“Feminine” handwriting

I have taken a few examples from the excellent Font Garden website to show characteristics deemed “masculine,” “androgynous,” and “feminine.” These fonts are great for showing allographic characteristics of each letter, and what makes letter formation “masculine” or feminine.”

Please note that deeming someone or something “masculine” or “feminine” is arbitrary and based on social custom. Not everyone would agree with my arbitrary assessments below.

feminine handwriting example
This is a great cursive example from a woman who took penmanship classes to heart. Note the graceful shape of the o and s, and the fullness of the counters. See how all the angles are the same, and how each letter ends with a nice upward flourish?
feminine handwriting example
Look at the rounded open counters on all the vowels here. Even though some letters slant backwards, the vibe here is “feminine” because of the curves and size.
feminine handwriting example
This cursive example is great because of the capital m and i. The r is also very common among women who took second-grade penmanship lessons seriously.
feminine handwriting example
Note here how the t and f have the exact same angle on the crossbars. This kind of consistency is a hallmark of “feminine” writing. Look at both the lowercase and capital w as well—the rounded shape instead of sharp angles on the baseline of the w is a strong cue.
feminine handwriting example
This is classic young woman writing—high school or college age. Note how all the letters except tare made without lifting the pen from the paper. This is a classic tell of “feminine” writing. Note how open all the counters are, and the gentle hooks on the ends of letters like at, and n  —this is the writing equivalent of “uptalk.”
feminine handwriting example
This is a modified printing style that borders on italic or cursive. Note the crossbar angling consistency in the f
 and t, which can also be seen in the r and the little flourish at the start of the lowercase i. I imagine she can write pretty quickly and keep this looking consistently good.
feminine handwriting example
Look at the f  in this example—it is beautifully shaped. Look at the k as well—see how both arms have slight curves? Finally, check out the s—the loop back through below the baseline is very “feminine.”
feminine handwriting example
This one is interesting—the e and l are so tightly looped that they almost look like an undotted i , but this is still very “feminine.” Why? Because the letters are consistent and carefully formed.
feminine handwriting example
The rounded shape of the ca, and g stand out in this one. Great counters. Note the o and r shapes discussed earlier.
feminine handwriting example
This is another great example of consistency in size, slant, and counters.
feminine handwriting example
Look at the b on this sample, and the loopiness in the capital h. Even though the s is a little unusual, the other letters compensate for that.
feminine handwriting example
A classic example of “feminine” writing. Look at the e, formed in a single loop like a cursive l
, and the rounded downstroke at the end of the tkn, and m. This also has another notable feature of writing that can look “feminine”: i and j dotted with a flourish or a tiny circle instead of a plain old dot. Unless you are in 6th grade or under, please, no dotting your 
feminine handwriting example
This casual style has a “feminine” feel thanks to the ygn and h.
feminine handwriting example
Though this is very right-slanted, and the letters are all tall and thin instead of rounded and wide, this feels “feminine” because of the flourishes. Check out the start of the w or the hook at the end of the t. The s is also a very interesting shape.
feminine handwriting example
This left-slanting style is very wide, giving it a “feminine” characteristic. Note how the a is formed in a “feminine” way: start above the circle, draw the back, then make a big counter without ever lifting the pen. This is also done in the two samples below.
feminine handwriting example
This is a very nice style, in addition to the type of a mentioned above, look at the hook on the k and f downstrokes, the graceful hook on the e, and the way the l is never a straight downstroke.
feminine handwriting example
Look at the way the t is crossed with a flourished crossbar, and the matching capital i. The a is the same as the two above, and look how the eand c finish with expressive hooks that are more like flourishes. I especially like the sg, and j, and note how the j and i are dotted.

Next: “androgynous” handwriting

Handwriting and gender