Feminists Should Be Femininity Essay

Why Can’t Feminists be Feminine? In the fight for gender equality, some feminists feel that they have to purge themselves of their femininity to achieve the level of acceptance that they hope to reach, while others are proud of being feminine and feminist. This has become a point of contention amongst many women, causing women to question whether femininity and feminism can coexist. If we abandon femininity, we are creating a new stereotype. While being strong and achieving gender equality is a noble cause, no one should be required to sacrifice their femininity; unfortunately, any women are.

All over social media, women are bombarded with two sides of an argument. Magazines scream “Beauty is being a size 0 with a D cup”. Meaghan Ramsey, Global Director of Dove’s Self-Esteem project points out “Ten thousand people every month google, “Am I ugly? ” (Ramsey). This is from a woman who obviously embraces beauty and has made a place for herself in the world. Feminists on twitter espouse “Purge your femininity”. So which way do they go? Many women believe that they can’t have both. Feminists are seen as raging maniacs, and feminine women are seen as traitors, or weak.

Some women just don’t feel comfortable living up to certain feminist values. Shows like Lena Dunham’s “Girls” and feminist social media accounts espouse extreme sexual promiscuity, vulgarity, and man hate. Feminism is moving away from equal rights, pay, opportunities and respect; Feminism is moving towards misandry. Contrary to popular belief, society has proven over and over that men and women can be equals, that they can enjoy both “masculine” and “feminine” pastimes. As exhibited in “The Androgynous Man” (Perrin) masculinity and femininity can coexist, are not mutually exclusive, and cannot be ut into a box.

Thus continues the common misconception that women can’t have an impact or gain respect without acting out. “Well behaved women rarely make history? ” (Unknown)? Says who?! This poster features women like Grace Kelly, Scarlett O’Hara, Rosa Parks, Marilyn Monroe, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Taylor, and Annie Oakley. Half the women listed on the poster are not what most people would classify as rabble rousers or ill-behaved. Grace Kelly epitomized class and grace (no pun intended) and became a just leader of Monaco. She held both a career, and raised a family.

These women had an impact on the world without sacrificing morals and femininity. The more promiscuous and “ill-behaved” women on this poster often lost respect, and many met an unsettling or unhappy end. Marilyn Monroe crumbled under the pressure of society, and succumbed to depression and substance abuse. Fictional Scarlett O’Hara’s need to get ahead, invoke jealousy, and exact revenge blinded her and left her a lonely social pariah. Her tenacity and work ethic are inspiring, but the imbalance of fighting her need to be loved and purging herself of her femininity caused her downfall.

Breaking social norms and standing up for what is right is not misbehaving, but abandoning morals and Why is challenging the status quo label you as ill-behaved, and in turn why must you be ill-behaved to make a difference, or gain respect? Business women are a prime example of a balance between feminism and femininity. Two of this year’s presidential candidates are women, from opposite parties. It is no longer a question or politics. Both Hillary Clinton (D) and Carly Fiorina (R) have had successful careers before politics. They have both been married, and are mothers.

Mrs. Clinton has battled her husband’s infidelity, and Mrs. Fiorina has battled the business world and cancer. Neither of them lack in femininity, and they are proof of what women can accomplish. Maybe feminists should be focusing on the fact that women earn less for being mothers, than tearing down mothers and espousing misandry. According to NBC news, “Women with children under 18 earn less than women without minor children, while men with kids under 18 earn more than men without younger kids. ” (Linn). These women shouldn’t earn less if they are putting in the same work.

Working women epitomize the coexistence of feminism and femininity. They balance it all and rock at it. Ever since women joined the workforce, they have been competent and have gone to great lengths to fulfill their roles as mothers, homemakers and valuable members of society and the workforce. Their style reflects the beautiful union of power and femininity. The most classic attire of a businesswoman is a structured suit with a soft, feminine blouse and pearls with pumps, the perfect example of the cohesion of feminism and femininity.

Clara Barton, a woman who revolutionized women’s oles in war, was never regarded as lacking in femininity, and was seen as the bravest woman alive at the time. At 17, Ms. Barton took on a job as a teacher, which she held for 12 years, worked as a patent clerk, and served as America’s most famous nurse on the battlefield in the Civil War. She later founded the American Red Cross, one of the largest disaster relief effort organization’s in the world. Ms Barton’s Andersonville testimony proves her an equal to her male peers, and displays a quiet courage in regards to her challenge of gender and race roles.

This is exhibited when she testified that ” Naturally, I think the negro not less moral, not less religious, not less truthful than any other race, only as his condition has made him so. ” (Andersonville Testimony), a view that was radical even amongst northerner’s after the Civil War. She was lady like and lived by a moral code that balanced femininity and feminism, and commanded the respect of our nation for generations to come. For years, women’s role were seen as limited to motherhood, housekeeping and social pursuits. Women slowly gained rights. England had two formidable female rulers, in the 1600s: Mary and Elizabeth.

Throughout the middle ages, women took up roles of power, discreetly taking up strangleholds on politics. From Empress Mathilda to Queen Eleanor, female rulers grasped power, ruling in place of incompetent husbands, or youthful sons, who were tirelessly loyal to “mummy”. Gathering support from armies, realizing their power in diplomatic marriages, educating their sons and daughters, they changed the way the world was ruled. The discovery of the “New World” gave women new roles. They couldn’t afford to sit around, they ontributed to creating a new life, while raising children and taking on their own roles.

The founding fathers understood the importance of women to our new government. They encouraged “Republican Motherhood”, realizing that mothers had the unprecedented influence on the formative years of the children raised. Abigail Adams wrote her husband, first vice- president, and second president of the United States of America, commending him for his efforts towards freedom, but reminding him that women would grow impatient without power deserved by their importance. Women moving West ulled their weight as much as any man.

Flappers challenged social norms in the 20s, and women fought and went to work in the 30s and 40s. Despite all these excellent examples of women who balanced their feminism and femininity, modern feminists still feel the need to fight their femininity, and ostracize those who don’t. They denounce marriage and motherhood, enjoying feminine things, and the choice to be a stay at home mother. It is perfectly fine for women to not feel comfortable for these things, but they should not be shamed if they do. Looking closely at this situation, it becomes apparent hat feminists are practicing the very inverse of their preaching.

Where men that they fought degraded them for working and achieving, for not following the norm, they degrade women who don’t mind a bit of tradition in their lives. Where men once wrote women off as silly and emotional, feminists write men off as stupid and a hopeless cause. Feminists need to wake up and realize that the tides are turning for them but they are ruining their cause every time they ostracize someone who is not like them. If they can find a way to let feminism and femininity coexist, this will be a much better world.