Feminist and Feminine: My Struggle with Performing Femininity

There is a concept, deep in the recesses of second-wave feminism, that to be a “good” feminist, one must eschew patriarchal beauty standards. I understand that, I understand the principle of rejecting beauty ideals set up for us by men (and women!) for profit and pleasure. It makes complete sense to me that we should not have to exemplify these standards, especially when nobody is telling men to wear makeup and spend an hour curling their hair in the morning. And yet, I just can’t do it. I love my makeup and my hair straightener and my designer clothing, even though I know it’s just a show.

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Persephone Pioneers: Julia Serano

Julia Serano is a writer, biologist, curator, spoken-word artist, and musician. Whew. Her 2008 book, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, ignited readers by offering a critique on both mainstream and feminist views of gender. As a trans woman, she offers a unique perspective on sexism, cis-sexism, feminist and queer communities, and the argument that femininity is an empowering, yet often demonized, trait that needs to be celebrated. Read More Persephone Pioneers: Julia Serano

Women in Academia: Fashionable Does Not Mean Dumb

So I said I was going to talk about budgeting and grad school, but I got derailed. Today, I am going to talk about performing femininity and professionalism. Today, I am going to talk about how “fashionable” becomes a bad thing. Today, I am going to talk about how a general interest in one’s physical appearance is seen as indicative of a weak mind. Read More Women in Academia: Fashionable Does Not Mean Dumb