redefining femininity

So ever since the I read/watched the Popularity Poll Arc, I had been wanting Sorachi to delve more into Kyuubei and Tsukuyo’s dynamic. I already loved their friendship. He’d place hints of their similarities here and there - whenever there’d be a Gintama ladies-focused chapter, he’d subtly show that Tsukuyo, Sacchan, Tae, Kagura, and Kyuubei often get together and hang out. But I wanted more. And chapters 619-620 finally gave me what I wanted (I still want more since their bonding got unfairly interrupted when that Dakini injured Kyuubei, but I digress). 

Kyuubei and Tsukki both have complex relationships with “womanhood” and Japanese notions of classical femininity. Both of them have, in their respective ways, discarded themselves of it. Kyuubei was raised as a man because her wealthy family, that has served the Bakufu for generations, needed a male heir. Tsukuyo was convinced to cast off her femininity because a “traditionally feminine” woman could not protect other women. 

They both have physical scarring to show this symbolic separation. When Kyuubei sacrifices her eye to protect Tae, and when Tsukki scars her own face after Jiraia tells her to, they both detach themselves from femininity itself. Kyuubei then becomes the famed and prodigious young master of the Yagyuu household, and Tsukuyo becomes the vaunted, fear-inspiring leader of the Hyakka, the all-female combative force that protects the women of Yoshiwara. What’s interesting is that Tsukyuo also welcomes her subordinates into the Hyakka by scarring their faces - not only to protect them from getting caught, but also as another symbolic gesture, continuing what she began as a child. 

Notably, both Kyuubei and Tsukuyo discarded their femininity for two main purposes. The first and more emotional purpose was for the people they love. Kyuubei is in love with Tae, and claims that this is because she has the “heart” of a man, while Tsukuyo, who looks up to and respects Hinowa, wants to protect her from her position as a younger-sister figure. The second purpose, one that points to the self-sacrificing aspects of both of their personalities, was to please the adults in their lives. Now, of course, the circumstances surrounding their traumas are different. Kyuubei was raised in a loving albeit gravely misguided family - while her father and grandfather hurt her by imposing masculinity onto her, they also wanted to protect her. On the other hand, while Jiraia saw his little sister in Tsukuyo, his “love” was obsessive, abusive, and hypocritical. He coerced Tsukuyo into disfiguring her face and discarding her femininity. Though there is a grain of truth in the idea that these two women could not become respective leaders without denying themselves traditional femininity, since intrinsic to misogynistic stereotypes of femininity is the notion that women cannot be protectors, they can only be the protected, they still suffered at the hands of the selfishness of the adults in their lives. 

The way their gender manifests is different as well. It is important to keep in mind that the construction of femininity and of gender are context based. How Westerners conceive of as femininity isn’t necessarily the same thing as how the Japanese conceive of it. That is, thinking that Western terminology can automatically apply to Japanese people is unrealistic. So that being said, Sorachi will never use the word “nonbinary” to describe Kyuubei. However, given that Kyuubei herself has reconciled her gender as “neither man nor woman” and that she still dislikes being touched by men and prioritizes women in her life, it is safe to say that a term like “demigirl” could certainly apply to her. On the other hand, Tsukuyo still uses she/her pronouns for herself and calls herself a woman, but she does not think of herself as feminine. What she means is that she does not conform to the philosophical and emotional core of femininity. She smokes, she curses, she’s a protector, not someone who is protected, and she can’t handle her alcohol well. For her, it’s not about “looking” feminine but rather that she refuses to perform and practice femininity. 

Romantic love is also an interesting aspect of how Kyuubei and Tsukki try to break away from femininity. Both of them are in love - Kyuubei is in love with Tae, and Tsukki is in love with Gintoki. This presents them with difficulties. Kyuubei, despite being “masculine”, is still perceived as a woman by the most important people in her life, by her friends, and by people who know about the circumstances of her birth and childhood. Same-gender attraction, in the context of a town like Kabuki-Cho which operates on mostly heterosexual attraction to gain capital (sex work, host clubs, cabaret bars, etc), is not far-fetched but it’s still shielded and tends to be secretive. At first she reconciles this by saying that she has the “heart” of a man, but that stops working when she reveals to Tae that she wanted to be like the other girls and when the other main characters find out that she isn’t a man. Tsukki, who was told by Jiraia that she should cast of all notions of femininity, believes that loving a man will make her weak. Part of this is because of Jiraia’s abusive upbringing - Tsukuyo does not think about herself. She prioritizes everyone else above her, so she believes that being near Gintoki or even being friends with him will make her emotional and weak and soft. And in her line of work, it is dangerous to become weak. So she initially reconciles this by tamping her feelings down as much as she can, but that stops working when Hinowa and her friends find out and she actually becomes friends with the Yorozuya. 

