In which Twisty Faster nudges me to sink the bad ship Femininity

I don’t know if I can even properly summarize this awesome post from everyone’s favorite blamer, but here are two of my favorite parts:

Femininity is not a natural expression of femaleness. It is not an hereditary, hormone-based fascination for fashion, submissiveness, mani-peddies, baby-soft skin, or catfighting. It is not a fun-loving lifestyle choice. Femininity is a rigid system of behaviors imposed on us by the Global Accords Governing the Fair Use of Women as a means to control, subjugate, and marginalize us, entirely at our expense, for the benefit of the male-controlled megatheocorporatocracy.

and

Because, let’s face it; the truth about femininity is so repellent, so foul, so depraved, that we don’t want to know it. We’d rather believe the funfeminists when they insist that it’s empowerfulizing to be pink and girlie or stilettoey and porny. It’s so much easier to go with the flow and comfy up with the familiar old gender stereotypes than it is to come to grips with the fact that our woman-hating world order enforces femininity with a rigorous system of hollow, joyless rewards and uncompromising, murderous punishments, and that the enforcement of feminine behavior is a global humanitarian crisis.

And you get all this before she goes on to take down those ludicrous Dove chocolate commercials that apparently induce instant bliss in some women but which oddly no man has ever been seen eating. Annoying.

What I find helpful about this is the reminder that performing acts of femininity isn’t something I’m supposed to be good at. Step one there is no “supposed to,” step two, in a patriarchy-free world there wouldn’t be Men’s X and Women’s X, there will just be Xs in different shapes and sizes to suit different tastes. Marketing companies will have to actually showcase functionality instead of stupid be-gendered generalizations.

There would be no punishment for stepping outside gender norms, whether from school bullies or red carpet commentators. There would probably be no red carpets. If there were still awards shows, people would climb out of their ecofriendly Priuses in sensible shows and comfortable evening wear, everyone would shake hands and all the indie movies would be nominated for Best Picture.

To wrap up this week’s dose of feminist vitamin C, some remarks from one Gloria Steinem (click thru for the full list – I promise they’re worth it, and there’s bonus 3Q spam in the comments):

There’s more variation among human groups than between human groups. “Masculine” and feminine” are created roles, just as are ideas of race and class. So when making any generalized statement about women and men, substitute, say, Gentiles and Jews, Whites and Blacks, or Rich and Poor. If it’s still acceptable, okay. If it’s not – it’s not.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, y’all…. but remember, you don’t have to get drunk, you don’t have to show off your *ahem* attributes, and you don’t have to believe you’re doing it all because you want to. Unless you just want to.

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