Why is femininity a weakness?
Gender in today’s politics
Men and women have major biological differences in their makeup. We are not the same, so, as a feminist (not man hater/make-up hater/promoter of female supremacy), I struggle when the fight for gender equality starts to look like a fight for gender sameness.
Take a look at the two female candidates who are (were) running for the presidential nomination: Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina. Look specifically at how they dress. They wear pant suits, have short haircuts, and they never wear dangly earrings, only studs. These fashion choices were not made simply out of personal preference. They were chosen to help these women compete with masculine power image that dominates politics.
Don’t see it? Well, according to SNL Hilary Clinton looks like Kim Jong-un:
Let’s think about this though. Would you elect a woman with long hair who wore a fancy dress with lace, stilettos, and bright red lip stick during political debates the president of the United States? Or, would you think that her attire was unprofessional? Would she seem strong enough to lead a country?
Would you elect a homosexual man with feminine mannerisms?
Femininity seems to spend a lot of time conforming to masculine gender bias.
Gender equality does not mean gender sameness. Men and women can be different AND equal. Women conforming to society’s current power structure only causes traditionally female traits to be undermined.
My hope is for women to embrace the fact that they are inherently different from men and to acknowledge the strength that comes from diversity of thought, action, and opinion that is rooted, in part, in our biological differences. If men and women RESPECTED the naturally differing skill sets that each gender possesses, those skills could be valued in all contexts instead of defining each skill set’s value situationally. We could live in a country that was run with emotional intelligence as well as aggressive leadership styles. We could raise human beings who can cook for themselves and who also know how to fix the flapper valves in their toilets (thanks dad).
There is room for us to embrace our natural tendencies and simultaneously object to the rigidity of traditional gender roles.