I read Jack Donovan’s book “The Way of Men” a few years ago. In it he outlines what it means to be a man, not in a moral or ethical way, but more in a Plato’s forms way. He tries to distill the idea of a man down to its core, its most basic characteristics. Where he finally arrives is four main “tactical virtues”: Strength, Courage, Mastery, and Honor. In his book he goes into detail on all four, and I highly recommend you read it; I agree with most of his conclusions. Based on his book, and several conversations I have had with my wife over the years, I started thinking along the same lines as Jack, but instead of men, I wanted to define women.
So what would be the defining virtues of a woman? It is not so easily answered as it is asked. I started to think of what a perfect, what an ideal, woman would look like, what she would act like. So after thinking on it for some time I came up with four virtues of the ideal woman. Before I list these traits, a few words about relationships must be said. The main relationships in a man’s life are with other men, mostly men within his clan, but the main relationships in a woman’s life are with her men, very specific men, either her father, or her husband. A woman is lost, is feral, is out of control if she is not anchored to a man, so the nature of her life, and her traits, are different than a man’s.
The virtues of an ideal woman are: Beauty, Submission, Mastery, and Loyalty.
Beauty. This is not just literal physical beauty (symmetrical face, full breasts, slender figure) although that is an important part of it, this is also beauty of speech, beauty of movement. It is the way in which she takes care of her body, keeping it in good shape, cleaning it, dressing it in appropriate clothing. It is the way she maintains her hair, brushing it, braiding it, not cutting it short, or leaving it a mess. It is not the words she speaks, but the way in which she speaks, the tone of her voice, speaking softly, gracefully, never interrupting, never yelling. It is the way she carries herself, the way she walks, the way she sits, the way her body moves, not recklessly, but deliberately gentle and subtle.
Submission. This is the trait of submitting to the wishes and commands of your father or husband. A woman is a support, is a helper, is a sidekick, and she performs this best when she follows the will of the man who is responsible for her. This is, although there is more to it, simply put, doing what she is told, not arguing, not complaining, not trying to convince herself that she shouldn’t listen, not trying to convince him that what he is asking is wrong or stupid. True submission is not only doing what you are told, but is doing what you are told because you truly accept and respect the authority of the one to whom you are submitting.
Mastery. This one is very similar to Jacks one for men, it is a utilitarian virtue. It is cooking, it is cleaning, it is grocery shopping, it is taking care of children, it is sewing, it is making the house a home, it is feeding guests, it is running errands, it is arranging social events. It is not only doing these things, but doing them well, doing them completely, efficiently.
Loyalty. This is the trait of showing, through her words and her actions, that she is completely and utterly devoted and bound to her man. She is always at his side, not just literally, but figuratively. No matter what occurs, no matter where she is, no matter who is against her, there is never a question as to where her allegiance lies, it is always with her man.