This old chestnut (that feminism has encouraged women to be “unfeminine”, whatever that is) does the rounds every so often. What it means is that the complainant believes that (1) women are no longer sufficiently subservient and “ladylike” and (2) women are no longer unquestioningly and categorically receptive to men’s advances. (That is, that feminism has reinforced for women that they can say no.) I particularly like the discussion of receptivity below.

From thehathorlegacy:

Here’s something I’ve heard a lot in my years on the planet:

“Feminism was a nightmare”¦Women lost this feminine side by trying to be feminists. I’m totally against this. I think that we are different genders, so we have to get the best of ourselves.”
–Paulo Coelho, via The F-word

This concept has got to be bleary eyed and wrinkly with age and never getting a good night’s rest. Let’s pick it apart almost word by word:

  • I’m not “trying” to be a feminist. I am a feminist by definition because I believe in equal opportunities for people regardless of gender.
  • This “feminine side” you claim I lost is merely a construct: like that girls should like pink and baby dolls while boys should like blue and action figures with guns. The world I live in is a lot more interesting than that.
  • Believing I deserve the same rights and freedoms as men does not prevent me from liking pink or baby dolls. Like most people, I have some traits people like this guy would classify as “feminine” and others that are “masculine”.
  • Believing I deserve the same rights and freedoms as men is the way for me to “get the best of myself”, to paraphrase.

If you’re wondering what this guy is on about, it’s receptivity. When actresses tell us the writers felt their character needed to show a soft side, that never means that she’s going to fall for a guy and go after him. No, it means she’s going to be receptive to a guy’s advances. It can’t even mean she’s going to become crazy about a child that needs her and take on unexpected motherhood, because children by definition can’t be aggressors. You’re not a real woman, according to Coelho and people who think like him, unless you’re receptive to a man. Specifically, a man acting as an aggressor.

Let’s consider precisely why this is so deeply warped it borders on abuse to even entertain the notion.

On thehathorlegacy.

(Orig. posted on feimineach.com)

Today in misogyny: On how feminism supposedly destroys femininity (according to Paulo Coelho)