Robert W. Mitchell and Alan L. Ellis
heterosexual in their gender-related attributions. The current study examined the effect of labeling two men as cat persons, dog persons, gay, heterosexual, or adopted on undergraduates’ perceptions of these men’s gender-related personality attributes (masculinity, femininity) and likability (for comparison
This chapter focuses on the notion that particular ways of understanding femininity have been historically ‘othered’ within critical gender theory. From Pamela Robertson’s discussions of female ‘camp,’ that positions women embracing feminine excess against a backdrop of male homosexuality, to Angela McRobbie’s critique of pleasure-seeking women whom she dubs ‘phallic girls,’ this chapter examines why masculinity readings are often privileged as a marker of resistance to hegemonic notions of femininity and why some aspects of the category of femininity are often not in and of themselves considered as centralising concepts for analyses of gender. Along these lines, this chapter focuses on two central premises: first, within contemporary feminist writing, femininity is often viewed as symbolically representative of oppression and/or symptomatic of a problematic post-feminist raunch culture; second, queer theory perspectives allow for different viewpoints on the same phenomena as that considered within feminist writing (such as interrogating raunch culture) but tend to offer readings that predominately focus on appropriations of masculinity as markers of female resistance, rather than considering the subversive potential of femininity per se. Following from these premises, this chapter explores the rise of the queer femme movement as exemplary of offering accounts of gender resistance wherein femininity is a central standalone concept, without recourse to questions of masculinity. This chapter contributes to a limited but growing body of research that focuses on femme identity, and extends analysis to more general critiques of femininity being made outside of queer theoretical approaches in academia. Investigation of writing on femme reveals at once a sense of resistance to hegemonic gender norms whilst simultaneously recovering some aspects of femininity from a theoretical positioning as ‘other.’ However, this chapter also raises questions regarding the possible re-inscription of new queer hegemonies that femme writing is at risk of instantiating. In particular, the problem of dominant and overarching empowerment narratives in recuperating femininity as worthy of investigation is considered.
BellaNaija.com, a popular Nigerian lifestyle website, presents images of young Nigerians, mostly women, stylishly dressed at local ‘red carpet’ events. Pseudonymous users post comments variously celebrating or critiquing these women’s dress, hair, make-up, accessories and/or bodies. Indeed, the website incites such gendered surveillance through features such as ‘Pick Your Fave,’ where users are asked to judge which of two women spotted in the same outfit wore it better. In this chapter, I present a discursive analysis of such user comments on BellaNaija.com. I argue that they serve to construct and police new styles of femininity in Nigeria. They do so by subjecting the images on the website to intense scrutiny and to affective judgements of fashionability. Yet I show that these judgements are fluid and contested while, for the women pictured, a fashionable feminine identity is also unstable and impossible to definitively achieve because iterative and contingent upon the gaze of others. As such, the user comments on BellaNaija have the effect of inciting and normalising feminine hyper-attention to appearance, and hence the relentless labour of self-stylisation and self-monitoring that this entails.
Häusner, Sophie and Ulbrich, Claudia
Like masculinity, femininity is a cultural construct manufactured in discourses and social practices. The concept relates to a principle that emerged in the 19th century of a gender order in which the feminine was opposed to the masculine and naturalized. In this context, femininity was on the one
Gender Politics and Folklore Performance in Serbia
and their culturally sanctioned femininity waver and transform in this relatively stable political atmosphere. The opposition of the ‘Madonna-whore’ binary is perhaps the best terminology to describe Thai femininity in this decade. 7 Kan Phatthana and Women The disparity between social strata, class
Korea’s First Woman President and Her Political Leadership
argument of Phillips, namely, the importance of symbolic recognition. Although Park’s “femininity without feminism” inevitably led to the negligence of gender politics in her government, she contributed to the elevation of women’s social status through various unintended consequences. Indeed, Park’s mere
Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity and the (Im-)Moralization of Urban Femininities in Contemporary Kinshasa
important Charismatic leader in Kinshasa. Obviously she could not tell her fiancé, but she was happy with this solution since it would allow her to stay in touch with other men. This vignette brings together the two main topics of this article: Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity and urban femininities