Please, please tell me I don’t get feminism.
Tell me that what we perceive as femininity is inherently unnatural and was created merely to support the patriarchy.
I know some of you are dying to.
I know that some of you will ignore the androcentric bullshit that masculine = natural, whereas feminine = performance.
I know you’ll tell me that unless I free myself from the shackles of patriarchal mandated beauty standards I’m not a good feminist all while you reblog images of attractive people with hair that they bleach and dye on a bimonthly basis. Because that’s natural, right?
Here’s the thing - shaving your legs isn’t natural. But neither is living in a house, nor the Internet. And just like the Internet, shaving your legs doesn’t have a moral component one way or the other. How we as a culture reacts to shaved legs matters.
I’m a feminist who’s had plastic surgery (breast reduction, done partly because of neck pains but the driving force for it was that I wasn’t pleased with how it looked). I’m a feminist who wears heels around a snowy, icy, hilly college campus. I’m a feminist who dyes her hair on a bimonthly basis. I’m unnatural.
I believe that femininity is just as valid as masculinity. It’s just as natural, it’s just as performed.
Don’t tell me I’m unenlightened because I choose things that the patriarchy tells me I should.
There is nothing wrong with embracing femininity as long as you understand that, like masculinity, it’s a construct, and that other people do not have to embrace it to be valid as women or men. But the reverse is also true. People who embrace femininity and masculinity are no less valid as people or as allies in feminism or any other movement.
Pretty much what Regazza said.
I’ll add that I’m getting really tired of these “am I allowed to be a feminist?” blog posts and articles floating around online. Nearly all of them, OP’s included, are jousting against a straw-woman feminism. It has been decades since radical feminism has dominated feminism (if it ever has…).
Look, I do not know the OP and am perhaps being unfair to her since I don’t follow her blog (she may be talking to a particular person or group). But I’m starting to think these kind of posts/articles can end up reinforcing the already widespread notion that feminists want to neuter or masculinize women. Which, if you think about it, means feminists are, in a way, anti-woman (since the majority of women still present as traditionally femme). Which is all kinds of fucked up.
I mean, it’s quite a neat, patriarchal trick to make feminists out to be inherently against the interests of women, isn’t it?
NB: These are just some thoughts I’ve been having recently. I used to think like the OP when I first started engaging seriously with feminism, which is why I tagged this post (perhaps/probably condescendingly) #beyond feminism 101