I recently had a young Femme ask if it was normal for Butch women to hold back with their feelings, and had a half dozen Femmes closer to my age recently complain about the same thing with Butch after Butch. Given that this has been and remains a major problem in Femme/Butch relationships I'll address here. So do Butches hold back? Yes. The more difficult question to answer, why do Butches hold back?
I know I've made mention a few times here and there that by and large when it comes to making the first moves (or hell any move), its nearly always Femmes having to do so first. This is where Butch holding back begins, before Femmes and Butches officially even meet. A Butch could be at a club, have a Femme make serious eye contact, walk past said Butch half a dozen times, send a drink over to said Butch and that Butch will not make a single gesture that she's interested until that Femme finally comes over and says "hi". This prime scenario gets repeatedly played out in a multitude ways, even online. A Butch can be DYING to talk to a particular Femme, be given as I said every sign that says "go", permission to cross every street, green lights everywhere and yet remain motionless. Paralyzed to be exact. This is another example where the ignorant myth about how much alike Butches are to men gets shredded and illustrates how those who believe Butches to be like men prove they know nothing whatsoever about us Butches. We can and have had beautiful, sexy, naked willing Femmes at our feet and would like nothing more in this world than to pull them up, kiss, hold, love and make love to them with everything that we are as a living breathing human being and yet we wont make a single move towards her. Not exactly something MEN are known for is it?
But those are the facts and most Femmes know them or will learn them in dealing with Butches. Back to the question of why? The simplest answer is Butch shame and thats where simple ends where Butch women are concerned. I have written about how Butches come to Butch shame, so I'm not going to repeat myself here. What I will say is this, because of Butch shame Butches develop a strong feeling and need to be and stay in control. There is a near pathological fear that if we approach a Femme we would be rebuffed and there is an equal fear even in a relationship when our Femme approaches us to say yes. Both situations, both answers require a loss of control. Our Butch bodies may be screaming at the tops of their lungs for us to let go and lose all control with our Femme partner, but our Butch brains will ultimately keep the brakes on the whole time. A Femme can create the most private loving space for us so that we can hopefully feel comfortable enough to lose that control, and dont think for a minute most Butches arent appreciative of that, dont worship Femmes all the more because of that, we do, but the shame that lies underneath the control you so desperately want us to lose is greater than your loving touch.
What Femmes need to understand, what we Butches need to understand as well is the thing that is informing the Butch shame, which informs our need for control. Weakness. What so many Butch women cannot wrap their Butch brains around is the power of letting go, whether thats sexually, emotionally or both. We cannot understand that power exist in letting go, that maybe the most powerful thing we could ever do in our lives is to let. But losing control feels shameful and shame makes us feel weak aka female. And I'm not talking about those Butches who are so horribly shameful they no longer even ID as female/woman, but those of us who do. Hetero-male society has driven it into our brains that women are weak, all in efforts to make them (men) feel strong, not because they actually are. Any women who has ever been in any kind of crisis with males, knows full well where true strength lies and it isnt with the menz. But women have been written, portrayed, seen, viewed as weak, we internalize that nonsense, feeling shameful for our NATURAL needs and feelings.
We know biologically males are much more suited to their one dimensional emotional lives, their natural biology dulling their emotional points. But as Butch WOMEN with multi-dimensional emotions, sharp as a needle, trying to live as if we only had that single dulled dimension, it is a miracle we dont all just implode, truthfully though far too often, many of us do. Holding back is its own form of self abuse, self punishment and self deprivation. This is why it is SO important for Butches to step up, be seen and make ourselves known, so that maybe new generations of Butches can avoid the horrors of living a half dead life. But before we can even do that we as Butch women have to work through our shame, discover our strengths in womanhood and truly represent so that these baby Butches can have a chance to grow up and lead emotionally/sexually FULL healthy lives.
There is no simple switch a Femme can flip to change a Butch so that she can see herself through Femme eyes. See the beauty, strength, power, uniqueness, exquisiteness that Femmes see in us through letting go and expressing our feelings and sexual wants. More often than not no matter how many times a Femme may verbalize these things to us, it is only through Femme hands and mouths that it all becomes clear. That Femme mouth that whispers to our cunts in the dark the thing we needed to hear most in our life. But far too often our fear and shame and need for control gags that Femme mouth from uttering a single word, that Femme tongue from licking a single letter. I say all this not because there is no hope for us, but precisely because we need to create that hope. The more we talk about Butch shame in our communities, with our friends, in our relationships the more we drive that shame away, opening the door for a universe of possibilities.
