Change Your World-NOT your Body

Monday, March 29, 2010

True Femme

Just as I regularly publicly strip off the male-centric hetero-istic gloss covering over much of our Femme/Butch nations, revealing the true Femme/Butch body politic hidden underneath. I feel I must also publicly illuminate occasional individual shadows cast in comments here. In one such recent comment a radical butch claiming to have full understanding of Femme/Butch couplings said she had no interest in Femme's who complain when they break a nail or in Femme's who do not "pass". And that because she values equality within a relationship she prefers "butch on butch" relationships hinting that Femme's in general do not pull their weight within Femme/Butch relationships and if they do its because they happen to be "dykey femmes" (her words not mine). Not only is this misogynistic and sexist, it is completely untrue!

You may get tired of me reiterating this kinda thing but before I continue due to all the ignorance floating about out there, when I say Femme I'm speaking solely of Femme lesbians who couple with Butch lesbians and not all the fucked up straight women co-opting Femme space and Femme identity. 

I know our own individual experiences/lives colour and inform how we experience everything. But with any group despite how we as individuals with individual experiences interpret meaning, there still remain the solids that the group formed itself around to begin with. Of the Femme/Butch community that I have known(in some cases the world over) for the past 20+ years despite the temporary "queer" surface deceptions, the solids, the foundations are still intact. The Femmes I know and have known have always "passed" as heterosexual. Hence the dilemma and discussion that has been ongoing for over 60 years concerning "Femme Invisibility"!  Passing can take the form of make up, heels, skirts and dresses or flats, jeans and Tshirts without make up if your are Femme. I've known Femmes to change a flat tire with manicured nails, 4 inch heels and a short skirt, Femme electricians, Femme chefs, Femme body builders, Femme construction workers. Femme is about BEING, not DOING! Why is it that lesbians are always so quick to slam, undermine and just plain pick on Femmes? Are they so threatened by a feminine lesbians skills, presence and power??? And I cant say I have seen a Femme with long nails, kinda defeats the purpose of being lesbian (wink wink) if you know what I mean, so the breaking nail thing I cant speak to.

Inequality with Femme/Butch relationships by Femmes on the other hand? That I definitely can speak to, starting with its just plain false! I wont go into detail (my blog is littered with them) of the myriad of difficulties Femmes endure in their relationships with Butches but believe me you they are numerous and often difficult with no quick fixes! Femmes in general not ONLY pull their own weight but usually more than half of their Butch's weight as well! And I am not Butch blaming, I'm Butch reporting. As Butch women still very much invisible and invisible to each other especially growing up we tow a hard lonely road that is only made worth it where our Femmes have paved the fucking way! Where our Femmes have put in sidewalks, and built and furnished homes for us, planted trees and flowers and given us the sun and moon! Where all we Butches have to do in return is give our Femmes our smile, our hand, our hearts, ourselves. And within those gestures the true Femme calls it equal.

But this privileged Femme experience is one that ONLY the capital B Butch is privy to. For that I am truly blessed to have been born a capital B Butch!

capital D Dirt                   
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  1. "A friend is another self," and I believe that lesbian love is the deepest, most intimate, and most natural expression of female friendship.

    Butch and femme are real, but let's remember, these are not opposites; these are two expressions of our shared universal womanhood.

    The ways two women can give to each other, and can strengthen each other, can be more subtle than the differences between butch and femme. Now I'll admit I have never known Butch/Femme; I am joyfully in-between. So from where I stand it seems perfectly natural for some butches, who take pride in their butch female energy, to be drawn to similar energy in butch or femme partners.

  2. Not Butch blaming, butch reporting...I really like that.
    Amazing how much of the fur flies just because lesbians report on women, not blame them.

    Refreshing and true!

  3. I dont pretty up the truth for anyone including myself and the issues I have and face as a Butch woman. Were I to do that it wouldnt be truth, nor would there be a chance to grow from that truth.

    Blaming Butch nature for society's ignorance of it, isnt going to help Butch women.


  4. Historically, in Native American tribes, their revered medicine men/women were "two-spirit" - they were homosexuals, treated with great respect. It was considered a normal part of life.

    I am a two-spirit, although I am not a full-blood and not a medicine woman.

  5. Edel,

    Unfortunately, non-native writers have used the term to describe different concepts among different peoples.

    When one writer discusses one Native American people, he or she may use two-spirit to describe how that culture sees lesbian and gay people in general. When another writer discusses another Native American people, he or she may use two-spirit to describe how that culture sees butch lesbians or another narrower category. When another writer discusses another Native American people, he or she may use two-spirit to describe how that culture sees androgynous or gender-variant people.

    Some trans activists have picked up on the term two-spirit.

    I think it's important to use terms that emphasize butch femaleness and separate Butch from male and trans. I think, like MasterAmazon, that Amazon is better for this than two-spirit. But the Amazons describe a whole society, whether real or idealized. Butch is one of many parts of female community; every part is equally Amazon.


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