You know, I had a blog years ago dedicated to my rants. They were funny and often valid. I really do not want this site to become a place for my venting but I can’t let this one go by. Some guy going off on what is ladylike..come on? . It seems James Michael Sama…my male blogger counterpart decided he would tell all us women what the characteristics were that were not “ladylike”.  Here is the article so you can read it first and feel my ladylike outrage too.

I don’t know about ladylike. This has been a word used to hurt me since I was a child. According to some ways of thinking, I was less than ladylike. I fought with this word all my life. It was a swear word hurled at me to get me to normalize into some oddball form of womanly-ness. I am loud and boisterous. I say what I think and I am not one to back down when offended. I am not exactly what you would call ladylike. The up side is that you know where you stand with me at all times. My heart is on my sleeve. There is no guessing, no hiding the ball. What you see is what you get. Luckily, it generally manifests as JOY! Yes, JOY! I am flamboyantly joyous and if a stray “fuck” slides out….well….I wouldn’t get to worked up over anything. I pick joy over ladylike any day.

So….lest we forget what we are here for, let us deconstruct this nitwit’s thesis on what is and what is not ladylike. Wait…I just have to say that this whole thing is gross. Who is he to tell us what is attractive  and what makes a woman ladylike?

On with the deconstruction. (The bold phrases are from Mr. Sama’s article)

“They call themselves a ‘bad bitch.’

Really, I don’t even know what this is. I assume he is referring to a woman who isn’t afraid she is going to be walked atop at any moment. I can be a pretty bad bitch if you fuck with my kids, kick a homeless person, hurt another person, or act like a general prick. You may encounter a woman who isn’t afraid to tell you that you are misbehaving. To some men, this looks like a woman thinks she is a “bad bitch.” Come on gals, a real lady knows how and when a bad bitch is needed. The most ladylike thing to most men is a bad bitch who knows how to protect her hens.

“They have truck driver mouth.”

Wow!Fuck Wow! I am not ladylike, at all here. I am a part of a Facebook group called “Intelligent, classy, well-educated women who say F*ck a lot” Enough said. You don’t get to tell me how to talk, period. If you don’t like that I say “crap” or “hell” or call you the “ass” you are well, sorry if you think it is not ladylike, but fuck off.

They talk about fighting other girls (and do it).

As I read this I am becoming increasingly aware that these comments come from a man who is looking at a woman like a “ladylike” porcelain doll, not like a real human with real relationships and emotions and a life. I don’t often talk about fighting women. I rarely do fight with women. In fact, I hope never to have a fight with another woman, if I can help it. With that said, life is life. Again…there are reasons to cuss and there are reasons to fight. Sorry if I am not ladylike enough for you because I’d like to cut a bitch.

All they want to do is get “TURNT UP!”

“Turnt up!” is not a term I am familiar with.  I get the concept and I also get the fucking ladylike double bind you guys put us in. If we aren’t ready to party at any given point in time, we are a “wet blanket” or we are “Debbie Downer.” I have heard this before, haven’t you, my ladylike minion? Maybe that is why we always want to get “turnt up!” We are avoiding your asinine appraisal of our energy levels. Further, why don’t you plan a damn date that doesn’t involve getting “turnt up!” My suggestion to men is, before you call a girl less than ladylike. Plan an awesome low key, thoughtful date and then, reassess.

They pay more attention to their appearance than their attitude.


Here is another ladylike double bind. If we are concerned with our appearance we are not ladylike. When I spend all day in yoga pants and forget the makeup for days on end, I get asked if I have been feeling sick or am unhappy. There is no good way around this for women. Have some compassion for Pete’s sake. Women….I think the real key here is chicanery. That is right, pure, old-fashioned trickery. Men can’t handle that 90% of women have some issue with our appearance and body. You have to act like you don’t care one bit about you appearance while running yourself ragged applying about 10,000 products a day to achieve the ladylike “natural” look.

Ladies…you are ladylike. Be yourself. Be the wonderful you that you are! Let your goddess shine, whether you are Durga or Demeter. Don’t let some douche dictate what makes you yummy and wonderful. A truly strong man wants a strong woman. He wants a real woman who isn’t just some two-dimensional image of what a “ladylike” woman is supposed to be.


  1. James Michael Sama on April 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Hey there!

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response to one of the many varied articles on my blog – many of which I think you would actually agree with since they are all about empowerment, acceptance of people in general, and mutual respect.

    I also think it’d be worthwhile to explore the male version of this same article:

    I’m sorry to hear that the term “ladylike” has been a negative for you through your life. Though I think objectively speaking, there are certain ‘guidelines’ so to speak, necessary to call one’s self a lady or a gentleman.

    People are free to act as they wish free of judgment, but if a man was always fighting, had no ambition in life, etc, etc…to call himself a gentleman would be a stretch.

    Could anyone attempt to take away his choice or tell him what he “should” or “shouldn’t” do? No, of course not. It’s his/her choice. But they simply would not fit into a certain category that depends on conduct.

    Also if you notice in the beginning of the article, I wrote this towards women because the majority of my articles is about how men need to be and do better in life and relationships.

    I hope this helps clarify my position and I certainly hope nothing I said was personally insulting towards you, as that would never be my intention.

    Thanks again for reading my blog.


    – James

    • Rachael Atamian on April 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Thank you for your thoughtful response. I did take the time to read that you usually commented upon men and their “gentlemen-ly” issues. I am not clear I would agree with that line of discourse any more than I do with this one. I was not personally offended, at all. I am offended for a larger audience of strong, loud, wonderful, empathic women who read your article and feel that their brand of woman is not up to par with your version of ladylike. Again, that you responded, speaks volumes of your character. We can agree to disagree.

      • James Michael Sama on April 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        Agree to disagree is fine with me. 🙂 I am friends with plenty of those types of women as well as have plenty of them in my family. I’d love them just as equally as anyone else, just as I have plenty of male friends that I wouldn’t call “gentlemen” but still enjoy spending time with them.

        None of us are perfect, I am far from it myself, I think the important thing is just that we all do our best to live a good life and are caring towards others.

        Also, thank you for your gracious acceptance of my comment.

        – James

        • Rachael Atamian on April 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm

          I think there is a meta-concept being lost. That is that “ladylike” is touted as being the best way a woman can be or should act. It is looked upon as an ideal. Woman that, by nature, nurture, or the combination of the both don’t measure up to that label, “ladylike”, are marginalized as not a true “lady”. I think you said “those types of women.” I question what “those types of women” who are not your version of ladylike are? Powerful? Courageous? Brave? And what of the larger societal discourse of the term ladylike? Most women, I am sure, have heard the castigation, “Act like a lady.” I think, that while you equate acting like a gentlemen and acting like a lady, you miss the power imbalance replete in those terms and what is required to act in that specific “normalized” way in our society. I am just thinking that when a man enumerates a list of qualities that make a woman “ladylike” he runs the risk of perpetuating this same power imbalance instead of working to destroy it. And don’t even get me going on the larger socio-economic implications of “lady” as ideal.

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