More about femininity

Ok I think I have some more feels about the posts I’ve seen that I need to set down before I can go into detail about myself. I’m going to go bullet-point style here for a bit.


  • For the people who like femininity it’s not just about safety/camouflage/being more socially acceptable. That’s definitely a factor for some people but also:
    • Some people just actually enjoy it and think it’s fun??? Like knitting is stereotypically feminine too but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for me to enjoy it on its own merits?
    • For some people, doing femme fashion in a way that makes it their own is sort of like reclaiming a slur. It’s taking something that was used against you and taking back control of it.
    • Femininity is simultaneously required and devalued. Some people want to push back against that by showing that it has value, that e.g. makeup takes skill and artistic talent.
    • Believe it or not there are afab people in the world who were discouraged from being feminine (in one sense of the word or another) by their culture/their parents/etc. For some of us, being feminine is a rebellion and a rejection of limits put on us.
  • The idea that femininity (or makeup in particular) is inherently tied to body shame is another thing I don’t get.
    • Like obviously I get the straightforward connection that being expected to cover up/”fix” your skin is kind of inherently body shame
    • and obviously a lot of marketing towards girls/women takes advantage of body shame to make people think they Need various products to be acceptable
    • It’s just not what I experienced. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be feminine. I felt like I was so… just generically bad… that I couldn’t possibly wear makeup or really feminine clothes because I would obviously do it wrong and look bad and I would just be embarrassing myself.
  • “…the idea behind that skirt you bought in tenth grade (maybe if I stop wearing so many loose jeans the girls in my class will want to talk to me)” And this is why I experienced it differently. Something something my sins are too numerous to mention etc. etc.
  • The rhetoric that socially enforced femininity is an irresistible power, a death threat, “conform or die” is incredibly alienating for me and idk, I’ve now seen both straight femme women and butch lesbians use it so apparently I’m in the minority but I just don’t get it.
    • I’m not dead.
    • How am I supposed to describe my experiences and how my life fits into these ideas if the only position open for me is “dead or mostly dead”.
    • The thing where people assume that people like you are just too outside the norm to exist is really unpleasant. really disorienting. really saddening. Why would you want to focus on your deadness-to-society when you could do anything else.
    • This person probably doesn’t even mean that argh she probably means like actual harrassment and violence not rhetorical non-humanity
    • I am so! far! from being on the same page with anyone about this and btw this is why there’s no such thing as a single universal female socialization.

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