OED has some relevant commentary:
3. fig. Of persons in an intellectual sense, of systems, etc.: That has exhausted its vigour and energy; incapable of efficient action. Also, of persons: weak, ineffectual; degenerate. More recently, effeminate.
1981 Economist 6 June 18 Cool, practical and macho in the open air, indoors the uniform tends to trip the wearer up, needs gathering up like a skirt, and looks a trifle effete.
[emPHAsis added]

(I apologize for not looking here sooner.)

edit: so, what we seem to be seeing is that although the drift had been away from feminine, we are coming back to a (typically?) lazy, fin de siecle conflation/confusion of effete and effeminate.

Last edited by tsuwm; 10/18/05 05:53 PM.