Do people who think sexism doesn’t affect women who aren’t traditionally feminine realize that people would literally refuse to hire me for not acting feminine enough in an interview, that they would be less likely to promote me and take me seriously in the workplace and more likely to consider me as someone to fire?
There was a study about this going around Tumblr last night and a bunch of the comments were like “well you should wear make-up and stuff ANYWAY because it’ll make you feel more confident in yourself and your gender!!!!” and it’s like
No. It would not. It would make me feel like I was being forced to be someone I’m not simply because I am a girl.
"There’s nothing wrong with being a girl" is an important message and all but it constantly comes to me with the caveat that to be a "real girl" I absolutely must be traditionally feminine. There is nothing wrong with being traditionally feminine, I am not saying there is and I will gladly stand up for traditionally feminine things, but presenting that way is not who I am and that should be okay, too.
Things that are traditionally feminine are looked down upon but they are expected of women because we are all looked down upon, and when a woman is not personally interested in those things people make constant attempts to “put her in her place” and make her act “like a real girl.” Whether you like traditionally feminine things or not, sexism affects you if you are a girl, even if it may affect you somewhat differently. I am a real girl whether I wear make-up and high heels or do not personally enjoy dressing like that.
We absolutely need “there’s nothing wrong with being a girl” to come with “there’s no wrong way to be a girl.”
This is so, so important. I honestly felt more forced into traditional femininity after being exposed to feminism (particularly the weaponized femininity movement) because of the overpowering message that my discomfort with traditionally feminine things was simply a result of internalized misogyny. That I was obviously hating myself and hating my gender for not forcing myself to enjoy the things patriarchy was already forcing me to do!
I’m disgusted at how much these movements have erased and dismissed the struggles of those who don’t conform to traditional feminiity, or those who unwillingly conform to make a living or avoid backlash, or those who are barred from it because of the narrow definition it celebrates (white, cis, thin, traditionally beautiful, abled, wealthy enough to afford the clothes and makeup, etc).
We’re told not only to love this strict, exclusive, demanding mold we’re forced into, but to find power in it. We’re told to celebrate our agency by choosing it, and if we don’t, we’re just another misogynist.
The emphasis behind these movements is, in effect, not to change the society forcing us into a box, but to change how we feel about the box.