I urge this to Femmes: please continue creating those safe spaces for us, we need them so, we need you. Please be more vocal, especially in public spaces about your wants and needs and desires for our Butch women's bodies. Tell us how much you love our breast and the taste of our cunts. Because when all we hear is how much you love our strong legs or our big biceps then we assume you have no desire for our breast and cunts which only furthers our Butch shame. Lets us know exactly why you are a lesbian! We need to hear it, even if it scares us.
Butches I urge you: listen to what Femmes are saying. Think about how you would feel if you reached for her and she turned you away. Not just once but over and over and over again. Let her know how you feel, know your fears. Even if all you can do to start is to write down on a piece of paper, do it. Give it to her. You'll be surprised how that can lead to a whole different way of living, a good way, a less shameful way. If you're single, bring this stuff up with Butch friends, because it does affect us all. Chances are if Butch shame has you against the wall, it has your Butch friends backed up against the wall as well. There is nothing weak or unbutch in discussing our Butch feelings.
As promised I bring to you another Women's Studies position that is being channeled through "trans-academics". If you are a REAL woman/lesbian in a position to apply for this job or know someone who is, please put your name in the hat if you wish to preserve WOMEN teaching WOMEN'S Studies rather than risking male privileged Mtf men and/or ftMISOGYNIST who either know nothing about women/women's issues or pathologically HATE women period!
Dirt-a Woman for Women taking Women's Studies back!
So who the hell is squatting on our Femme/Butch-lands these days? A bunch of fucking three year olds and their mommy's??? I cannot for the life of me remember the last time I've seen in Femme/Butch spaces/company a Butch's tits and pussy actually referred to AS tits and pussys! What is with the fucking pathological female shame that demands Butches refute their tits and pussy's and replace them with "bits" and "junk" and "chests" IN supposed safe Femme/Butch spaces??? I mean if it isnt the Butch referring to her breast and pussy as "bits" and "junk" and "chests" then its the Femmes using such childish terms for Butch bodies reinforcing Butch body shame.
Femmes are beginning to be more vocal about their lesbian Butch desires, but frankly how can Femme's possibly expect Butch women to respond sexually with their breast and pussys when their shame is made clear by Femme's using infantile lingo for adult desires? And how are Butch women suppose to feel when their breast and pussys are erased in Femme/Butch spaces by Femmes and Butches?????? Why do we continue to pretend Butch women do not possess female bodies? Female bodies Femmes want to lick and touch and suck and make love to??? And why in the fuck arent we discussing these issues IN the safety of Femme/Butch spaces rather than play childish fantasied games of Butch equals something NOT woman??
If you are a Femme reading this and you are partnered with a Butch, if only today, if only this once TELL HER how much you love and desire her tits and pussy!
Much of the talk I'm seeing that is going on about the possible changes made to diagnosing GID in the DSM5(especially in children) are repeatedly expressing how these changes are playing right into the gender boxes of male and female. Implying that there is critically something amiss with male and female, there isnt. The "boxes" that we must dismantle isn't the boxes of male and female but the cage males and females have been shoved, dragged, beaten, shamed and raped into based on DOING rather than BEING!
Thousands of years of male and female roles reinforcing each other with each and every new generation (which may have began innocently enough due to different (different-not better) abilities of the majority for survival) are now believed by most to equal "natural". As in it is natural for women to want to dress in high heels and skirts, it is natural for men to have short hair and always wear pants, it is natural for girls to play with dolls, it is natural for boys to play with toy trucks or guns, natural so much so that whenever one deviates from what is "natural" there MUST be something wrong with THEM and they MUST be FIXED!
And the fact that there is this GID (created by a man who advocated consensual pedophilia no less) illustrates the systematic pathological need of society to utilize its hetero-patriarchal medical machine to "cure" the deviates who deviate under the ruse of "curing" rather than the truth of "normalizing". And the sad part is there are plenty of people who have let themselves be brainwashed into believing there is something wrong with them because they are not "natural" because they deviate and are all too ready willing and able to prove hetero-patriarchal society right by foaming at the fucking mouth on their fucking knees begging and pleading for the hetero-pat-medical machine to stamp and ap/prove them "normal"!
