The Golden Rules of Womanhood

Sociologist and well known masculinity scholar Michael Kimmel describes the four golden rules of manhood as:

  1. No sissy stuff
  2. Be a big wheel
  3. Be a sturdy oak
  4. Give em’ hell

We love critiques of masculinity, but we at Chez Jane tackle social constructions of femininity.  Taking off from Kimmel’s golden rules, we therefore offer you the four golden (softened with 4% silver and 21% copper to a flattering rose hue) rules of womanhood.    Take note, sisters:

  1. Take the back seat*
  2. Be a willow (weeping if appropriate, but soft and supple)**
  3. Contain the fury***
  4. Look pretty****

Of course, we could argue, as Michael Kimmel does, that these rules are the socially constructed products of a patriarchal, heterosexist rape culture, and that deconstructing socially prescribed masculinity and femininity would do wonders in shifting the ways in which individual, social, and structural rules about gender perpetuate the rape culture, not to mention do wonders in improving the quality of life for everyone, regardless of gender.   But doing so would violate at least rules #1-#3, and probably #4, as well.

Dammit.  (Oops – contain the fury. Contain the fury!)


*Big wheels are for the boys, ladies.  We know; we checked Google images.  Unless they’re pink.  But still.

**Everyone can’t hold their ground, you know.  If manhood is about being strong, unflinching and unbending, someone’s got to yield, right?

***Because fury, however justified, is neither pretty nor hot.  Reference rule #4.

****Or hot, depending on the situation and the requirements of your husband/boyfriend.  But not too hot.  Because that’s slutty.  Unless he wants you to look really hot.  But only for him. (Not sure how to negotiate that one – good luck.)

One response

  1. […] the case for self-defense against sexual assault.  We have attempted numerous media-savvy  lists, golden rules, open letters, and memes hoping to spread the […]

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