Thursday, September 13, 2007

Femininity.

True conversation:

He: You need to be more feminine. A man likes to be around a woman who is, well; a little more vulnerable. He wants to know that you need him.
Me: But do I need a man?
He: (laughing) That's a very good question.

So is that what I'm to believe? Is my femininity determined by someone else's masculinity? In which case, why should I be expected to lower my abilities in order to allow someone else to supersede my own virtues? Isn't it fair to say, if my femininity is so important, that it's okay for me to expect someone to be more "masculine"- more independent, more self-sufficient, more caring, more compassionate, more intelligent, more successful, more outgoing, more capable than I am at my best?

This isn't the first time I've been warned about being "too independent." It was, however, the first time it was point-blank suggested to me that I act as though I weren't. I'm not into deception. I don't manipulate, hide, or pretend. It's just too much effort. And I consider it lying. Another thing I don't advocate; not even in the slightest. But maybe it's time to humble myself and fact the facts; men don't like a woman who is too independent. Now, I've been 100% on my own and responsible for myself (and at times, others) since I was 16. So we're kidding ourselves to think I can't do this on my own. The real question is, to me...Do I WANT to do this all on my own? No. I don't. *

I don't need someone to coddle me, pacify me, or provide for me. I don't need someone to depend upon financially, emotionally, socially, or even psychologically. But do I want to give everything that I am to better someone else's life; and thereby raise a good family? Do I want to work with someone else toward a common goal and accomplish a life that is greater outside myself? Do I want to understand what it's like to be willing to sacrifice everything for someone else's sake? To truly understand what real, eternal, Christlike love is? Absolutely.

So may I ask a favor of you all? May I ask that, ladies, you not pretend to be less than you are to find acceptance, and gentlemen, that you not require us to. I think we'll all be more fulfilled in the end by recognizing ourselves as complete persons who are not so much made whole by another, but made stronger and better than we were on our own.

* You'll have to forgive the video. It was just too funny for me to resist. And somehow, I completely relate to her...The lyrics to the song are actually quite good...

10 comments:

k8 said...

everyone wants to feel needed by the people they love. i think there is a big difference between being able to take care of yourself just fine on your own and living as though you were an island.

one of my dearest guy friends once pointed out that it's not a BAD thing that guys want to take care of us. I think it's dangerous to be dependent on them for money or validation, but I don't think it takes anything away from my independence to be a bit more willing to let them feel needed. I don't have to pretend that I like them after all!

Salt H2O said...

The video is hilarious.

You see alot of relationships where 1 + 1 = 1.5 or 1 + 1 = 2 but what we all want is a 1+1= 3- that's where the magic happens.

SLCDave said...

Great article in 2007 August Ensign about just this topic ---
http://tinyurl.com/2vjeaq

Stephen Covey in his book 7 Habits Book also talks about how indepedence (while an important phase) is not the objective-- but rather Win/Win synergy type relationships

Dependence
Independence
Interdependence

In a fireside he gave once, he also said to the effect "maintaining vulnerability is the key to staying in love"

caroline said...

i was told at different times in my life by a family member that i should:
a- make brownies and give them to guys i like
b- wear my young women's medallion to show that i'm a spiritual girl
c- should appear to be less self sufficient to men to be more approachable
d- a little manipulation never hurt to "rope someone in"

so, if anyone wants to be manipulated by a medallion wearing, vulnerable girl with brownies in tow, you just let me know....

Tannerama said...

Whoa, since when does femininity=weakness? Just because I think that my old high school gym teacher needs to be more feminine doesn't mean she should stop competing in the hammer toss. No, it means she should stop cutting her hair like Ernest Borgnine and swearing like a longshoreman. Show her softer side. Show that she does have feelings and that she can let her guard down.

Just because one is independent doesn't mean one has to constantly assert that independence. I could never see myself with a woman where the situation was:

Me:"Hey honey do you need help with that?"
She:"Yes, but just so you know I am not dependent upon you. I could do this on my own. But, since you are here I will let you do it."
Me:"Gee thanks."

And also, from a gospel standpoint you need a man just as much as I need a woman. I'm sure you all know the scripture.

Like SLC Dave and Salt h2o said: Its all about interdependence.

Also, Caroline, that sounds hot.

Seymour Glass said...

well, there are something like 3 schools of thought here:

#1: a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle
-I can totally appreciate this, to a point, knowing some of the talented, capable women that I do and not knowing an equal number to talented, capable men.

#2: a woman needs a man (and fish need bicycles)
-Seems a bit of an outdated notion to me, but perhaps one still prevalent in slightly less progressive mormon circles.

#3: all you need is love
-The Beatles know what's up. it's not that we need each other, we need to be loved AND to love. and in so doing we can find some sort of magical harmony in a cooperative existence where independence and dependence don't really have a place, although it's perfectly fine to depend on people for things and to be dependable (as it is to do things independently of one's partner). love is all you need.

Anonymous said...

I think women DO need men. And i think men need women. That's all.

f*bomb. said...

Every time I have to haul laundry or groceries over more than one trip and it involves stairs, I always get a pang that says, "You really need to get a boyfriend."

It usually happens when I watch tv, too. And sometimes when I go running, I kinda want to turn around and ask the hot, shirtless man why we're both running alone...

cropstar5 said...

It's not that I'm not capable of doing everything on my own. I just don't want to do everything on my own because it's more fun to have someone to do everything with. I just want a best friend... a best friend I can have sex with.

Vanilla Vice said...

All right, I don't mean to get all churchy on here, but let's take a look at your relationship with Christ and compare it to one you want to have with your husband, as it is a triad. You and your husband must submit to one another and depend on one another. You have to learn to be a little vulnerable because there are parts of you that are vulnerable, you just have to learn to be in touch with that part of yourself.

In western cultures men have the "knight and shining armor" syndrome where they want to "save" their fair maiden. They want to serve her, do good deeds, and honor her when first courting her. When a woman acts too independent or mothers him, she castrates his ability to be noble and thus refuses him. He walks away and is uninterested. Why would a man want another man? He would be gay. He wants a WOMAN - he defines a woman as well, feminine.

I didn't do it. Blame Tristan and Iseult and their romanticizing love for the western world and ruining it.