This is a highly requested tutorial for how to put an image in front of a gifset. (IMAGE HERE) You can either do this with a picture that will cover the entirety of the middle (bottom to top) or just a logo that settles in the middle as I’m doing here. If you have any questions please message me preferably off anon and I will be more than happy to assist you!
What are your feels about weaponized femininity btw. I'm uncomfortable with the notion but I can't place why?
Um. Complicated because I don’t really know how to approach it without getting attacked on all sides on this site. Like, I don’t see wearing makeup or being conventionally feminine as inherently powerful but at the same time, I don’t think they’re all solely tools of the patriarchy. Women aren’t just tools of the machine they have thoughts and feelings and can make their own decisions and it’s condescending and obnoxious to tell individual women they’re wrong for existing in a certain way although it’s definitely valid to criticize the system responsible for these things.
I was talking to rebeccablithelys about this but I think that it’s important to separate individual women from the societal pressures we face because like I’ve said, just because a girl feels shame and sadness for like losing her virginity because she’s been conditioned to, that doesn’t mean her feelings aren’t valid and should be addressed. I think that in weaponizing our femininity, we shouldn’t be required to abandon all the aspects of ourselves that are scorned and derided and solely present the facade that’s attractive to men.
I honestly hate the idea of the “femme fatale who eats men like a cannibal and wears bright red lipstick and sashays in her heels without caring what people think.” That’s not attainable in so many ways, I’m not talking about the beauty privilege or the class privilege that’s innate in that, but it’s extremely blockheaded to hold not having feelings as inherently feministic because guess what!!!!! Women’s feelings have been derided as hysterical and worthy of censure since the dawn of time. I absolutely hate how it’s somehow seen as inferior to a) have feelings that aren’t universally likable or appealing and b) be mentally ill and therefore weak. I mean, real life women who are sad with a capital S like Lana del Rey and Sylvia Plath exist and their existence isn’t antifeminist just because they’re open wounds and not weaponizing their femininity in suitable ways since mental illness affects women in profound ways and demanding they stop being that way so they’re appropriately strong is just really fucked up.
Not to mention I really loathe the criticism of weaponized femininity a lot of the time because it doesn’t come from a place of critique, it comes from a place of bitterness and jealousy that they can’t fit into the aesthetic. And I don’t mean to be rude, but that’s the truth of it. Like, if you’re going to call it racist, you have to acknowledge that women in non-Western countries have been applying ornamentation and “weaponizing their femininity” since the dawn of time. When I go to India the women in my family and I pick out jewelry and brightly colored clothes for hours on end because it’s a deep rooted part of our culture, detached from the desire to fit into patriarchal, white standards of beauty which is decidedly an element to skin whitening creams etc. but not at that level. If you haven’t read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I’d really recommend her work about global feminism which was far more relatable to me than a lot of the American focused stuff I see on here. I’d specially rec Americanah which is just fantastic. Anyway, this is an article about her in Elle, and this passage is important:
I had learned a lesson about Western culture: Women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance. For serious women writers in particular, it was better not to dress well at all, and if you did, then it was best to pretend that you had not put much thought into it. If you spoke of fashion, it had to be either with apology or with the slightest of sneers. The further your choices were from the mainstream, the better. The only circumstance under which caring about clothes was acceptable was when making a statement, creating an image of some sort to be edgy, eclectic, counterculture. It could not merely be about taking pleasure in clothes.
See, I’m a woman who legitimately takes pleasure in clothing, in shoes, in braiding back my bangs in intricate ways. I’m not saying that it’s fair that my brand of femininity is far less criticized than if I was for instance, fat and short haired, but at the same time, I don’t agree with a lot of radical feminists that femininity is all a pretense because my identity isn't artificial. Constructed based on societal influences is different than blindly dismissing it as false. Like, I complain about being hit on by guys not really at bars or at parties since that’s something I’ve grown to expect and it’s obnoxious sometimes but I can deal with it. But it’s something I have to deal with in daily life, in academics, in work, at the coffee place that I now avoid like the plague and I can’t weaponize my femininity and use that to my advantage since they already see me solely as an object. I’m not attempting to be a sexual person, I’m not trying to flirt, but for some reason, I resemble those “femme fatales” who lead men on and it just disturbs me because I don’t know, we conflate women with wanting agency with women being succubi and it’s disgusting.
Not to mention, when people are viewing characters like Cersei Lannister or Medea as successful instances of weaponized femininity? L M A O. I mean, I’m going to bring out the Plath again and say “being born a woman is an awful tragedy.” Cersei tries to use her sexuality and what does it do? Result in her being publicly shamed and losing because in a society that codifies women’s sexuality in its doctrine, women can’t win no matter how much people want to fuck them. And Medea? Jesus christ people really shouldn’t be glorifying her murdering her own kids as a prime example of why femininity is scary sexy. It’s because of the patriarchy she becomes so deranged in the first place losing all semblence of reason, and she goes through the play dealing with so many conflicted feelings and unlike many other broody male antiheroes, she doesn’t just self aggrandize and muse poetic about self forgiveness, she acts and she faces the physical and emotional consequences of her actions full on. If I never have to see some sort of awful high heels blood red lipstick “ha ha ha killing men is so sexy” photoset about Medea again, that would be great.
Like, also I’ve been talking about Taylor Swift a lot recently. Honestly people like her more now not only because she’s grown up with her views regarding feminism and other women and all which is really great and valid of praise, but also because she isn’t so “stupidly feminine” regarding love. “Wow she’s making a satire on killing boys instead of being dumb and stupid and girly and loving them.” Do you see how fucked up that mentality is? Love is not a bad thing! Feelings are not bad! Even when they’re ugly and painful and visceral and make us seem weak because guess what! We’re human beings and I want that humanity acknowledged as valid. My issue with weaponized femininity is honestly more about the underlying sentiments behind it and disturbance at how it reeks of a sort of internalized misogyny than being defensive or condemning about the aesthetics and there are obviously issues with that too which other people can better articulate.
tl. dr women in all their multitudes are valid! Individual women and their issues are more important than overarching societal views on feminism and what’s “right.” I care more about the teenage girl crying her eyes out because a boy didn’t call her than I do about bloggers on the internet throwing vitriol at each other on why their faves are problematic and being self righteous in their so-called feminism while they spend more time alienating people than actually making differences in the lives of individual people. It doesn’t matter whether they’re tall or short or black or white or beautiful or ugly or quiet or outspoken. We all have places in our society and we all deserve to take up space.