Reading: Race and female masculinity

Like many people I watched (and loved to bits) the HBO series The Wire. I particularly liked the character Felicia ‘Snoop’ Pearson (played by herself) in series 5.

 

I think what I really liked about Snoop was her ambiguity, the quiteness about her, and her strength. I also loved that she was a strong female character, who presented aspects of very traditional masculinity.  It was of Snoop that I first thought of when I came across this great article a while back on Clutch – about the standards of beauty and femininity among POC, and it poses some great questions about where the body and gender intersect – for example;

Female masculinity remains a touchy issue for many women, mainly because it often intersects with hard conversations about gender and sexuality norms. Yet this conversation is necessary and also represents a reflection of the deepest fears about ourselves.

Imagine having your womanhood questioned. Picture having your self-identified gender rejected by society. Could you take being criticized for your lack of femininity? Perhaps you’re masculine by choice, but what if it’s simply by nature. Your muscles bulge in all the wrong “woman” places. Your body simply doesn’t curve like that coke bottle. It may be like a large, long plank of wood. Despite all of this, you still bask in being a woman and wish that other women would accept you into this sacred community.

Good stuff, and I think it’s great to see this kind of discussion that challenges ‘normal’  gender identities. Keep it coming!

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