Femininity + Feminism (Girl Power)

{Wearing: Bente top, Mango jacket, Old Navy scarf, Abercrombie and Fitch boyfriend jeans, Nine West bag, Cole Haan sunglasses}

Happy International Women’s Day!!!

“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” -G.D. Anderson

For women’s day, I wanted to discuss a topic that I believe is pretty relevant to this blog and very close to my heart and that’s femininity and feminism. I’m proud to say I’m a feminist, and I know quite a few empowering and feminist men and women. I’m also very feminine, I love many stereotypical “girl” things. Clothes, shoes, makeup, even Starbucks has become gendered. (You don’t see guys holding Starbucks cups being called ‘basic’.)

I wanted to discuss the balance between those two words. Just to be clear, displaying femininity does not make you less of a feminist. It does not mean that you’ve given into the limiting social construct associated with your gender. They do not contradict each other. You can love all of these things and be an empowered badass too!

“Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked all the time.” -Betsey Johnson.

I want to make this very clear: the problem with femininity does not lie in the woman who enjoys it, it lies in the culture that expects it.

I love everything about fashion. I love the clothes themselves, shopping, runway shows, advertisements, photography, everything that goes into the creative fashion industry. But dressing for boys….? Never even something I would have thought of. Fashion isn’t sexuality, and the linking of the two furthers many negative stereotypes about women and fashion lovers. Saying women should wear makeup to attract men, wear clothes to attract men, change themselves at all to attract men is just offensive.

We live in a culture where we expect women to wear makeup, tame their hair and dress a certain way and socially punish them if they don’t participate. This problem starts with the language we use to sell these products. We’ve all seen them, products sold as “sexy” or Cosmo’s “10 ways to look better in bed” articles. Women should be able to enjoy feminine things without feeling like society demands them, or she will be a worse woman for not participating.

In Susan Brownmiller’s Prologue to her book Femininity, she writes about this paradox much more eloquently than I could. I would highly recommend reading this excerpt, it’s about a ten minute read but will leave you thinking a lot about this.

“Enormous pleasure can be taken from feminine pursuits as a creative outlet or purely as relaxation; indeed, indulgence for the sake of fun, or art, or attention is among femininity’s greatest joys.” – Susan Brownmiller

This past election, fashion magazines including Vogue and Teen Vogue got political. They were and continue to be vocal in their support of civil rights. They took a lot of heat for this, but also a lot of acclaim. Just because they’re fashion magazines, does not mean they can’t write about human rights. As Teen Vogue’s Phillip Picardi said “To tell a teenager that she should stick to lip gloss, when she’s being directly impacted by policies affecting her lifestyle and the lifestyle of those around her, is frankly irresponsible.”

Basically, love what you love. Love feminism? Awesome. Love fashion? Yay. Love them both so much you could blog about it? Join the club. 🙂

Love, Francesca

 

 

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17 Comments

  1. March 9, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    Beautiful post and happy International Women’s Day. It’s especially important to support each other now more than ever with everything that’s happening around the world. This post is a nice reminder that we shouldn’t try to fit to society’s standards but instead carve our own path and take it from there.
    http://www.lacasabloga.com

  2. Siffat
    March 9, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    I absolutely love this post! Yes to girl power and women supporting women! Also, I love your hair, it’s an absolute dream!
    xo
    Siffat
    http://icingandglitter.com

  3. Gabrielle
    March 9, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    I love the positive vibes of this post, espiecally your chosen quote – so accurate! Looking beautiful as always by the way, I adore the monochrome blanket scarf. Happy (and belated!) International Women’s Day!

    aglassofice.com
    x

  4. March 9, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    “Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” -G.D. Anderson

    Love this quote! It is so true. Women also need to recognize the strength within themselves. Loving you in this outfit too babe! You look so pretty as usual <3

    xoxo
    Rina
    http://www.andshedressed.com

  5. March 10, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    I love the way you wrote this post, Francesca. As I was reading it I found myself just nodding along going “yes yes yes!”. It’s great that you mention “You can love all of these things and be an empowered badass too”. Definitely agree! Also, your hair is seriously beautiful!

    Kathryn • simplykk.com

    • April 2, 2017 / 10:32 am

      You have shed a ray of susihnne into the forum. Thanks!

  6. March 11, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    This is so important! Sometimes people assume that a feminine, sensitive woman cannot be as strong as the others 🙂
    LA VEINE

  7. March 13, 2017 / 7:59 am

    women don’t have to dress and wear make-up for men but many of them do it anyway, for example some single girls who want to find a man. or girls who just want men to see them and go crazy about them. that’s life.
    I can’t help it but for me wearing too much make-up and fake things means hiding the real you and I know many men feel the same way. they don’t want a girl who’s hidden under 10 layers of make-up. and when I look around it really is like that. beautiful girls hide under heaps of make-up and look fake and artificial. but when you don’t show your real self you also can’t expect others (men) to take you as that and be completely genuine with you.
    what a lovely early spring look by the way! I’m also looking forward to wearing my light coats already! and the new golden boots I bought 😉

    Maiken – Part of me

  8. March 13, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Such a pretty outfit! Love that scarf

  9. March 17, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    I absolutely loved reading this, you are SO right!, woman dress for themselves and there’s nothing wrong with it! 🙂 Talking about dressing, I loved the outfit! Very casual and so lovely!

  10. March 21, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    Fabulous photos. You have a beautiful smile. Kisses 🙂

  11. March 22, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    Love this post and how you concluded it! I’ve never felt more empowered than when I was able to be myself and stop caring so much about what others are thinking.

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