It’s a tough world out there. That tough world is full of dumb people who believe that femininity is a weakness in women and apparently, they’re the so-called harbingers of the 3rd and 4th wave feminist movement.
How the mighty have fallen. Haha.
Before you ridicule me for labeling myself a male feminist, let me clear some things up: You’re either a sexist or a feminist. There’s no middle ground. And yes, men can be feminists and they don’t have to wear a sweatshirt which says that.
Sure, I’m critical of the feminist movement and its rather misguided millennial part but that in no way deters my idea of true feminism. Period.
Moving on, let’s address why the stereotype of femininity being a weakness in women, exists in the first place and why it shouldn’t:
#1. Ever Since Birth, Femininity And Masculinity Become Misguided Social Constructs To Be Adhered To:
If you’re born in a 3rd world country like India, chances are that you’ll be ridiculed if you, being a young boy, display characteristics such as kindness, empathy and a general sense of being polite.
You’ll be labeled as someone who’s feminine because people believe that masculinity is essentially a trait which categorizes itself with the exhibition of bravado, machismo and swagger. Basically, being a d**k.
This is where the problem starts and young women get misguided about the very idea of feminism and begin to associate femininity with weakness.
In my next point, I’ll explain how this interpretation becomes problematic.
#2. Feminism Means Empowering All Women, Including Women Who Take Pride In Their Femininity:
When women start believing that femininity is a weakness, they generally assume that exhibiting apparent masculine characteristics which includes assertive or borderline brash sense of talking, using cuss words and portraying a so-called “tomboy” image (there’s so much wrong with that word) shows that they are essentially empowered and the ones who exhibit feminine characteristics (ranging from things as simple as dressing up and using makeup) are the ones who are shackled via patriarchal values.
Related: I Feel Bad For Melania Trump When Donald Trump Behaves Like A Typical Indian Husband Forcing Her To Hold His Hand
The fact that people believe that femininity is a weakness becomes largely problematic for urban parents too, because instead of letting their daughters embrace femininity, they teach them to “act like a man”, if they are to classify themselves as modern feminists.
This gives the urban feminist movement a rather convoluted structure, where feminine women feel alienated and worse, ostracized by masculine feminists for being weak and incapable.
In a time where we are trying to achieve inter-sectional feminism, creating an internal divide only implodes the larger cause. Sure, women need to be strong but that doesn’t have to endure a cost of their existing identity.
And femininity in its essence is a really strong trait, if you ask me. Being empathetic, sentimental, self-loving are really important core values which millennials fail to identify with and it is these values which add to your character, rather than being a pretentious snob who thinks high heels and makeup are “girly”.
Therefore, kindly don’t use the word “girly” as an insult for women.
If you believe it isn’t something to be proud of, it’s not something to be used as a means for shaming other women, either.
Image Credits: Google Images