719. Feminine Mystique Explained


I dedicate this post to Her Highness AwaitingMrGoodEnough. She sought definition of feminine mystique and asked how to get and keep it.

She asked for specifics, but they vary female to female and beholder to beholder. Even a beholder can’t fully describe a female’s mystique, and he’s unsure of how she gets it.

Were FM explainable, it would be neither unique nor mystique. It’s an aura of high self-respect, a spirit that overpowers her flaws and makes men respect her right off. (The adolescent expression of FM we called conceit in my high school days.)

Mystery arises when she does female things that males can’t understand on the surface. If she doesn’t explain, the mystery remains, because FM depends on masculine imagination.

Few things strike a man’s imagination better than a female making herself prettier for no other reason than to make herself prettier, as if she’s somehow detached from and above the male world. She’s not detached, but he doesn’t perceive it. He wouldn’t do that, so why would she?

He also wonders: ‘Why would she go to such trouble apparently just to please herself? If she does that for herself, I wonder what she’d do for me?’ And her mystery deepens.

To improve on FM, the male nature should be kept in mind:

·        A man wants what he can’t have, especially first sex with her. Her refusalsas opposed to rejection of himgenerate respect for her and mystery as to why not. Her mystery deepens if she doesn’t defend her decisions, but relies on simple generalities such as “I’m saving myself” or “It’s wrong.” (Generalities don’t kill hope that she’ll yield later, but details can and they also remove mystery.)

·        What she doesn’t explain, he wants to know. The slower she releases whatever he seeks in personal information, the more attached he becomes trying to find out.

·        The more she keeps her inner thoughts and feelings from him, the more respect she earns for thwarting his efforts. Provided, that is, she does it inoffensively and with strong feminine charm.

·        She loses mystery when she explains what or how she’s motivated to live and associate with others. (Another reason full disclosure is overrated.)

·        As one lady claims: Femininity adds color to a man’s black and white world.

·        Men are notorious for taking a woman for granted. It means he knows all he needs to know, her mystery has faded.

Whether purposeful or accidental, her appearance, feminine modesty, feminine charm, and air of personal mystery contribute and work for her. Hiding her sexual attractiveness and potential compounds her mystery.

All of the foregoing should blend well with her personality and persona and trigger imagination in all men to have the biggest impact on one man. When most women exploit FM, men yield more easily to female values and male dominance becomes female-friendly.  

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “719. Feminine Mystique Explained

  1. I’ve been on a streak lately of reading Jane Austen’s books, and I’ve noticed a lot of what you’ve been saying about male-female relationships being practiced in that society. Darcy being attracted to Elisabeth Bennet because she held herself aloof from him, while he ignored Caroline Bingley who threw herself at him. Anne Elliot being noticed by another man rekindled a spark in her former suitor. Catherine Morland unknowingly attracting Mr. Thorpe by more or less ignoring him, while unconsciously attracting Mr. Tilney by looking up to him as knowing so much more (about art, in that case) than she did. Fanny Price driving Henry Crawford wild by her studied refusal to give him the time of day, since she had seen him mercilessly flirt with both her cousins at the same time, then ultimately attracting Edmund Bertram by her steady sweetness.

    In these novels, I see your advice and insight taking shape in realistic situations, that serve to give clear examples of the principles of which you write.

    Your Princesstial Highness Kathy,
    You’ve heard me say that men don’t appreciate unearned gifts. But yours is an exception. Thanks.
    Guy

  2. Ah, but it’s not an unearned gift! I would not have had these thoughts had you not put forth the work and effort of writing this blog. 🙂

  3. Sunny

    Ah, but after years of marriage, how does one be mysterious?

    I’m enjoying your website a lot, in those bits of time when my children permit. Thank you for your writing.

