How does a strong woman become a Real Woman?

(Update:  I am glad I posted this as it is interesting to get other people’s take on this topic.  Stephen has commented one of my reader’s views.  It would be great to have some more views!  Thanks to those who have contributed so far.  Caroline.xx – By the way it would be great if a few more men gave their views!)

OK so in the interests of fairness on this on-line debate  – here on my blog.  I now need to consider the other side of the equation.

(And by the way this isn’t about changing people,  no-one can force someone to change – that has to come from within – that is a given!)

How does a ‘strong’ woman – one who has ended up in the ‘masculine’ role actually stop doing what she’s been doing (whether she liked it or not) without appearing to abdicate.

Because I know I did take over.  Alex told me at the end (after he’d left!).  I also know, if I’m brutally honest – and I tend to be here – that part of me liked being in charge.

But enough about me.  What I want to know is how do we stop doing what we did – without generating either blazing rows or a feeling of being patronising/ condesending  (ie I’m backing off so you can be a real man!).

By the way – I wonder if I’m ‘allowed’ to have femininity as a value – because if I allow myself that then actually I then get significance!

Some of you may get a bit lost here, which I can totally understand!

Anyway,  men – what do you think.  Are we ‘strong women’ far too intimidating?  Not feminine enough?  Are we failing to be the women we are supposed to be – something we’ve buried deep in our attempt to be equals at work?  Is society (whoever or whatever that is) turning us into something that isn’t actually ‘working’ in the general scheme of things which nature intended?  And by that I don’t mean women should be submissive!

Have we forgotten to be girlie?!  Have women forgotten how to be women!

Please do give me your thoughts.

15 thoughts on “How does a strong woman become a Real Woman?

  1. A woman becomes masculine strong automatically to keep herself safe. Many women do not see how it is possible to be feminine and strong. The reality is they are safer and happier when they are connected to their true feminine self. Women who have the illusion that they feel safer in the strong masculine role will always fight to stay there.

    She can feel unsafe for many reasons. One of which is if she feels that her partner does not understand her. Her relationship is not going to be the way she wants it to be. Maybe she feels she is not enough in some way, or that she fears she won’t be loved in the way she wants to be loved.

    Just like the man when fears are present distortion of the individual happens.

    A woman in a strong masculine self will re-connect with her feminine self if the man helps her to feel safe to do so, BUT when she is in her most painful place, if he does anything other than love her to help her, she will stop seeing him as someone she can turn to. The result she has no choice but to get stronger.

    This problem comes from the fact that men and women communicate very differently and so they create the wrong meanings to their partner’s words and actions. They misunderstand each other very fast.

    This is a scary place to be for both people. Now add in additional fears from past hightened emotional events and the couple can go into melt down fast.

    When I work with masculine women my job is not to change them it is to help them feel safe to drop the masculine armour as this stops them being who they really are.

  2. Masculine armour? I really do not agree. A woman can be strong and feminine. There are times when it is the only way a relationship CAN work. Some men are just not able to take control of everyday life.

    I have always been called a ‘strong’ woman, perhaps because I am able to think for myself. I do not, nor have I ever, consider myself any less feminine because of it.

    • Thank you Katie for your comment.

      I don’t think it has anything to do with being able to think for oneself by the way!!

      What I’ve learnt is there is a difference between being ‘masculine strong’ and ‘feminine strong’. I thought of myself as feminine and strong before but actually now, I don’t think I was right.

      There’s a lot more to it all than I can write here. And I’m still learning. And finding it fascinating.

      The ineresting thing is I am not becoming less ‘strong’ through all this. On the contrary I feel a million times more in charge of me – but in a much lovelier way. I am becoming a great deal calmer, softer, kinder and – yes more feminine the more I learn.

  3. I think a women can be strong and still be feminine. Both sexes have their weak and strong aspects and in a good relationship are allowed to express both sides of the coin. That you are a strong women comes across in your blog but you are also vunerable. That is human. Anyone who connects with the essence of you will celebrate both aspects of your character. The situation you find yourself can draw out different aspects of your personality, and if you are lucky, you will find a companion who relishes your strengh whilst protecting your weakness. It is more than possible that, if you are true to yourself, you wil do so. You deserve it

    • I think it is when the male is weak that a woman feels the need to take on the masculine role. Maybe I meet weak men, or maybe I am a bossy bitch. I agree with your comments, Caroline is strong, but I think she is questioning which sort of strong she is. In my mind she sure is a bloody real woman, many would have fallen apart for good after what she has been through.