What’s beautiful is that they both come to terms with their unrequited love. Both of them realize that it’s okay to love someone else and be friends with them. It’s okay to not necessarily get romantic love in return. Kyuubei and Tsukki know that Tae and Gintoki love them. While Kyuubei does not expect Tae to love her back romantically, she will always protect her and be there for her. And while Tsukki knows that Gintoki would not make a good partner, and that he doesn’t want romance in his life (that he is not the type of man who desires such a thing), she will always be his friend and fight by his side. They have made peace with this, and they aren’t ashamed of their feelings anymore, nor are they forcing themselves to hide, warp, or change them. They’ve both been honest with Tae and Gintoki, and their respective relationships have strengthened as a result. Kyuubei knows that it’s okay to be unabashedly herself, and that it’s okay to be a nonbinary woman who loves another woman, and that she doesn’t need to define her gender in a way that conforms to people’s expectations. Tsukki knows that it’s okay to love someone romantically, that it’s okay to rely on others from time to time, and that it’s okay to show weakness and to be the one who’s getting protection rather than doing the protecting for once. 

So to see them come together and fight side-by-side, reaffirming their “womanhoods”, is so empowering. Tsukuyo says “I will always be a woman” and Kyuubei says “after seeing you, I think that I’m glad I was born a woman”. This is the first time that both of them have acknowledged their respective positions in relation to womanhood. But they’ve done so in a positive way, instead of trying to discard their connections to womanhood. They have redefined and reconstructed womanhood/femininity to fit themselves. Tsukki can be a woman, but she doesn’t have to be feminine and she doesn’t have to do “feminine” things. Kyuubei can like her prioritization of woman and her inherent, natural comfort with other women, but she doesn’t have to identify as either a man OR a woman and she doesn’t have to be cis. In this way, they have affirmed each other’s womanhood and affirmed that neither of them have to be feminine or cis to be the women they were always meant to be. And that is the pinnacle of a beautiful w/w friendship, grounded in unique yet mutual experiences and understanding. 

Shout out to the feminine autistics

To the autistic girls, including the transgender ones

To the ones who love swishy skirts, pretty hair clips, ribbons, and bows

To the ones who apply makeup, just for fun, or as a form of art

To the femmes and demigirls and other nonbinary people with a feminine side

To the ones who love pink and/or purple

To those who obsessively hunt for a sensory-friendly type of lace to wear and love

To the ones who sleep with cute stuffed animals

To the autistic women seeking the best life possible for them

To the autistics who define and redefine what femininity means to them

Your autism does not negate your gender or your favorite things. Autism spans all genders and is not exclusively manly or masculine. It is valid to be autistic and girly at the same time.

The Psychology of Wonder Woman (2017)

Last night I saw Wonder Woman in my Wonder Woman pajamas. And it was glorious.

First of all, this movie was great. Like, ok, I had a few issues with how they did the Greek mythology at first, but then I got over myself and enjoyed it for what they did with it (more on that later).

Secondly, as someone with pretty substantial general knowledge about the world of comics, I know that Themyscira, the home of the Amazons, is 100% populated by women. Yet still, STILL, several times I found myself surprised to see a woman playing a traditionally male role. – Oh, that guard is a woman? That’s neat. …Oh wait, I guess that makes sense – How weird is it that it was actually weird for me to see so many women on screen?

                      ***SPOILERS AHEAD SAVE YOURSELF NOW***

Keep reading

Style and beauty expert Mary Alice Stephenson said Bacall helped redefine beauty and femininity in fashion:

“Bacall made it sexy for all women to wear casual clothes. She would wear them in such a glamorous way. She played up her makeup, hair and jewelry, all while wearing pants, button-down shirts, knits and flats.”
There were few who so successfully managed such a sexy masculine edge while also being capable of full-on glam, Steele said.
“She wore the dress or the pants. They didn’t wear her. Some of what she wore didn’t look prim but it might have on others. Sometimes it was conservative-looking, but she wore it with such panache. It was a combination of Hollywood feminine glamour and masculine, androgynous insouciance and power. The only other person I can think of who could do that was Marlene Dietrich.”

Adrienne

“Quantify suffering, you could rule the world.”

I fell in love with the way the wind swept over 

the dunes at night,

Lake Michigan pouring over into wild woods, 

tiny cliffs prostrated against the tender evening sky

My hands would criss-cross the constellations

into the sand, my feet 

echoed prints into sweet clay.

