"A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience." — Naomi Wolf in The Beauty Myth "Let us break the tie with food and look at the metaphor: hungering… voracious… extravagantly and excessively needful… without restraint… always wanting… always wanting too much affection, reassurance, emotional and … Continue reading Feminine Appetites (2017)
This is a post about rape. * * * * I keep in casual contact with a dude I dated a year ago. A few weeks ago he revealed that he was having a “terrible” week. He said he wanted to tell me what was going on with him because he wasn’t sure I would … Continue reading Dating Men is a Public Service That Men Don’t Deserve, But Women Do
“A man could, feasibly, sacrifice his coffee break raping a woman. That woman would then spend her entire life dealing with it. So would her daughters. So would theirs. This distribution of power is not acceptable.” -- Inga Muscio, Cunt: A Declaration of Independence I think about my mother’s mother. First married at 18 to … Continue reading How Many Generations Does It Take to Escape Abuse?
In Kathleen McHugh and Lisa Duggan’s 1996 Femme-inist Manifesto, they wrote: “Fem(me) science questions the dignity and wisdom of anyone who would wear pink without irony, or a floral print without murderous or seditious designs.” Of course, some of us unironically wear pink and/or floral — an arguably “soft” aesthetic. Does this mean we are … Continue reading Is Softness a Critical (per)Form(ance) of Femininity?
Sometimes when I talk about softness, emotions, earnestness, and vulnerability I’m talking about them as a reaction to what I see as the privileging of hardness, irony, and lack of emotion. Softness is part of femme for me, so sometimes I talk about soft femme in relation to hard femme. I have been asked if … Continue reading The Future is Soft: On Soft Femme, Hard Femme, and Femme Theory
When I talk about softness I’m talking about vulnerability, openness, and flexibility. I mean soft like breathable fabric in summer. I mean soft like ripples on the lake. I mean noticing your reaction, how you feel. I mean acknowledging emotions. I mean admitting when you are hurt and that things hurt you. I mean using … Continue reading What I Mean When I Talk About Softness
"Tonight we’re going to a party, and by ‘we’ I mean everyone. I know because I’ve been tracking the Facebook guest list. And maybe a few individual profiles. It’s going to be fun, I silently assure myself that night, when I’m back in front of the mirror applying my make-up. I wonder what boring hipster … Continue reading Broken Pencil Death Match: Louisa