Female Figures in Religion & Media

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  • Bera
    Moderator
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Seelie

    Returning to the talk about accurate or less accurate depictions of women in the media…I am somewhere in the middle of this…femininity spectrum. :)) So, I make my own money and didn’t ever depend on any guy for anything. But I am obviously acting like a reviser with guys, so, they take most of the decisions and I am not into control or into somehow demonstrating I am stronger than a man. I would not date a man if I saw myself as stronger than him. I wouldn’t see the point in it. But strong is a very broad word with many meanings.

    The thing is, I love characters like Daenerys but if I said I resonate with her I would be blatantly lying. I would literally faint if I saw a dragon. :)) No, really. Now that would be a situation I could not handle and I would need some knight in shining armor to save me. :)) There are situations in which I am actually helpless too. Not that many but still. 🙂

    So, I think it’s wonderful GoT has a variety of female characters that depict different types of women.

    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: l---
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    Maybe is it right to say, as @bera and @auburn did, that these (monolithic) female and male portrayals are not statistically wrong, even if they are often (depressingly) simplifying…

    But i do think the massive cultural propagation of these clichés can be damaging for people whose natural inclination is different and who can feel pressure to conform to these stereotypes… (Also, it might have a coercive impact on courting behaviours and mating selection, but i don’t know to what extent…) In relation to the individuation process, social pressure is obviously not a negligible (antagonistic) factor, and it can hinder the acceptance of one’s desires/way of being.

    So, anyway, @animal, i think it’s good to hear a dissident voice about that matter, and let people (of both sexes) know that they shouldn’t feel the need to embody a superficial/fake persona to please society in general and a phantasmatic and stereotypical lover in particular.

    (PS: I’m responding to both ”Attraction & the Lies About it in the Media” and ”Female Figures in Religion & Media” because the topics treated (or at least the messages they contain) seem to overlap and i thought they were only one thread – Ji grimacing. Please everyone, have a compassionate thought for @auburn, who must deal on a daily basis with Pe tentacular spreading).

    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @auburn

    First of all I’m so sorry for the diverging topics. This whole post began with my post about Goddesses, though – and that one is still in the Harry Potter thread.

    I had realized that the topic changed & started my own thread instead of responding on Harry Potter,  here.

    Attraction & the Lies About it in the Media

     

     

    Is it possible to merge this thread with that?  I just moved the Goddess comment myself, which began this whole conversation.  If you can add this thread to the end of that one, it might remove some confusion. I can change it to your title, which is much better.

    If not, let me know.

    I’ll be more cautious in the future about diverging topics so I don’t have to put you through this. :/

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Animal.
    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @auburn also –

    If you read through my original post which began this conversation, along with reading the comments I have made – I have not once claimed that women like me were the majority. What I claimed was that there’s a history of powerful Goddesses which are left out of Western Culture; that portrayals of the women in the Bible are much different than the portrayal of Goddesses in prior cultures which included combinations of sexuality, sensuality and war. With that being said, we can extrapolate and theorize about how this  highly specific portrayal of female Goddess – as “Mother Mary” as opposed to Innanna for example – may have affected the way women are portrayed in the media. Not to mention, how women shape themselves in an effort to fit that ideal.

    But I have also stated over and over that unlike some of the Te women you posted, I have nothing against women who primarily identify as nurturing-family figures.

    I definitely do not think I’m average.  I know that I’m weird, exceptional and on the wrong planet. That’s why my project is called Erosian Exile.

    I think sometimes, I have two points:

    • An objective observation based on experience
    • A subjective observation about myself

    And I don’t organize my points as well as a J lead would, so then some people may read them and think that I’m posing ‘myself’ as some kind of average.  But I’m not. When I make comments about women, cultures and Goddesses, I’m talking about many people that I’ve met; many reactions I’ve seen to these movies; ideas about history and culture.  Then I often venture to share my own ‘personal’ response, as well.

