Femininity escapes definition. I can only give you some signs of it:
- when a girl is pliant,
- when a girl is complicit in her own seduction,
- when a girl is totally in love with the fact that she’s a girl,
- when a girl takes away your ever-present urge to become an alcoholic (it’s amazing how guys begin to drink alone when their girlfriends are out of town).
But we’re no better as men for knowing this. And it still doesn’t explain what femininity is.
Femininity is the follower. It must be in the presence of masculinity to exist. A girl cannot decide to be feminine any more than you can decide to feel what it’s like to listen to Civil War without actually listening to it. To complain about girls being too masculine is like the CEO of a company blaming the company’s failure on his employees. It all comes back to you, and even if your employees are morons, you’re the one who picked them. You could even define masculinity as a psychological state in which you see femininity in girls.
A girl who is feminine in your presence is like an applause break in comedy. Getting booked at shows is tough, but if you get an applause break at a show, the owner of the club tracks you down afterward, talks to you for at least five minutes, which is five hours in club owner time, and invites you back to do a longer set “whenever you can fit it in.” It takes you from elbowing your way through the scene to being let in the back door. What seems like an industry of brick walls becomes an open pasture.
Girls can seem tough, too—they won’t call back, they manipulate you, they say one thing and do another. But once you get them in touch with their femininity—which only occurs when you’re more masculine—a dump truck of roofies wouldn’t make them easier to manage.
Can you be strong and feminine? No. What chicks mean by “strong” is “masculine.” So they act like men but then think wearing lipstick makes up for it—this sounds like my buddy in drag. If I was going to date a masculine woman, I’d just date my buddy. He’d probably be cleaner, and he’s better at sports.
Can you be intelligent and feminine? Yes. Intelligence is a gender-neutral trait. If intelligence was a masculine trait, then smart guys would be good with girls. Intelligence on a woman is like hair color—some guys like brunettes more than others, but it doesn’t make brunettes more attractive.
Some girls don’t have it in them to be feminine. And some audiences don’t have it in them to go into an applause break. Oh well, there are going to be bad shows, you get through them and move on. Your need to complain about audiences tells me nothing about the audience and everything about your love of complaining.
Femininity is alive and well in the context of a relationship. Or it can be, according to you. But in culture, it has been dead since woman’s suffrage. Women’s suffrage is like a man saying on a date, “I don’t care where we go to eat, why don’t you pick?” Sure, it’s equal and fair and morally right, but it makes vaginas dry up faster than an alcoholic who sees a video of himself drunk. Equality and fairness negate our sexuality. Since 1918, femininity has been continually eroded. It’s unsafe for a girl to be feminine in a culture that lambastes it as stupid and frivolous.
Feminism is the antithesis of femininity. It teaches women they need to be like men to have value—to be dominant, assertive, and strong (ie high testosterone). This is, in fact, misogyny. Misogyny is the hatred of feminine traits, not women, which is why misogyny and homophobia are comorbid, and so explains why bull dykes don’t get along with gay men. However, it’s important to understand why feminism exists. Imagine if you were a young woman, out in the world, trying to make her way, and every guy you met was some 33-year-old graphic designer who only worked 13 hours per week as a “freelancer,” and his primary mode of transportation was a longboard. You too would think, “well, somebody around here needs to start acting like a dude.” Then don’t be surprised when the new Ghostbusters is with chicks in gender blackface.
Femininity is when a girl is compliant with herself, with the symphony of her own desires. But it’s difficult for her to be compliant with herself and culture. Not surprisingly, the more feminine girls I’ve known watch little television, don’t read newspapers, and in general, are cut off from the media. They read fiction and paint and do crosswords. The more we place “should’s” on how to act—especially the implicit “should’s” of culture—the more out of touch we inevitably are with ourselves.
A quotation that encapsulates the effect of femininity on men is from the 1989 Batman directed by Tim Burton. It’s when Alfred says to Bruce Wayne, referring to his new girlfriend Vicky Vale, “I feel there’s a certain weight that lifts when she’s here.”
Girls have a difficult time understanding how valuable this feeling is to us. We don’t need your job or your money or your decisions—we can do that on our own. But your feminine nature, there and present, is the serum that keeps men sane. With it, everything is worth it; without it, nothing is worth it.