First off, Happy December!
As much as I love the magic of December, I’ve had something weighing heavy on me over the past few days that’s not December or Christmas-related. So settle in Reader-friends: Allison has a few things to say tonight.
Last November I wrote a post about reconnecting to my femininity. I decided to re-read it, which you all can do here, to see if the thoughts I was having last year are similar to what I’ve been feeling the past few days. I was expecting tonight’s post to be a complete departure from what I thought back then.
To my surprise, the main points still stand. I still have no desire to mule at work or be stuck in a relationship where the guy and I are practicing role reversal. If I ever decide to date again, a self-assured man who knows he is and is comfortable in his own masculinity is a non-negotiable. Self and soul-care are priorities – albeit the way self-care has played out over the past year has been something – as is feeling connected within myself and my own feelings of being a woman. Granted, the way I thought it would look last November versus how it actually looked over the past year wasn’t even close to what I imagined, but progress is progress. I’ll take it.
However, I gotta be honest with you all. If you ever decide to venture down the rabbit hole that is femininity channels on YouTube or one of the numerous social media accounts about femininity, you’re going to need a fine-tooth comb to separate the wisdom from the fraudulence or questionable rhetoric. And I’ve stumbled across a lot of stuff that sent my spidey senses off.
Allison’s adventures on YouTube
First off, a warning to any of you ladies who might be interested in femininity, leveling up or soft living/traditional lifestyle channels (there tends to be a lot of overlap online between the three.) Over the past five years, there’s been an increase in social media channels that call it traditional living or femininity, and these channels are geared towards women in their late teens/early-to-mid 20s who feel burnt out on the rat race of life and hustle culture. On the surface everything seems Disney saccharine and completely harmless.
However, a lot of the content creators behind the channels have been linked to white supremacist accounts. There was one channel I started watching in early 2020. She was a young, somewhat newly married housewife and her content was geared towards women who didn’t feel like the typical narrative for many young woman – go to college, jump into the white collar world, do it all, be it all! – applied to them, like they didn’t fit in. Her stuff resonated with me since at that time I was so unhappy with OldJob, and was starting to wonder if I was trying to jam the square peg of myself into a round hole.
Eventually I stumbled across some channels that were critical of this specific creator. My first thought was to blow the critics off, but then I decided to watch them anyway. Reader-friends, these weren’t jealous haters eating sour grapes. The white nationalist dog whistles that I never even noticed – and how would I? I don’t subscribe to that ideology, nor do I hang out with people who would – were pointed out and I couldn’t not see them. In fact, a lot of the white women behind the femininity channels have been linked or straight up affiliate themselves with either white nationalist ideology, Christian fundamentalism that holds some pretty archaic and insulting views towards women, or self-proclaimed Red Pill men who go beyond criticizing societal behaviors into obvious, ugly misogyny.
I stopped watching those channels right away.
Then I decided to look into femininity channels about leveling up without so much emphasis on traditionalism or promoting for the homemaker/motherhood route as a for-everyone option. Leveling up sounded good, and is something most people would benefit from. Many of the leveling-up channels that I still listen to and recommend are the work of black women. Now I’m whiter than sour cream, and obviously the content creators will discuss issues that have historically affected black women, which I have no firsthand experience with since I’m a white chick raised in the boondocks. Yet the wisdom passed along is excellent for anyone – black, white, whoever you are.
My favorite channels are Chloe_, who also leads discussions on hypergamy and is a champion of women healing themselves from past traumas and creating the best lives for themselves; Dr. Michelle Daf, who’s a goldmine on femininity, leveling up, marriage, motherhood and career; and Felicia of The Feminine Fancy, who loves cottagecore and talking about simple living. Those three channels are my favorites. Chloe_ is witty and hilarious, Dr. Daf is such a warm presence who genuinely wants to help and lift her subscribers up, and Felicia talks like you’ve known each other for a while and it’s a nice “girl talk.”
However, there are a ton of “leveling up” and femininity channels/accounts that aren’t without their questionable moments. Or hell, questionable everything.
I’m going just come out and say it – there are a ton of content creators who are straight-up promoting being a sugar baby or a high-end call girl. I’m sorry, but – to quote an account I stumbled upon the other day – a man “should” spoil you on the first date, with trips overseas, private jets and all kinds of expensive presents right off the bat? How many men are really going to do that out of the kindness of their hearts? How many of the women in that life aren’t exploited or hurt by these same men on a regular basis? Unless our hypothetical woman is equally wealthy to our hypothetical guy, there’s a power imbalance and the men know it. Hopefully the guy is a genuinely good man who does want to take care of her, but frankly, I don’t have a lot of faith in the men who lead with superficiality and sparkly promises off the bat. And I really think the women who go along with this are either naïve or so desensitized that there’s no way it won’t emotionally or mentally affect them later in life.
I think you all have figured out what I think of the arrangement “relationships.” Moving on…
Then you have leveling up/femininity accounts that do promote marriage, but talk about the relationships between men and women in strictly transactional terms. In other words, does he make/have a lot of money and is he bending over backwards to blow it on you from Day One? I understand that most women at some point will want to get married, and that a lot of the leveling up content is geared towards leveling up so you can marry a high-earning provider. Which is fine and dandy – I have no problem there and frankly, if I had decided to have children, I would have sought the guy who could support me being an at-home mom during the first five years of my hypothetical child’s life. Not saying he has to be rich, but it would be a priority to me that we have the means to support a family on one income, and more importantly for a husband to be supportive of a wife at home with the baby during those fundamental early years. Emotional support is just as if not more important that financial.
But the fact the criteria for men only seems to be his paycheck. Maybe I’m thinking too deeply about this, but I do worry that this kind of stuff could inspire younger women to overlook serious problems and red flags in order to secure the bag. There is a saying about the golden rule – whoever has the gold makes the rules, and if you’ve tied yourself to a financially abusive partner, let’s hope there’s friends and family who can help you out of it. Or else one of these women might become the inspiration for a Carrie Underwood song.
So to bring it home …
I’m still glad I decided to reconnect my own femininity and start nurturing myself again. So from then to now hasn’t been a bust, and I have to give credit where credit is due. The initial channels on my femininity journey were helpful and did jump start the process of healing the inner child wound, cutting the fluff out of my life that was getting in the way of my purpose and affecting how I view myself, and helping me to re-center in a way I hadn’t been centered in a long time.
However, I’m disappointed that for the few channels that are full of wisdom, there’s so much “femininity” stuff that’s geared towards the most superficial parts of being a woman – hair and makeup and nails and clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I wear all of that and love it, but it’s such a small part of me and every other woman that to make our appearance the main if not only thing is truly an insult.
As for the extra emphasis on men, primarily bagging a high-earning one above all else? It’s fine to be the woman who wants to get married to a specific kind of man, but frankly rich husband acquisition/ “find me a man or bust” gets so much emphasis on a lot of these channels that really shouldn’t be about men at all. The main motivator for reconnecting to our femininity and creating a better life should always be for us as women. It’s about re-centering, healing whatever hurts we’ve had to carry and then come back stronger than ever for ourselves and those around us. The men and people we’re around can benefit, but the motivation has to be intrinsic for any growth to be lasting and change to be real.
So Reader-friends, with all that being said, I’m going to be taking a break from the femininity channels. I’ve learned what I needed to initially learn, and now I’m going to be on my way to better, happier and whole.
Yours in writing and life,