I am not like other girls”, “I don’t like hanging out with girls that much”, “She is being very irrational today, I think it’s that time of the month”, are some common statements that you may have heard or even made yourself.
The misconceptions associated with the varied manifestations of femininity can be exceedingly deleterious and reinforce gender roles, traditional patriarchal ideas, and stereotypes related to bodies, expressions and the way we experience our sexual and romantic relationships.
The lovers enact many recognizable hetero-normative romantic tropes – the wronged petulant woman pacified via kisses and caresses, the woman too tired for sex who then tries to placate the sulking male lover.
At sixteen, the senior boy I loved, touched me down there and said, this is what boyfriends do, this is what love feels like – uncomfortable.
Their inimitable personalities showcase their varied conceptions of insaaf (justice), enriching and intensifying the plot and, at the same time, reaffirming their solidarity and strengthening their unity.
I keep on hold the colours and prints to wrap you in gentle delicate flowers or little cartoon lions and boys with fists that say Bam and Super / until I know what lies between your legs the cigar or the smile of consolation if you’re the first
Desiring motherhood meant veering into a more ‘girly’ territory, a notion that I had simultaneously been fighting and trying to embrace since childhood. I had understood that to be a feminist I had to be independent, be wary of men, dislike families and relationships.
When I finally came out to myself at age 16 and made it to a free queer youth space, I couldn’t wait to be accepted among folks who didn’t play by society’s heterosexist rules of masculine and feminine as polar opposites.
Are certain forms of femininities denigrated more than others? Not just by misogynists but also by feminists? Is there a particular way of manifesting an ‘appropriate’ femininity, one that is just right, and is not ‘too girly’ or ‘too tomboyish’?