    To quote one of my posts which did make its way into this thread:

    Regarding the rest of your post – I agree. There’s no dichotomy where a pretty, sweet, romantic woman can’t ALSO be strong and independent.

    There are women that are more feminine and homey, and also women who are princessy, who are strong in their own way. There are also tough women that are jerks and just want to make some noise and hate on men and other women. I can’t stand this – I view it as weakness. There are many different ways to be a strong person, man or woman.

    So when I talk about what I want to see in media, there’s two sides to it: I want it to be realistic and also I hope for female characters that are really relatable for me.

    Now if we’re talking nurturing figures, that’s one thing. I too have strong nurturing energy.

    If we’re talking the pretty, desirable, submissive role where the woman has no heroic arc of her own, and serves only to attract a man and inspire him to individuate:

    My mother doesn’t fit it. My cousins and aunts don’t fit. My friends don’t fit.  I can think of about five people I’ve ever known who fit that role well, and those women were depressed and/or anorexic. In one case, once she got better she became a gym coach with a lot of her own personality and stopped being so submissive.

    This is a separate point from me being an average.  The point here is that these characters simply aren’t human.  I’ve mentioned many times that in GOT, there are many ‘human’ female characters who are multi-dimensional, not to mention  male characters. I find it compelling and realistic, even though none of the female characters are “exactly my archetype.”

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    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: l---
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    (Btw, @animal, my remark was meant to be untastefully humorous (to get everything clear). Pe may be all over the map, but Ji can come close to an Obsessive Classification Disorder. The Virginia Woolf quote i posted somewhere could be used against me (and was more or less supposed to describe – at that time – some of Ji’s flaws).)

    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @auburn @bera @septimus-chalier – Allow me to draw an analogy.

    In the thread where we were arguing about Fe myths, Auburn wrote that Fe types tend to ‘set the tone’ for the narrative.  This was his post:

    Yes but I think this is due to a reverse engineering. For example, I see how Campbell tried to generalize his myth, although he clearly has a sense of what the “most pure” representation is as he quotes Gautama Buddha, Moses, and Christ as iconic examples of it.

    So I think he was still staring out with the Fe Hero myth as a template, and then “softening it” a bit, to accommodate other variants. But the priority is still baked into the structure.

    In reality, this shouldn’t surprise us. If we do the math, Beta NF’s would be the ones to articulate (linguistic moral expression) the NF archetypal domain the most naturally. Ni+Fe conductors paving the way in our collective mythology seems precisely what we’d expect, and with it would also come their ‘spin’ on it –which would have to be filtered out as their initial trailblazing is condensed into a more proper universal understanding.

     

    So, if there is truth to this – wouldn’t it stand to reason that Beta NFs – or other Fe types – are the ones that articulate the archetypal domain for WOMEN as well? Wouldn’t they get to define what “feminine” means?

    If so, their specific portrayal of feminine archetypes may influence culture; thus causing many women to strive to fit that mold, or even to believe that they fit that mold, when in fact, the same woman might have fit a completely different mold in a different culture.

    If this can be true for mythological narratives, then this type of culture-wide brainwashing can also be true for ‘shaping’ what women (and men) need to be like, in order to be loved or accepted.

    But that doesn’t mean that “the average woman” actually feels submissive deep down.  Then again, if she submits to the narrative, I suppose it’s an act of submission. 😉

    Perhaps we could give those people any mold, and they would either comply or rebel against it directly. Perhaps, that’s why we have the two common archetypes of ‘sweet submissive princess/mother who lives entirely for her man & children’ and ‘warrior bitch who don’t need no man.’  If the “norm” was presented as something else, then the dichotomy might be something completely different, and then people would say “that’s just what the average person is like.”  But is it really, or is it just the story that caught on right now?

    _________

    For those who think this is about me, I will clarify: where do I fit into this?

