Searching 'Beyond the One': Exploring European Feminist Practitioners' Relation to Femininity
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The intersection of oppositional and traditional sexism creates an environment where masculinity is seen as strong and natural, while femininity is perceived as weak, vulnerable, even artificial (Serano, 2007). Thus, people who identify with femininity, whether they be biologically male, female, intersex, or trans, are universally demeaned compared to their masculine counterparts. This Master’s thesis aims to explore femininity through identifying different lived experiences of six European feminist practitioners, and highlights the question: is femininity a social construction or a ‘gender core?’ Approaching this question helps one recognize femininity in a masculine world and begins a discussion that seriously considers sexual difference. Through a focus group interview, the women recount their relation to and struggles with femininity to learn together how one can more fully understand the complexity of femininity – through performativity, geopolitical contexts, and age differences – within the broader field of gender studies.