    Your Highness Sunny,
    Your question exceeds my ‘quick response’ ability. Perhaps some ladies can suggest ways. But I’ll keep working on it.
    Guy

    • Sharon

      Sunny, at Post 718, LB said “When you do things that make yourself happy and satisfied you are validating yourself as a worthy human and a feminine woman. What makes YOU happy? What makes YOU satisfied, feel pretty? Do more of those things. I bet it will make hubby’s eyes light up much more than doing one more thing ‘for him.'” I’ve been married many years, and I believe that this contributes to the ongoing “mystery” of a woman. The posts about not “spilling your guts” further apply here. Do what makes you feel happy and contented, and don’t “rattle on” about it. In other words, seek to be more “quiet” in your spirit, in your bearing, and in the tone and number of your words. I don’t know who wrote it, but I love this quote and believe it may also answer your question: “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.”

      Your Princesstial Greatness Sharon,
      Well presented to Sunny. Thank you. Also, Her Majesty Grace and I both concur with the last quote in your comment. It’s beautifully put, albeit anonymous, and I expect to use it soon. Advise me if you object or come across the originator.
      Guy

  4. It’s been attributed to many people (including Maya Angelou, erroneously), but Max Lucado is apparently the author of it, unless the website is mistaken (not sure if it’s Lucado’s website or not!).

    That is an excellent quote, btw. Thanks for sharing that, as well as the rest of your advice, Sharon. Good advice.

  5. Anonymous

    BF told me he is upset that I “don’t disclose my emotions to him and he doesn’t know how I feel”. He also told me that even though he doesn’t want to pressure me, he thinks “sex would connect us emotionally”. The thing is, I purposely don’t diclose my emotions to protect myself, so I’m not going to change my ways. I believe that consciously he wants sex for emotional connection but unconsciously it’s the male conquering urge described in this blog. Sound about right?

    Your Ten-ness Anonymous,
    His claim that “sex would connect us emotionally” probably signals one of two things: Either he doesn’t know that sex bonds females but not males, or he uses it strictly to conquer.
    You’re absolutely right about the remainder. Beware too, his ’emotional connection’ could be better named ‘physical connection’. By whatever name, however, conquest establishes and seals his dominance persona, which releases him to pursue other things that may or may not include you.
    Guy

    • Kaikou

      So you make of a man who desires an emotional connection first and/or knowing your thoughts and motions, as a form on conquering? So for him this replaces physical conquest?

      “The thing is, I purposely don’t diclose my emotions to protect myself, so I’m not going to change my ways.”

      Sir Guy, is this a bad premise for a woman to have? I tend to be an open or shut book, so you can understand why I would have difficulty.

      Lady Kaikou

      Your Highness Lady Kaikou,

      I’m not sure I grasp your dilemma. If you’re torn between revealing or withholding your emotions with a man, I strongly recommend the latter. You can’t stop but only avoid this human phenomenon. People use all the information they have available when they make decisions. Men will use the info you provide. Before conquest it inevitably works against you, and after conquest it may. Post 1255 might help.

      Guy

      • Kaikou

        My apologies, Sir Guy. When I was writing that it was very late where I was and I am realizing now it really didn’t make any sense. I was trying to extend on what Miss Anon had questioned. I read 1255 and I now have these thoughts:

        1. In reference in 1255, what if as I woman I want both – the ability to have endless word and to have an enjoyable life. Are the two mutually exclusive?

        2. In reference to above, I have a gentleman who is more emotionally inclined than I am. I usually show indifference with him and only express little if he asks (i.e. What did you think?, What’s wrong?). But I get a sense that he wants an emotional connection first. Or rather the fact that I am quiet and not publicly emotionally expressive is what draws him to me.

        If you ever heard of the 5 Love Languages I would say he is of “The words of affirmation” group. So I was wondering in connection to what Miss Anon pointed out would you say that getting me to concede emotional is a form of conquering for him? While physical conquering would be a close second.

        Lady Kaikou

        Your Highness Kaikou,

        I don’t understand question at #1.

