|How would you label me?|
The idea of femininity is ancient. Truly feminine women are sensitive, soft, culturally beautiful, thin but not too thin, and muscular but not too muscular (or they'll be deemed masculine). They don't take up much space. To be feminine, you are on the search for the perfect man, and you shave every night so you don't have stubbles if you happen to meet him. Check out this website, and try not to puke.
The idea of femmeness is very different, and I love what Lesley has to say about it.
Femmeness, however, is interrogated femininity. The main thrust of the idea of femmeness is not a faithful reproduction of the feminine, but is instead a reinvention, reclamation, or ironic performance of it, taking place outside the traditional context of a misogynist world.
If I had to put a label on myself, and I do it often, I would definitely be femme. I don't qualify as feminine, in the historical concrete definition. I'm not thin. I'm not on the search for a man. I don't have long flowing beautiful hair. I say bad words.. a lot. I speak my mind. I take up too much space because I'm fat. And well, I frankly don't give a fuck.
The idea of the 'femme' came from the LGBTQ Community, to categorize or place yourself in a specific area in order to find a mate. As Lesley explains, many femmes understand the concept of drag, and embrace it. A flamboyant gay man, for example, is described much of the time as being feminine, but I think that's a mistake. He, instead of being feminine, is femme in my terms of the word, because if I, as a cis-woman, can't even identify as feminine, then how the hell would a cis-man who is gay be able to be labeled as that? Lots of different people can be femme, but not many people can be feminine, and I think that's an important idea to recognize. Femmes can have all of the qualities and characteristics of being feminine, but fight the idea of femininity at the same time.
Now, I don't want everyone thinking I'm sitting around putting labels on everyone I see. This post is really just to differentiate the ideas of feminine and femme. Since I am a die-hard feminist, fight the patriarchy and misogyny everydamnday of my life, and the idea of femininity stems from oppressing women, then there's no possible way that anyone could label me as feminine. And I don't want them to.
How does the world label you? How do you label yourself? Are you feminine or are you femme?xo, cort