How to Be a Lady

A few months ago I was talking to an acquaintance of mine about sexual politics. Quite literally, as there was a book called Sexual Politics by Kate Millett in the 1970s, one which challenged western conceptions of feminism, femininity and the way in which women are depicted in literature and the media.

Some argue that books like this revolutionized American culture, teaching women to intentionally avoid feminine clichés and project a more confident and aggressive standpoint.

Men who oppose feminism, on the other hand, say that this type of alpha female personality is unattractive and that traditional men still want the Playboy Playmate type of personality.

What do I think as a dating coach?

I think the truth is somewhere in between. I think that many men are drawn to feminine features—a beautiful appearance, an outgoing and friendly demeanor, and an emotive personality. These are, in essence, opposite and complementary qualities of masculinity.

However, I also feel that a woman can learn to be more feminine while still maintaining her strong feminist principles. It’s simply a matter of taking the fundamentals of feminism and combining them with beauty, grace and a desire to get along with others.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with pleasing a man IF and WHEN he earns your respect. That is, a strong man who respects you likes you and wants to become friends on your terms.

So let’s discuss four lessons in how to be a lady that magnetically attracts men, while also staying true to your ideals, and remaining a strong feminist role model.

1. Project a feeling of friendliness, openness, and appreciation.

True feminist philosophy does not require a standoffish and aggressive attitude when dealing with men. A graceful woman is outgoing, friendly and respectful to all the men she meets—at least in the beginning when introductions are made.

In the business world, for example, introductions are respectful, professional and always done with a smile. It’s polite to say phrases like please, and thank you, and to make all your statements sound sincere. Adding a personal touch to a simple statement like “thanks”, as in “Thank you for coming. I appreciated all your input. You made the evening fun.” makes you appear more graceful and refined.

2. Become more assertive, not more aggressive.

Feminism is polite but only to the extent that you respect men who respect you. If a man is disrespecting you, you can excuse yourself from the conversation. (Or you can censure him if the conversation merits it) You also have the right to say “No” or “Not interested” if a man is making you feel uncomfortable. The truth is most men respect a woman who is assertive and who stands her ground if a man is being impolite.

Even among friends, being more assertive (but not aggressive) will earn you respect from all your peers. Don’t be so eager to please everyone that you constantly put their welfare and comfort above your own. You deserve some time to yourself. You always deserve the option to say NO, even if it’s to someone you admire.

Saying “No thank you” is both assertive AND polite and it’s a phrase that should be used more often.

3. Be a worldly-wise woman—be strong and smart enough to converse with any man.

A woman who refuses to engage a man in intelligent conversation may come across as lacking in social grace. Even if the subject is not your specialty, by taking a worldly-wise approach you can still have an intellectually stimulating discussion with a man you like.

To some extent, educating yourself on current events, the basics of some industries (especially if this is an event associated with a specific career), and some general historical and scientific peripherals can be helpful.

However, even if the man you’re talking to is a genius, you don’t have to appear like a lightweight. Absorb what he is telling you. Learn from him. Treat him like a mentor and let him talk in detail about his favorite subject. He is trying to impress you and that is exactly where you want to be, and where he wants to be.

The key is to ask questions, show genuine interest (especially if some part of the discussion appeals to you), and challenge him to go into even more detail so that he really “comes to life”. For example, a simple question asking about feelings, or hypothetical questions, or more description. In other words, bringing the human interest factor out of these niche subjects.

4. Carry yourself with physical poise.

Charm is not a quality that has to be memorized or duplicated. It just has to be genuine. Charm means you relate to people instantly. You have empathy for them. You smile, you make eye contact and you’re personable with the people you meet.

It’s polite to give compliments, to mirror the energy of everyone else in the room, so as to avoid causing a scene. If you’re leaving the room, it’s ladylike to excuse yourself. If you’re eating a meal, it’s sophisticated to chew with your mouth closed, chew small portions (this prevents you getting caught with a question and having a mouthful to chew!) and eat with your elbows off the table. Don’t grab things across the table when it’s more polite to ask someone to pass something to you. Use your napkin. Thank whoever is waiting for you.

All of these social etiquettes come naturally when you stay calm, control your emotions and show respect to other people around you. Sometimes women forget these “little things” and especially if they feel nervous during the date or the event.

If this is the case, make it a point to wear something that’s “you”. Not forced, not unfamiliar or phony. Wear something that accentuates your physical beauty but that is completely comfortable—like something you would wear on a semi-formal night out. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, you project a feeling of comfort and happiness to others.

When you speak, carry that same deep inner confidence. Your voice should sound pleasant but with authority. You’re not shy, you speak because you want people to listen. Instead of trying to impress people, focus on projecting mystery and class.

Strive to feel comfortable while helping others to feel comfortable in your presence. Don’t try to intimidate men. Help them to be better suitors by feeling safe, comfortable and encouraged to entertain you.

You can be both feminine and feminist. Attractive, while still presenting a strong, confident front. Embrace your independent nature and ambition. A man will notice you for your beauty and charm…but he’ll fall in love with you because of your convictions and strong character.

About The Author

Matthew Coast

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