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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

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  1. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    I’m so glad that the tigling is old enough to have moved out of the pink consumer ghetto. Ugh.

    I hate the pink aisle in toy sections of department stores. Everything just looks so fake. Which I guess is the point – femininity is a fake shell women are expected to wear to cover our natural womanliness.

  2. skepticlawyer
    skepticlawyer at |

    They still make Cabbage Patch Dolls? Yech.

  3. Mindy
    Mindy at |

    At the risk of sounding like a bad feminist, I don’t think we can blame being feminine completely on the patriarchy. Some aspects of it yes, but I think that there is a little bit of me that likes to dress up and look nice (only on special occassions) that has nothing to do with men. I think it’s an essential part of who we are. Mostly I have found that it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing people either notice me or they don’t. Some of the most interested glances I have received have been when I have been wearing something pulled out of the cupboard at random and thrown on in a hurry. I should point out that the last time I wore makeup was about three years ago and I rarely iron anything I wear.

  4. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    I do think casting the enjoyment of dressing up for special occasions as especially feminine is patriarchal, though.

    Look at the dandies of Beau Brummel’s time, the phrase “peacocking around”, and the glam rockers of the 70s. Men like a bit of fancy costume just as much as women when it’s considered socially acceptable.

  5. Mindy
    Mindy at |

    Ahh, I think I may have missed something in my reading then Tigtog, thank you.

    Lauredhel I agree. My son loves dressing up in pink sparkly things and I think he looks gorgeous and the fact that he is happy is more important than what society thinks he should be playing with. Although when tidying up the toys for the umpteenth time the other day I did realise that he has a lot of toy cars. But his sister likes to play with them too so I encourage that.

    My biggest problem has been finding brightly coloured clothing for him, and clothing that isn’t uniformly pink for her.

  6. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    I thought this comment from Sylvanite in Twisty’s thread was on the money:

    Femininity is the arbitrary designation of human traits deemed “weak”, such as compassion, sadness, and empathy, to the female half of the species. Like all psychological projections, it is done to place emotions deemed “unacceptable” to an external vessel to be hated without threatening the self. The strict gender-coding of fashion and behavior is meant to identify who is a veesel for these projections.

    I’d add that the construct of “femininity” also designates traits and desires deemed “trivial” to the female half of the species, as an extension of what is considered “weak”. Thus you get the stereotypical emptyheaded female, mired in learned helplessness.

    Of course very few women embrace the artificial femininity stereotype entirely, even those who make their living at it like models and starlets. They all have pockets of internal empowerment where they transcend the “weak” and “trivial” characterisations, otherwise they’d all go mad with the limitations. But part of constructed femininity is hiding that internal life and pretending that it doesn’t really matter compared to the prime importance of being approved by men.

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