Man, I Feel Like a Woman…Wait, What is a Woman Supposed to Feel Like?

Interesting thought process I have going on this week.  So the other day, I dressed up a little bit for no reason in particular.  I wore my jean skirt  with a cute cardigan and my knee-high black boots with a little heel on them.  I felt pretty good, I felt like I looked pretty good. I was with another TA who said he could tell that I don’t wear heels very often (which I don’t) because of the way I was standing in them or something.  Then he asked me if wearing heels made me feel like a woman.  For some reason this struck me as wierd, and I have been thinking about the implications of his question for a while now.  Do I feel like a woman?  What exactly is a woman supposed to feel like?  Is wearing a skirt and heels a necessary condition for feeling like a woman?  Who decides what a woman is supposed to feel like?  Can I not feel like a woman if I am not wearing heels? These thoughts have been parading around my head for a couple of days now and I don’t know that I know how to answer them.  The feminist in me thinks that I can and should feel like a woman in any context.  Then again, another part of me thinks that if really wanted to take control of my identity as a woman I would come up with my own definition of what it means to be a woman and not pay any attention to what society says a woman is supposed to be or to look like.  I don’t have an answer, but the question definately got me thinking.  I’m curious to know what you think…


2 responses

  1. How thought-provoking!

    I obviously feel much more feminine in a pretty dress and heels than I do in jeans and Keens. But how much of that is the societal norm having been imprinted on me, and how much of it is really my own motivation?

    I think – for me at least – it’s probably more my own motivation. Allegedly, when I was about a year old, my mom would take me into the Jones Store and all the frilly little baby dresses, and I’d go “OOH! OOH! OOH!” trying to grab at them. And I’d wail when she took me away. At a year old, surely I was too young to have been influenced by any societal influence, right? (I really don’t know the answer to this)

  2. Clearly, the idea of femininity being tied to high heels and skirts was a male one. A woman, especially one with high arches, would never have made those shoes up. Every inch I scoot toward professionalism, the angrier I get at “professional dress” for women. I should be able to wear a suit, tie, and well-fitting shoes just like boys. Or we could boys in high heels. I would be okay with that.

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