Monday, June 25

Finishing School: Personal Presentation...

The Feminine Attitude

One of the more difficult aspects of becoming feminine in one's presentation is learning how to posses a feminine attitude. Aside from the fact that it is extremely hard to teach ourselves to be disciplined enough to remain feminine in all situations that may arise, we often find that our society looks down upon women who choose to be feminine. Women who truly want to be feminine must learn to celebrate their femininity without a thought what anyone thinks!

Before embarking on some practical ideas to encourage the development of a feminine attitude, I will go over some of the more obvious traits of a women in possession of a feminine attitude.

The first (and perhaps most important) trait of a feminine woman to be kind and compassionate. I certainly wouldn't characterize a woman as ladylike who cussed out a driver that cut her off (though I admit I have been guilty of that!) or who glared at someone that made a mistake. The image that comes to mind for me of a kind and compassionate woman is one who consistently tries to come to the aid of others whether they deserve it or not. She doesn't think twice about going out of her way to help out and relieve the burden for someone else.

Another trait of a woman with a feminine attitude is the discernment to know when it is right to stand up for herself, those she loves, or her beliefs. It is not a feminine trait to become a doormat (nor is it one to become egotistical... such a fine line!). She can easily cover the faults of others while still staying true to herself and all those she loves and believes in.

A feminine woman thinks before she speaks and remains controlled. There will be no screaming fits for her! However, we must remember that we can often remain very controlled on the outside and still be throwing a hissy fit on the inside. The trick (and one I doubt I'll be able to master) is to embody such a feminine spirit that even our minds and souls remained unruffled by difficult circumstances.

Possessing a feminine attitude is something that has to be learned and practiced... it cannot be purchased like well-fitting clothing, perfect make-up, or the right haircut. It must become ingrained within a woman through constant attention!

Often, the best way to learn how to become feminine in attitude is to look to a fine example of femininity for imitation. Though it seems like these examples are few and far between in our everyday life, they really aren't! One can find many books with characters that portray feminine grace and attitudes wonderfully. Another often overlooked way of studying femininity in action is through movies and television (mostly period ones). Watching a woman move gracefully, dress prettily, and act in a lovely manner on the screen makes it very easy to imitate and put into action what one sees! We are also very blessed to be living in a time when the Internet is so easy to obtain. There are multitudes of websites, blogs, and forums dedicated to encouraging femininity.

One of my favorite things to do I find myself reverting to an attitude that isn't even remotely feminine is to read The Wife by Washington Irving. It is a short story that perfectly illustrates what a blessing it is to possess a feminine attitude and what a joy that attitude is to others. If you have time, I encourage you to read it!

Homework: Tell us who is a wonderful example to you of feminine attitude and why. The person could be someone you know or even a character from a book or movie!

31 comments:

Maggie said...

Ruth Bell Graham was an inspiration to me in the area of feminine attitude. From what I have read, she had a gentle attitude, but she still spoke her mind when necessary. However, even when she shared her opinions, she did it with graciousness.

Michelle in CA

Sheryl said...

I so enjoyed this post and am looking forward to the next class!

Two women that seem to embody femininity to me are Susan Schaeffer McCauley and Edith Schaeffer. The way they embrace, enjoy, and love their roles as wives and mothers is very feminine to me.

Charl said...

I have enjoyed the teachings of Elizabeth Elliott regarding keeping a quiet heart and being a woman.

Margaret said...

The Blessed Virgin Mary is a fantastic example of a feminine attitude.

Her complete devotion to God, her 'yes' to being the Mother of Jesus despite difficult circumstances, her love, dedication and obedience to God, her service to her Son as she clothed, nursed, taught and raised Him, her resignation to God's will as she watched her Son suffer and die, her hope and commitment to Christ as she lived and served with the Apostles.

Anonymous said...

When I feel the need to see a feminine homemaker I will watch an episode of "The Andy griffith Show" or the "Leave it to Beaver Show" just to watch the actresses who play Aunt Bee and Mrs. Cleaver go about their household duties. While I am aware that it is just television somehow just the way that homemakers were portraited in such a positive light makes my motivation soar!

~Mrs. J.~

Mrs.Garcia said...

My Grandmothers are good examples of Feminine Attitude that I look to. The reason I believe they are good examples of Feminine Attitude is the way they treat others with respect, love, graciousness,kindness, and when they need to speak there mind they do so while still be gracious.
Mrs.Garcia

Courtney said...