    I do understand that most people – men, and women – are more submissive than I am, especially when it comes to defining who they are on their own terms. For me, I’d rather die than live someone else’s story, but many people don’t even know what their own story is, so they just comply  with – or rebel against – the current narrative.  And for them, this is honest and real.

    I’m not putting them down, just acknowledging the way things are.  If most people didn’t submit to the cultural narrative, we would have chaos.  And that’s why the Trickster role is chaotic. 😉

    My Ji & Je are highly developed, so I am consistent with myself. But being Se first, Te second, and 4w3 8w7 6w5 Sx/So,  I embody many elements that constitute “marching to the beat of my own drum.”  I am not rebellious – I feel no need to push against the grain – because the grain doesn’t have much sway on me in the first place.

    My ‘marching to my own drum’ character is actually quite prevalent in media, just not among women. Even in my own book I’m a man. I guess it’s hard even for me to swallow my own archetype on a woman.   😀  And yet, here I am.

    However, I’d never be crazy enough  to propose myself as an average. That said, my sense of not fitting into the role for women that is proposed by the media – seems to be ‘average’ among Te women.

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    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @septimus-chalier

    Haha it’s ok, I totally got it!  I  just felt bad for causing so many thread splits.  I’m not annoyed at Auburn at all, but I was a little annoyed that my original post wasn’t in this thread (which is entirely my own fault because I posted it in the Harry Potter thread) and thus my original point was lost, and people were responding to me as though I’d made a particular point which was nothing like what I originally said. I need to be more organized about starting new threads in the future. 🙂 Which I will.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Animal.
    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @septimus-chalier

    So, anyway, @animal, i think it’s good to hear a dissident voice about that matter, and let people (of both sexes) know that they shouldn’t feel the need to embody a superficial/fake persona to please society in general and a phantasmatic and stereotypical lover in particular.

    Thank you <3

    This is my point in bringing up “myself” as an example. I’m not encouraging anyone to be like me. Nor am I telling them not to.  I am simply allowing myself to be the dissident voice who says, “we don’t all have to sing the same tune.”

    I don’t have any love for dissonance. I like harmony, being part of a dance between several people etc; but I also acknowledge what my role is –  my role, in a song, is the bridge. I change the tune by inserting an argument which tends to be climactic, and then things resolve back down to a speed and tempo that everyone can sing along to, after having gone through a more tumultuous bridge 😉

    I hope that my sharing about myself – as a very unique person with an extremely atypical life and character –  will inspire others to feel okay sharing who they are.  I hope it will show them, by example, that not everyone has to fit the same mold, and yet we can still sing together as one, with love in our hearts.

    Ivory
    Participant
    • Type: TiSe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    There is no such thing as the average woman. Every woman will deviate from the Absolute Average, statistically speaking.

    Creating media focused on the “Average Woman” creates mediocre content because as you aim to please the largest audience, you fail to satisfy any.

    This has been a trend lately, and people are picking up on it (finally). Quality of story telling has decreased the last few years, exceptions non-withstanding.

    The depiction of Womanhood falls in this category as well. And this ties into my post in the Attraction and Lies thread; the modern depiction of Womanhood is warped in order to sell more ‘womanly’ products. This did not exist the way it does now even a 100 years ago. More and more people are feeling left out as the greatest influencers are aiming more and more to affect the greatest audience. In other words; Quantity over Quality.

    Irony!! As this ‘quantity over quality’ leaves out True Quantity in terms of Variation. Variation is a constant in human beings and should be honored by genuine story tellers.

    Alas, marketers are not genuine story tellers.

    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    @animal – added the Goddess post to the beginning (I could have realized it belongs to the same chain of posts from the start, so sorry about that)

    This is a very complex issue.

