Every day we are facing gender norms and most of the time, we do not realize it. It all revolves around the fact that women need to be as feminine as possible. Body language, choosing words wisely, being stylish is the daily routine. That is nothing if you yourself consider that femininity and want to be like that, but no culture should say that for you, on what to do or how to act, it should be your choice.
Judith Butler is a famous philosopher who coined the term “Performativity” making it popular, this term embodies how we, people from different genders perform in different roles and how we are being perceived by society as a man or a woman. Like it’s an act on stage, and not just by existing but also to say that we have different roles in life. Often, we are not just playing those roles and understanding them, society pushes them on us, we need to socialize as we are social animals and that roles become our true personalities without us noticing and consciously taking it as it is. For example, parents are usually raising girls to play with barbies and boys with trucks, they might like the same things in later life. It’s not 100% that this is going to happen and that it’s influenced by gender roles. There is nothing wrong with raising your child how you were raised, just don’t treat them like a thing and let make their own choices.
There are a couple of harmful ways in how society forces “real femininity” on women on a daily basis. Body language for one, that is imposed to keep your legs closed as tight as possible to show vulnerability, but men sit keeping their legs as far apart as possible to show dominance by taking up a lot of space. Women show more compassion when listening to others and understanding signs like nodding, agreeing and eye contact. Also, crossing legs for a woman means that she is submissive.
When a woman does not have a child, she is always expected to babysit, she is the first suggestion not a man in the same position, to play and like children, being a caretaker. This is an insidious performance for a female, it can lead to woman being expected to work for free.
Women are always being told to smile and be an extrovert, because it is more socially acceptable, not awkward. They need to be cheerful and optimistic at all times, great with hugs and to be cute and sweet. That makes women into people who are fake and forced to act like a puppet. It is OK to be like that, not by force, but by enjoy moments and people. To be loving and sweet as a woman is not a crime, just that this is a gender stereotype. If you are acting differently, it becomes something that is not “normal”. Society makes women hide their emotions, when instead of crying they are supposed to be cheerful and understanding.
I hope you will stay true to yourself and not to others.