Family & Education

Behind Every Masculine Man Is a Feminine Woman

BY Annie Holmquist TIMEApril 4, 2022 PRINT

“Where are all the good men?” is a question you’ve probably heard asked a time or two in your life. Perhaps, you’ve even uttered it yourself.

Instead of the manly, John Wayne-types running around, we get boys wearing tight, ill-fighting pants and flowered blouses, sweeping their long hair up into a man-bun adorned with a scrunchie. Often these mere externals are also a sign of an internal character that shies away from the hard work and responsibility that once characterized an exemplary specimen of masculinity.

But when we explore possible reasons for the rise of wimpy, effeminate men, we often look in every direction but one—toward women. There’s an old saying that behind every good man is a good woman. Today’s society tends to think the reverse—that behind every strong woman walks a non-sexist, obliging, feminist man. But what if this is the root of the question as to where all the good men are? Is it possible that we would have stronger, more masculine, good-hearted men willing to take the lead and be good husbands and fathers who provide for their families if there were more good women around?

As a female, that’s a hard question to swallow. While I would be remiss to say that the lack of manly men is solely the fault of women, I think it’s wise for females to take this question seriously and consider what we can do to encourage the men in our lives to be masculine. Embracing femininity while rejecting feminism seems like one plausible path to pursue.

Feminism, which advocates for women’s rights and the equality of the sexes, has been the rising ideology for the past 50 years or so. But even those who have embraced this ideology are realizing that it has its downsides. Feminist author Camille Paglia is one of these individuals. Although she still holds feminist views, Paglia told then-Wall Street Journal associate editor Bari Weiss almost a decade ago that the way to pull men out of the pit we’ve thrown them into is by allowing women to be womanly again.

Five simple ways for women to pursue femininity come to mind:

Wear a skirt. I can almost see the eye rolls and hear the groans. But pushing the leggings or mom jeans aside and reaching for a dress or skirt with regularity does wonders. Speaking from personal experience, not only does wearing a skirt make a woman feel and act more like a lady—and rarely underdressed—it also seems to make men treat women with more respect.

Relax and let men take the lead. If women want men to be leaders, then they can’t be constantly grabbing the lead from males. Such a move would discourage anyone—male or female—from stepping up to the plate on a task. So push the hastiness aside, ask the men in your life the direction they would advise in various situations, and let them shoulder the responsibility, assisting—but not asserting—in any way you can.

Embrace children. Feminism has convinced women that children are a bother and hindrance to advancement in life. Nothing could be further from the truth. For women who want to embrace femininity, learning to accept that children are a blessing, and to love and revel in that blessing, raising the next generation to embrace faith, family, and country, will go a long way to killing the lie that is feminism.

Avoid toughness. There are definitely times when women must become mama bears in protecting the things near and dear to their hearts. But aiming that toughness toward men through bossiness will only tear apart the few shards of masculinity left in society. A sweet and gentle attitude, however, boosts both feminine and masculine attitudes in their respective sexes.

Build men up. Men are torn down plenty these days. Don’t contribute to that tearing down by bashing them yourself. Instead, build up the men around you. Thank them for the ways they protect you. Compliment them on masculine behavior. Let them hold the door or carry boxes for you—even if you think you can handle them just fine on your own.

Unfortunately, these actions are countercultural and could get you labeled a misogynist—even if you’re a woman! Swimming upstream is never easy, but those who rise to the challenge of doing so are the ones who are truly bold and brave conduits of change. So if you as a woman want to change the world, cast off the bonds of feminism and instead embrace femininity.

Annie Holmquist is the editor of Intellectual Takeout and the online editor of Chronicles Magazine, both projects of the Charlemagne Institute.
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