Some thoughts from yesterday: an acquaintance was asking what makes a woman feminine. The following was my initial response, in part derived from a mirroring of Jack Donovan’s explanation of what makes a man masculine.
Masculinity is derived from what is expected of men. Biologically, men are expected to fight and to build; to establish and secure the perimeter. Masculine traits (strength, courage, competence, and loyalty) are derived from this biological purpose.
The biological purpose of females was historically to have and raise children. So it would follow that feminine traits would follow from this purpose. My thoughts on feminine virtues:
Beauty signifies health and fertility. It is the counterpart to male strength.
Obedience does not mean to quietly and submissively do whatever you’re told, and never speaking your mind. It means being a willing recipient of the protection provided to you. Women need protection when they are pregnant or have young children, and women who refuse the protection offered to them are poor investments for men because they are not likely to survive. It is the counterpart to male courage.
Compassion is the most critical quality in raising children. It is the counterpart to male competence.
Faithfulness is biologically necessary to justify male investment in relationship, children, and society. It is the counterpart to male honor.
After sharing these initial thoughts, my wife thought one more should be added, which was conscientiousness, as the foil and counterpart to male ingenuity. Little did she know that Donovan’s speech at the 21 convention (published just yesterday) had more or less added ingenuity (or “creativity”) to the list of male virtues. Great minds think alike, I suppose.
Conscientiousness — or “attentiveness” — is an important female virtue for obvious reasons when it comes to children, but it also serves as a direct compliment to male creativity. Great projects require a creative vision to get off the ground, but require logistical attention and conscientiousness to succeed. This last virtue makes women good mothers and good wives, and attractive to everyone.
This leaves us with the following lists of gendered virtues: