"And Oh," exclaims Thackery, "what a mercy it is that women do not exercise their powers oftener! We can't resist them if they do."~William Thackery
I’ve had several letters from women who have wondered if being feminine while working at their jobs actually works against them. This applies to women who are in fields that traditionally seem to require a lot of assertiveness. Vocations in politics, law, medicine, accounting, the stock market and other such fields seem to require us to be tougher where aggressive behavior is often rewarded and even expected. Women in these professions think they must “put on” masculinity and take it off again when they get home, which is hard to do. Dressing, moving and acting feminine are sometimes seen as a threat to an otherwise successful career. Some have even reported that when they dress particularly womanly, (dresses, skirts, heels as well a makeup and actual hair styles) they get teased by male colleagues. As a result, they sometimes feel marginalized or looked down on.
So, is masculinity required of us to be successful in many work environments? The answer, of course is a resounding NO.
“Feminine influence can be devastatingly powerful”. That was said by a man I know who is an attorney and regularly deals with the emotional and verbal brutality that sometimes occurs in our courts. I’ve heard other men echo this perspective.
Don’t underestimate the power of femininity!
The truth is that women rarely understand men. They misunderstand what moves them and what they find charming or appealing. Men seldom understand it themselves.
I have heard women say when they dress up spectacularly female for work, their male colleagues have teased them and they feel put down, marginalized. So they have gone back to their more masculine inspired clothing thinking that’s what they have to do to be relevant or be taken seriously.
The truth? You will never go wrong when you look like, walk like, move like and speak like a feminine woman. This is who you are, not what you do. It’s also where the base of your womanly power is. Why would you ever want to act like a man?
Did you know that men often “speak backwards”? That means they frequently say the opposite of what they are feeling in order to protect themselves emotionally and to defocus. In the case of the girls who have been teased when they have gone to work looking girly, the men who paid so much attention to them have perhaps unwittingly betrayed their true reaction…they noticed her. The teasing? They were uncomfortable with the reaction they felt. I’m not talking about anything sexual though sometimes that could also be true. No, the main thing is that they reacted to the way they felt. And it wasn’t that they thought these ladies were lesser or beneath them. They were actually afraid of their feminine power and influence.
Let’s pretend that Princess Diana were still here and had to prosecute a terrorist in court. Do you think it would benefit her to leave behind her feminine dress, walk, talk or mannerisms to be effective? I don’t. If she decided “Oh. I better go get a man-inspired suit, buy a big clunky briefcase as well as shoes, ditch my makeup and jewelry and then I will have more credibility.” Would that be a good idea? I think she would do an even better job staying the gracious, charming woman she was, don’t you?
Femininity has its own power. Never consider leaving it at home or anywhere else. Stay true to yourself.
Remember the movie years ago “Kindergarten Cop”, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger? He played a hardened policeman who took on the disguise of a kindergarten teacher in order to flush out a murderer. What would have happened if he had tried to act more feminine because women usually dominate that field? It not only wouldn’t have worked but it would have been weird. His character acted just as masculine as he did as a detective and it worked. It worked in a masculine way and the result was charming.
You will be much more effective in whatever you do if you are true to your gender. Be a feminine woman, a charming woman. Yes, even a dainty woman. Whatever you do, whether its prosecuting a dangerous terrorist, running for president or even driving a big truck, do it like a feminine woman. You have more power than you have any idea. Female power. Not masculine power. Stay true to it and learn about it.
By the way, masculine men are at a disadvantage around a feminine woman in adversarial business. If they attack her like they would a man, they feel like a brute. The rules are slightly different for her than for him. Men are used to going after other men but not after women. Masculine women are not hard to attack or put down. Men can feel more justified. This is true in all professions where male toughness tends to be a big thing. There are abusive men who couldn't care less but nothing works with them anyway.