I was having an interesting conversation with my younger sister the other day, she is 16, about femininity and how she thinks women should act. I was very surprised and a little shocked when she told me that she agreed with women who used their sexuality to get what they wanted from men. Her defense for this was that women had been used for hundreds of years for sex and therefore it was appropriate and right for them to turn the tables on men and use sex against them or for their own benefits. After I picked my jaw off the floor, and decided NOT to call the principle of her school demanding to know what they were teaching, I realized I didn't quite know where to begin with my sister. I wonder if I had somehow failed as the eldest to teach proper feminine etiquette or...something. My sisters had never seen me strutting around the house in short shorts and halter tops. I had only recently begun to wear 2 piece swimsuits with a 6 foot towl wrapped around me. It frightend me, ever so slightly, that this was how my sister viewed things. Unfortunately I saw that this was how most women viewed sex and sexuality, as a game. The art, power and beauty of femininity had been lost somewhere throughout the years, yes, but now it had been lost to even "good Catholic girls." I would most definitely not call my self an expert in these matters but wouldn't say that I am completely incompetent. I began to understand the power of my own feminity when I started dating my boyfriend about 8 months ago. He once said, "Erin before I met you I didn't quite understand why men, a long time ago, used to make such a fuss over seeing women's ankles. Now I get it."
I'm pretty sure what he was refering to was how rarely I exposed my legs and never wore scantely clad outfits even in the summer time. I realized then that I wasn't trying to attract attention, I was even trying to avoid it, and yet I was holding my boyfriend by a string wrapped around my pinky finger. That was never my intention at all. Still, I possesed a great power that I hadn't been previously made aware of.
Women don't understand any more the strength and force they possess by just being women. They have lost the mystery. They just lay it all out there for men to come sniffing around like dogs so they can put them on leashes. I used to love watching scenes in classic movies where a woman, modestly dressed, would make men fall over or run into a pole or spill their beer just by walking down the street. There was always a grace and elegance she carried with her and possessed that has been replaced by booty shorts and a "shirt" that resembles women's lingerie.
I wouldn't really know where to begin in recovering the lost art of femininity. It needs to start with the young women. I cannot stress enough to the young girls that I talk to about the importance of being womanly and that there is nothing wrong or weak about it. Women have more power than they realize and its time to rediscover it.