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Callicratidas's inclination renders him hypervirile... Callicratidas's sexual desire for boys, then, makes him more of a man; it does not weaken or subvert his male gender identity but rather consolidates it." In contrast, "Charicles' erotic preference for women seems to have had the corresponding effect of effeminising him: when the reader first encounters him, for example, Charicles is described as exhibiting 'a skillful use of cosmetics, so as to be attractive to women.'" Over-refinement, fine clothes and other possessions, the company of women, certain trades, and too much fondness with women were all deemed effeminate traits in Roman society.
At the time of the picture, the sight of an able-bodied adult male carrying an umbrella for himself in an English city or town still had some of the connotations of excessive dandyism or effeminacy that it had earlier in the 18th century.
Effeminacy is the manifestation of traits in a boy or man that are more often associated with feminine nature, behavior, mannerism, style, or gender roles rather than with masculine nature, behavior, mannerisms, style or roles.
Effeminate comes from the Latin effeminātus, from ex which is "out," and femina which means woman; it means "to be like a woman." Another Latin term is mollities, meaning "softness." In ancient Koine Greek, the word for effeminate is κίναιδος kinaidos (cinaedus in its Latinized form), or μαλακοί malakoi: a man "whose most salient feature was a supposedly "feminine" love of being sexually penetrated by other men." "A cinaedus is a man who cross-dresses or flirts like a girl.
Indeed, the word's etymology suggests an indirect sexual act emanating a promiscuous woman.
And among early modern partisans of the republican tradition, the term might be applied to those who were preoccupied with "womanly" concerns, such as the accoutrements of appearance, which were often associated with trappings of nobility or aristocratic aspirations, such as ostentatious dress, decadence in consumption habits, and rigid adherence to the proprieties or manners of social hierarchy.