"we can consider the relationship between the negativity of the figure of the feminist killjoy and how certain bodies are ‘encountered’ as being negative. marilyn frye argues that oppression involves the requirement that you show signs of being happy with the situation in which you find yourself. as she puts it, 'it is often a requirement upon oppressed people that we smile and be cheerful. if we comply, we signal our docility and our acquiescence in our situation.' to be oppressed requires you to show signs of happiness, as signs of being or having been adjusted. as a result, for frye, ‘anything but the sunniest countenance exposes us to being perceived as mean, bitter, angry or dangerous’…
…to be recognized as a feminist is to be assigned to a difficult category and a category of difficulty. you are ‘already read’ as ‘not easy to get along with’ when you name yourself as a feminist. you have to show that you are not difficult through displaying signs of good will and happiness.”
—sarah ahmed in the “feminist killjoys” chapter in the promise of happiness
this isnt just about being the cool girl. its also about feminist emotional subterfuge and an indication of why radical vulnerability is intimately connected to male privilege.