Since the cold and boredom don’t ever look too appealing to me, I decided to attend a seminar on homosexuality that was taking place at University. As I entered, I was quick to join a very interesting exercise they were doing. They asked us to provide them with all the connotations that came to mind when we visualized a Masculine Woman; Feminine Woman; Masculine Man and Feminine Man.
Afterwards, when we compared all 4 different “options”, we reached an unusual conclusion. It seemed that Masculinity, regardless of gender, had a larger amount of positive connotations whereas Femininity was losing by far.
I, myself, when thinking of a feminine woman came up with the adjective “shallow”, while other common ones were “slut”, “bitchy”, as opposed to a masculine woman that were mostly seen as “determined”, “courageous”, “strong willed”, etc.
Someone, then, raised a good point. It could be that society has “chosen” masculinity as the dominant force, and therefore it looks down on anything feminine, whether male or female.
Woman are seen as fragile beings that must be subjected to the dominating force. By this I don’t necessarily refer to men themselves. Even within a homosexual relationship, it’s commonly accepted that the “male” figure is the dominant one, and whenever this doesn’t take place, the “male” figure should, then, be ashamed.
So it doesn’t come as a surprise when I hear that Feminists are against “womanhood” as wikipedia describes Femininity to be.
Femininity is seen as weakness when compared to the role Masculinity plays in society. Remember Coco Chanel, who popularized the use of trousers for women? Wearing trousers suddenly became a symbol of empowerment and independence. A way of escaping this strong femininity imposed upon woman.
Even today, baggy clothes are becoming more trendy, as woman of all ages try to lessen their femininity by claiming that wearing makeup is too “mainstream”, shaving their heads, not wearing high heels, etc. It seems that woman of today are trying to distance themselves from this “womanhood” that chases them wherever they go.
It seems that nowadays, it is better to be a “tomboy” and be seen as a determined, strong woman, than to embrace femininity and be seen as weak, fragile and clingy.
So to address the question of Feminism vs. Femininity, my take is that Feminists want to ignore the nature of being a woman so as to be accepted by a patriarchal society, which is not the best way of doing things anyway.
Monroe said, “I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it”, Feminists would disagree, I reckon.