The following sprouts into several different directions, bare with me.
My son and I had a discussion the other day over the term "asexual". I was preparing my blog on Emilie Autumn, a self proclaimed asexual, though she seems to be attracted to the same things in women I am, and she has also said she mostly likes androgyny (she had been asked about whether she liked David Bowie) and my son was arguing the definition of that term, asexual. He was also arguing that many words in common usage are incorrect in the way to which people claim to define them.
His comment brought up the term asexual as it related to plants. I then pointed out that plants are quite different from people. Also that the term asexual relates to plants differently that it does to people. For people it relates more to the functional aspects of the organism, but not the mental, emotional aspects. And there are gray areas.
This type of thing is also so true of so many other terms, their meanings and how they are used in conversation. I think it explains why we have so many arguments where no one is the winner. We are too frequently shifting paradigms of logic, meanings of terms, orientations, genres, phylums, etc., and not considering how in some cases, some words or even metaphors simply do not work toward some object of discussion.
This also got me to thinking about Emilie Autumn and what is attractive about her, her costumes, and even her troupe's physical movements on stage.
It used to be quite common for women to be sent to a "finishing school" to learn proper etiquette, movement, bearing, etc. That has stopped for several reasons. One of which being that women no longer understood why they should have to go to a school such as that, and men didn't. They strove for equality after all, right?
And its long been known that in achieving equality, women have lost something. Why? Because, they felt and perhaps rightly so, that they needed to BE like MEN in order to be EQUAL to men.
What they missed out on at that point, was that they have, not more, that they have to work on, though that was the case at one point, but rather that they have access to more, than men do; more in the way of action, bearing, attitude and such. To be sure, they have more tools int he toolbox than men do and they have thrown away the toolbox. Surely, men who have a certain bearing, will go further in life, than those who do not, unless they can make up for it in certain ways like overachieving. Exactly, what women have opted for.
Its much the same with attractiveness. Attractive people do go further in life than unattractive people.
Attractiveness is actually misunderstood. It refers to people being "attracted" to someone, not that they are pretty, or handsome. Attractiveness cover beauty and charisma and is something we all want, or need. Those who do not have it, or have the opposite of it, generally resent it; lacking it, that is. But attractiveness is necessary to move forward, to achieve the above average, to get the most from what you have.
When a woman knows how to move beyond what the human form does simply from growing up, she becomes more attractive. Like with men, if they are clumsy, they are unattractive, if they are assured in movement, attitude, women (and men too) like them more. Watching Emilie Autumn and especially her cohort, Veronica (and Katy Perry does this sometimes too), exemplifies this. Many look to this kind of behavior and slough it off as pretentious, or shallow. But they are missing the point. Surely, to over do it, is to be too obvious; but to use it properly, is very effective.
"A witty woman is a treasure; a witty beauty is a power."- George Meredith
In women going for equality to men years ago, they have lost some of what they had available to them that is so effective to their achieving more in their endeavors. This is something that is now looked down upon, as manipulative and banal. Mostly from men's feelings, as they known damn well they can be manipulated by a "woman's wiles". Also, by women who can not perform in such a way, as they, again, resent it. But we actually do these kinds of things anyway, its Human nature and its just that we now think we should only use, what we have grown up naturally with. Which is really kind of ridiculous. To hone one's natural abilities is only smart. To think that you can only use what you already have, is foolish.
Don't we go to college to hone what we already have? Aren't we taught manners as children to enhance our social standing, our acceptance in groups and at events; to learn more, to learn to be more functional?
Why are the capabilities of gender, any different? Why argue that gender has no difference?
What I'm saying for women is the same for men. I am just not as well versed in what it is that men can learn to enhance their natural attractiveness. For one thing, women's capabilities in that area are simply far more known and talked about. Men's loss I'm sure. For women, in becoming more equal to men, they have started more to act like them, to move like them. How, is that a good thing? Why would a woman think that in being more manlike, she is more attractive? And yes, again, we all want to be more attractive. EVERYONE. An author wants to be more attractive, so they sell more books. An engineer wants to be more attractive to get better jobs, make more money, get better projects to work on. And so on. Again, attractiveness is not just about looking good physically, but that certainly helps. Why is this so difficult for us to accept, or even consider?
Its because of the "me" generations. The consideration of only what things mean oriented to oneself and not as they are oriented to others, which is actually the concern. In communication, its not about you talking at someone, its about your getting them to understand you. A completely different thing.
I've noticed that in other, mostly Asian cultures, this understanding is still quite prevalent. Especially in some countries, like Thailand. I was at a party a few years ago with Vietnamese and Thai ladies attending, among others. I had always thought the Viet ladies were very elegant (that means, flowing, patient in movement, delicate). But in meeting the Thai ladies, I was quite surprised and found I enjoyed being their company very much. That is not to take away from the other who were there, but to add to what the Thai ladies had going for them.
Why? Because of how relaxed they made me feel in their movement, their attitude. Around men, I feel normal, to be sure. But around women, how they move in a more refined, shall we say, fashion, I feel that I can relax even more, to let my guard down, to not feel, like I need to be on guard or overly attentive to the point of not relaxing. See what I'm saying? People always take this as a sexual function. But though it can cross over into that, really its a basic function of fight or flight. I have no feeling of needing to fight, or flight, just to stay put and relax.
Now a days I notice that being around most women, I feel kind of the same as around men. Like they are equal to the men. Yea for women's equality. Boo for women being just like men. I do feel more or less relaxed, but not really. Of course, after a few drinks you can feel relaxed with anyone, but after a few minutes around someone who simply moves well, it has the same affect as alcohol, without the down side. Surely, I don't feel so comfortable around men like this, who act let's say, effeminate, and I'd again feel on guard. But if they act refined, think perhaps, Buddhist monk, then I can feel relaxed.
This all comes back to how we use terms. Things aren't always what they seem. And we really need to pay attention to that. Because, I do think, we will get along so much better for it.