“To the extent that femininity is a psychology of the oppressed, or an indication of Societal Stockholm Syndrome, we are forced to ask whether women should support our culture’s glorification of “feminine qualities.”

It is one thing to be feminine in order to survive when you know why you are doing what you are doing; it’s another thing to celebrate femininity as proof of one’s womanhood.

However, we do recommend that women understand femininity’s function and the role that it plays in our survival in a patriarchy. Contempt is publicly expressed for battered women who stay with their partners and each day use every ounce of ingenuity they possess to keep their abusers from becoming (emotionally and physically) violent. Perhaps we would see the similarities between battered women and women in general if we understood the function that femininity plays in subordinates. Could it be that all women in a patriarchy are battered women and that our femininity is both our strategy for surviving and the proof of our oppression (if proof other than men’s violence against us were needed)?”

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