Proposed: Femininity is Desire

The essence of femininity is desire. A woman’s primary mode of operation is to answer the question: “What do I want?” Her primary mode of understanding others is to ask “What does he want?” Desire is to women like physical strength is to men. Most men are much stronger than all but the strongest women, and the strongest women don’t come close to the strongest men. Likewise: Most women want everything more than most men want anything.

For women, two desires that are in conflict or whose satisfactions are divisive, do not cause problems of choice, but problems of encompassment. How to get them both? Men often misinterpret women’s non-prioritized desires is when they have been subjected to the desire encompassment schemes. One way this is expressed is that men accuse women of not capable of loving their men. Of course that’s not true. A woman focused on her desire to help or please her man will do great and terrible things for him that few men would (or even should) do for a woman.

Men who misunderstand what they see in women also routinely accuse them of being irrational, or even thoughtless. That’s wrong. Women can be–and often are–extremely rational in the pursuit of their desires. We lack knowledge of those several desires which they are trying to satisfy at the same time and at the same speed.

Pursuit of multiple wants does cause chaos in their lives and to those surrounding them–especially men. Other women understand the encompassment of desires process even as they might dislike dealing with the chaos. But it is not the result of a lack of thinking. Their brains are always working to solve the problem of how to acquire Desire A, Desire 16, and Desire *. What they have the authority or capability to do is usually irrelevant to them except as obstacles to overcome, subvert, or sidestep on the way to satisfaction. This is very unlike men [1] whose primary concern revolves around what they have the authority to do.

As a comparison example to the ones in Manliness is Authority: If a young woman wants a car she will do whatever she can to get one. And whether she works for it, is gifted it, or never knows how to do anything with it but drive: No one will ever accuse her of being unwomanly. Satisfaction of desire is the measure. She could sell her body for a car. While we would scorn such behavior we still wouldn’t say she hadn’t acted like a woman.

[1] Notice that it is not opposed to authority.

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Proposed: Femininity is Desire

  1. In case anybody wonders about my word choice: I chose Manliness because it is from the Germanic/Old English which sounds more manly, and Femininity because it from Latin/Old French and sounds more feminine.

  2. This makes sense. Most men I know are generally content once they have things stabilized. Job going reasonably well, property in order, kids tracking ok. They often don’t want much more than that and if they do, they pursue them (job promotion, new machine, nice vacation) sequentially and in accordance with a plan.

    Their women get bored with the same stability. They lobby for change even if, or maybe especially if, stabilization and relative peace is in place. Their social circle plays into this.
    “We should get a puppy, Sally got one and it’s really cute. We should get the carpets cleaned, Mary did and she gave me the information for the company. The Johnsons did xyz, we need to do that.”

  3. So, I have been thinking about this for days, and I’m not sure it works. I’ve been throwing out behaviors that I view as feminine and seeing if your explanation sticks. For example, does it explain playing with dolls? And I’m going to say it doesn’t.

  4. And if forced to be positive, “making babies”. Cat fighting is fighting over the rights to do the same mostly.

  5. I guess the challenge for an ambitious man is to be focused, and/or trace to a path to the top that observers could think is within his realm of authority. We scorn sell out men.

  6. @GKC

    For example, does it explain playing with dolls?

    Think about how girls play with dolls, and compare it to how boys play with action figures.

    @Ohiostater

    Welcome!

  7. I have. And I don’t buy it. I think this is close and a good sort of general AOE hit but not formally correct. I think you are describing hypoagency, which is think is a good deal closer.

  8. @GKC

    I think you are describing hypoagency, which is think is a good deal closer.

    LOL!

    The problem with made-up words like hypoagency is that they obscure what is right in front of our faces.

    Agency is the ability or authority to do or get something. Hypo- is a prefix which signifies a lessened or deficient state. So hypoagency is the to have a desire to do or have something, but the inability to directly attain it. Well, that describes pretty much everyone, but most especially those who can’t or won’t get for themselves. Hypoagency just is a pretentious, obscuring, bad word for want.

  9. Hypoagency is the only way women can generally act because of children. It is a good neologism and I think very helpful. Hypo just means under or through in this case which is exactly as women _should_ act. Its downright Biblical.

  10. Pingback: This Weekend on: What’s the Real Tradition? | Things that We have Heard and Known

  11. Desire without describing the object may be too simple. Both men and women have desires, but the objects desired are usually different. A women could desire something masculine and be unwomanly. For instance, what if a women wanted to show she doesn’t need help from any men? Also men usually desire women very strongly in a way that women don’t match.

    So I would say the desire is to have a life or community “just so”, with enjoyable and good things for her and her family and friends.

  12. @JT

    Desire without describing the object may be too simple.

    The objects change, and there are usually more than one at a time.

    For instance, what if a women wanted to show she doesn’t need help from any men?

    And how long does that last? Women almost never want to show they don’t want help from men. Women often want to show they don’t want that man’s help.

    So I would say the desire is to have a life or community “just so”, with enjoyable and good things for her and her family and friends.

    “Just so” translates as: What they want.
    “Enjoyable and good things” translates as: What they want
    “For her family and friends” doesn’t need translating, but as I said in the post: [A woman’s] primary mode of understanding others is to ask “What does he want?”

    Translation: Women want what they want, and they assume everyone else does the same.

  13. Pingback: A Crime Boss or a Captive | Things that We have Heard and Known

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s