    If I understand you (since it seems I keep misinterpreting), you say that you:

    • Are aware of the diversity of women, and see yourself as one example and not the average
    • Are in favor of all sorts of different women portrayals
    • See the nurturing elements of womenhood in yourself also

    But:

    • Feel the mass media portrays women figures who are ‘unrealistic’ even to the ‘average’ women
    • Are specifically against portrayals of a “pretty, desirable, submissive (…) woman [who has] no heroic arc of her own, and serves only to attract a man and inspire him to individuate”
    • Feel strong women do exist in the media but that the cultural narrative is often polarized on the subject, treading women as flat characters in an individuation story of a man, or as warlike “i need no man” women, and you would like to see both elements integrated because:
    • You see that ancient traditions converged sexuality, sensuality and war within the Female archetype, and:
    • You see that the western (Fe) narrative has stripped their female goddesses (Mother Mary) of any such qualities, and that this has permeated through cultural thought and media to give women an untrue model to follow

    I wonder if that sounds right?

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    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @auburn

    Yes! Thank you for summing up.. I really admire your organizational qualities. I write so many long posts and it would be so much easier if I could just organize the way you did, from the get-go… 😀

    The only point there that I slightly disagree with is this:

    “Are specifically against portrayals of a “pretty, desirable, submissive (…) woman [who has] no heroic arc of her own, and serves only to attract a man and inspire him to individuate””

     

    I’m definitely not against this. I just don’t think it represents the average woman; nor would it resonate with most women I have ever met.  I feel it’s overrepresented as a norm, and it is a false norm.

    I have absolutely zero problem with this arc existing sometimes, nor do I have a problem with women-centered stories portraying men as side characters.  A story sometimes needs to focus on one character arc, portraying their lovers or friends as ‘side points’ to the main plot; and I have no problem with this.  I just don’t appreciate the media representing this as the norm, or pushing it as a feminine ideal.

    I agree with @ivory that this is connected to an attempt to sell products, though I also think there are other reasons to suppress “Sx energy” (as in transformation, passion, etc) for both genders – because it’s “chaotic,” disruptive to those in power etc. This is an  ongoing pattern that I imagine will come up in any culture throughout history.  But the ‘Mother Mary’ stuff pushes it to a very serious extreme in our own history.

    The only way to react to such an extreme is through another extreme; thus we have “I don’t need no man” sentiments, and oversexed, free-sex sentiments which are also over the top and unrealistic.  Realistically, women are more negatively affected (hormonally and chemically) by  random sex with strangers, than men.  So this reaction is not good for women either; nor is it true to their nature.  The extreme sides of this create a false polarity – “Dominant, Warlike Woman” vs. “Submissive, Sexless/Angelic Woman”  – neither side of which will make anyone happy.

     

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    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    I will say outright that I love all the characters in Game of Thrones, and the variety of characters that are portrayed. J.R.R. Martin is absolutely brilliant in his nuanced understanding of womens’ issues, in my opinion. I wonder, has he been typed?  (Not that it’s relevant per se, since any type can be brilliant and ‘in tune,’ but I’m wondering if I have some kind of function-bias toward his style of portraying humans as ‘humans.’)

    To demonstrate the variety I can appreciate, I love all the following characters with a passion:

    • Arya Stark. (Genuinely tough. Has to fight her own demons to become that way. Nothing is free.)
    • Sansa Stark. (Boy-crazy; learns to manipulate men for her own gain, but still wants love.)
    • Danaerys Targaryen. (Beautiful, learns to wield it as ‘power.’  Relies on others for counsel but eventually comes into her own.)
    • Marjorie Tyrell. (Bombshell, manipulates men as career; but also has a soul – cares about the poor, cares about her brother who is an outcast, stands up for her family.)
    • Ygritte. (Ruthless warrior, raised to fight – but can’t kill Jon Snow and breaks down crying when the time comes. What’s not to love??)

     

    Etc.

