Duality of Femininity – Naomi

When my oldest daughter was three years old, she came home from daycare and immediately took off the blue space shuttle shirt that she had picked as a souvenir during our visit to the National Air and Space Museum in DC. She didn’t like it anymore because another little girl told her that that shirt was just for boys. I don’t know if that child’s remarks were about the color of the shirt or its scientific nature, and honestly it doesn’t matter. My three year old was told that something was “just for boys” and she believed it. And she acted on it. As a woman and mother of three daughters, little occupies my mind more than the patriarchy of society.

One of the things that struck me most about the screening of Strong Sisters, was the commentary that women should be involved in politics because they are women rather than despite that fact. Several different politicians spoke of the soft nature and different perspective that they bring to the table. They said that they have much to offer as women and I recall a couple of them stating that they felt that the gridlock in DC politics would not have existed if more women were there to offer thoughts. Women are mediators and promote compromise, they said.

The acknowledgement that women are different from men and that that should be celebrated and embraced is honestly new to me. I feel like girls and women have been told for so long we can’t do something because we’re girls, or that it doesn’t matter that we’re girls, we can still achieve our goals. The latter is seen as progressive, but the truth is that it does matter that my daughters are girls. Women should be able to embrace their femininity rather than suppress or ignore it in their pursuit of success.

Just how the colorblind ideology encourages the racism it espouses to abolish, telling girls that they can do anything even though they’re girls, only perpetuates the patriarchy that I am, and have been, fighting against.

So, while it might be ill-advised to turn towards current political ideals, I will close by saying that it does matter that there is a woman running for president. And I look forward to waking up my daughters for cake on election night. 

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4 thoughts on “Duality of Femininity – Naomi

  1. Naomi,

    I really appreciate your view point that there is a duality when it comes to feminism. I have struggled with ideology about what it means to be progressive and feminist, but also about what it means to be a woman. I think that it why it struck me that most of the women in the documentary were not trying to simply become “one of the boys,” but rather provide a political shake up by being women. Women are unique, and I hope that in our fight for equality that we do not forget that. Thank you again for your insight.

    Best,
    Samantha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Naomi,

    Thank you for sharing your daughter’s experience with us. It is really sad that these kind of judgments start at such a young age. Your post reminded me a lot of this Always commerical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs. Women are different from men and that difference should be embraced. It truly saddens me (and makes me really mad) when I hear about or see girls and women being discouraged from their interests.

    When I was younger, I played rugby and I loved it. I thought it was really cool to be one of the only girls on the team, and I could keep up with and play just as well as the boys. Other girls at school didn’t think it was so cool though, and even some boys stayed away from me. Even my mom said I shouldn’t be playing because I am girl. I didn’t stop playing though; I played for six years until I had to have shoulder surgery from an injury I acquired while playing. I am bringing this up because I didn’t give in to the negative responses I received from my peers (or my mother); however, this is not the case for many girls. I had a friend back in middle school who was really interested in soccer but didn’t want to play because she didn’t want to end up looking “manly” from muscle gain. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said: “I feel like girls and women have been told for so long we can’t do something because we’re girls, or that it doesn’t matter that we’re girls, we can still achieve our goals….Women should be able to embrace their femininity rather than suppress or ignore it in their pursuit of success.” I think you hit the nail on the head with these sentences.”

    Meghan

    Liked by 1 person

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