Monday, March 5, 2007

How I pushed women into boxes

I will fondly remember my editor for her endurance through my fluctuating ideas of femininity, like when I reduced women to three stereotypical traits, something easily packaged and marketable. Agnieszka Tennant notes how inadequately books like Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul treat women’s depth and variety (See for Tennant’s thoughts). Books have been penned ad nauseum about how women are most feminine when they do one thing over another, when they are submissive, gentle, quiet, followers, helpers, etc. “Good” and “godly” women tack on these requirements to our already long to-do list. We assimilate them in our hunger to be loved, adding the things we wish we were but aren’t. As a result our femininity streams from our doing, not our being. Femininity becomes a corset, a mask, or a lacy get-up we wear.

In my original proposal I was seduced into the same easy path. I forced womanhood into three essential words, a formula modeled on what I thought women SHOULD be. My intention being to prove how women are made to be all the things I valued: sensitive, emotional, nurturing and above all dependent on male leadership.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Hi Jonalyn, I'v been following along and enjoy reading your proccess.