If femininity were redefined,

this is how it would appear, not sweet or sacred

Not everlasting, static, clean, but roughened with a thousand

lashes at the tips, like fingers sprawling

over the pages of a coffee-stained book,

unwritten

is our history, unexplained is our fragility but

unmistakable is the way, these nights

the tips of my fingers 

play into yours 

like wildfire 

2

I never thought i’d post pictures like these on tumblr but I’m proud! I have been growing out my armpit hair for over a month now. I started rejecting my razor during movember; which meant no shaving my legs and armpits. And so my hair grew and grew and grew. And before I knew it, november was over. I got in the shower and shaved my leg hair. But I couldn’t bring myself to shave my armpits. I grew attached to my hairy underarms. I felt beautiful and feminine, despite what I was told to believe about women’s body hair. I was only shaving my armpits before because it was what I was told to do. Wash your body, hair and then shave. No explanation as to why I needed to shave but my brother didn’t. So I obliged because every one of my girlfriends was doing it and I didn’t want to be the hairiest one of my friends because girls weren’t hairy. But as my underarms grew hairier these past couple months I am not surprised to find that I am indeed still a girl, just a girl with a redefined idea of feminine beauty. And kick ass armpit hair. 

The thinly veiled racism and misogyny of men against Serena Williams is infuriating me so much right now. She scares you. She scares the hell out of you because she does not conform to notions of docility expected of Black women. She is successful beyond measure. She wields immense influence. She challenges your authority. So, you try to shame her for her body. You try to police her body by projecting your racist fantasies on her. You try to regain control by sexualizing her body through ludicrous standards of beauty, as if her worth is related to her ability to conform to ideas of beauty. You try to colonize her body once again like you have been doing to women like her since centuries. But she beat you. And you can’t stand that. You can’t stand that a Black woman beat you so bad that now you are a worthless speck in front of her. Her femininity is so powerful, so defiant that it threatens your very being. You couldn’t handle it when another Black (transgender) woman, Laverne Cox, redefined femininity and harnessed the power to influence so many people. The idea that Black women can be role models consumes you. Your very sense of self is tied to the idea that Black women are lower than you and when you see Black women destroy that fantasy of yours, it creates dissonance in your very being. That’s why it hurts you so much. You lost.

Give me girls.
Give me beautiful girls that aren’t thin, white, and busty.
Not that there’s anything wrong with thin, white, or busty.
But please, give me more.
Give me curvy girls, plus-size girls, girls with hips and just a little bit of a tummy. Or a lot of a tummy. Because tummies are cute.
Give me butch girls, girls who cut their hair short and can’t stand heels or dresses but are still beautiful.
Give me buff girls, big girls, girls who like to work out and build their bodies.
Give me girls with muscles, girls redefining what we consider “feminine.”
Give me dark skinned girls who refuse to give up their race and heritage, girls who wear their hair big and long and unashamed, girls who dress according to their tradition and their history.
Give me girls who were born as guys, who might not be fully transitioned yet, who might not look like what society expects girls to look like, but are still beautiful and brave for being who they are.
Give me girls who can’t stand makeup and girls who spend forever putting on their face each morning, because both are gorgeous.
Give me girls who wear dresses and heels and pink, and who destroy the notion that femininity means simplicity or stupidity or submissiveness.
Give me girls in wheelchairs, girls with missing limbs, disabled girls that are a still a whole person, still beautiful, not just a tragedy or a charity case.
Give me tall girls and short girls and girls who never got their curves, girls with hourglass figures and girls as straight as a pole, girls with flat chests and girls with big bodies.
Give me girls who cover up and girls who show it off, and aren’t valued any more or less because of it.
Give me girls who augment their body, girls with piercings and tattoos and brightly colored hair.
Give me girls with scars and girls with stretch marks and cellulite and hair and don’t you dare tell me that any of it takes away from their beauty.
Give me girls who were hurt. Girls who were shunned, rejected, attacked or abused because of who they are. Girls who find themselves excluded from our narrow definition of beauty, girls who spend their entire life caught in the traps of “not good enough.”
“Not thin enough.”
“Not pretty enough. Too much of this, too little of that. Too big, too small, too dark, too loud.”
“Stupid. Stubborn. Ugly. Bitches. Sluts. Prudes. Freaks. Lesbos, dykes, Barbie dolls, skinny bitches, fatties.”
Give me every girl who has ever hated herself, hurt herself, starved herself, denied herself, changed herself, because she was told and she believed that she was flawed.
Give me girls of all races, shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds. And for their sake, for the sake of every girl in this fucked-up imperfect world, lets tell them that they are beautiful.
— 

Give me Girls - A short poem on femininity, self-love, society, and beauty. Contains some strong language.