    I don’t see Sansa as “unrealistically submissive.” Many of my SJW-leaning / liberal friends reacted badly to her character because she’s so boy-crazy, identifies with her ‘beauty’ and is obsessive about pleasing men; but honestly, I can see that streak in myself too. And even if it’s not exactly “me” the way she does it, I can see that she represents a very real archetype among women, which gave me tremendous empathy for her, along with frustration and “Why did you do that?!!!” as though she was a real person.  I also appreciate that when she was left to her own devices and her strength was put to the test, she stepped up to the plate and individuated. I literally have tears in my eyes typing this, because I found it so beautiful.  A chill overcame my whole body.

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    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    I see! Thank you for clarifying @animal .

    neither side of which will make anyone happy.

    Yes. This. I appreciate that you have a middle view on this, and seem to just be going  for realism. One of the things that threw me off about your earlier posts was that I felt you were advocating that women need to be more assertive, independent, etc.

    Which I find unneeded, as I feel that we are at an unprecedented time atm with female empowerment. I don’t think there’s much shortage of encouragement for women to pave their own way. It’s become the trend. The cultural narrative in the past ten years has been highly influenced by third wave feminism to empower women to write their own stories, go their own way, etc. If anything, men are the ones being stripped of their validity and status lately, as women are liberated and media like Wonder Women champions this “female power.”

    Third-wave feminism has given rise to a type of approved masculanization of womenhood. But I find that this is even counter to women at large themselves, and which I feel the majority of them don’t really want in the way that it’s portrayed.

    My sense of the cultural narrative at present is that we don’t need more messages for women to leave men, be independent, be powerful, refuse the maternal/nurturer role, etc. I think “femininity” is in a bit of a crisis right now — as you pointed out, it seems polarized.

    And I think women need to debate with other women about it, and about what they want, rather than them going after men. I heard Peterson say that highly independent lawyer/business women tend to feel hollow into their 30’s when the realize they’ve made their career their life. And a lot of these women go that route because the cultural narrative is pro-women’s-power.

    Not enough emphasis is given to the idea that a women might find great happiness under the embrace of a loving husband who she can lean on, but who doesn’t oppress her. I think a phobia has developed in some women that men are oppressors, and so they refuse the idea of leaning on a man, by equating it with subjugation.

    I wonder if you have any thoughts on how the narrative for women can balance?

    How can women come to have the lover and family they want, while not feeling helpless?

    What would you say is most needed in the discussion among women and their desires atm?

     

    Animal
    Participant
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    @Auburn

    I’m laughing here because, after all that apparent ‘conflict’ – we essentially agree on what the problems are, and what needs to happen. 😀  Socionics is really onto something with Conflictors “talking past each other” but – at least in this particular case – I see my own values strongly reflected in your post, and how you see this.

    I’m going to react to your post with a mixture of personal and wider thoughts, so I apologize in advance if that is confusing 🙂  feel free to ask if the intent seems unclear.  Part of my ‘realism’ means that I speak from lived experience. The reason I reference myself on public threads, is that I don’t feel it’s right to bring up other people’s specific stories and feelings they have shared with me, or to speak for them.  So that’s why I see myself as a better ‘example’ for me to use; however, I’ll try to be clear on how I see this applying to women at large.

    So, here goes. 😀

    Yes. This. I appreciate that you have a middle view on this, and seem to just be going  for realism. One of the things that threw me off about your earlier posts was that I felt you were advocating that women need to be more assertive, independent, etc.

    Thank you 🙂 Yes, realism is what I was going for. I need to remember to use that word to explain my intent more often. As Se-Te …. I take “realism” for granted and I forget that others don’t necessarily begin and end with this angle.

    I am not advocating for women to be more assertive or independent, unless they want to.  I also don’t think that “independence” will be found by pretending we don’t need love and can do everything ourselves. This is, in fact, an oppressive mindset.  And – I am in strong agreement with you that this particular brand has arisen due to women oppressing women, not men oppressing women.

