Something nice for a change: here’s a clever new video from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault about “breaking the box” of society-prescribed gender stereotypes. Boys can cry. Girls can play football. Taking advantage of a drunk woman doesn’t make you a “man.” It’s 2013, everyone!
What do you think of the PSA? [Feministing]
“Are you going to grow your hair out for the wedding?”
Obviously my stylist needed to know, because she was standing there with scissors. But family members? Dress shop employees? After the hundredth time telling people “No,” it got a little tiresome.
The question, in and of itself, isn’t offensive or stupid. It’s probably just small talk. After all, it’s incredibly uncommon to see short-haired brides, especially represented in mainstream wedding-related media; it’s understandable why people ask.
But there are an awful lot of preconceived notions about weddings and femininity and the all-importantness of a one-day event packed into that deceptively innocent sentence. Keep reading »
Hey, masculinity and femininity are totally constructions. That’s some Women’s Studies 101 stuff right there. Nevertheless, there are times when we just really want to dig in and fulfill our essentialist ideals. That’s likely why a thread on Reddit last week blew up — men were asked, “What thing do you do to make yourself feel manly?” and a range of responses came in. Everything from “running my hands through my chest hair” and saying “‘make it double’ while ordering a drink,” to “fixing things around the house without calling a professional” and “cooking meats, preferably on a BBQ” were mentioned. And while none of these things necessarily embody maleness, they are telling social markers for what we’ve come to expect of masculinity.
So in the spirit of sharing, we’ve come up with our own list of things that make us feel “feminine.” Even if “femininity” isn’t really a real thing. Check out our list and share yours in the comments.
Keep reading »
I love hippies … I just don’t always understand what they’re talking about. Case in point: an uber-New Age-y piece Alanis Morissette penned today on The Daily Beast about the “divine feminine.” Well, it’s sort of about how everyone needs to reconcile the “divine feminine” and the “divine masculine” within themselves and that will bring peace and harmony to the Earth. Or something. Keep reading »
Big news in science land: A new study from UCLA’s Department of Psychology has found that Republican women have more feminine facial features than their Democratic counterparts. Researchers examined the facial features of women in Congress and rated them based on adherence to standards of “gender-typical femininity.” Those faces were then judged by students, who were asked to guess which political party each face belonged to. The students were apparently, surprisingly, accurate in matching faces that ranked high in femininity with conservative politics and those with more masculine features as more liberal.
Oh boy. Keep reading »
When Helen Gurley Brown passed away earlier this week at the age of 90, female journalists and writers came out en masse to laud Brown for her contributions to the sexual liberation of women and heralded her a feminist icon.
It’s true that Brown’s incredible 32-year reign at Cosmopolitan marked a sea change for women’s publications, offering a fresh, sexually liberated image of women “having it all” (which in Brown’s world meant sex, money and power). Brown wanted women to harness their femininity to get ahead, and many took to her female-forward, pro-sex message. But let’s not pretend Helen Gurley Brown’s “stiletto feminism” — to borrow a phrase from Washington Post writer Kathleen Parker — wasn’t also problematic. Keep reading »