The Phrase 'Women And Femmes' Makes Me Want To Fly Away And Die

The Phrase 'Women And Femmes' Makes Me Want To Fly Away And Die

Femininity is not a category of oppression. It's a tool of the oppressor.
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Those who talk to me on a regular basis know about my psychological struggle with the new leftist norms surrounding gender. I’m a gender-nonconforming woman. The women who raised me, the women I admire most, are also gender nonconforming — but still decidedly female. A lot of the discussion of gender leaves me puzzled, annoyed, and bothered by the people who claim to be the most accepting of people like me. But I don’t want to talk about them today. I want to talk about the left’s newest way to refer to female people. Not women, no — women and femmes.

I’m declaring war on the phrase "women and femmes."

My first attack is on the stylistic front — it sucks! It’s an ugly phrase, clunky and full of sounds that don’t necessarily belong in the straight, English-speaking lexicon. Tagging onto that, it’s not a word for people who aren’t lesbians! Femme is a term created by and for lesbians to describe women who prefer traditionally feminine presentation but do not do so for the sake of attracting and pleasing men. It has a long history that, once again, doesn’t involve people who aren’t lesbians.

For the love of God, it’s cultural appropriation.

Believe it or not, those are my minor concerns with "women and femmes." My main problem with "women and femmes" is that it creates a category of oppression that just straight-up doesn’t exist. Femininity is not a category. Femininity is not some kind of soul-based essence that’s totally out of your control. It’s not fate, it’s not destiny. It’s a socially constructed category that some people (women) are expected to participate in for the sake of other people (men).

Femininity is not oppressed. Women are. And enforced femininity is one of the tools of women’s oppression.

I’ve been over this before, in various articles I’ve written; femininity is a stumbling block that only exists for women. Being expected to constantly worry about, check up on, and buy products to improve our appearance slows women down. It’s an added financial burden, and it’s yet another front on which women are open to public critique.

Want to know the first thing someone calls me when I cross them on an issue of politics, religion or — God forbid — gender and sexuality? Ugly. They call me ugly, sometimes with "bitch" tagged on for emphasis. Enforced femininity is a hammer used to crush women, not a goddamn category of oppression.

A headline of an article I found while Googling: "50 Ways People Expect Constant Emotional Labor from Women and Femmes."

I’m sorry, who?

Wearing lipstick does not automatically opt non-female people into a thousand-year-old system of oppression that requires female people to cater to male concerns.

Putting on nail polish doesn’t drop a man’s paycheck or make everyone in the boardroom stop taking them seriously.

Femininity isn’t a category of oppression. Femininity is the problem.

So the next time you start typing ‘women and femmes,’ just don’t. Hit backspace around, oh, 10 times. The category of oppression we’re talking about in this day and age is just women. Femininity has nothing to do with it.

Cover Image Credit: Pxhere

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I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.
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Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another—not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that. Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

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Being Confused About Your Sexuality Is Totally, Utterly, OK

You may not know yet what you identify as, or you may never want to identify as anything at all. Either way, I promise you'll be ok.

Athena
Athena
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As a part of the LGBT+ community, there is always so much to know and learn. I feel as though I am meant to use my voice to not only bring awareness to this community, but to let others in this community know that they are welcome, loved, and will be okay. Whether you identify with a specific sexuality or not, that is totally okay, and you may never want to identify with any one group, and that's okay too!

I came out to the world when I was 14 years old. Young right? Throughout middle school, I questioned who I was, and never exactly felt right when it came to liking guys; I knew something was "different" about me. I remember my best friends always getting together and frequently talking about cute boys, and me, I'd look the opposite way or feel so uninterested because I couldn't, for some reason, relate. Long story short, during my middle school years I came out as bisexual, and I used this to get myself prepared to eventually come out as a lesbian, through and through.

The bottom line is, it is okay to be gay, bisexual, lesbian, pan-sexual, asexual, or any others not even listed here. If you are comfortable with putting a name to what you are, then embrace it! Truthfully though, even if you are not comfortable with a label or a name on how you feel, then embrace that, too. I truly believe in those that love anyone, despite gender, and its a beautiful thing to know that, in this world, we have an abundance of different people who love different things and express their own individual love in different ways.

My love and pride goes out to those that have come out to their friends, family and the world; it is not always easy, and for those that haven't come out or don't choose to come out, just know there is always a place for you in this world and you will succeed. I feel so lucky to be a part of a community with such open minds and hearts, and with those great qualities being offered, there is so much love and courage to go around.

Everyone in life has to start somewhere, whether it be a new entry level job, beginning college, or even not knowing your own sexuality yet, but you will get there and there is ALWAYS going to be time.

Just know you are accepted, loved, and applaud for courage you have!

WE LOVE YOU!

Athena
Athena

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