    Rather than encouraging women to be ‘powerful warriors’ – I’d sooner advocate for the “average woman” nowadays – to acknowledge that she needs love in her life. People are altogether too afraid to come to terms with this lately, and they refuse to admit simple obvious truths, like “men are physically stronger” – and thus derive the conclusion that women have DIFFERENT strengths, and acting like men will never actually give them power.  It only makes us weaker and more miserable, rather than stronger. 🙁

    Which I find unneeded, as I feel that we are at an unprecedented time atm with female empowerment. I don’t think there’s much shortage of encouragement for women to pave their own way. It’s become the trend. The cultural narrative in the past ten years has been highly influenced by third wave feminism to empower women to write their own stories, go their own way, etc. If anything, men are the ones being stripped of their validity and status lately, as women are liberated and media like Wonder Women champions this “female power.”

    Third-wave feminism has given rise to a type of approved masculanization of womenhood. But I find that this is even counter to women at large themselves, and which I feel the majority of them don’t really want in the way that it’s portrayed.

    Yep.  Keeping men weak doesn’t help anyone – certainly not women!  I’ve complained about this many times, for example, in my own post here – but I don’t expect anyone to read the whole rant 🙂 I’ll throw in some quotes….

    • Men talking to women, men holding the door, men asking you out, being a little determined – so what? Get real people. Masculinity is a REAL force in the world – if you choose not to honor it, you’re living in a fantasy land. Cuckolding entire sub-cultures won’t do you any good; it won’t help you find a balanced relationship. If you want a man who is strong enough to handle you, then stop squandering male expression at every turn.
    • [In religion]  there’s a strong focus on ‘modesty’ for women and not being presented as a sexual object, which of course brings to light the problem that it’s ASSUMED that men will otherwise do bad things, think bad thoughts etc; if we present in a sexy way. This makes a sexy woman, or a woman AT ALL – into a kind of ‘taboo.’ Which makes it exciting, titillating, sinful – to get just an inch closer to her and then go home and whack off.
    • It’s a human instinct to want to admire others’ beauty and be admired. Some people feel this less than others, which is perfectly fine, but for those of us who get a thrill and connect on the basis of beauty and mutual admiration, and who see life as an art; why not indulge it? This kind of thing – for those of us who want to do it – DEMYSTIFIES the appeal of sexiness, of womanliness – and shows how it’s human. It demystifies the sexual undercurrents in conversation, since there’s literally nothing wrong with lusting a little as long as boundaries are set. Healthy desire leads to inspiration and excitement; breaks the monotony. Honoring the desire to be sexy makes for a more honest psyche, where people aren’t ‘cheating and being freaks behind closed doors’ due to all the repression they force themselves into every day.
    • If men are not allowed to aggress, then the average man will devolve into a dependent pussy sucking your titty. That is not fulfilling for any of us.
    • It is fine for ANYONE to assert their will, man or woman alike; and if men are socially not allowed to do this, then women end up feeling undesired or unfulfilled by men who aren’t working, aren’t asserting themselves, etc. As for the men, the suicide rates speak for themselves: they feel cuckolded, uninspired, unwanted, ineffective, creepy. Women, this is not good for you either – especially if you’re hetero – but even if you have sons, friends, brothers, coworkers who are male. An emasculated society is a limp world that can’t get momentum, can’t assert, can’t individuate. Having assertive women won’t make up for it, because these women still have an instinctual desire to find lovers, no matter how loudly they insist they ‘don’t need no man.’ Look deeper. Beyond that, if men in society are squandered due to being told they can’t assert their will, can’t “manspread” and sit comfortably, must squash their balls to avoid female wrath – society will have weak links and will perish.
    • Sexless women and emasculated men are not ideals. It’s fine if individuals express this way, but praising it as some ideal is not the solution to social problems; it is more problematic than human nature itself. People cry, desire, flirt, ask each other out, assert their will, aggress.. your social constructs will not stop them. At best, you will push these acts deeper behind closed doors, where they will come out in extreme ways (rape, cheating, whoring, etc).