        As for #2, get your noggin wrapped around this thought: Only one question is important. Do you, can you, could you, and will you respect him for life? The answer is probably No, so the rest of the issue is moot, don’t you think? (Let me know if I missed your boat.)

        Guy

        • Kaikou

          Re #1: Again I brought confusion again, to myself and others. Hehe… I am good at that! A girl should enjoy her hidden talents. 😉 And rightfully, I know the answer to the question that I was asking, but rather sought approval that I was right.

          Re #2: I actually counter you here. I do respect him and he has earned my respect outright (which is very hard to do). That is why continue to allow myself to be open to him. So I probably did not do justice at describing him. I will note that all his questions have been in private: one on one moments. If publicly, I would have lost any respect and would have been embarrassed.

          Lady Kaikou

          Your Highness Lady Kailou.
          Great on #2. You decided on which side of the respect issue you stand, and your question went away. Right.
          Guy

  6. Cocoa

    “She loses mystery when she explains what or how she’s motivated to live and associate with others.”

    Sir Guy, does the statement above includes her explaining and sharing her Christian beliefs as her motivator? When I talk or explain a situation (to all and not a particular man), I always refer to my principles and beliefs. Does that reduce my mystery?

    Your Highness Cocoa,
    Yes, it does. It’s more effective to act on your principles and beliefs than refer to them. Remember the motto, don’t explain and don’t complain. If a guy is interested in you more than sex, he will inquire to find the depth of your religious beliefs. Making him uncover your inner you is what a winning courtship is all about. So, the less you say while smiling, then the better.
    Guy

    • Cocoa

      I am working on and loving this motto “don’t explain and don’t complain” I also shared it with mom and my friends and they liked it too.

      People around me know I am Christian, and for some reason colleagues and this fellow come up with comments to stir a response from me. Like once he said, as we were talking about life in general and that I would prefer to die younger rather than very old he said “Well at least when you die you know where you’re going while me…..” at this point I share hope and faith for example.

      Don’t explain and don’t complain. Yep, got it.

      Thanks Sir Guy.

      Your Highness Cocoa,
      Exactly. Sharing is not disclosing yourself. Well done. You’re blessed and now march on your own. Have at it, Girl, and go with the best wishes of me and many readers.
      Guy

  7. Mia

    Sir Guy, I recently started watching the series “Bewitched” and found some of your thoughts to be highlighted in the series. I was wondering what you think of it? 🙂 I find the leading lady so pleasant to watch and think I may be able to take away some insights regarding male-female relationships. Or is that my naive thinking again? 🙂

    Your Highness Mia,
    Of course it is not naïve. Samantha is very feminine. On basic interactions between people, TV and movies copy life in their time. You can see how influential her feminine character is with both husband and other men.
    Guy

    • Cinnamon

      I love “Bewitched” and always admired the beautiful and elegant Elizabeth Montgomery.

      A few years ago I read a memoir written by Dick York (the first “Darren” ). The book is called “The Seesaw Girl and Me” and was co-authored by Claudia Kuehl. It’s a very memorable and beautiful – albeit unusual – book that moved me to tears at many different points. At the heart of the book is a most extraordinary, old-fashioned love story between Dick and his wife, Joan Alt (“Joey”) York. Most people don’t realise that Dick suffered a horrible back injury which left him in such agony that he became addicted to painkillers and was forced to quit “Bewitched.” Subsequently, York’s career spiralled downward rapidly, as did the family finances. Unable to get any work in Hollywood the family fell into poverty. There was never a “comeback” for Dick York, professionally or financially, but love for his wife and family, his faith in God and concern for his neighbour, seemed to grow in proportion to his own personal suffering and hardship.

      There are some very poignant scene early in the book of his childhood in depression-era Chicago. In one, his parents walk the streets of Chicago for miles in winter looking to buy oranges to feed their young son who lies in hospital (having been told by the doctor that they needed to give him “Vitamin C”). In another scene, the lead role in a parochial primary school musical was going to be given to a child of affluent parishoners instead of to the young Dick York, whose impoverished family was living behind a barber shop. Dick recalls how the music teacher, Sister ____ (I can’t remember her name), confronted the Mother Superior and said “If that boy living behind the barber shop isn’t given the lead role I am no longer a nun,” and stormed out defiantly.

