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?

Story of a Femme Hatchling: My Journey to “Femme”

I can’t remember when I first used the word femme, but I remember it being the first identity or label that actually felt like it fit. I was dating my first girlfriend and quickly figured out that using the word “bisexual” meant being dismissed, and using “lesbian” or “gay” and even “queer” made me feel … Continue reading Story of a Femme Hatchling: My Journey to “Femme”

In Defense of Summer (And Manic Pixie Dream Girls everywhere)

The writer behind the term “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” called for us all to stop using the phrase, and even apologized for ever inventing it, in a recent Salon article. Nathan Rabin first used the phrase to describe the sexism inherent in writing Elizabethtown’s character Claire, but now sees the term spinning out of control. … Continue reading In Defense of Summer (And Manic Pixie Dream Girls everywhere)