Femininity Is Different Than Womanhood

It’s easy to connect being girly with being a woman. But womanhood is so much more than that.

By Diana Clarke3 min read
Femininity Is Different Than Womanhood shutterstock

Being girly comes naturally to many women. Who doesn’t love getting dolled up and dressed up? Especially as masculine traits are pushed on women, many women are refusing to apologize for being feminine and are choosing to embrace their femininity instead. However, playing dress-up, wearing makeup, and embracing femininity aren’t exactly what makes a woman. 

Womanhood is a biological fact, and each woman expresses this differently through her femininity. Womanhood and femininity are different, however, they aren’t independent of one another. A man wearing a frilly dress doesn’t make him a woman, similar to how a woman who isn’t traditionally feminine isn’t excluded from womanhood. 

How Feminism and Gender Activism Confused Us All

It’s a popular trend among feminists and gender activists to push feminine traits on men and masculine traits on women. They do so while simultaneously claiming that biological sex isn’t real and that gender is a social construct. What were once obvious facts about our biology are now causes for controversy.

Reducing womanhood to being girly makes women who aren’t traditionally feminine feel alienated from womanhood.

The gender activists conflated girly femininity with womanhood, meaning that anyone regardless of biological sex could be included in womanhood or excluded from womanhood, as long as they present themselves in a stereotypically feminine way. This reduction of womanhood to being girly, liking pink, or wearing dresses, makes women and girls who aren’t traditionally feminine feel alienated from womanhood, even making some of them believe that they’re nonbinary or transgender. 

We’re thrilled that the femininity movement has made its rounds. We believe that the majority of women are happiest when they embrace their femininity. However, there’s room for all kinds of women under the term “womanhood,” not just the ones who present themselves as traditionally feminine. 

What Truly Defines Womanhood

If womanhood isn’t being a girly girl, then what truly defines womanhood? The gender activists might be inclined to say that “womanhood can be anything you want it to be.” But perhaps a clearer set of traits and attributes would be of greater use (and more accurate).  

By defining womanhood, we aren’t trying to oppress women, put them in a box, or force them to conform to an identity that doesn’t align with who they are. It’s rather the opposite. It’s about being grounded in truth, being realistic about our limitations, and being honest about our needs, wants, and desires, as well as moving with our biology, not against it.  

Maternity Is the Benchmark of Womanhood

As aforementioned, womanhood is rooted in our biology, with motherhood being the benchmark. Maternity includes the biological acts of pregnancy, birthing, and breastfeeding. It also includes qualities related to mothering such as care, love, and nurture, all of which can be applied to areas of our life outside biological motherhood. 

Children were placed in the hands of women. No amount of feminism can change that.

Children were placed in the hands of women. No amount of feminism can change that. If we as women view this as a gift rather than a curse, we have the power to influence and cause positive change in the world through nurturing the next generation and future generations to come.

The Feminine Influence on the Masculine

Womanhood has a powerful influence on the world, and this just doesn’t stop at children. We can’t ignore the relationship the feminine has with the masculine. Women inspire and motivate men to achieve greatness. Women act as a muse, giving the men around us meaning and purpose. 

There’s a saying that goes “behind every great man is a great woman,” which encapsulates the influence women have on masculine achievement. Although many insist on women having a hero story, perhaps this insistence undermines the invaluable role that women already play in the male path to heroism. 

Womanhood Creates Community

Womanhood creates community. Women uphold traditions and have the power to bring people together in environments that allow them to thrive. Women are naturally inclined towards beautifying spaces and making those around us feel comfortable in their surroundings. 

Women uphold traditions and bring people together in environments that allow them to thrive.

Womanhood Brings Beauty and Kindness to the World

Womanhood brings beauty to the world. Despite filters and plastic surgery convincing us we need to look like Barbie dolls to be beautiful, natural femininity brings beauty to this world. This feminine beauty is closely tied with youth and fertility. However, as youth and fertility inevitably fade with time, that doesn’t mean that feminine beauty has an expiration date. 

Perhaps nothing is as beautiful as kindness. Women bring kindness and softness to a world that can be mean and hard. Women are a soft place to land for the men, women, and children in their lives. Unlike looks that fade, this feminine kindness applies to the entirety of a woman’s life. 

Closing Thoughts

Being girly is more than welcome, but it’s not what truly defines womanhood. All women can cultivate their identity within womanhood, not just those who present themselves as girly or overtly feminine. 

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