Final Paper

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In Judith Halberstam’s piece “Female Masculinity,” she offers the audience a few potential definitions of the term ‘masculinity’ and how the term applies to “feminine masculinity.” She states that “although we seem to have a difficult time defining masculinity, as a society, we have little trouble recognizing it” (935). Halberstam suggests that female masculinity is often blatantly ignored in culture and studies due to the indifferent feeling often associated with the topic. Halberstam uses her essay to explain a variety of aspects associated with female femininity like tomboys, queer methodologies, and the bathroom problem. Halberstam’s description of the term ‘Tomboys’ is reminiscent of the character Emily Fields from the Pretty Little Liars book series by Sara Shepard. Progressing through middle school with a group of ‘girly’ friends, Emily is easily labeled with the term ‘tomboy’ due to her sporty exterior. Her overly conservative Christian family and classmates see no ‘threat’ or meaning behind Emily’s tomboy appearance because they believe it is just a stage in her life. As soon as Emily enter tenth grade and starts hanging out with a homosexual female, her family and classmates grow concerned about Emily’s masculine looks and behaviors. In the book titled Prettty Little Liars, one of the liars, Emily’s evident masculine ways raises concern to her thesis-go back and fix it .
Emily displays female masculine characteristics from an early age but her appearance, attitude and actions are seen as a phase. In the text Halberstam states that “‘Tomboys’ are described as an extended childhood period of female masculinity. If we are to believe general account of childhood behavior, tomboyism is quite common for girls and does not ge...

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...ld describe possessing female masculinity as “sometimes it codified a unique form of social rebellion” (940). Emily was the young girl in ratty tee shirts while her friends wore Abercrombie shirts and flip-flops. To rebel against the social norms she was accustomed to, she acted like a boy, something no of the other girls dared to do. Growing up in an over protected environment lead Emily to “act out” and embrace her tomboy appearance and behavior. Her physical appearance isn’t assumed as a threat until she reached high school where she is labeled as different after doing something outside of the perfect Rosewood norm. Halberstam states that “although we seem to have a difficult time defining masculinity, as a society, we have little trouble recognizing it” (935). In a perfect town like Rosewood, the teenage Emily’s masculinity is easily recognized. Add a sentence

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