Relationships

Why Are Women Struggling To Be Feminine In Their Relationships?

By Jenny White··  7 min read
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Why Are Women Struggling To Be Feminine In Their Relationships? shutterstock

It can seem daunting to find that equilibrium in which a woman can truly feel free and capable of embodying her feminine essence.

With juggling careers, domestic obligations, and managing daily stress, it’s almost impractical for modern women to be feminine. Is there any hope for women who want to embrace femininity in the modern world?

First, we must define what it means to be feminine. Modern culture would have us believe that being feminine means being a pushover, a "weak" woman who can't think for herself, and a lazy "good for nothing" dimwit who refuses to go out in the world and contribute to society.

When, in reality, to be feminine means having the capacity to give and receive love and to be of service to others. Our loved ones, children, neighbors, and friends all greatly benefit from women who bestow them with feminine kindness, compassion, nurturing, and support. 

The responsibilities being placed on women to juggle the modern lifestyle, from careers to contributing both domestically and financially to a household while caring for loved ones, to being thrust into certain roles women may struggle with, are unsustainable and are much too costly to bear.

Women aren’t designed to be both the man and the woman in any relationship.

Women aren’t designed to be both the man and the woman in any relationship. Yet women are finding themselves being forced into the role of being both – and having to act out in a masculinized and defensive version of themselves in doing so. 

Needless to say, this isn’t the ideal way of life for women who long to embrace their femininity. 

Is There a War on Women Who Choose to Embrace Their Femininity?

"Housewife" is almost a dirty word nowadays. At best, it's regarded as a short-term benefit of maternity leave. At worst, a housewife is conceptualized as a dead-weight dinosaur who sets all women back and wants to time travel back to the 1950s.

I was a housewife for 10 years, and it was always fascinating to me to witness the sideways glances from my peers when I would profess to them I was a housewife.

"So what do you do for a living?" they'd ask.

"I'm a housewife," I'd reluctantly confess, knowing I'd be the subject of mistrust and scrutiny.

The inevitable, thinly-veiled judgmental side of the exchange always reared its ugly head. "Well, that's good. I think there's nothing wrong with being a housewife if that's what a woman truly wants. But I don't think many women want to be a housewife anymore. I mean, what do you do all day? I would go nuts!”

The overwhelming pressure from modernized career women towards women who choose a more traditional lifestyle can be disconcerting, and to be frank, very vicious. Conformity to modern standards for women at all costs seems to be the theme across the board. "Why don't you have a career? Why aren't you getting your Master's or Ph.D.? Why are you in such a big hurry to get married and have children? Relax, you have all the time in the world!"

The pressure from modern career women towards women who choose a traditional lifestyle can be vicious.

These messages (both subliminal and overt) are front and center in the dialogue among women concerning women's personal lifestyle choices. And they seem to all dictate a woman has only one viable and acceptable choice – go out in the world and have a career, delay marriage, and delay having a family. And if you’re a woman who chooses not to, you’re vilified as setting all women back to the 1950s.

These are the meager choices women are given. How can a woman be truly feminine and be of service to the people she loves when society, and especially other women, are discouraging her from doing so at every turn?

How Men Can Impact a Woman's Femininity 

Is there a glaring issue among today's men who won't "step up to the plate" and assume male responsibilities in today's relationships? 

Could men be outright refusing to get married for financial reasons? According to a study conducted by The Journal of Marriage and Family, the demographic of eligible men who are "deemed marriageable" is steadily declining: "One explanation for the declines in marriage is the putative shortage of economically attractive partners for unmarried women to marry.”

The alleged lack of available economically attractive partners for unmarried women forces women to juggle the economic weight and responsibility of flexing more earning power. 

With all the talk of hypergamy and women "marrying up," it makes sense women desire a good provider. It’s a significant matter for women to make an economically viable choice concerning potential life partners with skyrocketing costs, inflation, and stagnating wages.

Assuming the role of a quasi-wife in cohabitation strains women both mentally and emotionally. 

And with the disparity in recent divorce laws where men are disincentivized from marriage in every possible manner, many men are avoiding marriage altogether, rather than risk losing their money (and their children). Thus, more and more women are settling for cohabitation with men with no benefit of marriage and no earnest sense of commitment.

Assuming the role of a quasi-wife in cohabitation puts much strain on women both mentally and emotionally. Paying half the rent and splitting dinner checks while she's also tidying up the household of her not-husband poses a real problem. 

Women can't feel feminine in this dynamic. She's not being cared for nor provided for in the truest sense. And in feeling the sting of paying half the bills with no safety in the financial stake or protection involved in a marriage, she never feels safe to be feminine. That's just the truth.

Widespread Resentment Leads to the Masculinization of Women

Could it be that many people don't want to talk about and refuse to acknowledge that the battle cry of the modern woman is centered upon resentment and disdain for having to juggle too many responsibilities?

She's the roommate, the breadwinner, the C-level exec, the housemaid, the bookkeeper, the social event hostess, the sleep-deprived zombie by day, and, of course, the sex goddess/pornstar actress in the bedroom by night. 

And without a man who is willing to help ease some of these responsibilities, finding a breakthrough in ushering in her feminine side is an insurmountable task. 

Can women let go of these responsibilities? Sure. However, that would have to involve a deep sense of safety, protection, and trust. And with an ever-increasing need for women to fill in the gaps and assume these roles and responsibilities in their relationships, it becomes an obligation to her rather than a choice. 

"If I don't do ABC and XYZ, it's never going to get done," she insists. And oftentimes, she's right. 

There's a broad cultural meaning attached to the woman who can "do it all." She's almost deified and fetishized even by most modern men's standards. 

If women feel men are unwilling to alleviate their burdens, embodying masculinity is their only means of survival.

But for her, under the covers at night, there's a lot of stress. There's emotional pain and anxiety. There's a deep-seated sense of personal loss when plans to get married and start a family are delayed. 

When women feel men may be unwilling to help alleviate some of these burdens, in demonstrating a real commitment to providing male protection and support, embodying masculinity becomes her only means of survival.

Women today are less feminine in their relationships because they have to be. They’re told to be. They’re not accepted by their circle of peers, by society, nor by men who may or may not desire to marry them because they’re terrified of getting bilked in divorce.

Closing Thoughts

Perhaps if we changed our minds about what's expected of women, then women themselves might see an incentive to let their masculinized guard down and embrace their femininity. 

For now, “doing it all” is what she knows best. Otherwise, there's no lifeline, no rest, no respite, and no real reason for women to give more in being feminine than they already must. 

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