When you have the time, I would like it if you could tell me how *you* came to understand all of these things in the face of queer theory and all this stuff that's flying around out there. Did you used to buy into the same ideas - "they're just trapped in a (x's) body" and all that? If not, how is it that you didn't?
A Femme friend asked me these questions in a recent email and I thought I would answer her here as my answers might be beneficial to other Femmes and Butches just seeking out Femme/Butch spaces or coming into their Femme/Butch identities.
When I first came onto the Femme/Butch "scene", I was in my mid thirties and out of an 8 year relationship. What I found was more or less a milder version of "butch/femme" of the one that is out there right now. Milder in the sense that there were less Mtf/FtM's, a few less "he/him/hyms" and less over all blatant misogyny in general. Did I buy for a minute that there were some who were "trapped in the wrong body"? Of course not. While not having the expert knowledge I currently hold, I did have the basic common sense to know how absolutely ridiculous and impossible such nonsense was. I did quickly find out that there were some very ignorant and backwards people out there thinking and supporting otherwise to the sad determent of others. For a spell and to illustrate the ridiculousness of the whole "born in the wrong body" nonsense was, I did proclaim I too was born in the wrong body. That I was really a millionaire trapped in a paupers body only I hadnt figured out which body parts needed to be hacked off in order for me to received my desired millionaire bodyrific results....lol
As far as the "male ID'd" nonsense, it quickly became apparent the women most adamant about being "male ID'd" werent Butch at all, but your run of the mill tweener dykes whom are still those primarily using male terms to over compensate for their lack of butchness as well as the same women who are primarily trannifying. As a Butch this stuff was quite obvious to me, I probably hadnt thought through the hows and whys of it to the extent I have now, but I could see pretty clearly through the bullshit within a short time.
When at first checking out these forums and communities I had the feelings of an uncomfortableness.
This may sound extreme, but it is fitting I think, its kinda like when we're children and adults are explaining "good touch/bad touch". We KNOW intimately in our deep selves when we experience even the mildest form of "bad touch", no matter the age. We may not be able to explain it or put it into language, but we KNOW this is just NOT right. And thats the feeling I got straight away when I first began getting into the Femme/Butch scene. I think that is what needs to be pressed to new/young Femmes and Butches, if it feels wrong, it is because it is! Here I had defended myself sex since about age three, and now as an adult I was expected to just give myself up on being a proud Butch woman and pretend to be a fucking cowardly second rate man? WHA? After all the hetero-normative bullshit I grew up gagging on, the struggles, the embarrassments, the fucking "sir's", the ever present Butch shame and to get to a point in life where I finally felt how unique and awesome I as a Butch woman am, and then to think great, bonus I found "community" as well, only to discover what in fact I found was the fucking Twilight Zone instead!
So to the Femme who posed the question and to anyone Femme or Butch new to Femme/Butch, the short of it is, if it feels wrong, feels like that "bad touch" you were warned about as a child, it is because it is. Like your mom told you as a kid, if anyone tries to "bad touch" you, run away and come tell mommy.
If any of you feel that sense of "bad touch" in the current Femme/Butch state, dont be afraid to tell/talk/ask your mommy dirt.