But why are masculine traits masculine and feminine feminine? Isn’t claiming girliness for women going to continue to uphold traditional gender roles and sexism in general?
Seriously though, obviously everyone should be free to express any social traits, behavior patterns, or affectations they like, but focusing on the frivolous seems like a program that won’t be taken very seriously.
My daughter was super super gender identified. She only wore dresses long past when the other girls gave them up, to the point that it became hard to even find school appropriate dresses in her size. She never wore tennis shoes, only boots. She only wore “girl” colors (every color except green and blue). She only listened to “girl” music (opera with mezzo soprano voices - of course!) But it surprised me how her definition of girly also included being smart, being tough, climbing trees, riding skateboards, and all sorts of things outside of my own scope of femininity.
She continues as a teen to be a very interesting girl, who always dresses nicely and properly - often still in dresses, but almost never wears makeup. She is an all honors student, into anime and manga in a big way. She likes tv shows like Orphan Black where women are smart, active, and surprising.
She still finds a power in being a girl that fascinates me - I’m so excited for this generation of girls who has grown up with this more expansive idea of what is is to have girl power.
Oh this reminds me that this seems like a good place to post a quote from Pretty Little Liars
Hannah “I think I should wear a dress that is a little more Thelma, a little less Daphne.”
Aria “Well, let’s be realistic, which one of those two is more likely to have ACTUALLY gotten into an Ivy League.”
You give the dad of a princess-influenced girl hope. Thanks for that.
It’s advantageous for religions, marketing, politics, etc to push things (ie masculinity/femininity) to polar opposites b/c that makes it easier to influence and control people. It’s the status quo power/profit gift that keeps on giving.
But who does it give TO? This sounds like something that only benefits the extreme minority, not most people.
My youngest niece has two dogs that she constantly dresses up in ridiculous outfits, and when I made a double leash for her, she insisted that there be some pink in the weave.
But she’s also licensed to carry a sidearm and knows how to fix her motorcycle. So, I guess she’s got herself figured out pretty well.
This is such a great point. I was frustrated as a teen hearing boys continue to use “girl” as an insult. I quite liked girls, myself.
Reminds me of this line:
If someone “fights like a girl” you should be absolutely terrified of them. Have you ever seen a girl fight? They’ll rip your fucking throat out with their hands while the guys are still doing that weird cobra posturing thing for five minutes
Princesses aren’t what they used to be, damsels waiting to be rescued. A princess is someone who plans to rule the world, which is a very sensible goal for any kid.
I thought it was some regressive BS. The gods say my family is better than your family? No thanks. It squicks me that as hard as we’ve fought to overcome the concept of “royalty”, some people still romanticize it.
Absolutely. My daughter has so many different examples of feminine strength to reference. She finds it very empowering. Another positive aspect is how tropes, oppression and exploitation are all the more visible in contrast.
I generally find the OP to espouse a worthy concept. I would only add this:
I think we generally tend to glorify power-for-power’s-sake over power-as-agency in ways that make me cringe.
i have a boy and a girl, and I feel the best thing I can do is occasionally challenge blanket gendered statements (like “this is a girl color,” or “that’s a toy for boys”), while also giving them the opportunity to safely try things out that are typically associated with the opposite gender. I hope it works, but establishment culture is an elephant in the room that’s hard to ignore or control.
I’ve resolved that whenever somebody says I do something “like a girl” that I’ll thank them.
“Oh, so you’re saying I throw like somebody who knows she has to do twice as well as a guy to be taken half as seriously? Thank you!”
So far it’s only come up once in a video game (and, being sadly suffering from various social deficits, I only said the “thank you” and not the explanation, but, I hope to get there).
Wow. I really like this. What’s it from?
As far as I know, just some random internet quote that stuck in my noggin.
This article was written much better by another writer a month ago when featured on XO jane and the went viral on SmartGirls, Time, and NPR. There are a LOT similarities that are rather “coincidental” especially the last line.
IDK but if you want to show them how a girl fights, show them this episode for a lady fighter who really kicks ass: