made us a lot closer. After all, how can you keep secrets from someone that's sat around topless with you?
Also way up there on my list are: matching fingernail- and toenail- polish; trying on beautiful and expensive dresses that I never intend to buy; being with my fiance, who makes me feel incredibly wonderful about myself; sex; eating fresh blackberries (I don't know why, it just feels feminine to me); dancing - not just hopping and thrashing around, but real dancing, beautiful fluid movement, where you have to be aware of (and in control of) every inch of your body; and Pecan Praline ice cream (especially when it's fed to me in bed!)
I just quit my job as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at a local pool, but I always felt most womanly when I had to fix a boo-boo or comfort a crying child. Pretty much anything that brings my maternal instincts forward makes me feel like a woman. A new favorite of mine is going braless. I feel so liberated. Now when I feel like bras are just restricting me from being a woman. It's just one more layer between me and femininity. I suggest everyone tries it. (:
Posts: 74 | Registered: Oct 2000
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