  4. Katie I know what you mean and your point of view is respected totally.

    You see as Katie has pointed out very clearly she is needing to become strong because she can see that some men are not able to take control. If he cannot be the “man” for her in that moment she has to be it for him, what would be interesting to know is if she likes this or not?

    Katie I’m sure has many wonderful feminine qualities, but has to bring out the masculine in herself to cope in the moment.

    The longer this goes on the more likely she is to stay in a strong place as it’s safer for her. She is even proud to be called ‘strong’.

    Many women feel like Katie, and as I said will fight to stay there as she feels it’s safer, or it’s the only way to live.

    There are many perspectives to any situation and sticking to the ones we have may not open us to new possibilities which could bring new life to our lives.

  5. To confirm yes of course women can be strong and feminine, but there is a world of difference between that and strong and masculine within a woman.

    The strong and masculine is where many women go to automatically because of their fears. A strong feminine woman becomes strong in a way that supports all her core values and this is not connected to fears.

    For example: A stong feminine woman will use love for herself and others to deal with her problems. Strong masculine will use punishment, such as pulling love away to deal with problems.

    If love is important to her and she pulls it away, then she is in direct conflict with her own values, this causes her to feel unsafe with herself, but she won’t understand it that way.

    Punishing never works: Put another way, have you ever been punished by others and felt more love for the person punishing you?

    Very interesting debate Caroline thank you…

  6. I truly do not think strength equals masculinity. I do not feel ‘proud’ of the label, I just accept that there are some things I can cope with as well as some I cannot. Nor do I feel it is safe. It is what it is. I certainly do not feel less feminine nor do I have to bring out my inner ‘man’.

    I am the oldest of 4 girls and as such, I was always expected to take care of the younger ones. Perhaps that aspect has moved on to the rest of my life. I do know I prefer to be like this rather than to spend my life relying on a man and feeling like a lost ‘little girl. It doesn’t mean I don’t hurt, just that no one seems to notice when I do. 🙂

    • Katie you are clearly a wonderfully caring person.

      I can see your pain through your words even if you do put a brave face on it to cover it up.

      Plus of course you will never want to give up being like this if the change you see equals being a ‘lost little girl’.

      On top of that I can now see that you were conditioned to get strong in the only way you could at a young age. You became a parent long before your years and that place has now become your home.

      I have total respect for what you had to do as a girl yourself, and any fears that you felt at that time.

      We can all feel your hurt through your words, and so you are heard.

  7. This is great. I’m really interested in everyone’s views on this topic. I kicked off this debate (and I include the previous posts in this) because I really wanted others’ views and to have the opportunity to challenge mine!

    I can totally see where everyone is coming from.

    I have never said that a woman can’t be a woman and strong!! I wouldn’t want to be anything other than the person I am – but it is the person deep down that I want – not the one I distorted to cope with the situation I was in and the one I became when I thought I was helping my marriage survive.

    You see there is a massive, huge difference between being ‘masculine strong’ and ‘feminine strong’. A concept it took me quite sometime to grasp I might add! I fell into the ‘masculine strong’ persona through fear and through a ‘fight for survival’. Fear that I would lose the man I loved. I lost him anyway because by being ‘masculine strong’ I emasculated the one person I wanted to be the Real Man I knew he could and wanted to be.

  8. I agree Steven, this is a very interesting debate. Thank you for your responses. I must add though that when someone punishes me I do not feel more love for them, usually quite the opposite.

    When my fiancé decided to give me two black eyes at our engagement party I didn’t love him more, I left, immediately after giving him back the ring. (Good move really as he murdered a girl a few weeks later).

    When my husband (not the same guy) decided that the best way to get me to move out was to be cruel with words and deeds, I took my young son and left.

    Punishment does not equate to love in my mind.

    I could go on, but this is Caroline’s blog not mine and you are her life coach, not mine. I will give some thought to your (and Caroline’s) words though. It’s good to consider other’s opinions. I can open your eyes to yourself.

    Thanks Caroline, good post.

  9. Just thought I’d come in again to say, naturally, that you’ve been through a lot Katie, and one can onlu admire you for getting through it so well. No one commented on my previous post so I don’t know wether you agreed ot not,

  10. Thanks Countingducks ( I like the name by the way) It was not a sympathy rant, more a response to Stephen’s posts. I really do think that strong women can be real women, though reading through I am not sure that I am strong, more resigned and probably bonkers. 😛

    Caroline has far more strength, she is questioning who she is and why, rather than feeling the need to defend herself. I admire her a lot for that.

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