Muliebrity is a title of one of the poems of Sujata Bhatt (born 1956): ‘I have thought so much about the girl/who gathered cow-dung, in a wide, round basket/along the main road passing by our house/and the Radhavallabh temple in Maninagar./I have thought so much about the way she moved her hands and her waist and the smell of cow-dung and road-dust and wet canna lilies, the smell of monkey breath and freshly washed clothes and the dust from the crows’ wings which smells different – …’

Muliebrity is derived from the Latin word muliebris, of a woman, and in French, mulier is a woman. Muliebrity rmeans the condition of being a woman, behaving in ways considered typical of a woman.

Muliebrity refers to womanhood, womanliness, femininity.

The opposite of muliebrity is virility.

“On International Women’s Day, muliebrity is a word worth examining closely. It goes back to the late 16th century, and is derived from the Latin muliebritas or womanhood, in turn a derivative of mulier or woman. There is an adjective form, muliebral, “of or pertaining to a woman”. Neither word is widely used any more, but as a valid word in the language, muliebrity can be applied to all women, and to all men who behave like women,” wrote Shahshi Tharoor, the Indian parliamentarian in The Hindustan Times, 8 March 2020. “A friend I tried the word out on – “what do you think muliebrity means?” – understandably thought it meant stubbornness, because of the association of that quality with mules. He would no doubt have been surprised to learn that Vanderbilt University in the US offers the Muliebrity Prize to honour students that “demonstrate leadership in activities that contribute to the achievements, interests and goals, or that promote equity.” Muliebrity, of course, has nothing to with mules.”

Mulish is an adjective, 1751: If someone is mulish, it means, unreasonably and inflexibly obstinate.


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