flexibeast.space - gemlog - 2020-12-03

The ‘feminine’/‘masculine’ division

i feel that the division of human behaviour and characteristics into ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ is itself an integral part of patriarchal structuring. Even if patriarchy didn't create this division, it still leverages it to divide people against themselves. Instead of people being able to say “I'm going to be caring, and that doesn't make me any less masculine as a man”, people are put in the position of having to accept or reject certain traits or behaviours within themselves on the basis of their own sense of gender and how they want to be read. This, in turn, can discourage people from deviating from patriarchal norms around gender[a].

i support reclaiming a number of the behaviours and characteristics that have been regarded negatively by patriarchal societies. But to do so by framing it as “reclaiming the feminine” is to endorse the notion that these things are necessarily ‘feminine’, and of value for that reason, rather than simply being laudable in and of themselves. It seems to me that people might be more likely to strive towards embodying these things when they're not presented as necessarily coming at the cost of other laudable traits and behaviours, or in (explicit or implied) opposition to their sense of gender.

🏷 gender,language,politics


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[a] As i mentioned in a previous post:

“Dualism, polarities and cishetnormativity”