    This rant ended with a commentary on my own defense against these social messages:

    • In this world of categories, ideals and constructs, I find that exploring my own nature is paramount. These rules and games will never tell me who I am, nor will they contain me; I have always known this. If you explore who you are, and you express who you are and observe what happens, you learn a lot about the world and it’s easier to see the trends for what they are. That is my theory anyway. Subjectivity and individualism do not necessarily begin and end with serving the self. If you know who you are and assert it, the world shows its true colors in your wake.

    My sense of the cultural narrative at present is that we don’t need more messages for women to leave men, be independent, be powerful, refuse the maternal/nurturer role, etc. I think “femininity” is in a bit of a crisis right now — as you pointed out, it seems polarized.

    I’ll respond to this with some personal experience. To be clear on my intent, my point is to illustrate how I came to terms with my ‘strong personality’ as a woman.  In articulating this journey, I hope to demonstrate that any woman, with any set of needs & talents, can find a reasonable balance that includes ‘honoring herself’ and ‘honoring a man’ in an equal relationship.

    “The best women get chased, and the best men chase” – this advice was imparted to me at a young age, and I saw that it was true. Men want to chase someone and women want to be chased. Obvious, right?

    The problem is, I have a willful personality.  I’m not any kind of ‘warrior’ or physical beast, but I know what I want, and I figure out how to get it. In all other areas of my life, I was assertive and driven; but where men were concerned, I was afraid of rejection.  I knew exactly who I wanted, but I needed to make them come after me.

    Hot guys chased me all the time, but I wanted exactly who I wanted, and couldn’t settle for less.  I didn’t want to demean my own worth as a woman by chasing my crushes outright, yet I was hopelessly obsessed.  So I would lure them to chase me while feeling tortured over any sign of rejection, and essentially destroy myself over each one for years.  This could have been resolved by simply asking them out and getting a direct answer, but I was terrified that would turn them off and I’d ruin my chance.

    I fantasized about being a man so I could be more direct and woo my crushes through romantic acts.  I wanted to exhibit chivalry and honor, and get down on my knees and serenade the beautiful boys who made my heart sing.  I researched transgenderism, but I didn’t have body dysphoria and didn’t want to condemn myself to being a short guy with a high-pitched voice and female organs.  The only place I could live out my fantasy relationships was in fiction. What a coincidence that I started writing books at age 11. 🙂

    Subtlety and coyness did not suit me, and the attempt to fit that role made me less appealing. I came to terms with this in my late 20s and began taking direct initiative when needed. Since I’m attracted to shy men, this dynamic worked out well, and I finally had good relationships.

    Still, this does not mean that I want to be “in charge.” I need a guy who holds his own, who defends women, and who is strong and firm in his own mind, but who finds my willfulness sexy. It’s an absolute necessity because otherwise I’d spend my whole life pretending I’m someone else, and that is not sexy or honest. But I do not want someone that backs out of a fight, expects me to carry all the weight, or allows me to dominate him. He needs to hold his own in an argument, a decision, a fight. He needs to be a man.

    In short, I need to be with someone I respect. How could I respect someone if I completely dominate him?

    I did not have what it took to attract the right man when I was ‘waiting for them to make a move’ and playing games. I needed to be real about who I am, in order to attract someone equally real.  And now that I found my soulmate in @ivory , I am driven to nurture and worship him.  It turns me on that I cannot dominate him intellectually, emotionally or physically, and I trust that nobody can. 😉

    I feel like a lot of these messages about ‘men and women’ miss these human, grey areas; where a woman doesn’t need to fit the ‘submissive’ mold to the T, yet there is still room to express her will in an honest, loving relationship; without being a dominant warrior who “doesn’t need a man.”

    We all need to figure out what type of balance we are personally comfortable with. And there are as many shades of men as there are women; so there is always someone who fits with any woman who discovers who she is and expresses it with an open heart.

