What’s so feminine about that?

This blog has to be a dedicated to a one liner said by one very good friend of mine……..so, all tribute to you dear, for making this blog happen!!!! πŸ™‚

Scene: Coffee Day
Characters: (the good old) Me and my very daer friend whom I shall call “A” for the purpose of this blog

A: (looking at a make-up laden woman sitting on the table next to ours and apparently waiting for someone to come. She had just come back after a long time from the rest-room) Why do women take so much time in the rest-rooms?

Me: I don’t know. I don’t take time……..

A: Hmmm……..I know that YOU don’t but you’d at least know what do they do so much in the loo?

Me: I guess they refresh their make-up, a fresh coat of lipstick, powder compact, mascara, kajal……..

A: Hmmm……

Me: Well, I guess I’m not so feminine! (pulling a long face)

A: What’s being feminine got to do with spending long time in the rest-room?

Me: Not that. I mean, generally. I don’t make up and stuff, you know!

A: Ya, you don’t. But still, that has nothing to do with feminity.

Me: Maybe, but you know, all these womenΒ use make up and I don’t! Guess I’m not feminine enough!

A: Then, I guess I’m not masculine enough too!

Me: What crap? How can that be!!!!

A: Ya, I don’t treat you condescendingly as if you’re some lowly being. I don’t order you around and expect you to behave timidly with me and stuff!

Me: But THAT is not what masculinity is about!

A: Exactly, applying layers of make-up and refreshing it from time to time IS NOT feminity too!

Me: (deep in thought)…….you make sense but I don’t know…..

A: Just because you don’t do what a majority of women do doesn’t mean you are not feminine enough!!!!

At the end of this conversation, I was left quite puzzled. What exactly feminity is? And for that matter, what’s masculinity? For the first time, I am at a loss of words! And I would appreciate any enlightenment coming from people!!!!!!!!!!

Pritz (lost and confused)…….



  1. Ananth said,

    November 11, 2006 at 11:17 am


  2. Neha Mujumdar said,

    November 11, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    Ahh – for once I could fully imagine this conversation happening!

  3. Pritesh said,

    November 12, 2006 at 10:27 am

    Ya, very true Neha………..but I shall welcome some enlightenment on YOUR stand on this! πŸ˜€

  4. Neha Mujumdar said,

    November 12, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    Oh that’ll take some time and pondering over, neither of which I am in a capacity to do right now.

  5. Pritesh said,

    November 13, 2006 at 12:27 pm

    One comment from a friend of mine that didn’t get published for some reason!

    Feminity is beautiful. Beauty is powerful.
    Masculinity is subset feminity.
    PS: I am not a sexist or a feminist!

  6. November 13, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Sorry for the long comment…

    I think the cardinal biological qualities of a female are : child bearer, nurse, seductress. Male counterparts of these qualities are : hunter and warrior. All this, keeping in view the ancient system wherein we (as in, our ancestors) used to live in small tribes. Guys used to go out hunting, and expanding the territory for the tribe. Women used to stay back taking care of kids, gathering food from the vicinity. Guys used to compete for females. The strongest guys used to get the most attractive babes. Similarly, it was important for the females to keep the interest of the males up to keep up a high level of competition, possibly to ensure that the healthiest progeny resulted.

    What attribute is looked at as feminity might be different from case to case. But I feel, in any case, it depends upon whether the male interprets that attribute as a demonstration of some of the above cardinal female qualities. For instance, an aggressive woman might be a put off for some male because that might indicate encroachment on the hunter qualities of male and as an absense of tender aspects of a child bearer and nurse. But for another male, the same may come out as an attractive challenge because taming an aggressive female might be a strong demonstration of one’s strength and masculinity. Aggressiveness is surely not a feminine attribute; but it still often manages to attract males who are looking for challenges to their own masculinity.

    Similar equations seems true the other way round. An ultra soft spoken chap may appear sissy to many females. But the same may appear as a challenge to a girl’s feminity and make the chap appear intriguing and irresistible.

