Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tekanji replies! Her direct reply to me(although reading whole posts is important,etc)

What Shannon is addressing here is women as the sex class, but I don’t see it as something that defines, or even springs from, femininity but rather that it’s one of the influences that shapes modern femininity. It’s important to note, however, that I think that the “women as the sex class” paradigm influences much more than femininity, and indeed is a trope that women cannot get away from no matter how unfeminine we try to make ourselves.

We’ve already established that femininity does engage with looks, and on this level it engages directly with the beauty myth especially in areas such as makeup and clothing. But what else is it, and why is it so damn important not to ridicule it?

One aspect relevant to the realm of geekery is the association between femininity and emotions. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard women being derided for being emotional, while the geeky men compare themselves to emotionless machines. The impression that I’ve been given over the years is that hardcore geeks aspire to perfection in the form of machinery: cold, rational beings who can crunch numbers like nobody’s business but turn their nose up at common social graces and shared warmth.

I think differently. I think the core of femininity is that some people(women) have to do a lot of unpaid work(motherwork,beauty work, emotional work,etc) and then get slagged off for not being good enough at it. Basically, femininity is basically spinning your wheels- you spend a lot of your mind space on whether your eyelashes are curled or how many calories are in each piece of candy, while other folks(some even women) get on with their lives. Yea, people expect femininity of women, but I'm not a fan.

Also, I also hate it when guys don't recognize that anger, competitiveness, glee on winning or outsmarting someone are also emotions. Drives me nuts.

In essence, when you blame femininity (or feminine women) for your problems as a geeky woman, you’re doing your part to ensure that the geeks who come after you will have those same problems, if not worse.

A problem is that the attributes needed to be a feminine woman, and the attributes needed to be a competent adult are different. It's hard to be patient about that. In fact, one of the most frustrating things about feminism is dealing with feminine women(or men in some cases), because they need a lot of handholding, a lot of "oh poor baby, I didn't call you not a feminist" and generally a whole lot more emotional work than women who are willing to buck up and do work without whining or complaining. I think emotions are all well and good, but temperance has a lot of things going for it.

I would rather prefer feminists who can go out and get information on their own, and then put plans into action without me having to tell them that they are a good feminist or not.

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