Anonymous asked: In response to your "I hope my child is feminine" post, isn't it pretty horrific to equate femininity with materialism? Because that's pretty much what I got out of your post.
Oh gosh that is a way it can be read, isn’t it.
Discussions about masculinity and femininity are fraught with difficulties and impossibilities. What would society even define those words as? Masculine = tough and strong and aggressive, feminine = soft and weak and nurturing. But I know some masculine as shit people who will nurture the hell out of you, and some definitely feminine people who come on WAY strong. It’s a messed up dichotomy in the first place because all people have all sorts of aspects to their personality, and rendering some aspects “feminine” and some aspects “masculine” is a purely social phenomena. Not to say that it isn’t legitimate! But I would definitely say something like “I hope my kid grows up into someone who doesn’t take shit” rather than “I hope my kid grows up into a man’s man” or some equivalent.
So back around to what I meant by my post. There are certain “trappings” associated with masculinity and femininity. Clothes, hobbies, personal hygiene and presentation are generally what I’m speaking of. T-shirt and jeans vs. floofy dresses. Trucks vs. dolls. Plain face vs. makeup. And yes, I mentioned shopping, because it’s considered a feminine “trapping.” Clothes are materialistic for either gendered trait. So are hobbies that one invests money into.
Putting makeup on can be an investment into materialism and the patriarchal standard of beauty for women, or it can be self-expression and the agency to look how you want. So it depends on how you see it.
To tangent: I know that makeup is highly political when you wear it even if it’s what you want because we are conditioned to want certain things. So inb4 that. Does that make more sense?
Anonymous asked: Welcome back :)
Oh hey! Thank you!
ive learned more about topics such as sexism and racism and rape culture and ableism and self confidence on a website that was originally made for pretty pictures than i have in my 11 years in an environment that is supposed to prepare me for the real world and if that isnt fucked up i honestly dont know what is
I can already hear the eyebrows raising.
Really, Rachel? You, who grew up a tomboy and who still dresses in guy’s clothes, want your kid to embrace all the trappings of traditional and patriarchal demands to be soft and fluffy?
Yes. Yes I do. But not for the reasons you might think.
When I was very young, my favorite color was pink.
One day, I learned that little girls were supposed to like pink. I decided that just wouldn’t do and changed my favorite color to purple. It wasn’t a rebellion on the expectation for me to like pink- no, I already loved the color. It was a rebellion against being like all the other girls, because being like the girls was a bad thing. Baby’s first instance of internalized misogyny.
As I got older, I deliberately eschewed anything feminine. I liked the term “tomboy” and often used it to describe myself. I was proud whenever the guys let me be “one of them.” I avoided shopping and dolling myself up very much. I never, ever wanted to be like “THOSE girls.” Being a girl meant being weaker, being less than. I hated it, so I tried to defect.
Once I hit college and was thrown into studies that revolutionized the way I saw gender and its social relevance, I began picking apart at my internalized misogyny. It started with realizing that slut shaming was a terrible thing to do. It eventually led to unpacking why I had been so determinedly a “tomboy” for my childhood.
I have a feminine side that I can embrace freely now. I love dressing up, doing my makeup, going shopping. That’s not to say that I’m not still strongly masculine sometimes. I am. I like the way guys’ shirts look on me and there are days when my physical language is a whole lot more manly than my face and curves would speak to. However, I’m no longer ashamed of being feminine when I want to be.
I spent a decent amount of my childhood repressing a part of myself because I associated “feminine” with “lesser.” We live in a toxic kyriarchy, it was bound to happen. I just hope that I counteract that enough in my child’s life- whatever gender they may be- that they feel like they have the freedom to be feminine if they so choose.
I hate the new liberal/ally push to downplay someone’s coming out (“They said ‘I’m gay’ and I said ‘cool, wanna play cod?’”)
Put yourself in their shoes. They just shared a huge part of their identity with you, a part that is marginalized and oppressed. They know that sharing that information with just anyone is extremely dangerous, but they trust you enough to let you know. There could be a million things running through their heads. They might be scared. They might want to feel relief. They might feel joyous. Either way, it is a huge event to them. It is important. Don’t play it off, fucking listen and acknowledge it like you would any other important news.
You’re not a better friend or supporter for trying to downplay something like that. It actually just makes you an asshole.