I had always thought it was used to describe a man with negative female qualities, as in this definition in tsuwm's post...

soft or decadent as a result of overrefinement of living conditions or laxity of mental or moral discipline <the effete householder who wants things done for him -- New Yorker>

...but it just now dawns on me that this is not a very nice way to think. Though I'm not very militant, it seems that this is one of those cases where we should be revising the way women are portrayed. Why would it be women that become soft or decadent as a result of overrefinement?

Funny, eh, how things you've never noticed jump out at you sometimes. Mind you, this isn't a word I use, so I had not thought about it, but still.