Like Margaret, I definitely think the Blessed Virgin is the first person I look to when it comes to emulating femininity. Whenever I start to grumble about this or that, I think of what she had to endure as the Mother of God, but also her sweet temperment and womanliness.

Secondly, I find the Amish and Mennonites to be great examples of a feminine attitude. Despite their Plain lifestyle, Amish woman are beautiful because of their humble attitudes and willingness to serve Christ and others. I think they live out a woman's true vocation so well. They kind of remind me of the Proverbs 31 woman (also a good example, I think). Plus, the Amish remind me to "keep it simple" and not conform too much to the ways of the world.

Tish said...

I find the main characters in Jane Austen's novels to be wonderful examples of feminine behavior.

Terri said...

My late grandmother was the best example of feminine behavior. Not only was her appearance always impeccable, her attitude and mannerisms were decidely feminine. She always wore a dress and whenever she went out, she wore her jewelry and matching shoes and purse. She never raised her voice and loved everyone she met. She also had the best sense of humor and would really come up with some zingers!

Robin said...

I was blessed to meet an older lady in our church. She is a true Titus 2 woman. She has willingly taught me about child training, dressing feminine, acting feminine and loving Christ above all. I feel so blessed to have her in my life. She really wants to help train and teach the younger women of the church. Sadly, most of the younger woman are offended and even nasty to this elderly woman.

Janna said...

There are many good examples in literature (Jane Austen or Grace Livingston Hill characters) or on the screen (too many period pieces to list), but for a real-life example, I look to my BSF Teaching Leader from my days in the Houston Young Adult class. She was graceful, well-mannered, quiet-spirited, witty, studious, hospitable, well-spoken... the list could go on and on. Above all of these, she loved the Lord and loved people, and this came across in all that she did or said.

Katie Gillet said...

Two examples: 1, our pastor's wife in NJ, Mrs. Church. (Yes, Pastor Church.) Particularly because of a background I'd rather not go into, finding a very sweet pastor's wife as well as a pleasant mother-of-a-friend in her has been a wonderful example. At 25, I still say "I want to be like her when I grow up."

2, more accessible to others, Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind. Pay attention to what others in the story say about her and you'll be blown away by how wonderful a person that character is.

Anonymous said...

I agree very much with Margaret about our Blessed Mother!

Another example that comes to mind for me is the character of Caroline Ingalls from the "Little House on the Prairie" TV shows. I see several great feminine qualities displayed through this character, but I think what inspires me the most about her was her ability to maintain a great attitude while dealing with whatever life threw at her! Even during the tough times (financial hardships or sickness) she still always made it seem so easy to show hospitality to a friend who dropped in, or help out another women with childcare or baking, or whatever they needed. Her attitude was always one of patience, understanding and gentleness.

This is such a great idea and I am looking forward to learning!
Thank you,
Mrs. B

Margaret said...

Mrs. B - I remember as a little girl watching LHOTP and admiring Mrs. Ingalls' fortitude in dealing with Mrs. Oleson. Despite her rudeness and condescension, Mrs. Ingalls was kind, patient and forbearing. She never resorted to backbiting or retaliation, as far as I remember.

I will also never forget Mrs. Ingalls' advice to Laura in one of the LHOTP books:

If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care.
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.

~Caroline Ingalls
Nov 1881

Elizabeth said...

Margaret, I loved all of the Little House books, but I had forgotten that little poem. I wonder if it's something that was a common saying back then.

I think I shall print it out and keep it where I can see it.

My dear mother in law is a wonderful seamstress and used to bring in extra income for the family by sewing. Even now that is no longer needed, she is often found by her sewing machine, quiling projects of love for family and friends. In order to remind herself of the importance of words, she had this saying taped to the counter in front of her machine:

"Make sure that your words are pleasant and sweet;
You never know which one's you'll have to eat."

Hannah said...

Mrs. Ruth Graham, Elisabeth Elliot, Ma Ingalls....so many good examples! For myself, I particularly look to a very dear older lady friend of my family, who is like a grandmother to me. She displays so many attributes of a feminine and Godly woman.....
I also like the example of Abigail in the Bible.

Julie said...

I am going to say number one is Caroline Ingalls. I decided I wanted to be like her when I watched the first season and Laura told about why her Ma was her most admired person or something like that. She said that her ma sent her to bed with a smile and woke her up with a smile. I wanted to embody that to my children.
I also admire the Amish/Mennonite women for the feminity of being at work in their homes and families. Nothing gets me working around my house faster than reading a book about these women.
Lastly is Susannah Wesley who spent time in prayer everyday for her children. She raised some wonderful Christians and hard workers.

