Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's wrong with being 'girly' or not

I like Hello Kitty, baking, watching Say Yes to the Dress and wearing pink....I also like roleplaying games, comics, horror movies, and That's what she said jokes...however I'm either too 'girly' or 'not ladylike' according to today's standards. Either I have feminists saying that my love of the color pink is taking us back to the Dark Ages or I have older men telling my that my dirty joke telling is shameful behavior not befitting a lady.

Femmephobia seems be catching like a bad cold. For those new to the word, Femmephobia is a fear of things that could be considered feminine: this could be anything from the color pink or just things that or considered feminine like talking about your feelings or being caring. This is sort of like slut shaming expect your being shamed for wanting to bake cupcakes. What makes this type of shaming even more humiliating is that it's being hurled by other women at women.

The above article by Deborah Schoeneman is a little more than condescending at times. Her phrase 'woman-child' is a comparison to the 'man-child' that have never grown up, that our enjoyment of 'childish' things is actually harmful to society and that doing and enjoying these 'girly' activities we are hiding our fear of the real world and how scary it is....that they have no clue how to be serious. For those not wanting to read the whole article here are some great bits.

She's a counterpart to the "man-child" stars of Judd Apatow movies; she would rather rally girlfriends to see The Hunger Games than the more peer-group-appropriate What to Expect When You're Expecting. From sporting sparkly nail polish to religiously reading every bestselling young adult novel, these women seem to be reliving their teenage years with real gusto.

My friends and I saw a trailer for What to Expect and we all agreed that it looked like a waste of $20 and these are 'adult' woman, one is a mother with two boys and the other works at a prison and we agreed that The Hunger Games was a better movie with a better message about being a strong person and self sacrifice from both men and woman.

A "woman-child" is the type to prioritize her female friendships as if she were in a high school clique by posting pictures of her girls' birthday dinners or boozy vacations on Facebook while her peers post wedding and baby pictures with similar zeal. She truly believes that women are in it together and is all about helping her friends start businesses, meet guys and pick out a cute outfit for a big event. Competitiveness among females in the workplace is perceived as totally 80s. "Women-children" are increasingly looking back to create a new common ground and it's a warm fuzzy ground.

I love my female friends and they come from all over the place, married, single, kids, no kids, fur children, ect. Do I have pictures of me and my friends cos-playing at Devil's Carnival yeah...I also have pictures of me and niece and at my friend's wedding with my husband. She makes is sound as if being there for your friends (male or female) is a social disease of some sort and we should all hang our heads in shame. I also work in a pretty much all female office place and my co-workers range from my age group to old enough to be my grandmother, we work hard at our jobs, but because we aren't competitive and ladder climbing something must be wrong with nothing is wrong with wanting to work in a positive workplace where for the most part people get along because at the end of the day our job is to help our clients and provide a good service. Our boss who is female doesn't put up with the petty backstabbing and makes us work together in a positive fashion because it makes us look bad at the end of the day it reflects well on us and makes us look like a team of professionals that other people want to work with. No we're not competitive, but we work hard.

"Women-children" certainly seem to be enjoying themselves more than their peers who struggle with the motherhood/career conundrum. The trend has crept into my peer group, too. It's as if some of the women around me still want to be girls because girls just want to have fun. Girls certainly don't obsess over a feminist article in The Atlantic or the dearth of female directors in Hollywood.

I actually had a debate with myself in the middle of a toy aisle about buying my niece a pink tea set because I was worried about her having a clearly female gendered toy...than I said fuck it she's two and I had tea parties all the time with my grandmother and my toys when I was kid and it was fun. I had fun pretending with my pink tea set as a child and I don't see why she shouldn't have the same fun just because some people can't deal with a color scheme. 

I also dislike how this writer tends to throw around the issue of woman not having children or not in relationship as not acting like an adult. I know lots of woman (myself included) who don't plan on having children for one reason or another and a lot of those woman are in serious relationships with serious careers.  I know woman who are single and have good careers and don't want to settle right away because they want to focus on becoming a better person.

I own a home, car, have low debt, a good marriage,a college degree and have worked myself into helping my boss with some serious projects that she wants to present to her bosses, but because I don't have a baby and like My Little Pony the 2010 version I'm a girl who can't have a serious thought in my head at any given moment. I thought we were past the age where marriage and family defined what is a woman and what is a girl. 

On the flip side I have men in the media telling me what being a woman married a vagina you didn't get one and until you get one you can't tell me what makes me a woman. The greatest example of this is the great Todd Akin stating that his rival Claire McCaskill was more 'ladylike' back in 2006 and 'came out swinging' during their debate. What was she suppose to do? Ask for the ok to speak, offer you a sandwich, not understand the issues at hand...please tell me. He stated that she had more confidence when she was 'ladylike' What made her un ladylike? Really I want to know what made her less of lady. I have one group telling me that being 'nice' is wrong, but you have another group saying that being to aggressive is wrong. 

Would someone please tell me how I'm supposed to act, dress, behave, ect so that I'm not ruining the world?

I was always told when I grew up, moved out and got my own home and a job that I could do whatever I wanted because I was an adult...well guess what...this adult has to go to work tomorrow, I have game to attend this weekend and I need to buy my niece an outfit for her pictures this weekend....I might even buy her a dress....something pink with bows on it. 


Other readings to enjoy....