Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Speaking of (non)feminism...

Stereotypes. I. Hate. Them.

I got thinking about that whole feminism issue a while back when someone pointed out that I'm a girlie-girl, as though it's a bad thing.

Here's the thing: I am a girlie-girl. Ask anyone - I even include that description of myself in online profiles. Anyone who looks at my facebook or twitter profiles for ten seconds can see I'm girlie. There's no point in hiding or denying it, and I wouldn't want to, anyway.

I figure - why should it matter? I guess some people take issue with the fact that, because I live up to (or down to?) some stereotypical female behavior, that must mean all stereotypes are true. So, if I like to shop for shoes and and get manicures, that must also mean that I always need a man, I'm scared of being alone and I can't take care of myself.

I can see why this might be frustrating. I've written about how people are surprised that I take care of my home all by lil' ol' self, and it is frustrating that people jump to the conclusion that I'm not capable, simply because I'm a woman. It's definitely detrimental to women that these stereotypes persist.

But, if letting those stereotypes rule us is the problem - then it seems like it's just as big a problem if we change who we are to avoid them. Let's just say that a woman is worried people will think less of her if she uses purple tools - so she buys gray ones instead. That woman has just let other people's beliefs, assumptions - and stereotypes - define who she is and the choices she makes.

Isn't it a stronger, more powerful statement to choose what you want and be who you are - regardless of what anyone else thinks?

Isn't it weak to make assumptions and jump to conclusions based on your own insecurities? To let stereotypes define you, or define how you see others?

I'm not perfect, but I am a pretty strong woman. Life has taught me how to take care of myself, be happy on my own and make my own choices.

I don't see how me doing any of that with a purple hammer makes me weak.


  1. Well said. I've often felt the same way because I have chosen to stay home from work while my kids are young. Because this arrangement works best for my family, I am no longer a feminist - no way!

  2. The next time someone implies you are a girlie-girl in a negative way break out your purple hammer and beat them with it.

    There is nothing wrong with being feminine when you are a woman, it should be celebrated.

  3. maggysunshine - Thank you! I don't consider myself a feminist either - just a strong woman who does her best, and tries to do what's right.

  4. John - You, sir, are awesome!

    "...break out your purple hammer and beat them with it."

    Love it. I think femininity is something to be celebrated, too. So is not being afraid to be whoever you happen to be. :)

  5. I agree. I thought the whole Women's Rights, Women's Liberation and Feminist movements were about giving women the freedom to make choices about their own lives and how they wanted to live them. What was the point, if we, the women, turn on each other for being feminine?

  6. Purple hammer? Where can I get one of those?! (I know we share a favorite color...)

    I'm with you. I am definitely more of a girlie-girl now than I was when I was younger (I was well into my 20's before I started to carry a purse or wear any makeup), but that doesn't mean I'm any less of a strong independent and self-assured woman! In fact, I'm more confident in myself now than I have ever been. I am proud of the woman that I am. And that I don't need a man in my life to make me happy.

    As RuPaul says - "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are ya gonna love anyone else?"