This article by Suzanne Venker on FoxNews had me throwing up in my mouth a little bit today. It’s not that she wasn’t on the mark. It was that she was on it just barely enough to seem to make complete sense, yet overhanging reality enough to topple her whole premise over.
Her theory, in a nutshell, is that women have emasculated men and stripped themselves of their quintessential “femininity” to the point of (GASP) making themselves into the proverbial UN-marriageable daughters — the spinsters of tomorrow.
First of all, hasn’t she seen Pinterest? I assure you that Suzy Homemaker (not to be confused with Suzanne Venker) is alive and well on the interwebs and has the time to get your whites whiter, your Sunday roast cheaper and more succulent, and your ironing done.
Ms. Venker uses a lot of broad concepts, including pretty vague (but vaguely 1950’s America sounding) ideas of what it means to be masculine and feminine, implying that we are all somehow enslaved by these notions of our base (or better?) nature. Humanity is thus simplified. Man strong. Man work. Man choose woman. Woman make food. Woman pretty. Woman accept man.
The second part of her theory: Women are all angry. Feminists were wrong. Not nuanced wrong. Just plain old wrong. The only path back to happiness (because we women were all so happy prior to feminism, right?) is to embrace our femininity.
I hate to resort to this sort of one-worded all caps reaction, but REALLY?
But hey, in the hopes of being happy, I’m willing to take a stab at this embracing my femininity stuff. I already have a mate (damn, am I lucky or what?!) but according to Venker, I could really improve our relationship if I girl up. Just to make sure I get it right, I’m using Wikipedia’s definition of feminity:
Here are my Top 10 ideas…
1. Wear High Heels
High Heels are very feminine, unless you lived in France in the 16th century at which point they were totally masculine. The only issue is that I cannot walk in High Heels. But then again, I cannot run away from my caveman either. Or to the aid of my children. What to do…
2. Breastfeed … but …
The word feminine come from “she who suckles”. The very essence of femininity! Your challenge: Make sure everyone knows you are a suckler, but don’t get caught suckling at a department store, fast food chain, carwash, restaurant, or anywhere in public where your femininity won’t be appreciated, which could be everywhere in public.
3. Wear a veil
I almost forgot with the whole breastfeeding thing … we are supposed to be sexy AND modest. Cover up already.
4. Look more like Barbie
Conforming to modern notions of femininity include being more like the popular feminine ideal. So to go all the way, you might have to opt for a little plastic surgery like this girl...
5. Be a receptionist
The list of careers that are perceived as feminine is a short one. Receptionist is cleared for girly take off.
6. Act more like a cross dressing gay man
I need to get out more to study up on how to be feminine. Apparently these dudes do it better.
7. Bind my feet (and stretch my neck, pluck my brows)
All signs of female beauty.
8. Wear a corset
Hourglass figures and femininity go hand in hand.
9. Lose more arguments
To be feminine is to be empathetic, gentle, and sensitive. Wouldn’t want to make anyone feel bad.
10. Like sex less
Sadly, when we are more feminine we are likely to have more suitors. But we are not allowed to like it when they overpower us and we surrender.