Commentary by Jackson Santy ’13
Over past generations, the definition of femininity has been redefined by numerous voices.
When asked what they thought femininity was, most Brophy students I spoke with did not have an answer. Some questioned whether or not it was a real word.
Growing up with older sisters in my household and participating in coed extracurricular activities, I have seen firsthand the independent nature that is defining this generation’s class of women.
Yet just as well, I have also seen fellow males on and off campus blatantly disrespect those same women.
In simplest terms, femininity (which is in fact a word) is the qualities, actions or behaviorisms associated with being a woman. In other words, what it means to be a woman.
There are indeed sociological differences between men and women, but none that make either better or worse than the other.
Common speculations of what femininity means today include: marrying a man, being a homemaker, making lots of babies and being less physically able to do things that a man can.
However, in this day and age, women are continuing to defy these generalizations.
According to the Department for Professional Employment, the number of working women has risen from 5.1 million in 1900, to 18.4 million in 1950, to 66.2 million in 2009.
The number of women in the labor force is projected to be more than 78 million by 2018.
In 2008, nearly 50 percent of women were not married and 53.2 percent of these unmarried women were in the labor force.
The proportion of families in which the husband, but not the wife, worked outside the home declined from 66 percent in the 1940s and ’50s to only 17.76 percent in 2007.
Women were put on this Earth for a purpose—the same purpose men were, to work for the betterment of our world.
Aside from the obvious biological differences, women and men are capable of accomplishing the same things and neither gender should be generalized.
Femininity does not constitute the need for a man, just as masculinity doesn’t require the need for a woman.