Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stop Hating on Girliness

Just a quick thought: I'm confused by feminists who hate on things stereotypically associated with women.

From where I'm sitting, it doesn't make sense for feminists to be down on femininity. It kind of ends up feeling like girl-on-girl crime, and thereby actually pretty anti-feminist.

What makes a lot more sense is to question the stereotypes. Should all women feel they must wear make up? Should pedicures only be associated with women? Should cooking be seen as a solely female task?

I hope that in each case we should be able to say, "no." But I would also hope that in each case we could follow it up with, but it's ultimately up to the individual.

There are some really great things about the "girly" side of being a woman. I'm going to be honest...there are few things I love more in the world than getting my nails done. That doesn't make me stupid or frivolous. If I felt that this was something I must do in order to please a man, then we have a problem. If I felt that you aren't really a woman unless you have painted nails, then we have a problem. But for me to enjoy this act--or for other women to enjoy high heels, make up, shopping, and other "girly" things--doesn't actually hurt feminism.

It doesn't help it either, but many things we do on a daily basis don't help feminism.

So let's analyze gender. Let's pay attention to our actual motivations for the performance of gender. Let's have nuanced discussions about social constructs. Let's not alienate others by claiming our own personal preferences as universal truths of feminism. You don't like to shave your legs? Cool, don't. But on a wider level, we've got bigger fish to fry! A critical eye on other women's choices is just a distraction.

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