Boys will be boys, so girls will be girls: the resurgence of femininity among single women

Author Affiliation

Summer Qassim is Lecturer at Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Was this content written or created while at IBA?


Document Type


Source Publication

Advances in Gender Research




Social and Behavioral Sciences


Purpose: This chapter examines the resurgence of femininity among Euro- American women who do so under the guidance of a dating coach for success in heteronormative relationships. I set this analysis against Sheryl Sandberg's concept of "leaning in" at the workplace and older strains of feminist theory in order to analyze, contextualize, and situate the dating group's engagement with and resistance to feminist theory. Methodology/Approach: My argument comes from a narrative and content analysis of the dating coach's blog, public access forum, and data from following the group's Facebook members-only group from January 2016 to January 2017. Findings: Katarina Phang's dating group both rejects and engages with feminist theory. It is very similar to the neoliberal vision of female embodimentin three key ways. The group's techniques also reference older variants of feminist theory, specifically Virginia Woolf's and second wave feminist proponents of "consciousness-raising." Research Implications: In a "postfeminist" period, researchers have reported a contradiction of a conception of feminism co-existing with a desire for a traditional heteronormative relationship. Phang's dating philosophy fills and outlines this space neatly. Social Implications: The cultural resurgence of femininity re-inscribes the gender binary and re-invokes polarized conceptions of gender within heteronormative relationships as well as re-invokes older variants of feminist theory. Originality/Value: No such study of this dating group has been conducted, nor attention to the resurgence of femininity among Euro-American women with desire as the prime motivator.

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