Dear writers who use the term ‘femininity’

Dear writers who use the term ‘femininity’

Dear writers who use the term ‘femininity’

Next time you find yourself set to write the term masculine or feminine – ask yourself what are you actually trying to convey?

Are you talking about sex stereotypes? Are you talking about subordinate vs dominant behaviours? Are you talking about sub-cultures? Are you talking about stereotypical socialisation or mannerism? Are you trying to sell tampons by using the blue ink demonstration?

Try to find a specific definition of what you mean by ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ – then, use that word instead.

The terms ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’, despite their prolific use, actually have no substantive basis, as evidenced by decades of empirical research.

When you erroneously apply the term ‘feminine’ you are helping to justify the misogynistic notion that women are inherently different – and as such weaker or inferior in some way.

There is no need to ’empower femininity’ because ‘femininity’ doesn’t actually exist.

Terms like femininity become an endorsement of inequality, as they perpetuate the false notion that women are somehow psychologically disparate from males.

The terms are intellectually redundant and serve no purpose other than to mask the reality of women’s subordination.

Authors and feminists do a disservice to women by using the terms masculine or feminine in place of more definitive, rigorous terms.

The terms often seem to be used as a discursive method to mask the limitations of their authors knowledge, even authors who spend entire books trying to justify their existence.

Alternatively, they are used by FMCG’s who mask the ‘yucky’ reality of female menstruation by calling it ‘feminine’. Delightful.


Surely authors, and especially ‘feminist’ authors ought to be a step above this sexist agenda? The terms feminine and masculine are intellectually lazy and serve to undermine women. If you aren’t a crappy tampon company, you need not use them.

2 thoughts on “Dear writers who use the term ‘femininity’

  1. This is really important to me. As you know I’m a tarot reader and I’m fascinated by so much of the archetypes within the tarot system but so often they’re reduced to femininity and masculinity when a more rigorous examination of what these things mean is necessary. These words are cheap substitutes for a whole complexity of human behavior and ways of being.

    1. So true! I have a friend who is quite informed on spirituality/ healing and so on, he often refers to ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’.. I picked him up on it and told him that was stereotyping, he explained that he only meant it in an ‘energetic’ sense. What does feminine energy vs masculine energy mean though? Apparently feminine energy is more nurturing and warm, ha! So its an energetic sex stereotype. Its funny how deeply these archetypes are embedded.
      Its also curious how gender theorists refute the idea of a sex binary yet continually reinforce the binary of feminine – masculine. Lol. Don’t go there hey 😉

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