      It’s just such a great book and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Dick and Joey York will live long in your memory. At a minimum, look up some of the Youtube videos that exist of Dick being interviewed shortly before his death.

      • Cinnamon

        Well, I don’t seem to be able to find the Youtube interviews with Dick York that I thought were there (memory must be failing!). The one I was hoping to find but couldn’t was one I saw on TV in 1988 when he was interviewed on “A Current Affair” where he described Joey’s love and loyalty over the hard decades, and how much he admired her. I still remember his words spoken through tears: “If I had to be any person other than myself, I would want to be her.”

        I was however able to find a couple of tribute sites with more information about the Yorks:

        http://dickyork.webs.com/alookback.htm

        http://www.bewitched.net/filmfax.htm

      • MLaRowe

        Cinnamon, since I’m missing Sir Guy I’m reading back through some of these older posts and I came across this comment you wrote about that memoir about Dick York. I’m going to order it as soon as I can. A Christmas gift to myself. Thank you for the recommendation.

        • Cinnamon

          MLaRowe,

          The book is written in a “stream of consciousness” style and not always easy to follow, and definitely wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste (I should probably warn you! If you look at the Amazon one-star reviews you will get an idea how some people disliked it intensely). It’s probably a “love it or hate it” type of book. I felt I should warn you a bit before you spend your money., because I didn’t really mention this in my description above.

          For some reason though, this book hit me on a very emotional level. In addition to the old-fashioned love story, what I loved so much was the force of Dick York’s personality and moral character that came through in the book. Out of all the celebrities I have ever read about, he is one of the very few I wish I could have known personally. I found myself saying, “I wish the York family had lived next door to me.” They just come across as so human, so….well……REAL.

  8. MLaRowe

    Bless you sweet Cinnamon:

    Your line that sold me on it was:

    ” There was never a “comeback” for Dick York, professionally or financially, but love for his wife and family, his faith in God and concern for his neighbor, seemed to grow in proportion to his own personal suffering and hardship.”

    And you are right- real and authentic, that is what I want in all my relationships. It’s also what I want to read about.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    • Cinnamon

      Thank you MLaRowe, and same to you and yours. I always enjoy your insights here.

      In my view, Dick York and his wife Joey were made of the same stuff as Sir Guy and Her Majesty Grace, so I think you will really like them. York was born in 1928 so is from the same generation as Sir Guy, with a depression-era childhood, so maybe that explains the commonality at least in part.

      Yes, lives and marriages like this have much to teach us in a time when our culture has moved so far away from the eternal truth about our purpose here, where lights seem to be “going out” all over the West.

  9. Cocoa

    “If she does that for herself, I wonder what she’d do for me?”.

    So, sir Guy, are you saying that the more he perceives her taking care of herself (the way she carries herself, talks/not talk, walks, dresses…etc) the more he imagines that she will do the same to or for him?! As in take care of him?

    I could have interpreted your thoughts wrongly, if so, can you please elaborate.

    Thanks.

    Your Highness Cocoa,

    “So, sir Guy, are you saying that the more he perceives her taking care of herself (the way she carries herself, talks/not talk, walks, dresses…etc) the more he imagines that she will do the same to or for him?! As in take care of him?”

    No! Not at all.

    I mean the better she would make him look to buddies, friends, and neighbors and thereby enhance her worth to him and satisfy his self-satisfaction for having chosen her. When she looks great, he can be proud of her.

    If her comfort is so important, she doesn’t love him enough, or she just can’t bring herself to do such things for his benefit, then her attitude reflects indifference from his viewpoint. Indifference, the opposite of love, has a funny way of duplicating itself in another person.

    Guy

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