Gender Binary Meets Christian “Modesty” Movement, Writer’s Head Explodes

29 07 2010

Prepare yourselves for a long, tedious, ranty, semi-coherent, and truly crazy-making post, in several different ways. Also, major mansplaining alert.

I am so stupid sometimes. I just KNOW a site called “isthismodest.com” is going to incite rage of biblical proportions in me. I read it anyway. And OH , did it ever.

The article is titled “Why Should Women Enjoy Being Feminine?” If you know me at all, you know that I am low-femme at best. And, for myself, I have absolutely no damn idea WHY I should enjoy being feminine. I find femininity in our society to be expensive, time-consuming, and uncomfortable with little to no recompense.

Anyway, we’re going sentence-by-sentence here, and pointing out all the FAIL there is in this one short article. No links- I don’t want them to have any more traffic than they do.

We live in a day and age where the differences are trying to be removed, and feminism has tried to say that the sexes are equivalent.

Um, no, actually, it hasn’t. Should be treated equally =/= equivalent. Though they’re not as Mars and Venus as the author seems to think. Gotta love the vagueness of “the differences” in that first sentence. Differences between what? Humans and elephants? Glasses-wearers and those who prefer contacts? Math and English majors? GOD SAVE US, that would be horrible. (I kid. I kid. Love you, math department!!!) And don’t even get me started on the bullshit gender binary that the entire article is based upon. I don’t have the Sanity Watchers points to do that today, except to say that “male” and “female” are fluid, not mutually exclusive, and certainly not the only two choices.

They’ve tried to sell women the idea that they are the same as men—and they should enjoy being men!

Women and men are the same in the sense that they are PEOPLE. And gender is performative- occasionally I enjoy “being a man,” whether that means binding and wearing guy’s clothes, writing from a male perspective, doing strenuous yard work, or making fun of romance novels. I should point out none of these activities actually have anything to do with biological sex, though they do have quite a bit to do with socially-constructed gender. No matter what your sex organs look like, if you find “being a man” (whatever that means to you) comfortable and enjoyable, then you SHOULD enjoy “being a man”! There is no reason to feel shame because your behavior doesn’t match what society thinks it should match based on what’s in your jeans.

The thing is, we were created different.

Aw, dude, don’t make me break out the anti-creationism arguments. Those are SO 2006.

Seriously, though, we ARE different. Each and every individual one of us, which is what makes the world so beautiful and scary and awesome to live in. I don’t think that’s quite what he means, though.

We are two different types of people, enjoying two different types of things. 

Why only two? Everything in the whole world is not gendered. Taking a walk is not more “male” or more “female” as compared to staying in with a book or going out with friends or brushing the dog or stargazing. And you can like some, or all, or none. Why the rigid pigeonholing? Why the strict gender-police tone? Why, for that matter, this “us-vs.-them” thing you’ve got going on?

We’re different, but equal.  We’re different, but equal.

This is the first semi-sensible thing you’ve said. This is the first semi-sensible thing you’ve said.

Why should women enjoy being feminine?  Why should they celebrate that difference?

Let’s get some good conversation going!

Wellp, you certainly didn’t succeed there. Except for a few here and there, the comments are just as piously empty of rationale as you would think. Apparently being feminine a) is in God’s plan, and we should enjoy God’s plan (you VILL! HAFF! FUN!) b) “my husband didn’t fall in love with me for my masculinity” (how do you know?) and c) when you act like a girl, guys are more chivalrous! (you know my opinions on chivalry). 19 comments that almost all agree is not “conversation,” let alone “good conversation.” YouTube vidoes get that within seconds, and they’re often more intelligent.

I couldn’t resist leaving one myself:

“Women should enjoy being feminine without shame if that’s what they like. So should men! Everybody should be able to explore both masculinity and femininity openly and without shame, if they so choose, because gender is an artificial social construct. As far as I know, God did not create heels and makeup, nor mandate that they were girls-only.” (I forgot to mention androgyny- but one can only push the fundamentalists’ heads so far).

It is awaiting moderation. I suspect it’ll be doing that for a while.


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29 07 2010
Clinton

Can we be 30 now so we can go through with that arranged marriage we planned?

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