Submissiveness and Strength

What does it mean for a woman to be submissive? I asked that question at Chateau Heartiste not too long ago, and received some interesting points of view from men. I asked because “submissive” is such a dirty word. I don’t know why, but I know that you just aren’t supposed to be that nowadays.

They told me that being submissive is being doting, caring, serving and putting out on demand. None of these things ever seemed like a sign of submissiveness to me, just a sign of being nice and caring about the guy. I used to think submissiveness was about liking to be ravished/dominated in bed. Oh well. If being doting, caring and serving are submissive, then I will continue being submissive.
There seems to be an idea floating around that you can’t be a strong independent woman and still do all these “submissive” things. You have to act like a man, because only men are truly powerful. You must learn to be dominant and forceful.  Honestly, I used to think like that as well, but let go of that idea. Trying to prove to everyone how strong you are and how you are like a man is a form of insecurity, it’s not real strength. What is real strength then?
My idea of strength is a combination of independent thinking, resilience, self-sufficiency and moral strength.  Also, self discipline.
Independent thinking makes sure you can think for yourself and don’t just agree with everything your boyfriend/friends/family/authority figures say. It doesn’t prevent you from being caring and subservient, because one of the ways you can serve your man is by using your mind and warning him about things you think are dangerous, or coming up with solutions for his problems.
Resilience is being able to bear the difficulties of life, always a good thing to have. I heard vulnerability can be attractive in a woman, but if you’re so fragile that he’s worried about you a lot, you’ll give him heart disease by stress. That’s the opposite of serving and being caring; that’s being harmful. So resilience doesn’t go against charming feminine behavior.
Self-sufficiency is resilience when you have no one to help you. You can’t always count on people saving you, so it’s best to have a backup resource of energy and strength. This is often misunderstood as “I don’t need a man” attitude. There is no shame in asking for help or letting your boyfriend take care of you, they often like doing it, I think. Self-sufficiency is just an extension of resilience, you have to have it when you’re all alone and in trouble. I admit it might take away a little from a woman’s vulnerable charm if she has it, but it’s still kind of useful to have for any adult person.
Moral strength is my personal favorite. It might not be the same as strength to many people, but to me, it is. Your principles are the only thing that can’t be taken from you, and if you define them well and follow them, you will always retain some kind of happiness, no matter how bad things get*. And it doesn’t keep you from being feminine and submissive. You’ll never cheat, betray or kick someone when they are down if your principles forbid it.
Self-discipline is the ability to direct your energy towards achieving what you want, and abstaining from things you know are bad for you. You can avoid things like getting fat with that. Totally useful when being doting and subservient**.
How does having all those qualities and being submissive fit together? Well, I think a woman can be strong by my definition and still freely choose to do the submissive doting stuff. She willingly gives the man that power over her, and she can take it away if he becomes an asshole.
So, what do you view as submissive and strong, in a woman?
*That’s my own personal thing, but I think it can work for many people.
**That word sure has lots of negative meaning. I see it as “offering acts of service and doing a lot of stuff to please the other person, even at your own expense if they are worth it”, not “being a total slave with no mind of your own”.
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One Response to Submissiveness and Strength

  1. Eivind Berge says:

    I keep trying to think of a more positively loaded word than “subservient” for that context. So far I am failing. I agree with the sentiment though.

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