unsubtle-knife:

jackrad:

boredangry: “Empowering femininity” has to mean more than just supporting people who wear pink stuff

kiriamaya:

This was going to be a long post, but it really doesn’t need to be, because the thought I’m having is pretty simple:

I agree with Serano when she says that a major key to gender liberation is “work[ing] to empower femininity, in all its forms.” But I don’t think that a lot of us have given enough thought to what that means.

Cultural constructions of “femininity” involve much more than just clothing, or even personal dispositions. Loving, nurturing, befriending, fostering deep emotions and connections — these things are considered “feminine”, and therefore these things are relentlessly derided and demeaned by our patriarchal society. It’s all too easy to dismiss these things in favor of aggression, “badassery”, and other things that are typically coded “masculine”.

You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We’ve all dropped the ball on this one big time.

**In our social context, empowering femininity doesn’t just mean empowering people who like dresses. It means empowering mothers. It means empowering caregivers and nurturers. It means refusing to see these people, and these things, as “lesser”, and instead uplifting them. It means not seeing ourselves as lesser when we help, support and love, just because these acts don’t appear “strong” in the eyes of patriarchy. It means recognizing that “strength” isn’t everything, and that sometimes “weakness” is not only okay but absolutely necessary.**

Only once we’ve gotten that through our heads will we start to liberate our own selves and the people we love.

Am I making sense?

so when i was younger, i strongly identified as femme but over the years i’ve stopped identifying that way.  maybe partially because identifying as femme always felt like it was a thing where people expected me to preform extreme radical femme femininity when femininity is not a preformative thing for me at all.  it’s not about wearing glitter or pink or whatever for me and i used to feel like it meant that i had to act completely over the top and try to be recognized as a this loud radical femme to be accepted which is really just not who i am at all.  it kind of makes me think of nic bravo’s piece a week or so ago where she talked about miss piggy being this femme icon because she’s so over the top but sometimes people just are feminine in ways that are not over the top or glamourous, it’s just the way we are (that’s not the only thing i got from that essay and you should read it for many other reasons)

for me, the ways in which i am feminine are coded into the way i talk and the way i move and the way i treat people and the way i act and the core of just how i am in a way that i don’t necessarily want to get rid of but definitely couldn’t take off as easily as clothing if i tried.  i also think it’s probably the number one thing that makes me initially seem like such a catch in terms of boyfriend material but really really quickly is also the thing that makes the types of people i like to date lose interest in me so quickly. and it sucks and it sometimes makes me wish i could take off my femininity as easily as a pair of gold hotpants (the fact that i feel the need to ask whatever happened to my gold hotpants goes back to the fact that femininity has to be performed to be cool).

kiriamaya’s piece above really resonated with me because when it comes down to it, yeah, there’s a little bit of a queen in me (maybe there’s a little bit of a queen in everyone though) but i often feel like i have to bring her out way more often than she wants to because she somehow covers up for or apologies for the ways that femininity is just a part of me that people look down on and won’t date me because of.  why is that?

you know the number one reason people want me as their boyfriend, but also the number one reason people quickly decide that they’d rather have me as their girlfriend than their boyfriend is that i’m “too nice.” basically.  i guess men aren’t supposed to be nice and that’s a horribly unsexy quality and it fucking sucks.

the fact that i’m nice, the fact that i’m non-violent, the fact that i’m good at building bridges, the fact that i’m really (really really) sensitive to other people’s feelings, the fact that i’m gentle and soft-spoken, the fact that i’m a caring person—those are all qualities that i like about myself.  i guess they’re also qualities that are usually associated with femininity and thus equated with weakness.  i’m a peaceful and caring person and i’m secure enough in myself most of the time that i am comfortable picking my battles and not getting worked up about things that don’t matter much to me.  i think most people’s best qualities can be dangerous without a strong sense of self confidence and that’s definitely true of these qualities in me, but this is also just the most basic core of who i am.  at this point, these are all things that make me stronger, not weaker.

so isn’t it just… i don’t know—i guess femmephobia (i mean i don’t really identify as femme but i guess i kinda fit into that?) that stems from this misogyny that says that stereotypical qualities found in/projected onto women are inherently weak and bad.  that the only way to really be a badass is to be loud and rowdy and get up in people’s faces and that’s all fine and i love people who are like that but isn’t the idea that you are stupid and have low self-confidence and are weak and a victim if you don’t do that just more of the same femmephobic shit?

i am so sick of people not wanting to date me because i’m “too nice” and they see that as my being weak and not enough of a man for them and a pushover or something—i stick up for people i love and just because i usually do it with love instead of by cussing people out and making the situation more dramatic and horrible than it already was doesn’t make me weak or un-chivalrous or whatever.  it makes me a good person and a good friend and a good date/boyfriend/whatever.  somehow, it’s only cool to be femme, though, if you can embrace being a total bitch/diva and that’s just, like, the opposite of who i am.  this is why i don’t identify as femme anymore

bolding mine. this is so relevant to so many things i have discussed with @cuntext.

AUUUGHHHH YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES ALL OF THISSSSSSSS.