It is time, internet, that I confessed something. I'm a huge nerd. Also, I'm entirely addicted to caffeine, but that is neither here nor there. I'm sure some of you suspected me, about the nerdiness (and the caffeine,) but it is time that I reveal to you the extent of my nerdiness.
I'm the kind of nerd who willingly goes to book conferences. Most recently, the Young Readers Symposium. My love of books is so great that I am willing to drive down to PROVO of all places, to meet my favorite authors, listen to them speak, and in general, develop huge girl crushes, (and a few equally platonic I-love-your-writing dude crushes) on most of the writers I encounter.
I even stand in line to meet them. I stood in line to meet Linda Sue Park . I gushed like a tween at a Jonas Brothers Concert.
I also buy their books. And other books. And more books. After listening to a talk by Jessica Day George , I bought two of her books. Because anyone who makes jokes about having ADD/being inherently lazy/having a useless humanities degree probably writes the kind of books I want to read. And guess what? I was right.
Beyond being funny though (which she was, uproariously,) she also said something interesting. I haven't stopped thinking about it, and now I want to discuss it with you.
Here we go.
In the question and answer part of her talk, someone mentioned how much they appreciated George's creation of strong female characters, who remain feminine while still having adventures.
George responded very adamantly that she believed a girl "shouldn't have to cut her hair or dress like a boy in order to have adventures."
And I agree with her. Girls shouldn't have to cut their hair or dress like a boy in order to be powerful or adventuresome. Hilary Clinton didn't have to wear those awful suits.
But is that what being feminine means? Is it all about dresses or long hair?* I don't know if you've noticed, but the style of femininity is very much in vogue right now. Seriously. Look around. Everybody is wearing skirts, and pearls are "in" again, and wedges and "vintage" swimsuits. And Everyone Loves Being Feminine. Magazines talk about adding "feminine" details to your wardrobe. People praise Michelle Obama for dressing very feminine despite her "athletic" frame. Feminine.
But are you no longer feminine if you stop/ just don't wear skirts? I guess I worry about the added emphasis our culture has recently placed on looking feminine instead of being feminine.
I find it especially odd, since I don't really self-identify as a feminine person. I certainly don't identify as masculine, and I am wearing a skirt right now, but I have never considered myself a "feminine" person. What am I missing? Is the concept of femininity even real? I am reminded now of the sociologists who argue that races didn't exist before we created them as a social construct. Did we invent the social construct of femininity?
Is it as simple as wearing a dress while having an adventure?
What does the phrase "being feminine" mean to you?
*I feel the need to make it very clear that I do not mean to imply that Jessica Day George has a simplistic view of femininity, or that I don't like her. I have an enormous writer-crush on her, and her speech thing rocked my world.
Thus, this blog just represents questions from my own head. The end.