Friday, January 23, 2015

Feminine Manner, Part 1

Since there is so much interest in the topic of femininity I'd like to write more about it using Helen Andelin's Fascinating Womanhood as a guide. Last year I did a post about feminine appearance based on her book (for those interested, search the label Fascinating Womanhood), but she also devoted a whole chapter to the feminine manner and another one to the feminine nature. 

Mrs Andelin points out that a woman can dress feminine, but if her manners and behaviour are not, it will produce a comical effect. She also explains that men find the feminine manner attractive since it forms contrast with their masculinity.

She gives practical advice about hands, walk and voice (don't gesticulate wildly, don't pound on the table, don't slap people on the back, don't walk like men do, avoid talking too loud, but also avoid mumbling or speaking in monotonous voice) and suggests reading aloud to improve one's manner of speaking (Fascinating Womanhood, pp. 256, 257, Bantam Books, 1992).

Another thing to be avoided is to laugh in masculine manner, such as roaring with laughter, and certain facial expressions, such as deep frown and hardness in the eyes. Mrs Andelin states that such unfeminine facial expressions often are a result of a harsh, overtly critical character and suggests working at improving both.

She also gives some hints on how to bewitch a man you love by the way you talk to him and behave (p. 258, 259).

Helen then takes on feminine conversation. She warns women against talking too much and being self-centered in their conversation (talking only about one's own children, husband, problems etc), because it's boring to other people. A woman shouldn't try to dominate the conversation or speak in a vulgar, crude manner, and she should try to avoid making catty remarks about persons she dislikes. A feminine woman will also show tenderness towards children and those less fortunate and avoid heated arguments (pp. 259, 260)

In my next post I'll discuss refinement and feminine wiles.


  1. Anything feminine is close to my heart :-)

    Confessions, Part 1.
    I like beer (I don' like soda at all) BUT I like to drink it from a beautiful and thin glass. Not, straight from the bottle, NO! :-)

  2. Miriam, nowadays there are new sorts of beer marketed to women, out of my head, Radler (beer with lemon), Kriek lambic (with cherries), Rose (with red fruit) and some others. Lots of women like them:) I do prefer wine, though.

    1. Radler is my favorite! So fresh! Like a summer day! :-)

      I prefer wine, too, but kosher wine selection here is really limited (1 brand of red wine, 11€ a bottle)

  3. 11 euro is a lot! Radler is nice on a hot summer day, I agree. As for wine, I prefer white wine, though.

  4. Housewife from FinlandFebruary 1, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    This is propably why I find so many well dressed ladies with make-up, nicely arrainged hair and skirt still unfeminine. My sister is a great example of this. She likes to look her best, (she is actually quite vain) but even in dress and high heels she is not feminine. Because she talks in very harsh, angry voice and the things she says are also such.

    Often ladies also put too much make-up on and end up looking like transvestites, not feminine. Especially ladies with more strong facial features should be very careful with their make-up, don't you think?

    This lack of femininty in manners is also one of my greatest weaknesses; I tend to be far too witty and sarcastic, which is not really feminine. But at least I keep my back straight and my upper lip stiff. ;)

  5. Housewife from FinlandFebruary 1, 2015 at 7:29 AM

    And Miriam, don't worry about drinking beer; I like scotch. And vodka. Straight......

    I also like wines but sometimes lady just needs a tiny sip of spirits. (and I really mean sip.)

  6. I used to enjoy a couple of martinis before dinner but have become a virtual teetotaller lately. I find vodka too strong, even mixed. As for scotch, it's more or less OK with ice, but one gets really drunk from it, and I really don't care much for this feeling:)

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