With the International Women’s Day about over today 8 March 2023, for me there is only one woman in my thoughts. That is Rosemary.
It occurred to me that in this century the concept of femininity is far gone or modified beyond recognition to a man who is now 80..
My Rosemary was feminine. She was, obvious to me, a lovely woman. I would like to add another qualifying term for her. She was a dainty woman. She was small, slim and her voice was just right.
Because my mother tongue is Spanish, and with time in my hands, I decided to think of a term in Spanish, equal to that of dainty.
There is no word. The closest is delicado (male) and delicada (female). The word is usually connected to someone of delicate health. Delicado is also a brand of oval cigarettes. After those connections I drew a blank except that Delicado is a Bossa Nova song. And there is another song by the same name composed by Colombian Tito Ávila:
Como estatua de marfil
Suave y frágil at tocar
Yo te acaricio tiernamente
Yo sé bien que tu serás mi suerte
Like a marble statue
Soft and fragile at touch
I caress you tenderly
I know well that you will be my luck
Those lyrics are for me all about my Rosemary. She was indeed my luck in meeting her and any success in my life is due to her.
Returning to dainty, everything she did, she did in a small way but somehow the results were always big.
While I am a liberal at heart I cling to the idea that we should keep sexually specific words like aviatrix, dominatrix and even that Pan American Airways era term, stewardess.
In that past century, when we men could use the word lady, there was this, "A lady is a woman that makes a man feel like a gentleman."
To those words I must add dainty and I would be insulted if someone were to call me a dainty man!