Monday, March 29, 2010

Feminine Scale

Someone on fatshionista wrote a post about an art project she’s trying to do and it really got me thinking. I don’t want to post too much of the idea since it’s still in the works, but the basic premise is a scale that represents some of the stereotypes that make up the idea of femininity in our society.

Obviously there’s no such thing as a 100% feminine woman (or 0%), but I think the idea is pretty cool. (I’ve been trying to come up with my own project that deals with gender issues but I’ve been drawing blanks.) Coming up with a scale is actually a lot harder then it seems since a lot of stereotypes trade one trait for another, but since she was asking for help I decided to give it a go.

by Rétrofuturs (Hulk4598) / Stéphane Massa-Bidal

The stereotypes that stuck out the most to me are (in order from most feminine to least feminine):

Tease/Stuck up – probably seen as the most feminine but also resented because not sexually available
Whore/Slut – also feminine but sexual availability is seen as a negative
Emotional – seen as feminine but too much so, passive
Soccer Mom – seen as nurturing and feminine but not very sexual/attractive (otherwise the term “MILF” wouldn’t have been needed)
Frigid Bitch – too active/strong willed, not nurturing enough, seen as having little sexuality so is often hypersexualized
Dyke – seen as “masculine” but still retains some sexuality
Harpy/Shrew – no sexuality, strong willed/not passive, opinionated

I feel like I left out something really obvious though. I know each person is going to have a different opinion, but I tried to differentiate between stereotypes and insults (that’s why I didn’t include “cunt”). It’s actually pretty interesting to think about.

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