Thursday, March 19, 2009


The question came up the other day about what it means to act like a woman. My first reaction is that however a woman acts is acting like a woman. Then, I went and mulled it over, brushing off some of my ideas and notions on what might be considered female behavior.

There is a broad range of "female" behavior. Somethings, like having babies, are still relegated only to women. But not all women do, either by choice or by chance. This does not make them less female.

Some women carry purses, wear high heels, and defer to the men in their lives. I would rather cut off my dominant hand and beat myself with it.

Many female traits, though, are considered negative. Most people don't really want to read a book where the main character doesn't do anything even though many women prefer to take the passive role. Being assertive isn't an inherently female trait. But there have always been women who took charge of their lives. Women who were very active.

I know a lot of young women who defer to their boyfriends. And some who will get married still defering to their partner. They won't stand up for themselves. Around some of them, I get a bloody lip from biting it so much...

But most men I know think that confidence is DAMN sexy. (I suspect that part of it is a belief that confidence outside the bedroom will also mean confidence, assertiveness, and active participation in the bedroom.)

It's a fine line between being confident (good) and being assertive (not good). Assertiveness viewed negatively is just plain labeled 'aggressive.' Aggression is pretty safely negative regardless of gender.

Is there a way that "women" talk? Perhaps it's about relationships. Or with deferential phrases that show that the woman is willing to be flexible in her opinion. If she even states an opinion. Sadly, "female" speech is more likely than male speech, in my experience, to be full of soft self-degradation. Men rarely talk that way. My Hubby says that I always sound like I know what I'm talking about, even when I may not. Does this mean I talk like "a man?"

What does it mean to act like a woman? What are the best things that women do?

(Pic from wikimedia commons)

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Most of the male speech I hear centers on sports, politics, cars, work-related stuff. Women talk about people, physical stuff (hair, clothes, bodies) and problems.