9 March 2006
A lot of social life is about performing roles. What feminism might not be able to speak to is that playing a social or theatrical role feelingly is a way of sounding out the self. When you, Marianne, perform reactive femininity in the face of dominant masculinity how much does it permeate all levels of your consciousness? Are women who enjoy having doors held open for them and who enjoy being notionally shielded from the road side of the pavement [sidewalk] going to embody the weaker sex in all of their performances? I don't know, but code-switching only works with people who know what you're doing. And if gentlemanly conduct is a daily practice which draws its meaningfulness from the heroic self-actualisation of those rare moments where the strength disparity is critical, then your logic makes the ladylike counterpart role a preparation for a telos of transcendence in passivity.