“Femaleness” Instead of Femininity

4 Apr

As previously discussed in my post Femme Identity & Me, the term feminine doesn’t always sit well with me, as it seems to imply conformity with preconceived notions of “what it means to be a woman.” This also definitely applies to the term “femininity” in my eyes.

The term “femaleness,” was proposed by Feminist Spiritualists in the book Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America by Cynthia Eller. This term rejects the patriarchal, societal and traditional ideas around femininity and what it means to be a woman, and describes these things as female traits beyond conformity. I love this concept. The rejection of feminine traits and attributes as being a construct of patriarchal society and reclaiming these as female / woman traits from a female / woman perspective.

However, I have found myself using the term femininity in my blog posts around femme identity. Perhaps using the term femininity in the context of the femme gender identity, and the queered nature of femininity in this identity sits better with me. I have taken ownership of the word and I express it how I want to.

I am planning to explore Feminist Spirituality more.

Reference
Eller, Cynthia (1993) Living in the Lap of the Goddess: The Feminist Spirituality Movement in America, Crossroad Publishing Company, USA

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