Lolita x Feminism = Parfait Doll

The borderland between feminism and cute//kawaii/feminine/girly culture is one that I’ve thought about for a long time. My blog is one long document of struggle. If you look back through the pages you’ll see literary scholarship parsed with doll announcements. Even some of my Zombuki dolls are feminist revisions of anti-woman myths (Leda and the Swan, the Crane Wife). However I still feel that, were I to blog about, oh say, a new Hello Kitty Re-Ment set, it would somehow throw my legitimacy as a “serious” scholar, educator, artist, and perhaps even feminist into question. I need to get over this.

The amazing feminist lolita blog Parfait Doll does a stunning job of navigating this space. She is clearly a brilliant young woman who absolutely feels that her lolita lifestyle is perfectly in step with her feminism. She is a hero. Here is an excerpt from her spotlight of Subversive Kawaii:

Just because I’m cute and enjoy cute things, doesn’t mean you can walk on me. Just because I like pink and ribbons and glitter, doesn’t mean I’ll stand for being treated like a little girl without opinions of my own. Here’s the thing. When I am angry and have choice words and hand gestures for Paul Ryan on my television set, I am tired of being told to act like a lady and express my anger in a more respectful way. I don’t owe these guys my respect. I am five foot two, I have pink hair and I am wearing a tiara and I do not have to show you respect if I choose not to. I do not have to play nice.

First of all: applause! Second of all, I need to be able to get to this place of comfort with myself. Reading her blog I realize that I’m not there yet, and I need to be. Having (now wanting to have) pink hair, loving Hello Kitty, collecting dolls, and watching children’s movies (or regular sitcoms, but things without violence/drama) has led to a a lot personal criticism: that I am a baby, a child, that I don’t want to grow up, or that I want to be Japanese. I need to tell those people to bite me. Bowing to it, not publishing Hello Kitty next to scholarship, letting it effect me, letting it change how I act or what I do, it all tells those people that they are right, that I should change, that I am the problem instead of them.

I need to work on this, and I am going to, and if you at all get where I’m coming from go subscribe to Parfait Doll, I think you will really enjoy it.

2 thoughts on “Lolita x Feminism = Parfait Doll

  1. Yaisha says:

    As far as being judged by guys:
    I don’t really think we get too much extra guff from guys for being a ☆*+.’~*KaWAii~pRinCeSs*~’.+*☆彡
    If we were kick ass lawyers or CEOs then we would just be ball busting bitches. If we were stay at home Moms we would just be go-make-me-a-sandwich baby factories. If we wear make-up and short skirts we are sex dolls and if we don’t we are just useless. I think generally women are on a lesser level in the back of guys’ minds even if they are not aware of it. Even if they are trying like hell to fight it, it’s just drilled into their heads by society.

    As far as being judged by girls:
    Any time I get shit from a girl about my dolls/toys/etc I honestly think they are jealous. I see the eyes light up when women our age see Hello Kitty stuff in the store. There have been so many times where I see a mother in a store trying to talk their kid into a different toy because they want to have it. (and I don’t mean like not wanting to get them Bratz, I saw a lady force her daughter to get a Disney princess pookalooz instead of Minnie Mouse one) We all watched Care Bears and My Little Ponies as kids! (lol) As 80’s kids we were bombarded with so much experimental tv advertising.

    When someone is different it makes other people really nervous and they start attacking. For example, if you are the only one not drinking in a group of friends they will try so hard just to get you to take a sip. By being different you are automatically judging their choices. (I hide that I stopped eating meat because people can’t wait to whip up a shit storm about vegitarians) I’ve actually thought a lot about it and I think all judgement could stem from the fear of being judged. I don’t think anyone actually gives a shit what other people do! XD

    I think if someone wanted to be taken seriously by everyone they would need at least a dozen different personas. So unless someone is only trying to look impressive to one very specific group of people (which is what most seem to do) it might be better to not worry about it.

    Oops, sorry, I typed a lot! Your articles are very thought provoking!

    • First, thank you! I absolutely love your comment. I’ll write a better response later – I’m in the middle of homework at the moment – but on the drinking thing: I had a friend that just didn’t want to drink, people would pressure him a lot, so I told him just to say he was a recovering alcoholic. He gave it a go and it worked, not only was he not pressured that night, but not ever again by anyone who was there.

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