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Dictionary.com defines Feminine as this:

1. Pertaining to a woman or girl: feminine beauty; feminine dress. 

2. having qualities traditionally ascribed to women, as sensitivity or gentleness. 

3. Effeminate; womanish: a man with a feminine walk. 

4. Belonging to the female sex; female: feminine staff members.   

A website online gave tips for how to become more feminine: these tips were:

  1. Take care of your hair and make sure it smells good. It’s okay if your hair is slightly frizzy or imperfect, as long as it is not stringy and/or greasy. Also, try to keep your hair out of your face.
  2. Only wear as much makeup as you need. Always have powder handy wherever you go. Keep make-up minimal. You decide how much, but TOO much isn’t very attractive. Many may view you as insecure and in reality not very beautiful, as you have so much to cover up. If you use more then 10 minutes in front of the mirror, you should think about toning it down.
  3. Wear neat but conservative clothes. Really short skirts come across as slutty, not feminine.
  4. Don’t be loud and obnoxious.
  5. Don’t fish for compliments. Be confident even if you aren’t completely happy with yourself. Even if you aren’t the prettiest or skinniest girl, if you believe in yourself, chances are it will have a positive effect.
  6. Remove unattractive body hair. Wax your upper lip if necessary and tweeze your eyebrows.
  7. Be confident and happy. Nothing is more beautiful than a smiling woman.
  8. Try not to use profanities. We all do it, but if you could make a sailor blush, you should think about toning it down.
  9. Be aware of your body posture. Chin up high, straight in the back and think positive thoughts.
  10. Intelligence is a big one. Most people like smart women who are able to have a discussion about something. Don’t make yourself dumb.

       http://www.wikihow.com/Be-FeminineFinally a test online ask questions that would determine how feminine you are the questions were: 

You love to shop. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never  

Gossiping about celebrities and friends is a fun way to pass the time. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never  

You are squeamish about rodents, spiders, and blood. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never  

You would rather be a fashion designer than a fighter pilot. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never  

When you get sad, you tend to break down and cry. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never  

 You enjoy beauty for its own sake. You like to be surrounded by beautiful things. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never  

You enjoy a good romantic story – true or fictional. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never 

 If someone disagrees strongly with you, your first instinct is change the subject or compromise. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never  You tend to judge people based on what your intuition tells you. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never  

You think that working with children or animals could be very fulfilling. Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never

These three websites all define Feminine in a way that is very stereotypical. It calls for women to completely conform to their gender role and become the perfect housewife. The online quiz applies aspects of a “women’s live” to what makes her feminine. She is suppose to be afraid of bugs, love shopping, when in a fight try to compromise, have a thing referred to as a “intuition” love children. All of these images of feminine have consequences for those who do not fit into the norm. Girls, who like to play outside, be adventurous, are considered tomboys; Boys who like fashion, like to bake and are nurturing are said to be feminine and are rejecting their male roles. It seems that this idea as to what it means to be feminine is very confining and has terrible implications for the future,  because it reinforces what is means to be a “women” and what it means to not, therefore only furthering male supremacy. It is alright to want to wear a dress, and to wear pink, but it is not ok to be expected to act feminine and be looked down upon for not conforming.

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Gender roles

Gender roles are specific activities or behavior norms that are gendered for males or females. Gender roles can be very problematic because it requires people to conform into their roles in order to not been seen as an outcast. Gender roles are sprung on children from the start. If you are a little girl, you should want to help your mother in the kitchen and play with dolls. If you are a boy you are encouraged to go play outside, play with tool and toy guns. Boys are to show more aggression and be more self dependent. Then as people get older they are still required to fit in these certain gender roles. Women should want to have children, should cook clean and take care of the children. Men are required to make the money and to do outside chores such as mowing the lawn.            

But what happened to people who do not fit in either one of these male or female categories. There are many people in our country and around the world who are inter-sexed and do not fit in the male or female gender. It is almost required that these children be given a gender in order to apply gender roles to them. Society is confused and scared when children do not have a gender. This is because gender roles are so prevalent in our society. If we cannot dress our child in blue or a pink dress we are confused how to interact with the child. I believe gender roles are the first assertion of male supremacy and are the root to sexism, because they require that everyone conform and play their specific role.

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Bridge is a person who relays knowledge to those who do not understand on issues and experiences of sexism, racism, and other oppressions that women face, in order to educate and unify the feminist movement. A bridge is a very important person because without women helping others to understand subjects that they might have not experience or will never experience helps deepen a women’s understanding of her political or social standing. Without knowledge the feminist movement would be lost.            

Donna Rushin write in her poem, ‘The Bridge Poem” that she is sick of being everyone’s translator, and to go find another source of information (Rushin, 173).  I would ask her, if the collaboration of women allows women to find a deeper understanding of sexism furthering the unity of women; wouldn’t a better understanding of racism, allow for women to have a deeper understanding of other oppressors that affect women. Therefore bringing a more rounded political view of oppression, to the collective group? Knowledge is the only way for women to become aware of oppressions. Women studies has broadened my understanding of feminism. It not only has enlightened me enough to notice the oppression in my own life, but also oppression I observe. Feminism is no long a word that sends images of radical lesbians who run around with non shaven under arms and legs, who hate men. But feminism is a collective struggle to educate one another, and be proud of being a woman.

