Infantile playacting as capitulation (and justification)

“this is so spot-on, an example of wanting to eat your cake and have it too. getting credit for labeling themselves feminists, but not the scary MEAN kind that might not submit to men! and i don’t blame them, but it’s irritating, to say the least." 

- sendforbromina via paleotrees

Excellent observation! I don’t necessarily blame them for wanting to protect themselves either: male violence is a scary thing, and even being a pretty hardcore person with little personal investiture in male fee-fees, I often find myself pretending to be something I’m not in order to keep men from being angry at me (because the consequences can be devastating).

That’s a problem, but it’s a survival mechanism; the bigger problem is when the pretending stops and it becomes real. Or almost-real, when people believe it is real. When I put on a fake smile and act chipper, or seek to say something that is both true to my thoughts but sweet enough to be appealing (take pretty much every conversation I’ve ever had with my father) – I recognize it’s an act. It’s not me, it’s not a part of my personality, it’s not innate. It’s something I’m doing to keep from being crushed beneath the wheel of male ego and institutionalized male power. It’s not real. And I think a lot of these kids can’t tell the difference, even when they take it to the extremes of playacting.

I’ll close with this other response that summarizes my thoughts:

”I find this form of capitulation particularly frustrating. It produces justification of female inferiority. If we are childlike in our mannerisms and thinking, [it logically follows that] we must be treated as children. Thus, [it appears as though] there is nothing wrong with our inferior position.“

- notexactlycosmo via paleotrees

“Agreed! I find it so odd when grown-ass women, or wannabe women, adopt those sorts of behaviors. It seems like intentional self-infantilization, a way of cutting oneself down so as to appear submissive. No wonder it appeals to gender worshippers.”

- notexactlycosmo via paleotrees

Definitely. All socially-sanctioned femininity seems kind of weirdly performative to me (although I have grown my hair long, I do sometimes wear dresses and/or jewelry, and I do worry about my face/body to certain extents, so I’m by no means “totally butch”) – especially this kind. The wide-eyed, Zooey Deschanel, pouty-child fauxmininity.

I mean, come on, we get that they don’t respect us at all, but I hope they at least respect themselves … right? And, no.