UPDATE: As commenters are probably aware, the So-Called Trans Debate (SCTD) is officially over. I may have mentioned it in passing in this essay, but please be advised that henceforth at I Blame the Patriarchy it will be necessary to discuss femininity without holding another painful referendum on transgenderism. On this post, as is my prerogative, I have allowed two or three stray comments on the topic for the purpose of clarifying my own views, but the party is over. If transphobic comments appear while I am away from my desk, they will be deleted when I get back; the commenters will be banned. It is written.
It has been suggested (by this blogger QueerCoup) that recently, when I eschewed femininity in the context of the so-called “trans debate” (yes, I know we’re done with the good old SCTD, but I mention it only in passing and as a springboard to a gripping pontification on a weighty subject, so prithee bear with), I was taking “a dig” at trans women. According to QueerCoup, “[a]t it’s heart, the rejection of femininity is a male-centred way of thinking. The assumption that femininity is for attracting men.” [sic]
Before anyone blows a lobe, allow me to assure the Blametariat that I make no such assumption. Quite the opposite. No spinster aunt who isn’t trippin on acid would ever reject femininity on the grounds that it is “for attracting men.” Spinster aunts know that femininity is not for attracting men. We reject it, of course, because we know it is actually for smushing women.
That’s right. Femininity is not a natural expression of femaleness. It is not an hereditary, hormone-based fascination for fashion, submissiveness, mani-peddies, baby-soft skin, or catfighting. It is not a fun-loving lifestyle choice. Femininity is a rigid system of behaviors imposed on us by the Global Accords Governing the Fair Use of Women as a means to control, subjugate, and marginalize us, entirely at our expense, for the benefit of the male-controlled megatheocorporatocracy.
Thus does the spinster aunt aver that the practice of femininity — whether by cis women, trans women, celebrities, lawyers, pastry chefs, people who work at Kinko’s, internet feminists, or anyone else — impedes the revolution. Here, I’ll say it again.
The practice of femininity impedes the revolution.
This idea often chaps the hide of novice blamers. This is because they don’t fully appreciate the hideous essence of femininity. Some of them believe that the practice of femininity is but one facet of an exciting smorgasbord (if a smorgasbord can be said to have facets, or to be exciting) of lifestyle choices available to today’s busy autonomous gal-on-the-go. They feel that “choosing” feminine conduct is an act of feminist rebellion, on the grounds that the choicing is entirely the chooser’s own personal idea. They aver that femininity can be an expression of a woman’s personal personality, and that it is “fun.” It is irrelevant, apparently, that femininity just happens to align precisely with the pornified desires, yucky fetishes, and vulgar business interests of the entire dudely culture of domination. Sadly, the novice blamer omits to consider this greater whole, and that in “choosing” femininity she is merely making conspicuous her compliance with dudely authori-tay.
New blamers cannot, however, be blamed for these unsophisticated views. The bogus feminine/masculine dichotomy is the ur-cornerstone of patriarchy. We’ve all been living it since the cradle. Rare is the Savage Death Islandist who springs from the womb with a fully-formed grasp of the pernicious nature of this most icky of patriarchal doctrines. We endure years, maybe decades, of brainwashing and oppression before managing to scrape the scales from our eyes.
Because, let’s face it; the truth about femininity is so repellent, so foul, so depraved, that we don’t want to know it. We’d rather believe the funfeminists when they insist that it’s empowerfulizing to be pink and girlie or stilettoey and porny. It’s so much easier to go with the flow and comfy up with the familiar old gender stereotypes than it is to come to grips with the fact that our woman-hating world order enforces femininity with a rigorous system of hollow, joyless rewards and uncompromising, murderous punishments, and that the enforcement of feminine behavior is a global humanitarian crisis.
Have you seen that commercial for Dove chocolates? No, of course you haven’t, because like all blamers you don’t own a television. Well, that commercial is a lulu. It’s got one of those confidential, just between you-and-me tones. We girls sure do some wacky things. We’re girls, we’re just so screwy. Like, we “pretend high heels are comfortable” and we wax our legs, and — silly us — we imagine that we can handle anything. But uh-oh! We can’t handle everything. But it’s OK. If we fuck up, it’s only because some things are just too hard (cut to a sexy leg with, uh-oh, a big hole in the stocking. Looks like someone couldn’t hack it in the cut-throat world of pantyhosiery! Tough break!). We’re just girls after all, but luckily we can offset the psychological damage of pantyhose failure by shoving a Dove chocolate down our craw. Femininity is really hard, so treat yourself to this cheap crap candy as a booby prize; being a screw-up is cute and we’re “only [sub] human.”
Watch the commercial on YouTube, and then do that regendering thing I’m so fond of, where you imagine all the adorable femininity-women replaced by Steve McQueen or Laurence Fishburne or Franklin D Roosevelt or male dudes of similar gravitas. Can you see Fishburne going “whoopsie!” over a run in his pantyhose, and then having an orgasm over a crummy piece of mass-produced candy? I know, right? This tells you how fucking stupid femininity is; any member of the dominant class would look like a fucking idiot if he did it.
In a global humanitarian crisis, there’s nothing tackier than “choosing” to reinforce dangerous and degrading stereotypes for “fun.” There can be no real choice anyway, because nobody — and this means you — can freely opt out without consequences.
Here are some of the consequences likely to be suffered by women who try to opt out, or who perform femininity imperfectly (that is, all women):
falling into the clutches of the Beauty Industrial Complex
And most sucky of all:
no invitation — such as the ones sent to Laurence Fishburne, Steve McQueen, and Franklin D Roosevelt — to life’s rich pageant.
Hole-in-pantyhose photo from this stupid TV commercial.
Laurence Fishburne photo from this website.