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Global Feminism

Global feminism is the idea that women all around the world will unite together as one, to fight the male supremacy. Robin Morgan the author of “Sisterhood is Global” states assumes that all women around the world are the same and have the same goals and views of oppression. This idea that global feminism can transcend the world seems unattainable; because that would mean that everyone would have to have the same goals. Although this idea of global feminism is a hopeful movement, it seems impossible that such a culturally diverse world to unite as one.

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I’d like to start out with an example of comparison because that is how we ultimately view difference. Let’s compare apples and oranges and find their differences. One is red and one is orange. One has a core and one does not. Does that make one better than the other? We compare two kinds of people/things and point out what is not similar between the two in order to find difference. That which is not similar is difference.

There seems to be an issue of hierarchy involved when we speak of difference, because one is typically “better” than the other. The one side that is not as good, is the one that is considered of lesser value and therefor it’s the different one. The idea behind difference is finding things that one side has and that the other side is missing. It’s comparing two people or objects, like apples and oranges, or men and women, and pointing out what makes one unlike the other. Many people view this word in a negative way because they often times see difference as an area where two sides struggle to agree. This negative connotation that accompanies difference is not necessary. Being different from someone is not a bad thing or an issue of being unequal to the other.

Scott mentions the Sears case as an example in her essay and how: “Difference was substituted for inequality, the appropriate antithesis of equality, becoming inequality’s explanation and legitimation.” There is this desire for difference to be connected with inequality or equality. Why is there the need to connect something that is different with something that is unequal? The two things being compared, such as man and woman, are only able to be different because the other exists. So aren’t they in turn equal? This idea that “I’m a woman because I’m not a man” wouldn’t be comparable if not for the both of them.

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“Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender” -Alice Walker

Womanism is a feminist term coined by Alice Walker. It is a reaction to the realization that “feminism” does not encompass the perspectives Black women. It is a feminism that is “stronger in color”, nearly identical to “Black Feminism”. However, Womanism does not need to be prefaced by the word “Black”, the word automatically concerns black women. A Womanist is a woman who loves women and appreciates women’s culture and power as something that is incorporated into the world as a whole. Womanism addresses the racist and classist aspects of white feminism and actively opposes separatist ideologies. It includes the word “man”, recognizing that Black men are an integral part of Black women’s lives as their children, lovers, and family members. Womanism accounts for the ways in which black women support and empower black men, and serves as a tool for understanding the Black woman’s relationship to men as different from the white woman’s. It seeks to acnowledge and praise the sexual power of Black women while recognizing a history of sexual violence. This perspective is often used as a means for analyzing Black Women’s literature, as it marks the place where race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect. Womanism is unique because it does not necessarily imply any political position or value system other than the honoring of Black women’s strength and experiences. Because it recognizes that women are survivors in a world that is oppressive on multiple platforms, it seeks to celebrate the ways in which women negotiate these oppressions in their individual lives.

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A standpoint is ones perspective or stance and how one views an issue. A person’s standpoint is shaped by many influences such as a person’s race, class, culture, and gender. Because of this, it’s difficult to have a standpoint that is not biased due to these outside forces.

Hartsock talks about the “feminist standpoint” and “how womens lives differ systematically and structurally from those of men.” This idea that women’s lives differ from men is to say that women therefor experience the world and society around them differently, and it has an affect on their standpoint. A feminist standpoint is one that examines and sheds light on womens oppression and views the oppression as something that needs to be changed.

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A ranking system that organizes itself based on arbitrary values. Hierarchies posit one kind of thing at the “top” of the system and have a set list of gradations that end at a “bottom” point. What is at the “top” is generally what has the most power and that which is at the “bottom” has the least power, and is a poor subsititute for the highest ranking thing. Hierarchies allow people to view other human beings as if they exist on a “scale”, making it easy to identify the value (or worth) of someone based on how far away or close they are to the highest point. Race and gender hierarchies are often justified with concepts such as evolution and mental or physical difference. Hierarchies exist within all social spheres and vary according to the culture and values of each group.They can be dependent on multiple determinants; for example, a straight white male (the authority) might be at the top of someone’s hierarchical scale and a black lesbian woman (the subordinate) might be at their bottom. A gay white male could be posited as higher than a gay black male because “white” and “male” are factors that make up the person at the top of the scale. Hierarchies contribute to a narrow world view and both form and are formed by oppressive ideologies, making them ultimately untrustworthy.

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a strong hatred and fear of homosexual people. According to Audre Lorde who wrote “I am your sister: black women organizing across sexualities”, “Homophobia—a terror surrounding feelings of love for members of the same sex and thereby a hatred of those feelings in others”. It means ignoring homosexual people’s identity and lack of understanding the differences of preference. Lorde expresses that “it(Homophobia) puts a terrible weapon into the hands of your enemies toward you to silence you, keep you docile and in line”. Homophobia have a power which oppress homosexual people and rob their liberty that is to love members of the same sex. It also keeps homosexual people isolated from society that Heterosexism is dominant. Homophobia don’t separates women in only their daily life, but it also separates women in the field of political movements.

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