    And I think women need to debate with other women about it, and about what they want, rather than them going after men. I heard Peterson say that highly independent lawyer/business women tend to feel hollow into their 30’s when the realize they’ve made their career their life. And a lot of these women go that route because the cultural narrative is pro-women’s-power.

    Not enough emphasis is given to the idea that a women might find great happiness under the embrace of a loving husband who she can lean on, but who doesn’t oppress her. I think a phobia has developed in some women that men are oppressors, and so they refuse the idea of leaning on a man, by equating it with subjugation.

    Oh gosh yes. Yes yes yes. I was never under the delusion that I’d be fulfilled by being a ‘career woman,’ even when I had a music career in my teens.  And I certainly was not happy until I learned how to deal with real relationships.  My heart aches for these people 🙁

    Women need to talk to each other for sure. At this point , many women are oppressing each other and blaming men for it. 🙁  We need to let men talk about how to be men, and allow women to talk about how to be women; and for F**Ks sake, respect each other’s decisions. I’m so sick of men being drowned out by the same women that complain they are pussies! What the hell can a man possibly do right in such a scenario?   Do women actually GET OFF on that???  If so, they must feel really weak and powerless, which is just heartbreaking.

    I’m going to think about the how-to questions and come back and respond to them in another post. Those are such great questions, I want to treat them with the respect they deserve.

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    Bera
    Moderator
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Seelie

    Oh, my, you guys wrote so much, I don’t know where to start.

    There is actually one thing that bugs me a bit, but how do I express it… I think the word submissive is used here in a context where it does not truly belong. I doubt many women are submitting to society’s norms or acting in a  passive/receptive way because they want to impress anyone or because they want to make men happy. We are not that selfless. 🙂

    So, I think it might be better to just put submissive where it belongs and take society out of it. :))) Because society is actually not pushing women to be submissive; on the contrary, you hear a lot about the importance of being a strong, independent woman, about taking the lead, being assertive, having a great career etc. Auburn is right here.

    And I don’t actually see the idea of not needing a man being that prevalent – at least in Romania. Oh, no, you need a man ! But you also need to be an independent woman ! And you need to have absolute equality and fairness in your relationship. And at the same time everything has to go your way, because you are the woman, so you should be respected and cherished !!! 🙂 Also, you should experience all your wildest fantasies with your man, because we are all free and open minded ! But you should do this while keeping the perfect fairness and equality mentioned above ! :p

    There are many, many beliefs like these that actually don’t make sense if you put all of them together. But people don’t say them all one after the other like I did, they just take one of them and shove it down your throat in any given situation in which you don’t meet the standards associated with that particular thing…and keep the others for other situations. :p

    Returning to submissiveness, I think it’s highly discouraged.

    To give an example, just a few hours ago I met up with some friends and at some point we started talking about..taking your husband’s last name. One of us is in a serious relationship and her boyfriend suggested it might be a good idea for them to get married. And she doesn’t want to marry him, because of many reasons, one being that she would never take his last name. So, I just asked – but wouldn’t it feel nice in a way? to take his name? since it would make you feel you belonged to him? <3

    And – as I should have expected :)) – she said she did not want to feel like she belonged to her boyfriend and that there was no logical reason for which she should be the one to take his last name and he should not be the one to take hers. And when you think about it logically, there really isn’t any reason for it. But this was not a rational discussion :)) I was asking her out of pure curiosity if she did not feel that taking his name would be a fun and loving thing to do. My question was in the particular half joking half romantic tone. Not inviting a debate. But she made a debate out of it.

    And I think this happened because she truly believes that men and women must be equal and that there is no situation in which a woman should be in an inferior position to a man. We heard this idea a billion times, we know it. And I think this is actually part of the problem – this theory should only be applied in job – related situations. It shouldn’t be seen as a rule about how to live your life and what to do in your relationships. Because pure equality is not possible or desirable in any possible situation.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Bera.
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