Understanding women is rarely easy.
From the perspective of being a woman or otherwise, women are odd, changeable, creatures who share qualities with the sylph, the chameleon, and the sphinx alike.
The current ‘feminist’ approach tends a bit too much towards the grotesque for my sensibilities. I am very glad that as a woman I have the freedom to pursue any career or education that I so desire. But defining women in need of a career and putting in them in direct – and many times ugly – competition with men is a great limitation as well. Often women who want to be home makers or are content with more family focused ambitions are chastened for ‘dragging women back down’.
Leaving aside what this strange “feminism” does to men, its effects on women are not particularly Graceful.
I have already mentioned how difficult it is to find good examples of womanhood in our current world. John Paul II says some great things about beginning a “New Feminism”, it is still difficult to see exactly what it means to be a ‘good woman’. A good example must be strong, beautiful, and possess that almost indefinable femininity.
Women have unique gifts and blessings ones that set them apart from men. And that ought to be celebrated.
So whenever I am in the mood, or stumble upon a particularly compelling example from real life or art, I propose to bring you Women of Real Femininity, filled with mystery, grace, beauty, and strength!
And the first woman, who inspired this entire series, is,
Played by Myrna Loy in the Thin Man Series
Nora is a thing of awe.
From the very first time that I saw one of the Thin Man movies, I have adored Nora. She is classy, smart, loyal, sweet, sassy, wise, caring, and always has impeccable fashion.
The thing that is most striking about Nora is her unflappable trust in her husband. She can find Nick in the arms of another woman, and react with only a wrinkle of her nose. She instantly understands – quite rightly – that a distraught and stressed woman needed a shoulder on which to cry, and her husband happened to have the only spare should around.
Because, what man with any modicum of sanity would cheat on Nora?
Nora is the kind of woman who insists on matching her husband drink for drink. She is the woman who giver her husband a bebe gun for Christmas . . . and then lets him fire it in the house. And behaves as languidly as if shooting balloons off of a Christmas tree were perfectly normal.
She is confident and poised, with no false modesty (or improper egotism) to pull her down. (Nick: “Darling, have I ever told that you are most fascinating woman this side of the Rockies?” Nora: “Wait until you see me on the other side.”)
She is calm and cool in almost any situation.
She loves a good adventure, and at times must be forcibly retrained from danger.
She is always sincerely gracious and polite to everyone. (Except murderers and the kidnappers of her children. But that is understandable.) She is compassionate and genuinely cares for the people around her, even if she has known them for a very little time.
She is possessed of a wicked wit. (“Waiter, will you serve the nuts? I mean, will you serve the guests the nuts?”)
And she loves whole-heartedly. One of the most beautiful things about this series is the marriage of this couple, Nick and Nora. They are clearly deeply in love, and intend to stay in love for the rest of their loves.
Their common, everyday expressions of affection for each other are mainly a witty teasing.
They work together wonderfully, despite Nick’s attempts to keep her out of danger. (He discovers that hard way the locking her in the closet will only drive to do her own sleuthing.)
And more than anything, she has the indefinable air of womanly mystique. She is feminine to the very tip of her smallest finger.
It is difficult to find the right words to describe her, but with a doubt she is a Woman!
(And to prove it, you should go watch the movies. But until then, have a few clips below.)