After a frequent commenter, Breanna, posted a candid status on Facebook about her frustration about living in an unsafe neighborhood, and the dangers she feels being a black woman in such a place, I wrote a couple pieces about how important it is for black women to practice hypergamy. Within the conversation, I got several private messages from my female readers asking what, exactly, femininity is. So I followed up with this post.
Still there were questions, and a bit of confusion. But I don’t fault many black girls and women who are confused by this, because in order for femininity to be fully functional, masculinity must be present. So many of us have been raised without fathers or a healthy masculine figure, coupled with seeing their mothers taking on more masculine roles while heading a single parent household and it’s no wonder why so many have no idea what it is.
Despite the challenges, black women had better learn this winning tactic if they want to be competitive in the global dating market, otherwise women who have always been able to wield femininity as a weapon will continue to date and marry circles around you.
We Have Always Been Expected to Struggle
While I was compiling my thoughts for this follow up, I saw an article on Muslim Bushido regarding how black women have been portrayed compared artwork produced by European and Asian men, elevating, celebrating, ad protecting the femininity of their women. In contrast, we see ancient African art created by other Africans depicting the women naked, sagging breasts, and little more than beasts of burden. It’s worth checking out.
Even today with the hoteps claiming “black woman is god,” the depiction of black women naked with all the goodies hanging out is common, as well as messages and missives expecting black women to take one mammoth burdens for the sake of “the community,” with little to no mention about how the males are working to protect, inspire and preserve their femininity. It’s just more “hold it down, sista” nonsense in a different package.
Women Can’t Be Feminine By Themselves!!
In order for true femininity to thrive, a masculine force MUST be present in order to PROTECT, INSPIRE, and PRESERVE that femininity. Because at it’s core, femininity requires a yielding, softness and receptiveness that can only be SAFELY expressed when there are MEN who understand how important it is to step up and slay the dragons necessary for it to flourish. The very men who complain that black women aren’t feminine are the same ones who make it unsafe to express it. In a patriarchal society, the masculine MUST be present FIRST before femininity can manifest.
Not So Fast…
Now while all this is true, it doesn’t take away from the truth that men on a global scale prefer feminine women, and to not be able to express those qualities leaves you at a major disadvantage in the dating game. That means that you must understand the characteristics of femininity and adopt them when it is safe and necessary to do so. Since many urban neighborhoods don’t facilitate a safe expression of femininity, you might have to “code switch” and oscillate between more masculine, self protective traits as needed.
Which leads me to reflect on a meme and video that was circulating a while back, suggesting that black women were more submissive with white men than they were with black men. I did a response video, but I neglected to ADMIT that some of those women might very well act differently around white men–but not because of their whiteness, but because they feel safe to express their femininity and comforted that the vulnerability it takes to express it is welcomed, and the men on the receiving end will do all that is necessary to protect, inspire and preserve those qualities in their women.
So What is Femininity, Exactly?
The dictionary definition isn’t much help.
having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.
“a feminine frilled blouse”
synonyms: womanly, ladylike; More
of or relating to women; female.
“he enjoys feminine company”
of or denoting a gender of nouns and adjectives, conventionally regarded as female.
(of a cadence) occurring on a metrically weak beat.
the female sex or gender.
“the association of the arts with the feminine”
The definition is so obscure that is makes it impossible to describe in a practical sense. But like art, you know it when you see it. At it’s core, femininity is a yielding, softness and receptiveness to masculine energy. You provide the respire from a world that demands men to be always be strong and brave. It is a drive on one side (masculinity) and a yielding on the other (femininity). Because the power you, as a feminine woman have, the man who receives that gift will fight to protect, inspire and preserve those qualities, because it is in his best interest to do so.
Characteristics of a Feminine Woman
Being feminine is more than wearing lipstick and pearls. Does a man who slaps on a dress and heels magically become a woman? No. While the trappings of girlie things are necessary to signal your femininity, it is no sufficient.
There’s a body language that goes with femininity, and it’s easier to show than to tell.
This video has been viewed 1.4 million times on Facebook. Why? Take a look for yourself. Art and beauty in motion.
So what is it about this woman that makes her so captivating? Well first, she has a long, natural hairstyle. (These could be clip ins, but..so?!) Long hair is a primal sign of fertility. She has amazing skin and body. Her workout routine allows for her feminine silhouette to manifest. She walks with confidence, and…don’t miss this…she flips her hair. That’s a very subtle body language movement that sends the message, “Look over here, big boy.” However, exercise moderation with this movement. Too much hair flipping and petting sends a message of either insecurity or haughtiness.
Another feminine body language trait is the hand near the neck or upper chest. But why? Again, totally primal. Exposing and calling attention to the neck is how animals communicate their submissiveness.
For more body language cues, take it from The Art of Charm, founded by my buddy, Jordan Harbinger. Note the bold. It confirms everything I suggested above.
When women want to attract men they will adopt more feminine body language. A woman will play up her feminine side by twirling her hair, giggling, sticking out their chest, making her legs more visible, etc. If a girl switches gears and acts more “girly” when she’s around you – or makes a point to show off her feminine curves – then there’s a good chance she’s interested in you.
In order to generate this response you want to adopt more masculine body language anytime you’re out. Stand tall with your shoulders rolled down and back. Allow yourself to take up space while keeping your head up and smiling. By adopting this confident, masculine body language you’re more likely to get women to notice you in a positive way.
How women get attention
Women who want a man’s attention will often try to get it indirectly. Rather than walking straight up to a guy she may “accidentally” bump into him. Or she’ll drop something near him hoping that it gets him to notice her.
Guys often miss these signals because they’re so subtle. They view them as accidents – not signs of interest. To make sure you don’t let these opportunities pass you by assume that anytime a woman does something like this it’s because she’s interested in you. This assumption won’t always be correct, but so what? Thinking this way ensures you’ll take advantage of those opportunities when they come. It will also help you be more confident (and therefore attractive) in your interactions with women.
Signs of attraction
One sign of attraction that’s far more likely to be seen through women’s body language than men’s is preening. When a girl is preening (subtly adjusting her clothing, jewelry, hair, etc. in order to appear more attractive) it’s often a signal that the girl is interested. And if the girl starts preening you, it’s an even stronger indicator of interest.
If you’re intrigued, good. There’s more to come. Breukelen Bleu and I are working on a comprehensive series regarding femininity, and how black women can use it to wield power. You won’t want to miss it.