    Quite differently, intelligence isn’t inherently either male or female. Intelligence, however, has become a strong weapon of survival in modern world. It often appears like a masculine feature therefore. For me, a girl’s intelligence, when displayed in competitive environments will hardly ever win her my (male-)admiration. If there’s any admiration it will be of MF, or neutral, type. However, intelligence displayed in handling relation conflicts etc., to me, appears a strongly feminine and attractive quality in females.

    So many examples is to drive home one point. All these apparent qualities are secondary qualities in terms of feminine or masculine. How these qualities fare as feminine and masculine depends completely on the beholder’s mapping them to the above cardinal feminine and masculine characteristics. And that’s rather variable. However, for all these secondary qualities, statistics do play an important role.

    A female taking forever for makeup has long enjoyed a status of strong feminine characteristic (seductress). Perhaps, at times, it loses ground, but only to be supplanted by other secondary characteristics which help the female duly fulfil her seductress’s role. πŸ™‚

  7. Pritesh said,

    November 13, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    Hmm……………….THANK YOU SO MUCH Sujit!!!!! It’s wonderful to read such a well thought of analysis of the question I’ve raised!!!! I guess you make sense, at some times, in a blunt way too! I mean, intelligence not being considered a feminine attribute isn’t something that sounds too good to me! But it’s ok, it IS probably how it is looked at! And ya, aggressive females are probably still found intimidating, or put off, as you say!

  8. November 13, 2006 at 11:34 pm

    Thanks to you. This topic is damn interesting. I can never tire talking on it. πŸ™‚

    Yup. Certain things about these biological equations aren’t indeed very logical sounding or pleasant. For instance, an ‘intelligent’ girl will surely be admired, but mostly in a neutral way. Intelligence, as a weapon of competition, will hardly gain a female advantages as a female. Perhaps one explanation is in place here. It’s not exactly about scaring away males. A male who doesn’t get attracted (in a male sense) to the competitive intelligence of a female isn’t necessarily intimidated of her. I don’t get attracted to a girl because of her doing well in her career. Doesn’t mean that I am intimidated of them. Far from it. I find it a pleasure to work with female colleagues who are intelligent and aggressive. I admire them most sincerely. It’s just that my admiration for them takes a very asexual form.

    But roles are changing. A female needn’t keep always striving to fare well only as a female. Losing out a bit of ground as a female may give her long term benefits in survivability. It’s a complex affair.

    One example from my personal experience. I have been blessed (or cursed) with amounts of soft qualities as hardly any female could claim to have. Be it affection, caringness, sensitivity, patience, empathy etc. I am aware of the admiration and respect that gains me. But, I am even more sharply aware of the fact that they “statistically” don’t win me any advantage as a male. In other words, they hardly contribute towards making me a more sought after male. I could be bitter about it, and blame the bad taste of females for that. But, that’s not true. I have earned all admiration from every female in my circle that she’s consciously capable of giving. But getting attracted is not a conscious happening. It doesn’t always obey the logical decisions. It follows some biological patterns which are not straightforward logical.

    Isn’t it?! πŸ™‚

  9. Pritesh said,

    November 16, 2006 at 9:59 am

    Very true Sujit! But I personally feel that equations from women’s side are changing as well. The women of today (I really LOVE calling them the ALPHA women) do get attracted to guys who have these “supposedly feminine” qualities, like sensitivity (mind you, it ranks VERY HIGH in women’s priority list these days), caring, understanding! I guess the days when women used to be attracted to the men who are just aggressive are passe!!!!!

    And empathy is another one that ranks very high! So, speaking for females, I can easily say that these are NOT the qualities that are a curse anymore! And being an aggressive female myself (I think I am fairly aggressive), I can tell you that even men are beginning to find aggressive females attractive.

    As for no woman having been attracted to you so far πŸ˜‰ I don’t know really! It could depend on a host of other factors. Maybe the RIGHT girl hasn’t met you yet! Or maybe you didn’t notice a female adulation that must’ve come your way sometime as you must’ve been too busy admiring them neutrally (who knows, an intelligent female would’ve been attracted to you sometime)!!!!!

  10. aknasa said,

    February 24, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    I’d like to get to know Neha a bit more


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: