femininity

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femininity

the characteristics associated with the female sex. The historical (often masculinist) study of femininity documents feminine identity linked to passivity nurturing, co-operation, gentleness and relation to motherhood, with an emphasis upon the relegation of women to the private sphere, the sphere of domesticity Feminists and sociologists have challenged the stereotypes relating to ‘femininity’, ‘feminine identity’ and the binary categories man/mind, woman/nature which dominate many conceptions of sexual difference, including the reduction of sociocultural processes to biological givens. For French feminist theorists (e.g. CIXOUS, KRISTEVA) ‘feminine’ is an arbitrary category given to woman's appearance or behaviour by patriarchy For Sue Lees (Sugar and Spice: Sexuality and Adolescent Girls, 1993), changing the social constructions of masculinity and femininity will mean a fundamental shift in our conceptions of femininity and MASCULINITY within the context of dominant conceptions of rationality and morality

Femininity

Belphoebe
perfect maidenhood; epithet of Elizabeth I. [Br. Lit.: Faerie Queene]
Darnel, Aurelia
personification of femininity. [Br. Lit.: Sir Launcelot Greaves]
Miss America
winner of beauty contest; femininity high among virtues desired. [Am. Hist.: Payton, 445]
References in classic literature ?
Presently she shook the corpse by the shoulder, and then with a show of strength which her tenderly girlish form belied, she turned the body over on its back.
Anne surveyed herself in the mirror of the blue room with girlish satisfaction.
His large, almost girlish eyes rested on her for a moment before he replied, and then it was in the softest and gentlest of voices.
Kreis seemed to wake up and flash like some metallic, magnetic thing, while Norton looked at Martin sympathetically, with a sweet, girlish smile, as much as to say that he would be amply protected.
Then a door draped with royal green opened, and in came the fair and girlish Princess Ozma, who now greeted her guests in person for the first time.
If the history of Polly's girlish experiences suggests a hint or insinuates a lesson, I shall feel that, in spite of many obstacles, I have not entirely neglected my duty toward the little men and women, for whom it is an honor and a pleasure to write, since in them I have always found my kindest patrons, gentlest critics, warmest friends.
They composed themselves on reaching the door, however; shook hands cordially all round, made their best bows, and retired with great elegance and dignity, leaving Rose to say to herself, with girlish satisfaction, as she went in
cried Dorothy, who as soon as she heard the sweet voice of the girlish Ruler of Oz knew that she would soon learn to love her dearly.
She stopped--her voice suddenly recovered its sweetness of tone--she smiled faintly--she said the old girlish words once more, in the old girlish way, "Vow it, Blanche
She allowed her cap and jacket to be taken, and sat down with a girlish snuggle in the big armchair by Magog.
Within a stone's throw was another retreat, enlivened by children's pleasant voices too; and here was Kate, with many new cares and occupations, and many new faces courting her sweet smile (and one so like her own, that to her mother she seemed a child again), the same true gentle creature, the same fond sister, the same in the love of all about her, as in her girlish days.
Agatha, who had given me her girlish faith, had found in her heart another faith to give me--the faith of a mother.