How can we argue that there is nothing wrong with male and female but the cage(roles) that tightly wraps 'round male and female like some gordian knot when there are plenty of people all too willing to prove society correct by adhering to society's male/female prescribed ideas by means of carving themselves up through drugs and body mutilation??
It is time those who naturally deviate or those who are tired of playing at "male and female" collude our efforts to dismantle society's snug cage before we're all of us, are pared into the mold.
DMS5-GID Here is the link (thanks to whoever sent me it) to the current draft for the next version of the DSM due out spring 2013. I MUST say a few words about what this current draft has listed as the criteria for diagnosing GID in young girls in 8 simple questions for parents!
The question I would like answered is has someone channeled Freud from the fucking great beyond? The 21st century and we're revamping "penis envy"? These questions are primarily pathologizing DOING rather than BEING! Every Butch who has ever lived would when thinking back on her childhood feelings answer "very strong" to every single one of these questions and most run of the mill dykes would answer similarly! Hell most tomboys who grew up to be typical hetero women would answer similarly. I asked my straight niece these questions yesterday and based on her answers she would have been diagnosed with GID!WTF?
The original premise of "SRS" was about conforming individuals to the status quo. It was ignorantly believed those who believed they were the other sex were all homosexual, so switch the sex and automatically heterosexualize a whole group of (mostly)men and women, thereby "normalize" them and this is exactly what is going on still! This is a there is only ONE way to be a male and only ONE way to be a female and if for any reason one deviates from them they MUST be FIXED. Well I'm here to fucking tell ya, I aint broken! I may not be the woman you see on billboards and beer commercials but I am NO less female than any of those women.
A question I heard all through my childhood and still hear and asked of me in regards to Butches is "why do you/Butches dress like men"? My permanent reply? When they start making clothes for Butch women then I will proudly dress Butch! As a child this was a question I couldn't answer and a question no baby Butch today can answer because she doesnt know what Butch is! Clothes, toys, play etc that have been labeled "boy" by hetero-patriarchy are the closest things baby Butches have that matches some of their feelings/sense of fun/comfortability. It in no way shape or form indicates that they desire to be boys! Given the choice between boy/girl if most of what you are identifying with is closer to boy than girl, because you do not have any other options, what exactly are you suppose to do? This IS Freud's "penis envy" all over. Women didnt want a "penis" they wanted the whole world the "penis" had access to that they as women did not!
If we let this nonsense go through we are placing a death sentence on the heads of every baby Butch going forward! And that is NOT an exaggeration, its a fucking fact. Because if the "trans" disorder mainstreams accompanied by the criteria questions for GID, baby Butch girls will be trannified into societal conformity before they ever have a chance to be their natural subversive selves!
If you are Butch, love Butches, we need to have some serious organization to stop the hetero-patriarchal medical machine from causing our extinction.
I see these types of jobs posted to various "trans" email lists regularly and rarely to NEVER see them passed along to lesbian lists by lesbians. We cannot complain that Womens Studies have been taken over my Mtf men of ftMISOGYNYSTS because they are more committed and organized about getting "trans" people into these positions when academic lesbians are sitting on the their hands biting their fucking tongues.
I will post these jobs as I see them from here on out. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if there is a rad lez out there in a position to apply for this job, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do! Because as men and male-centric women gain these positions the same patriarchy that has been dictating "woman" to us for the last 5000 years will continue to do so!
In less than a week I have had two different Femme's speak to me in TOTAL frustration over how difficult us Butches make it in getting close to us. Over the years I have heard so many other Femmes with similar complaints. And to be clear these Femmes we're speaking more on emotional closeness rather than physical (one leads to the other). They are tired of spending years trying to break down the multitude of Butch walls we have erected for a multitude of reasons, starting in our Butchhoods, only to remain outside those walls after all their efforts. Femmes are not the enemy Butches, they are our solace, our saviours and our champions in a world where neither of us exist accept to each other.
Some of those walls were built for good reason at the time, walls to keep us safe from the minefields we had to maneuver daily. Walls to shield us from the steely questioning looks from strangers, walls to hide us from the constant question "are you a boy or a girl?", walls to blind us from the pointing and whispers, walls to hide all our shame because we werent like anyone else we knew. Yes, these walls were necessary for our survival growing up, but so often those same walls have become our crypts, walls that have lead to our emotional deaths. But all is not lost when there are Femmes out there wanting with everything that they are to breathe life back into us obliterating the walls we no longer need. They are not using their sweet breathe to unbutch us, but to free us! Stop letting that wall of Butch shame deceive you into feeling otherwise.
