Is Softness a Critical (per)Form(ance) of Femininity?

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?

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The Future is Soft: On Soft Femme, Hard Femme, and Femme Theory

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

Colour Coding: Creating Queer Bonds with Nail Art

**The following is a longer version of a femme flagging article I wrote for Shameless magazine. Check out the Shameless version, "Flag 'Em Down" (and another story of mine!) in the Alternative Beauty issue, Winter 2015.**  Through history, queer folks have had come up with creative ways to communicate their desires. In the 1970s, gay … Continue reading Colour Coding: Creating Queer Bonds with Nail Art

Disposable Women: Some Thoughts on Bowie, My Dad, and Sexualizing Young Girls

I remember walking through the mall with my dad (age 55) and he made some comment to me about a girl in short shorts. The girl must have been about 17 and yet my dad saw no problem with his leering at her legs (and making a sexual comment about them to me, his daughter … Continue reading Disposable Women: Some Thoughts on Bowie, My Dad, and Sexualizing Young Girls

I Want a Comedy of Love: Yearning for Femme Healing, For a Soft Place to Rest

I'm tired of comedy that relies on making some specific person look stupid, gross, weird, other. I'm tired of your edgy, alienating sarcasm. I've never much cared to have a friend that makes "good-natured" digs at me, that tries to get a laugh at my expense. My sister once told me she hates watching The … Continue reading I Want a Comedy of Love: Yearning for Femme Healing, For a Soft Place to Rest