Dear Self: You know better. DON'T. READ. THE FUCKING COMMENTS.

I've been spending some spare time lately fucking around on Experience Project, a social networking site designed around connecting people not by geographical location, or demographics, but by shared experiences.  You join groups that are all titled "I have [$EXPERIENCE]" - "gotten divorced" or "gone skydiving" or something like that - and you always know that within the group you're talking about something you all know.  It's interesting.

Well, EP has a "questions" section, where people post random questions and other people answer them, vote for their favorite answers, reply to other answers, etc.  It's slightly above the level of YouTube comments.  Most of the time.  I'm developing a reputation as a feminist killjoy* because I slap down bullshit with glee and don't let people get away with shit when they're arguing with me.  This pleases me greatly.  ^_^

Today, I was browsing around, and came across the question "How do you define a 'real lady'?"

Oh, shit.  So I waded right in.

My initial reply: "Do you identify as a woman?" "Yes" "Are you okay with being called a lady?" "Yes" - there you go, that's how you define a real lady.  I'm not a lady, because I fcking HATE that term (considering its history of being used to judge and restrict "appropriate" standards of female behavior) and will vehemently correct anyone who tries to call me a lady, real or otherwise.  Tautology it may be, but a "real lady" is simply a person who identifies as a lady. 
Another reply: "A female with self-control, who is quick to hold her tongue.  She delights in everything lovely and feminine and she isn't afraid to speak her mind when needed.  Compassion and passion are two of her best qualities, along with nurturing, serving others, unselfishness and poise.  She is passionate about her beliefs and she accomplishes anything she puts her mind to.  Her peers respect her for being truly female." with my next comment nested underneath as a response: "...ew.  Thank you for reinforcing that I am NOT, and do not EVER want to be, a "lady".  Notice how it basically requires you to STFU, put yourself last, and treat yourself as if you matter less than other people?  Yeah no.  If it means hewing to ancient, restrictive, patriarchal stereotypes of "appropriate" womanhood...all aboard the Nope Train to Fuck-that-ville."  and another response saying "Well said", although since EP only nests to a single level, it's unclear whether they're commending the OP or my response to it.
There is not enough EW in the world for that OP.  I notice that "speak her mind" is qualified with "when needed", which is in the passive voice, raising the question, who decides when it's needed?  (Hint: it's never the woman doing the speaking.)  We then get three different synonyms for "Put other people's needs ahead of your own at all times, you come last," and end with gender policing.  I think I need a shower.

Another comment: "Treats others and expects to be treated with respect, compassion, has strength and dignity, humor."
See, this is not a bad definition.  I'm still never going to back it myself, because it still involves an arbitrary definition against which a person can be measured and "disqualified", but it's at least closer to just a measure of a good person than archaic gender roles.

Another comment: "Feminine, charming, romantic, sentimental, motherly, refrains from gossip, independent when the need arises, smart and willing to please her man in bed."
Oh, gross, another one.  "Feminine" - how are we defining that?  It's one of those arbitrary things that, like "when needed", is never judged by the person performing the action, but always judged by the male opinions around her.  "Motherly" - oh goody, here we go with the biological essentialism and reducing women to their uteruses (whether they have them or not, etc).  "Refrains from gossip" - so uh, men get to gossip without restriction or something?  Ooh look, "when needed" rears its head again!  And then the kicker, "willing to please her man in bed."  Heteronormative, assumes active sexuality and dating, places female sexuality subordinated in service to male sexual desires, and I notice there's nothing about eager to receive reciprocal pleasure...Guess men don't need to please their ladies in bed.  Gods, I'm glad I not a lady!  More orgasms for me!

Like I said - slightly above the level of YouTube comments sections.  Between this one and the "ZOMG OBESITYZZZ" and "TEH GAYZZ IN MILITARY" questions I've also been playing whack-a-dumbfuck with, I'm about tapped out for the day.

Feminist killjoy, out.

*I actually just ordered this necklace today.  I'm so excited for it!  I also ordered a literal flying fuck.


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