Dedicated to my lovely, beautiful girlfriend. You are always good enough.

What is up with people desperately trying to redefine gender and femininity? Why are people trying to apply the concept of femininity to their individual, narcissistic feelings & delusional fantasies?

When gender-critical & gender abolitionist women talk about gender, we’re talking about a hierarchical system that forces people into socialised roles. When we talk about femininity we’re talking about the roles that women & girls are coerced into, the behaviours we learn to perform before we’re old enough to walk, all the things we’re taught to do to wax & pluck our bodies, paint & adorn ourselves, to starve & suffer to be beautiful, to shrink ourselves, to silence ourselves, to swallow our anger, to put others’ needs & desires ahead of our own, to make others comfortable at the expense of our own comfort, to support male leadership even when our ideas are better, to believe that men’s desire to fuck us is the source of our self-worth, to accept male jealousy & abuse as expressions of love, and so, so much more incl. things we’re not even conscious of. 

While some specific aspects of femininity vary from culture to culture & change over time, the bedrock of femininity is always the same: fragility, subjugation, masochism, and above all, the accessibility of female bodies for domestic labour & sexual exploitation by males. Femininity is the widely recognised, widely understood, formally valid word for these attributes & behaviours that limit our freedoms & full potential, and this is the reality of so many women’s lives.

You cannot just traipse in and start talking about how you’re personally offended because femininity, to you, means strength & intelligence, how you’re not weak or submissive for liking this or that thing, how you’re a badass femme fatale before whom men tremble and bow down, how femininity is what you want it to be; you can’t just make up your own self-focused definitions & ignore history, sociology, cultural context & plain facts. We cannot communicate meaningfully about any topic if I’m talking about one thing and you’re talking about another thing, effective conversation requires both parties to understand each other, to be on the same page so to speak. Language is important for naming our experiences & describing what is being done to us. If you consider yourself a social activist or human rights advocate or feminist or progressive or whatever, this should be basic knowledge & common sense.

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on feminism? Would you consider yourself one? I'm not sure if I am one because there are a few things I don't agree with like the "free the nipple" thing.

I don’t have a problem with true feminists/ feminism. but what that mainstream media has made it  evolve into, I am 100% not aligned with.

Feminism is a philosophy that advocates equal rights for women and men—socially, politically, economically, and in other ways. Early feminists fought for and won suffrage for women. Today’s feminism goes further than demanding equal treatment of men and women, however. Modern feminists fight for language equality (saying “chairperson” instead of “chairman,” even if the person in question is male) and gender equality (redefining femininity and masculinity). The more radical feminists actively seek to overthrow any vestige of male dominance in society, to the point of opposing the biblical roles of husbands and wives, defending abortion on demand, and promoting lesbianism. Radical feminists deny there is any difference between men and women, teaching that any perceived differences between the sexes are due solely to social conditioning.

Modern feminism is a counterfeit solution to the real issue of the inequality of women in a sinful society. Feminism arrogates to itself the right to demand respect and equality in every aspect of life. Feminism is based in arrogance, and it is the opposite of the call to the born-again believer to be a servant. The modern, militant feminists call women to rise up and rebel against the order that God has given to mankind. That brand of feminism seeks to impose humanistic values in direct opposition to the Word of God. Feminism was originally a positive movement, focused on giving women the basic rights God intends for every human being to have. Tragically, feminism now focuses on destroying all distinctions in the roles of men and women.

The last decades have seen the rise of a society that is so concerned with political correctness and so sensitive to being “offended” that civility has lost its way. However, this is really nothing new, for there has always been inequality in the world. It is sad but true that artificial barriers have always divided humanity—barriers that have no basis in God’s Word. It is sin in the heart that causes inequality. It is sin that causes men to treat women in ways that are meant to demean or objectify them. And it is sin that seeks counterfeit solutions to counteract these inequalities. The only true cure for inequality is obedience to God’s Word. If men and women would walk in obedience to God’s Word, radical feminism would be seen for what it is, and the harmony that God has ordained between men and women would result.

anonymous asked:

Do you not realize that feminism mean equality? Maybe you should watch something besides Fox News and put down your bible long enough to see the real world

If it means equality, feminist would be talking about more issues than their own.

They would talk and “equal” amount about how men don’t really get paternity leave. They would be talking about how many men get raped in prisons every year.