There are so few of them and so little of us it is a miracle when we find each other, so stop allowing the wall of Butch shame to strip this miracle of its unique luster with shame based anger robbing us both. By giving Femmes what they deserve, emotional and physical intimacy, we have the opportunity to give ourselves what we've been robbed, life.
I recently had several young Femmes email me asking about the accuracy of the butch/femme.coms/nets/orgs/planets/UKs etc. What was largely taking place there in the form of trans females, female fetishizers, "male ID butches", "stone butch/queerfemme" all felt wrong causing them to wonder were they in fact even Femme! I've responded to these smart young Femmes (good for you for following your guts) insuring them that yes they are Femme and no those sites are not true representations of Butch/Femme. Given the dangers and misinformation that's perpetuated in these spaces, I feel it important to post something summing up what these "BF" sites are truly about.
These sites are filled with more or less the same people, some of which recycle themselves from site to site usually after getting "banned". I'll give you a reasonable breakdown and description of each group that is currently occupying these purported Butch/Femme spaces in no particular order.
Female Fetishizers: There are a few handfuls of these men on all BF sites, who through their male privileged birthright believe its perfectly acceptable to co-opt Femme identity. A few will co-opt Butch identity in hopes of "bagging a Femme". Needless to say these types, while their money is accepted at these sites, all remain tolerated/single. Even the trans females there will not date them.
Trans Females aka ftMisogynist: The number of trans females co-opting BF spaces has drastically grown since their presence has become accepted on these sites, especially since a good percentage of the women there will transition. A handful of these women were Butches, but the majority were tweener dykes co-opting Butch identity. As a group, after transition these women utilize their new found "male" privilege to remain in lesbian spaces so they can reach some imaginary hierarchy over the Butch women they so envied, believing they can both "out butch" Butches through drugs and cosmetic mutilation (and male pattern baldness) and have a greater chance at dating the single Femmes there. Sadly due the complete adoption/nazi promotion of "queer theory" on these sites, these women have grown in numbers on Butch/Femme sites. Trans females usually remain single unless temporarily partnering with the "stone femme" types there, no true Femme will obviously date them. They are too self hating and outwardly hating of female/ness. They remain in womens spaces while claiming "male identity" because lesbians are the only group (through intimidation) to tolerate their presence, most are much too afraid to actually "live" as real men.
Tweener: This was one the largest group on BF sites. They are your garden variety soft-ball dykes who believe that disliking hyper femininity makes them Butch. They are the largest number of lesbians who fall prey to transition/queer femmes.
Stone Butch: The large number of women using the "stone butch" label are from the tweener dyke group. A small portion are Butch women. In the current atmosphere of male-centric queer theoried BF spaces, "stone butch" is interestingly one of the few historical BF terms used and given validation. The use of this term (and it is a term, NOT an identity) illustrates perfectly the backwardness BF spaces hold. If unsure of the meaning "stone butch" is a female who develops sexual dysfunction through the pathological shame she feels about her female body. This usually take the form in limited/to no physical touching/intimacy from/with another woman. Rather than call this the sexual dysfunction that it is and provide a safe space for women with body shame issues to grow and overcome their issues, these woman hating sites ignore the pain this group suffers and plays make believe instead by perpetuating these women's shame and suffering with the continued use of "stone butch" as "identity". To be clear and fair most Butch women suffer similar feelings around their breast and vags specifically, sometimes hips/thighs also. Many Butches, especially younger Butches will partake to some extent in "stone" practices, but usually with maturity and good Femme lovers overcome sexual shame to lead happy/healthy/intimate lives.
Stone Femme: The women who ID as "stone femme" are a smattering of sexually/emotionally abused straight women, straight women tired of being under the thumbs of men, tired of males period, for a spell-they ALWAYS go back to men. These women will usually couple with the insecure "stone butch" type. Queer femmes encourage the "stone butches" they partner with to transition, making it easier for them to date a woman. Queer femmes HATE lesbians. These women do not reciprocate sexually with their partners since they arent lesbians, which promotes the sexual dysfunction of their "stone butch" or trans female partners. These relationships are usually short termed and those few that last more than a few years are a course in hetero role playing, lacking authenticity and intimacy.
