“Get your antifemininity out of my feminism”

This essay by s. e. smith is something I honestly wish I could have written myself (but see Comment 1 below), because it’s a point that is rarely raised in fighting against misogynist sentiment and the gender roles that enable it. That point is, eliminating those gender stereotypes does not entail actually eliminating the stereotyped behaviour. Making this society safe for manly and effeminate behaviours from both sexes is paramount, regardless of whether or not the specific behaviours conform with the proscribed gender roles.

I want to live in a world where little girls are not pinkified, but where little girls who like pink are not punished for it, either. We can certainly talk about the social pressures surrounding gender roles, and the concerns that people have when they see girls and young women who appear to be forced into performances of femininity by the society around them, but let’s stop acting like they have no agency and free will. Let’s stop acting like women who choose to be feminine are somehow colluders, betraying the movement, bamboozled into thinking that they want to be feminine. Let’s stop denying women their own autonomy by telling them that their expressions of femininity are bad and wrong.

Antifemininity is misogynist. What you are saying when you engage in this type of rhetoric is that you think things traditionally associated with women are wrong. Which is misogynist. By telling feminine women that they don’t belong in the feminist movement, you are reinforcing the idea that to be feminine and a woman is wrong, that women who want to be taken seriously need to be more masculine, because most people view gender presentation in binary ways. This rewards the ‘one of the boys’ type rhetoric I encounter all over the place from self-avowed feminists who seem to think that bashing on women is a good way to prove how serious they are when it comes to caring about women and bringing men into the feminist movement.

There’s much, much more right here. What do you folks think?

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“Get your antifemininity out of my feminism”

53 thoughts on ““Get your antifemininity out of my feminism”

  1. 52

    Was this in response to my post?

    Quite frankly, I am so sick and tired of the pink hatred. For the record, that happens to be my favourite colour – and I can’t help but like that colour.

    Why can’t we just work to de-stigmatize the colour pink – so that both boys and girls can like pink without shame.

    If we get rid of pink, then what colour are we gonna ban next? Purple? Blue? Red? Green? Orange? Yellow? Whose to say that, if they stop making girls stuff in pink, they aren’t just gonna choose some other colour to market to girls?

    The problem is not with pink per se. The problem is with how how marketers use to market to girls? They could have picked *any* colour to do that with. It’s just so happens that pink was the colour of choice. So let’s place on blame on where it properly belongs, instead of blaming the colour itself.

    Besides, it only serves to reinforce the belief that misogynistic male chauvinists have that boys liking pink will “turn them gay” or “make them sissies”. Really, as a feminist, do you actually want to *agree* with the misogynistic male chauvinists that “pink signifies weakness”.

  2. 53

    I’m very feminine and I love it. I love wearing heals, showing off my curves, wearing make-up, and being graceful in my movements. I like to cook, paint, and play the piano. I like tastefully decorated homes, shopping, and I like a good cry every now and then. I am emotional and both want and seek out men who can support me.

    I am also very good at math, an excellent writer, founder of a start-up, and have employed and led mostly men on projects – projects that went on to succeed quite, admirably, if I might add. I am very ambitious and don’t let anything stand in the way of getting what I want. I know when to use my feminine charm, and and when to talk purely business and numbers.

    I don’t see any contradiction between the two. I am a woman. What should that preclude my ability to succeed in the business, or accomplish my biggest dreams? There are different genders. That does not mean one is more capable than the other. I resent being told I must be masculine and like man in order to succeed in my career.

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