Can a woman be a feminist and a woman?

All women are female by definition.That is why the answer is yes.

I suspect you want to know if a woman can be feminist and feminine, i.e. whether it is hypocritical or inconsistent to embody wey-connotated things as a feminist and to live out behaviors that are socially linked to femininity. to become.

The answer to this is: it depends on which feminists youask.Here’s a brief historical outline:

In the beginning, feminism was mainly about equating women with men as much as possible.In the beginning, more than a century ago, it was mainly about equal rights as the right to vote or the equal rights of both spouses, so that women were no longer legally subordinateto their spouses.

Women who did not want to exercise these rights and deliberately subordinated themselves to the patriarchal structure were sharply criticized by these feminists.

In the sixties and seventies, the current of radical feminism was no longer just about equality before the law, but also about cultural: gender roles, sexist cultural traditions, sexist narratives that are culturally traditional, Representation of gender in the media and so on.They have critically examined how, for example, pornography or prostitution objectify women. Radical feminists have assumed that the personal is political: sexism does not just take place before the law, but is constantly permeated throughout our everyday lives. Accordingly, they have attached importance to living non-stop feminism in everyday life.

Like their predecessors, they have paid particular attention to the fact that women are as similar as possible to men and have rejected everything that is culturally associated with femininity.A good feminist was masculine to her and embodied qualities that are usually associated with men. Because they paid so much attention to sexist structures in everyday life, they went much further than their predecessors: they strongly condemned the personal decisions of individual women who made them for their daily lives. Housewives and women without professional ambition were considered unfeminists. Women who wear dresses and skirts were considered unfeminist. Sex workers and actresses were considered unfeminist.

These feminine women have often been said to have been brainwashed by patriarchy and therefore submit to it and cooperate with patriarchy: that they have internalized the ubiquitous misogyny so much that they have see nothing wrong.The solution to the liberation of women was, as it were, that women swallow the red pill and become aware of the patriarchal circumstances.

Radical feminists had a very simple picture of femininity: for them it was associated with impunity, subordination of women, and oppression.As masculine qualities such as authority, assertivedemy, ambition and competitive thinking, the qualities that lead to power and success were for them. The connection between the qualities considered masculine and success is evident everywhere: we perceive deeper voices and as male speaking patterns (intonation etc) more authoritarian and competent and have more respect for them. Women are more likely to be taken seriously at work when they align their clothes and hairstyles with typical men’s business style. So, for radical feminists, giving women as much power and success as men was their motto, their motto was that women should imitate men in every way.

So the answer from radical feminists to your question would be a resolute no.

Because radical feminists have rather exaggerated these rules of conduct, a different feminist current has emerged from the 1980s as a counter-movement, sometimes called lipstick feminism or stiletto feminism.The name already gives an idea of what this is all about: female connoted things should be accepted (or even celebrated) in feminism. Stiletto feminists have strongly criticized radical feminism and clearly distinguished themselves from it.

Stiletto feminists have argued as follows:

Feminism is about women having the personal freedom to shape their lives the way they want it.The patriarchy is bad because it forces women into a certain role and leaves them no choice about their way of life. But radical feminists are just as bad because they also impose a certain role on women, just another. For stiletto feminists, radical feminists are therefore considered unfeminist hypocrites. Stiletto feminists attach great importance to personal freedoms and generally advocate (in the sense of body autonomy) legal prostitution and pornography. They congratulate women in these professional fields for being so self-determined with their bodies and not being distracted from these professions by slut-shaming.

Furthermore, stiletto feminists found radical feminism patronising to women who choose femininity because radical feminists have blamed patriarchal brainwashing and denied women autonomously free to be able to make decisions.Since in patriarchy women are often patronised, not taken for full, they are not trusted with critical thinking and judgment, and they are greatly infantilized, stiletto feminists found this way of dealing with decisions about femininity super patriarchal and hypocritical.

Stiletto feminists have also put things as feminine in a new light: while radical feminists have seen masculinity as something inherently superior, closely linked to power and success, and that women should strive for in order to achieve power and success. Stiletto feminists have questioned this inherent superiority of masculinity, claiming that femininity is not inherently inferior, but is only socially devalued, and that this devaluation is simply a symptom of the devaluation of women and also contributes to the devaluation of women.So if you put down femininity, you also put women down. So if radical feminists do not question, but reproduce, this socially imposed connection between masculinity and superiority, they are also indirectly involved in devaluing women. The solution to the social appreciation of women is not to make women as masculine as possible, but to ensure that femininity is also socially recognised.

There is also a lot of evidence for this interpretation: things considered masculine are often regarded as something “tangible”, which should be taken seriously, while things considered feminine are presented more as something irrelevant that is ridiculed.Male-connoted occupations are better paid in the usual way.

This is not always about social benefits: although football is a personal hobby through which an individual football fan does not create value, one often reaps ridicule when one cannot explain the offside rule.Those who do not have detailed knowledge of fashion, on the other hand, have no reason to be ashamed: it is considered an unimportant side issue that you do not have to deal with, and many people are almost proud to have no idea about it. Furthermore, for example, nursing professions or occupations in education have very little prestige and are paid less, even though they have enormous benefits for society. We can also see that wages in an industry are falling as the proportion of women in the industry increases. This is a pretty strong indication that our social esteem depends not only on how much value the profession really brings us, but also on whether we associate it with men or with women[1

Furthermore, one can also observe that girls and women who do male connoted things are more likely to gain prestige and are considered “cool tomboys” and “one of the guys”: something like this is almost an award.Boys and men who do female connoted things, on the other hand, are often the mockery of their surroundings and lose prestige.

So while radical feminists would be more concerned about getting as many women as possible into prestigious male occupations (especially in business and STEM subjects) and these women there are very masculine and with a lot of self-confidence and assertiveness. stiletto feminists would rather demand that women can also become educators or nurses, but that social prestige and pay in these professions should be increased, because the low esteem of these professions is a symptom of misogyny.They would also demand, for example, that women could go to work in floral dresses with lace and ruffles and with long bulging hair, and that society should begin to take women seriously in this elevator, too, and should perceive her as a competent authority person.

So the answer from stiletto feminists to your answer would be a clear yes.

Meanwhile, radical feminism is no longer very common: popular mainstream feminism is clearly stiletto feminism.Alice Schwarzer, an old-school radical feminist, is perceived by many younger feminists as a dinosaur with hopelessly outdated views. So most feminists these days would say that a woman can be feminine and feminist.

By the way, my personal opinion on this is: it depends.There is a limit that should not be crossed. I think modern stiletto feminists often make it a little too easy on the issue and could cut off a slice of radical feminists. I believe that both feminist tendencies are right in some respects and wrong in others, and that the answer to the question must be much more nuanced. But to express my opinion here would probably be beyond the scope.

Footnotes

[1 As Women Take Over a Male-Dominated Field, the Pay Drops

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