A gracious woman retaineth honor: and strong men retain riches.
– Proverbs 11:16
[T]he point of the contrast in this proverb is not to contrast men and women as such, but rather to provide a through-going contrast. Both lines present a contrast from start to finish. The word for gracious points to kindness and charm. It can refer to objective beauty, but physical beauty is not meant, or at least not the emphasis here, as verse 22 later shows. To retain is to obtain and to keep. The point of the phrase is that honor is obtained and kept through graciousness. The word for strong means oppressive and tyrannical. Riches can be obtained and kept by such means. The point of the contrast then becomes clear. Only riches can be obtained that way. Such men will not retain honor. The gracious woman may or may not obtain wealth, but she will retain honor.