It’s a girl! Ah, yes! I so want to assign my proclivity towards all things soft, sensually draped, dangly, pastel and sexy to some sort of inherent feminine trait. I want my love of makeup, cleavage and silk to be caused by my innate femaleness. However as I look at the variety of ways that women present themselves to the world, I find myself reflecting on the idea of innate femaleness, wondering if there is such a thing.
“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!” — Marilyn Monroe
Observing my three daughters and three granddaughters over the years has only deepened my curiosity about the nature verses nurture debate of one’s inherited versus learned inclinations.
Nature implies a genetic transmission. But nature alone could not account for someone’s migration toward loveliness of au natural instead of the love of sparkles, bangles, lace and lipstick.
Nurture suggests that this is learned behavior. For example, Albert Bandura, an expert on social learning theory, posits,
“Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling; from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are pre-formed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.”
For example, my oldest granddaughter never showed the least bit of interest in things the color of pink until she was well into her teens. Then she quite unexpectedly became homecoming queen wearing a traditional gown and tiara as the prelude to turning into, much to my horror, June Clever, including her 50’s dress style. Come on, this was my jock-girl, for Pete-sakes.
My two younger granddaughters, a decade apart in age, and from different mothers, would have worn high heel booties in their cribs had they been available. Under the age of two, when entering stores like Wal-Mart or Toys-Are-Us, these little girls would suddenly become a force not to be interfered with as they made a B-line for the isle with the little girly, pink things of frill. The look of ecstasy on their beautiful little faces will be forever imprinted on my heart.
Conversely, one of my daughters, who by the way, can strut her stuff with the best of them, not only refused to play with dolls as a little girl, but traded them for her brother’s trucks. He preferred the dolls as a child while she grew up to be a gorgeous eighteen wheeler truck driver.
What do you think?
Is femininity nature or nurture?
Where do you think girls/women get their ideas of femininity from?
On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the most feminine) how would you rate you level of femininity?
Is femininity the same as sexy?
These questions are not meant as tricks. I don’t know the “right” answer. I’m merely curious.
Men’s comments are very much welcomed and very much appreciated in this discussion.