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”

What I Mean When I Talk About Softness

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 usingContinue reading “What I Mean When I Talk About Softness”

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