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
**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
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
When I trim my bangs, I release my femme. There's nothing that makes me feel more like myself, more powerful, and more femme than hacking off the overgrown fringe covering my forehead. I look back at photographs of myself as a little femme and see that I have always had the same hairdo as I … Continue reading Resisting Pretty: A Hair Story
My favourite photograph of us isn’t one that garnered tons of notes on Tumblr, or one from our first vacation to Nova Scotia. My favourite photograph of us is one I took myself. I’m seated on the toilet lid, wrapped up in a fluffy purple towel aiming the camera at my feet. She’s kneeling there … Continue reading Emotional Labour of the Femme