Meredith said...

I always wanted to be like Maria in the Sound Of Music. You can sense her genuine--yet unadorned--spirit, especially when contrasted with the shallow Baroness.

Linda said...

You all have given great examples. I also find Caroline Ingalls a great example as well as Ruth Bell Graham.

Linda said...

My late mother was someone that others have described to me as "a real lady." Although she sometimes let her hair down when among only her immediate family,she was always gracious, always concerned with creating beauty around her and using her creativity and love to give to others. She had many hard losses in her life but mourned them privately. My father and many others told me that she never was heard to say something nasty about anyone. "She was so lovely," a friend of hers recently told me. She adored the job of being a wife and mother.

Tracy said...

I loved Glenn Close's character, Sarah, in the Sarah:Plain and Tall trilogy. She is spirited, feminine, and simply lovely!

tamlovesran said...

My first thought was of Caroline Ingalls and I see that many women have also chosen her. I also think of Olivia Walton, though I do see a some feminist ideas in her character. I do admire the way she submits to and respects her husband despite the fact that he's not a Christian. The third character that comes to my mind is Elsie Dinsmore. I haven't read all of those books but I think that I could learn a lot by reading them.

God bless,
Tammy

www.homeschoolblogger.com/hutcheson

Anonymous said...

I have always considered the character of Agnes in Charles Dickens' 'David Copperfield' to be one to aspire to. She is strong, principled, disciplined and feminine.

Paula (England)

Alicia said...

I must say that you all have WONDERFUL examples I don't think I could have thought of some of them. But I must say that for me being younger and all, I was totally captivated by and I think she is a wonderful example- Jamie Sulivan in A Walk to Remember. I do think she had just enough wit and compassion about her, she was very inteligent yet, didn't flaunt it. Also she was not ashamed of her bible, or anything about God. She is just an ideal role model for me now that I think about it.

CedarCityMom said...

Such wonderful examples. I have a few also. First of all examples was my Dad. I know that seem strange but father is the one who taught me to be a lady. I know it has worked to (thought I could use some reteaching...) I've many a time been around both my male & female friends (at the same time) and had them apologize to me for cussing & other vulger comments. Yet, they would not necessarily apologize to the other "ladies" there.
My other tw examples are among the favorites; Caroline Ingals & Olivia Walton. They are both very good examples.
Jessica

Sharon said...

Melanie from Gone With the Wind always stuck in my mind as the perfect, feminine, Christian woman. She always kept her hands busy helping others and always looked at the positive side of things.

Anonymous said...

I have just joined up with you all...I've been looking for something like this for a while!

Much like many of your posts, some of the better known women who exude feminine attitude to me are: Elisabeth Elliott and Caroline Ingalls (I pretended I was Laura Ingalls from about age 8 to age 11!).

On a personal note - a co-worker who is a younger woman than I is a true example of feminine attitude - I observe her every day and learn from her. In addition, my late grandmother was an example of that as she was kind, compassionate, giving, loved to serve and bless her husband, children & grand-children and loved to serve and bless her Lord. Even as late stage Alzheimer's ended her life and she did not remember our names or faces, when a tune of any old Christian hymn was played on the piano she knew the words to every verse and sang them with feeling. It was an example to me of what it really means to truly 'hide God's Word in your heart'.

Elizabeth said...

I liked your point about being calm on the outside and anything but on the inside! Been there. Done that -- more often than I would like to think. I suppose maintaining a calm and gentle spirit is a lifelong process. We learn to handle certain challenges in life, and then new ones come along to help us grow even more.

Sherry said...

I working in our VBS this week & I'm late joining in. I think all the "good ones" have been named already!

Anonymous said...

The women who I have looked up to as models to immulate were my great-grandmother and a family member, Emma. Both ladies has quiet sweet spirits, always looked for the good in others, and were always ready and willing to serve others.

One of the reasons Jane Austen is my favorite author is that her main characters are always feminine.
Rebekah

Anonymous said...

Taylor Swift is a great example of a woman that has a great femininte atitude, because in the most awkward situation for her, she manages to keep herself calm and always seems genuine. When the mike was stollen from her at the Grammy's, instead of becoming very angry and being very unladylike, Taylor Swift waited for him to be done, despite the fact that he was insulting her, and it paid off, because she got her spotlight moment later, when beyonce gave her the mike.

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