21 February 2010

Femininity: Or, Patriarchy Warps Our Brains

I've been reading through ancient discussions on I Blame the Patriarchy, and naturally (the essentialism of the blogosphere!) certain mansplainers took it upon themselves to tell women what aspects of socially constructed femininity to accept or reject, based on the assumption that certain aspects of femininity are just so darned fun that they are, actually, innate activities women naturally enjoy. Here's an example [italics added]:
However, someone who did look critically at her own practices of femininity might decide that: it does not feel right to allow herself to be silenced in the boardroom; it doesn't feel right to buy certain kinds of toys only for a female child; certain patriarchy-acceptable outfits are just too uncomfortable and it doesn't feel right to be uncomfortable no matter how many men swoon in your path; use of collagen or botox may be counterproductive; wearing makeup regularly is more effort than men are expected and is therefore not cool; however, a comfortable flattering red dress is really not problematic, and a matching shade of lipstick that takes exactly thirty seconds to apply isn't either, especially if it's more fun to wear them to a client meeting than a boring suit.
Lipstick only takes a few minutes to apply, therefore it's "not problematic." What?!? Since when is feminist critique of the Patriarchy based on some kind of Taylorist efficiency model wherein culturally-proscribed feminine behaviors are only rejected based on how godawfully time-consuming they are? A quick rape takes a lot less time than cunnilingus!

No comments:

Post a Comment