The remaining membership on these sites are your true Femmes and Butches, who because of their small numbers are silent and if/when they do dare voice their presence they are all to quickly attacked and or banned.
In short, it is no exaggeration when I say all Butch/Femme internet sites/forums are cesspools for misogyny/dysfunction and lezbophobia. Even when it has become impossible to hide the misogyny and dysfunction, such as domestic violence and even the murder of members by females who have transitioned, the victims are dismissed and the trans females or male ID'd members are protected/coddled. These sites are the equivalent of pro ana sites in how dangerous they are, especially to young Femmes and Butches looking for community. What they find instead is a warped sick version of compulsory heterosexuality. This is why it has become life or death for the true Femmes and Butches out there to stand up and be visible, our young people are counting on you/us in these dire straights!
I roll out of bed leaving a warm dream filled Butch behind, its early, a good hour before my baby needs to arise. She can shower, dress sip a cup of coffee and be off in 30 minutes. Me? I need to get up now if I have any hope putting myself together before work. I go through my morning routine of showing, shaving, plucking, putting on make-up and dressing along with having the coffee ready before my Butch awakes. Many moons ago with my then routine of a quick shower and towel dried hair I could have slept in with my Butch, but those would have and were blue moons because there was no Butch. I let the lesbian feminism I so wanted to be a part of convince me Butch women were products of patriarchy, the enemy, along with my salon styled hair, my pretty clothes, my make up, my heelz, in fact...me...for being Femme. I gave it all up in favour of "sisterhood" and "solidarity", believing I was part of something that would change the world. Instead, it only changed me.
My plain look didnt stop the men with leering gazes from asking me what book I was reading or how I'm liking the change in weather, all in some vain hope that the book or warm sun was going to be their vile accomplice in getting me into bed. My plain look didnt add any numbers to my weekly paycheck. My plain look didnt get the federal government to pass an equal right amendment. My plain look didnt stop men from abusing and raping women and children. My plain look didnt change me from being a woman therefore "not management" material. My plain look didnt even grant me the lesbian visibility it promised. What my plain look did do is alienate me from me and me from the Butch women I desired with my whole being. For a while at least, but just for a while.
Today as I kiss my Butch and leave the house I leave behind as I take her with me the Femme I swore long ago I would NEVER again remove. But while I do not take her off, neither is she recognized, anywhere I go. Even when I out myself to people; "oh are you married"? " no I'm a lesbian", she remains unseen. Unseen because the totality of Femme is invisible even in the flesh. Example: I go to a function through work where I meet people that I do not work with. I mix, I mingle where upon at some point in the evening a man ask me "what does your husband do"? I politely reply "My girlfriend works in so and so. I'm a Femme lesbian" The man seems slightly taken aback and more than slightly interested. Before I can say another word a female co-worker of mine comes up and the man quickly says "oh is this your girlfriend"? Then I do what I always do, I open my purse, pull out my pocket book to the picture I have of my Butch and I and say "no this is my girlfriend"! The man says nothing more and walks away seemingly in confusion and disgust.
Even when declaring Femme lesbian I remain invisible, all that is visible is "lesbian". If I strictly say "Femme", people go blank, when I add lesbian they immediately go to girl on girl porn. This is what I mean about the totality of Femme. Younger Femmes, self hating Femmes are so quick these days to separate themselves from Butches. But Butch is a major component in MY totality of Femme. Because if she doesnt come into view then I remain invisible, the lesbian I am remains invisible. I'm not interested in being the star in the fantasies of straight men! That little "lesbian" bubble they all carry around in their brains to please their pricks quickly goes POP when they see my Butch. The "lesbian" thrill loses its appeal, then the lesbian we both are becomes invisible.
This is a typical day for me as a Femme, explaining, ignoring, half explaining, half ignoring all to no avail, all to remain unseen in my entirety. Most days I do not think about it, some days I think too much about it and other days I feel a weariness. I feel a burden and the weight of that burden which seems to bury me with yet another layer of invisibility, another layer my painted nails have to struggle to claw through. But when I put my key into the lock of our house, when I walk through that door and my Butch greets me with a hug and kiss I become whole once again. I'm seen. I exist. I'm loved.