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 areContinue reading “Is Softness a Critical (per)Form(ance) of Femininity?”

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 ifContinue reading “The Future is Soft: On Soft Femme, Hard Femme, and Femme Theory”

It’s Hard Out Here For a Femme

Some of us cringe when we use qualifiers to explain our femme identity, or cringe when we try to drop the qualifier, knowing how it sounds to most other people. I know saying “I’m femme, but…” or using labels like “hard femme” or “aggressive femme” feels good for some femmes, but for me it always justContinue reading “It’s Hard Out Here For a Femme”