Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Chapter 3/ ‘Feminity’ section/ pg. 134-137

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“”Doing gender” in terms of femininity, involves speaking, walking, looking, and acting in certain ways.”

Although this reading is not a specific article, as I read through the opening chapter three to all the articles we were assigned to read, the section about femininity struck something in me. Its true, the ‘traditional’ idea of a female has connotations like soft, passive, domestic, etc. Yet in contemporary society those ideas are being challenge; women becoming more independent, aggressive, etc. Some would say more ‘masculine’ qualities. However, as the section continues it talks about how a key aspect of femininity is how it’s channeled into two different and opposite aspects. The domestic mother and then the “sexy, seducing, fun-loving playmate or whore”. The author than categorizes it as women you marry and women you sleep with. I found this interesting, especially in a college setting. I definitely think this aspect of categorizing women, especially young women goes on in our culture. Guys pick and choose the girls they decide to talk to based on this notion, or rather judging. Most young, college guys want the “women you sleep with” not the “women you pursue a relationship with”. I am not sure if society has always been like this, but I feel as though this happens partly because of what is exposed in media anymore, among other factors.  It’s interesting because men do not have this stigma. For me, I have yet to hear females categorize men into ones “they marry” or “sleep with”. Maybe it happens, just maybe not as often or as outwardly.
I do think  the contemporary female is changing than what it once was. I think it’s becoming more and more “acceptable” (for lack of a better word) that women aren’t just homemakers, there is less of that expectation. It still exist, yet not as much. However, i feel the pressure on women is much greater almost. Women are almost being asked to be Superwoman as the author puts it. To raise a family, make dinner, maintain a career, do laundry, maybe take college classes, etc. It’s almost more of a workload now than it was just be domestic. There are still the expectations that you maintain the domestics of the household even if you are a career woman.


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