Change Your World-NOT your Body

Friday, March 5, 2010

Female (Butch) "Masculinity"????

A Femme friend recently sent me a boatload of Femme/Butch writings/publications dating from the last 15 years aka post-queer theory. Besides the shit loads of general inaccuracies and ignorance's there was one distinct ignorant inaccuracy that ran straight through every single piece: the application of "masculinity" as a descriptor of the nature of Butch women. That is not to say that there wasnt also the ignorant inaccuracy of hetero-femininity being liberally applied to Femme lesbians, but that is another post for a different day.

For all of Queer Theory's Pat Robertson aggressive pulpit preaching of gender "fluidity", once you strip off the white collar from around their preachy necks and toss their gender troubled bible into the nearest fire pit you are basically left with the very same hetero-normative patriarchal confines of gender that Queer Theory claims to have been subverting since Queer Theory first broke and illegally entered Lesbian Theory's backdoor in the early 90's.

Queer Theory's slight of hand revealing no trick at all, may be a great crowd pleaser to the ashamed, unhappy, depressed, miserable wannabe special snowflake worshipers, but it has seriously harmed through its deception the Femme/Butch community with its underlying hetero-normative male/female role requirements/expectations/pressures/demands of our community beginning with the notion of Butch as "masculine female"!

There is an unimaginative laziness that like the slight of hand Queer Theory uses with regards to gender that it uses also with words/language.  It pretends to be creative and utilitarian with redefinitions of the meanings of already well established  words, which gives Queer Theory this hip happening cutting edge glitter that colours and memorizes its multi ID'd worshipers, which unfortunately has spread into our community with hopes, promises and validations most of us (especially Butch women) have never had. And often times even when those validations ring false, it is better than no ringing at all. So that when the notion of a "female masculinity" arose, Butch women felt a sense that they were understood and finally SEEN. Women so desperate to be seen they didnt bother to see the falsehood of such notions, nor worse, the misogyny. Most were too busy believing they were "redefining masculinity" to include them as women.

None questioned and still aren't questioning why they feel the need to be included into "masculinity" in the first place! Queer Theory's Pete and repeat and repeat some more "gender fluidity" clearly fails here, when it, like hetero-normative society can only think/live in binary categories such as "masculine" and "feminine" in relation to how men and women appear. Literally as I'm working on this post, as I sit here right this very minute the perfect example of what I'm babbling about takes place. A woman just friended me on Facebook. I check to see if it is someone I know. She isnt. I send her a message asking why she has friended me. She says she thought she knew me. That I dont buy, but thats not my point. I ask her if she knows I'm a woman/Butch lesbian because she lists herself as "straight" and here is her response capped:

Actually I do not look "masculine" at all, let alone "more than a man". I may look/be butcher than men, but certainly not masculine/more masculine than men. But she can only see/think in hetero-normative ideas of masculinity/femininity-male/female because that is the dominant thought regardless of the tens of thousands whose brand of masculinity/femininity goes unseen-such as Butch women's. I just looked up masculinity in my wordweb dictionary and here is what it says:

Well as a Butch WOman, I clearly do not possess male "characteristics"; I do not posses strong odors, excessive body hair, course body hair and skin, pronounced jaw line, large feet/hands, larger skull/bones to list a few. The fact is, if we were to take a dozen or so Butch women and a dozen or so non Butch woman, all of various fitness levels, put a bag over the heads of all and asked your average person in the street are these bodies "masculine" or "feminine", I've no doubt all would be considered "feminine" bodied. We could do the same experiment and instead of a dozen Butch women, replace them with a dozen FtM women and we would get quite different answers. It would be obvious the ftM women weren't men, but the effects of years of testosterone use and body carvings would give the impression "masculinity" aka "masculine women".

FtMISOGYNYST and sports women who take steroids are the only true "female masculines", NOT Butch women. I do not take steroids nor am I an ftMISOGYNYST. Butchness is the prime characteristic of my being Butch. Any women (or man for that matter) could inject all the "T" in the world and they will never acquire "butchness". Because being a Butch woman is the absolute requirement of butchness. When ftMISOGYNYST begin injecting "T" into their female systems, the changes that occur are characteristics of masculinity, NOT characteristics of Butch. Even those ftMISOGYNIST that were Butch, lose their butchness by way of masculinity's maleness effects. When the category of "masculinity" is applied to Butch women or when Butch women apply the category of "masculinity" to themselves, Butches are in effect ignorantly being put/putting themselves into the same category as ftMISOGYNYST. Which goes strengthens the idea of Butch as a version of male and butchness as a version of masculinity, both of which neither are as we're women.

Queer Theory may being Houdini-ing the queer alphabet at the moment, but dont let it fool you. There is a rabbit in the fucking hat because the rabbit was put there long before it made its way up onto fucking stage! Queer Theory is a proponent of the more things change, the more things stay the same, the more things must BE changed in order to stay the same! Dont be fooled. If you are a Butch woman or love a Butch woman, validate her butchness, yes. But do so with the legitimacy of her as a woman, and not as the illegitimacy of her as an other/male.

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  1. Wow, all I can say is WOW Dirt. You've really thought through this one. I've always thought of myself as a tomboy/masculine female, till I grew up and became and came out as a Butch Dyke, with masculine/mannish tendencies, liking all the man things, male clothes, pants, leather, uniforms, watches, roles ect. compared to more feminine women. There are those that asked if I wanted to be a dude/man, and I thought about that, but I don't want their body hair, their appendage, or to have my body parts removed or on hormones the rest of my life.

    What I DO want is to be treated 100% equally to men, and not be denied ANY opportunity because of my femaleness, and because it doesn't 'fit' hetero society. I don't necessarily want my femaleness erased. Before I came out, I did, but when I came out, fortunately I came out with some strong Dyke women, some of them Butch mentors who gave me PRIDE in being Female, our long and proud and resistant HERSTORY, vs the lies we've been told over and over again about being the 'weaker sex'.

    In fact, in many ways we're the stronger one, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and even physically. I watched Joan Benoit enter the stadium during the Olympics after her marathon, what endurance, and that women have more endurance than men in many areas. We may not have the same muscle mass, but we certainly have the brainpower, which has been so often denied us to live up to our full potential...because of sexism.

    Who wouldn't want to imitate men after being denied all one's life?
    But WE ARE NOT men, and I don't want ANY Butch to feel she has to erase her femaleness to survive.

    AGain, while I won't take on the term femininity, for me, Butch=Amazon, and I'm ALL AMAZON. We take up our space in ways many women do not....and we don't back down like our Amazon forebearers, and we are lovers of women, and yes, our FEMALENESS!

    Keep on keeping on......Dirt...and everyone else. I wont' have my Butchness, my Dykeness, my Amazonness, or my Femaleness erased!
    -In Sisterhood,

  2. Yeah, and like you, I am more Butch than many men, say, like almost all the male figure skaters in the Olympics! But still...I'm all WOMON!

  3. I was thinking about lesbian invisibility in the census yesterday, and am trying to think how to counter it. I am tempted to answer "Amazon" to the race-and-ethnicity question.


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