With the release of the new Womanizer Go Product I keep seeing people complain about it. I’ve heard everything from “women like things other then lipstick”, to it’s just “not discreet”. All valid points, but from a Femme person who loves lipsticks, can’t I just think this vibrator is cute and want it? I feel almost ashamed to think it’s cute with almost all the other feedback I see online saying it’s silly. I not only love lipstick, and have at least 3 tubes with me at all time, I even have a tattoo of lipstick. So why is a giant lipstick vibe so ridiculous for a Femme to want?
Not only am I a fan of the Womanizer products, I love mint green which their new toy comes in. I can flag “mommy” while I use one of my favorite toys.
The Womanizer products are great because it is not a regular vibrator. Instead, it uses suction, with just a little vibration. There’s a little silicone head that sits over your clit, and when you turn it on it applies suction and vibrates just a little. On your hand it is underwhelming, on your clit another story all together. It is the only toy that can make me orgasm as quickly or as hard.
Now back to my main point. The notion of a feminine person with straight-passing privilege who displays traits commonly associated with femininity, does not fit most people’s’ stereotype of the iconic feminist. It’s 2017 and feminism is still fused with idea that all feminists are bra-burning, butch, man-hating, and against fashion. There are even feminists out there who believe that simply being femme is an act of sympathizing with the oppressors; even a reinforcement of negative feminine stereotypes and not a legitimate feminist expression.
The real roots of femme-shaming comes directly from centuries of misogyny. At the core of femme-shaming is femmephobia, a fear of all things associated with women: their bodies, their sexuality, etc. It reinforces the patriarchal belief that being male and/or masculine is superior, and being female, or feminine, is shameful and inferior.
Let me be very clear here. I am not femme because I am a woman, rather, I am femme because I am a queer feminist who is self-empowered to express herself and make choices according to her personal preferences, even if some of those preferences coincide with the patriarchy’s superficial notions of appropriate feminine behavior. What is more feminist than standing up for the right for women to be and self-identify in ways that honor their authentic selves? Yes, I may like glitter, makeup, and puppies, however, I do so, not as a woman, but as my own self.
For me, using the word “femme” over the descriptor “feminine” is a key component in claiming my queerness. It’s a queerness that has often, because of my pansexuality and feminity, been erased. This experience is one lived by many queer women, especially feminine queer women.