On being loud and taking up space

See Lisa Wade’s Gender and the Body Language of Power for a nice discussion of the ways women are socialized to be quiet, demure, and not take up space.

“Philosopher Sandra Lee Bartky once observed that being feminine often means using one’s body to portray powerlessness.  Consider: A feminine person keeps her body small and contained; she makes sure that it doesn’t take up to much space or impose itself.  She walks and sits in tightly packaged ways.  She doesn’t cover the breadth of the sidewalk or expand herself beyond the chair she occupies.”

There is also a new tumblr about men taking up space called Move The Fuck Over, Bro that’s  worth having a look at.

Thanks HLS.

5 thoughts on “On being loud and taking up space

  1. I think it’s important to be careful with our words, here. The comic in Wade’s article is about a trans woman playing with the idea of gender stereotypes: “pulling it off” is partly code for “passing.” So when she sits in a way that our society has coded “masculine,” she’s playing with it. It’s a great cartoon.

    However, to say that the way she sits “is feminine” is to start messing things up. There’s nothing inherently masculine in any given behaviour (and, by extension, anything inherently feminine in any given behaviour). HOWEVER, our society has rather clearly *coded* various behaviours and forms of body comportment as masculine or feminine.

    I want us to do better at keeping these separate.

  2. […] Move the Fuck Over, Bro is a Tumblr page dedicated to talking about “how men systemically take up space in a way that continues to perpetuate privilege, systemic oppression, and violence.” And yes, that is a real thing. I picked up both these links from Feminist Philosophers. […]

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