Gleaned from [Stardate:Whenever]. (ed. edited for format and spelling)
The internal thoughts of one woman and her friend – their ‘joke’ about performing femininity. A small portal of insight into what women living under patriarchy have to deal with.
“I think I’m going to perform femininity today.”
“Oh, you don’t have to but whatever makes your feel comfortable.”
Standing at the mirror of the bathroom I am verbally acknowledging I am doing something that is a performance. I am also listening to someone verbally confirm that I dont need to do so. I am listening to someone who I seek healthy validation from, tell me that I do not need to perform femininity.
I acknowledge that my worth as a woman is not contingent on performing femininity. I acknowledge that my worth as a woman is not wrapped in the validation of men. I acknowledge that my worth as a woman is not serving society’s aesthetic desires.
I still put on makeup because there is a confidence that comes with performing femininity.
This is the toxicity of being a woman, even knowing that you are worth something because you exist, you still internalize a confidence in performing.
That confidence is more powerful than my academically trained mind.
That confidence is more powerful than my feminist history. That confidence is more powerful than my authentic worth.
I’m writing this post to remind women that the patriarchy is hard to fight and sometimes you will fall into the confidence that comes with pleasing a male-centered society. Whether that be wearing makeup, ignoring a sexist joke, or doing more than your fair share of work. There is a safety in doing what is expected, in an attempt not to stand out.
Feminism is a difficult political line to toe and sometimes you will fail to live up to the party line. You are no less a feminist when you fall down if anything your failings are further proof that the patriarchy is real and it’s crushing, controlling, and destroying women’s lives. It’s okay and I still see you as my sister. For the women who wake up and fight femininity-normativity, in whatever way they might do, I want to congratulate you”