Misconception of Femininity and Females
Misconception of Femininity and Females Femininity is a universal word that we all naturally develop an understanding for. When this word comes up many characteristics run through people’s heads. However, the type of person everyone refers to is always female. Feminine and female seem to go hand in hand in our society. Unfortunately, this is a stereotype put on women today. This is because femininity is referred to as someone who is dainty or sensitive, soft spoken or indifferent, and dependent of a stronger individual. Over the years women have proven that this word should no longer define them.
As the decades progress women become stronger and more independent, which allows them to take over more controlling roles and become a dominating factor in the work force. From this, the definition of femininity should not be the one thing females are defined as. One of the main characteristics of femininity is daintiness and sensitivity. People imagine someone who is very fragile, or even weak. They are always in need of assistance and are unable to do very physical activities. Also, they are very emotional and need to express what is on their mind.
These characteristics were viewed as very common in women from the 50’s who were basically trophy wives and were never taken very seriously. Their only goal was to be the perfect wife and keep the man happy. From these women daintiness and sensitivity become a huge factor when defining femininity in America. Over the years women’s roles have changed dramatically. They are no longer just a pretty face who cannot do anything for themselves. Through difficult times women have had to stand up and support their families because the man was not in the picture.
This was first seen during World War II when all the men had to go overseas, which left their wives the responsibility of getting a job and taking care of the family. Due to this, the work force boomed with new female workers, whom were even taking traditionally male jobs like automotive and factory. Also, women were taking jobs to increase military supplies. For instance, like building weapons and airplanes, which developed the famous fictional female worker called Rosie the Riveter. From this, the characteristics of women started developing into a stronger individual who no longer solely relied on their husband.
Also, they became emotionally stronger and were no longer seen as weak, helpless individuals who needed to be coddled. From this, the idea of a woman started to shift away from the central definition of femininity. The second basic trait of femininity is being very soft spoken and indifferent. Someone with this quality is usually very shy and does not over step their boundaries. They do not speak up about their opinions on a topic and tend to rely on a more dominating figure to determine what they believe in. Also, they are very passive and try to avoid confrontation with others.
This explanation is very stereotypical to how women were viewed because men would only talk about controversial topics between each other and the female was not expected to have her own opinions. They were not given the chance to speak up and from this, women remained quiet and allowed their husbands to speak for the both of them. These early years exemplify how women were viewed and ultimately shaped the definition of femininity. As the years went on and women started to become stronger their opinions soon followed after. They were able to become more comfortable with themselves and started to emerge from the shadows of their husbands.
From this, they started to speak up and even fight for what they believed in. As more women started to take charge the development of women’s rights movements formed and grew exponentially. Women started to become more confident in their voice and were no longer going to be soft spoken, or indifferent. One of the first women’s rights organizations created in 1913 was called the National Women’s Party, lead by Alice Paul. The main objective of this organization was to gain voting equality, and to do this Alice organized Picketing in front of the White House for months.
Eventually, the women influenced Congress to pass the 19th Amendment in 1920. During this time women began to realize their full potential and appear more dominating to others, which hugely shaped the view of women today. Women were no longer viewed as these feminine beauties, but instead, a strong confident individual who has the power to express her views and fight for her beliefs. The last main characteristic of femininity is that the individual is dependent of another. This person relies on a stronger force to take care of them and is unable to fend for themselves.
This is a very common characteristic of a stay at home mom, which was very popular in the 50’s. Their only task was to maintain the house and take care of the children, while the husband financially supported them. From this, they completely relied on their husband for survival because without his pay check there would be no income. This is a very stereotypical view point of a female, which is why femininity becomes tightly associated with the traits of a woman. Over the years more women have strived to no longer depend on a male figure and instead, have excelled in the workforce.
From this, there has been a huge increase of females going to college and building their own careers. This is seen statistically over the years because in 1950 one in three women worked, 1998 three out of every five women worked, and now, women account for 47% of the work force. In society today the stay at home mom is very uncommon because women have developed an independence from men. Women’s priorities have shifted from wanted to start a family as soon as possible to now wanting to become successful first. Also, the jobs women are going into have dominantly been male driven in the past.
For example, the business and science fields have experienced a huge increase in women workers with 60% accountants, 46% biological scientists and 78% Laboratory Technicians. From this, the stereotypes of females being weak and dependent of a male are extremely wrong, which is why the traits of femininity should not solely define a woman. Although not all women may act like the career driven female explained in this essay there has been a dramatic trend line towards this. More women are adapting stronger characteristics and shying away from the basic definition of femininity.
People may argue that being feminine is only a trait someone possesses, but in our society women are immediately stereotyped due to the association that being feminine is weak. A human being should not be judged based on one word, which applies to all kinds of things in our society. For instance, if someone is gay people have a habit of associating all these stereotypes on that individual. Every person is different and we should not place generalization on them based on one characteristic. As women begin to change society needs to change with them because one trait is only one part of a person’s whole personality.