How important should femininity be to Catholic women?

Especially if you are single?
What do you define as femininity and where do you get your concepts-eg:from religion,from culture,from nature,or self made beliefs etc?

Do you consider femininity as being important for a woman and in relationships or do you view this as “old fashioned” or not necessary?

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Do you believe femininity is somehow different for Catholic women?


I think our culture’s views of femininity is mostly relative. I think we should follow God, which means embracing womanhood(what God has made us to be), by being spiritual mothers looking to the Blessed Mother as our guide. I think too much focus is put on the “look” when talking of embracing femininity. Look changes from era to era and culture to culture. 100 years ago a woman would have been classified as masculine if she would have been wearing the pants or having the haircuts some women have today. Throughout time, make up hasn’t been seen has an exclusively female thing like it is today.


To me, femininity is simply accepting and honoring your God-given womanhood by not rejecting your capacity for motherhood (physical and spiritual), and seeking to grow in holiness by using the gifts/talents you’ve been given to honor God and to do good for others. Whenever you choose to do good and grow in the virtues, you will be “spiritually mothering” because you are a woman. It’s not something you consciously have to do. Rather it’s something that organically comes about just because you are a woman who is seeking to do God’s will. It means being authentic to who you are in terms of your particular personality, strengths and weaknesses. It means understanding your dignity as a woman and honoring that with your dress, speech and actions.

Femininity doesn’t mean

Wearing skirts/dresses all the time
Having to learn to sew, knit and/or crochet
Being a fabulous cook
Always being quiet and demure
Seeing all men as having authority over you
Playing a role that feels false for the sake of “being feminine.”
Having long curly hair
Basing a decision to NOT wear makeup as somehow being “more pure”
Wearing makeup as sign of femininity
Letting your father or husband decide if you should wear makeup, taking the decision entirely out of your hands.
Having a strong inclination to nurture children or small animals
Always taking a supportive role rather than a leadership role at work-paid or volunteer.

Most of the above can certainly be chosen as something that perhaps suits your personality and desires or level of talent but they are preferences and have nothing to do with whether one is more “feminine” or not. I only mention the above because there is a lot of info on the web that tries to pass off much of these as what being an authentic or feminine woman entails and it’s simply not true.


In your eyes, why are single women in another way feminine or should be? (Instead of the lack of motherly feminity ad a single woman)

Femininity is hugely important in every stage of life, but our culture has done everything it can to destroy true femininity and to diminish it to generalizations and misinterpreted qualities within the overarching concept (some of which Elizabeth3 already called out).

My own definition of femininity comes from many different female figures within the church - strong Catholic women I know personally, saints I’ve studied, but most of all our dear heavenly Mother Mary. What a blessing we have been given, to have such a perfect example of what true femininity in this life should be. Mary embodies everything femininity truly is – faithful, pious, trusting in God’s plan, humble, pensive, perseverant, maternal, loving… the list goes on and on.

It is crucial for us as women to be the Feminine force in our relationship/marriage – where else will it come from but a woman? And it matters not if it’s old-fashioned, because it’s what God calls us to be – and God’s plan transcends time and modern expectations.


Sorry but could you please elaborate as I don’t really understand the question.
I don’t mean that single women have a different form of femininity than married women but I was just referring from the perspective of single people.
Come of think of it,it doesn’t particularly matter if referring to single or married because both interact with men (whether husband or potential mate).

That’s a broad question and hard to answer as while the Vatican has made mention of Catholics and femininity,at the same time lots of individuals view it differently (regardless whether they are catholic,agnostic,Muslim etc).
In society,some “believe” in femininity,others believe in being feminist,some believe in a combination of both etc,some place it of no value etc…
Some people now are so confused they even go to the “extreme” where they don’t even want to be known as either a man or a woman.
Obviously this is an extreme,but this does exist in today’s society.
That is why I was curious what individual posters personal perspectives were.

I would say hugely important and both a gift from God and an obligation in honouring his path and design for us as women.


I love the “Endow” group studies. Especially the study on John Paul Ii’s Letter to women. This group is calling us to look at ourselves and hold up our dignity as women. It is a much kinder way than secular feminism.

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  1. This word of thanks to the Lord for his mysterious plan regarding the vocation and mission of women in the world is at the same time a concrete and direct word of thanks to women, to every woman, for all that they represent in the life of humanity.

Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God’s own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child’s first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.

Thank you, women who are wives! You irrevocably join your future to that of your husbands, in a relationship of mutual giving, at the service of love and life.

Thank you, women who are daughters and women who are sisters! Into the heart of the family, and then of all society, you bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness, your generosity and fidelity.

Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life-social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of “mystery”, to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.

Thank you, consecrated women! Following the example of the greatest of women, the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, you open yourselves with obedience and fidelity to the gift of God’s love. You help the Church and all mankind to experience a “spousal” relationship to God, one which magnificently expresses the fellowship which God wishes to establish with his creatures.

Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world’s understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic.


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