If the draft was something that was still here today, would you be okay with that? I sure as heck wouldn’t want to!

I guess modern day feminist usually just want ‘equality’ when it benefits them. 

We. Are. Different. And that is a good thing. It is to be PRAISED. That DOESN’T mean that one is better than the other, what so ever. 

I won’t EVER put down my bible just to go with the flow of what society wants today. This world isn’t my destination, I am just merely passing through this sinful world trying to be the best that I can be and give God all the glory.  Therefore I won’t conform to this world. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. // Romans 12:2

To be clear, I don’t have a problem with true feminists, but what it has evolved into today, I am 100% not aligned with. 

Feminism is a philosophy that advocates equal rights for women and men—socially, politically, economically, and in other ways. Early feminists fought for and won suffrage for women. Today’s feminism goes further than demanding equal treatment of men and women, however. Modern feminists fight for language equality (saying “chairperson” instead of “chairman,” even if the person in question is male) and gender equality (redefining femininity and masculinity). The more radical feminists actively seek to overthrow any vestige of male dominance in society, to the point of opposing the biblical roles of husbands and wives, defending abortion on demand, and promoting lesbianism. Radical feminists deny there is any difference between men and women, teaching that any perceived differences between the sexes are due solely to social conditioning.

Modern feminism is a counterfeit solution to the real issue of the inequality of women in a sinful society. Feminism arrogates to itself the right to demand respect and equality in every aspect of life. Feminism is based in arrogance, and it is the opposite of the call to the born-again believer to be a servant. The modern, militant feminists call women to rise up and rebel against the order that God has given to mankind. That brand of feminism seeks to impose humanistic values in direct opposition to the Word of God. Feminism was originally a positive movement, focused on giving women the basic rights God intends for every human being to have. Tragically, feminism now focuses on destroying all distinctions in the roles of men and women.

The last decades have seen the rise of a society that is so concerned with political correctness and so sensitive to being “offended” that civility has lost its way. However, this is really nothing new, for there has always been inequality in the world. It is sad but true that artificial barriers have always divided humanity—barriers that have no basis in God’s Word. It is sin in the heart that causes inequality. It is sin that causes men to treat women in ways that are meant to demean or objectify them. And it is sin that seeks counterfeit solutions to counteract these inequalities. The only true cure for inequality is obedience to God’s Word. If men and women would walk in obedience to God’s Word, radical feminism would be seen for what it is, and the harmony that God has ordained between men and women would result.

……

EDIT:

Also…. if you are a Feminist…. and also a Christian…. is this the way to treat a fellow SISTER in CHRIST? Why do you think it is okay as a feminist to belittle other women? It blows my mind and breaks my heart. It goes against everything that a feminist is supposedly for. Encouraging and empowering woman. Should I feel empowered by your message to me….?

Food for thought. 

“Femininity in general is seen as frivolous. People often say feminine people are doing “the most”, meaning that to don a dress, heels, lipstick, and big hair is artifice, fake, and a distraction. But I knew even as a teenager that my femininity was more than just adornments; they were extensions of me, enabling me to express myself and my identity. My body, my clothes, and my makeup are on purpose, just as I am on purpose.”

– Redefining Realness

Femininity in general is seen as frivolous. People often say feminine people are doing “the most”, meaning that to don a dress, heels, lipstick, and big hair is artifice, fake, and a distraction. But I knew even as a teenager that my femininity was more than just adornments; they were extensions of me, enabling me to express myself and my identity. My body, my clothes, and my makeup are on purpose, just as I am on purpose.
—  Janet Mock

Being a woman is a creative experiment. Being a woman is rejecting and subverting popular demarcations of the category “woman.” Embodiment of the female sex takes on many forms and blurs the lines and boundaries of the category itself. In more simplistic terms it’s about redefining words like “feminine” and “femininity,” broadening them, and creatively reworking them through your own embodiment, and by honoring the embodiment of others. I search for archetypal representations of femininity that resonate with my temperament and body type. Being a woman means experiencing and feeling darkness on a regular basis, knowing that you are a target for violence and that people make ideological assumptions about you based on your gender and sexuality that have nothing to do with who you are. Being a woman means being a truth seeker. As a truth seeker you often venture alone. You take arduous and painful paths that deliver honest rewards. You walk into the dark often, trusting that you are not alone, but that you are witnessing the complexities multiplicities of life itself. It means self-preservation and self-protection in celebration of the preservation and protection of all life. It means speaking your truth and expressing what dwells in your bones, understanding that dominant forces will probably not support you.

Emily Jane White on What being a woman means to her

(I might cry)