8 Ways to be a Modern Woman

At the end of September, the New York Times posted an article on 27 Ways to be a Modern Man, which was widely ridiculed. ┬áSince we’re in the new millennium, it requires a complement on ways to be a modern woman.

  1. The modern woman marries neither too late nor too early, taking care to complete her minimum schooling first.
  2. The modern woman holds doors for her fellow humans, whether male, female, young, or old. She permits others to hold doors for her.
  3. Recognizing the need to care for her mental health, the modern woman shares her honest feelings–extensively or briefly, depending on circumstances–and listens to others’ honest feelings.
  4. The modern woman uses variety to celebrate her daily life, artfully mixing frivolous conversation with hard work and recognizing minute victories.
  5. The modern woman feels free to celebrate her fandoms without fear of attack or reprisal.
  6. The modern woman doesn’t let her frustration with men grow to misandry but clearly identifies behaviors of men around her that make her uncomfortable and helps them understand why.
  7. The modern woman understands not only how to defend herself physically but also how to verbally defuse uncomfortable situations in ways that improve those around her.
  8. The modern woman rejects externally-imposed standards of beauty, identity, and behavior and instead defines her own–edifying–standards. She knows the kind of woman she wants to become and seeks ever-better habits to guide her.



The Modern Man article took a lot of flak on Twitter and, I imagine, in other venues. Satire or not, the resulting confusion emphasized one thing in my mind: it is very difficult to comprehend the breadth of the human experience.

It’s so easy for me to assume that everyone else has the same kinds of experiences I do. Perhaps, once in a while, it’s good for me to read an article that throws me into utter confusion until I realize how many people out there I don’t yet understand.

3 Replies to “8 Ways to be a Modern Woman”

    1. Also: I have to admit I couldn’t think of “misandry” when I wanted it. Looking up the antonym of “misogyny” doesn’t help; it’s “philogyny.”

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