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“you don’t have to prove your manhood to me constantly”

February 29, 2008

More thoughts on theory: i already posted a bit of a response to “an argument for butch/femme,” on Sugarbutch. My rather snarky initial response:

this stuff drives me crazy, much like what you were talking about in your last butch/femme post (edit: upon looking it up, it wasn’t the last one, but a previous one in response to Belle). there is absolutely no point (and, i think, no way) in pulling rank on people in this sort of thing: “i’m more liberated/oppressed/’real’/whateverthehell than you. doesn’t that make me special!?”“There’s so often a snobbery in queer women who feel they’ve transcended the societal expectations placed on them by rejecting femininity”

so…you’re expressing your enlightenment by rejecting what society expects of you as a woman in favor of what society expects of you as a dyke? (alternately viewed, rejecting what hetero-society expects for what queer-society expects.) go right ahead (’cause i totally dig that look), but please don’t pretend it makes you “better,” i’ve already said what i think of that.

I wanted to elaborate a bit in light of arielariel‘s (excellent!) comments. I think she’s completely right about the two sides of this issue essentially having two different conversations (wonder why there’s no agreement), and that very little of this stuff is inherently subversive. To which i say, who cares? Who cares if you are more subversive than me, or vice versa? We’re back to that rank nonsense.

Her comments also led me to a bit of a revelation, though. Ariel said, “I get annoyed by that shit about “pamper your femme! rub your butch’s tired strong muscles!”” and other things about the parallels between male/female and butch/femme. And i realized why it’s okay for me to call myself femme. I do often use the term for myself, but in a kind of flippant manner, because i’m, well, not that or not “really” femme. But i’ve never had the least bit of confusion over being a woman. Not when all i wore were baggy cords and my bro’s hand-me-downs, not when everyone else thought i was a boy, not because i know how to build a house, or prefer to drink whiskey or beer, or any of these “guy” things i do. So, then, why does it make me think i’m not femme? Isn’t that part of the point of feminism? That the things we do aren’t (or shouldn’t be) inherently gendered, but who i am still can be? So, even if what i do is often “masculine,” who i am has always been feminine, and maybe, now, femme.

It’s a thought. It’s also off the top of my head, so i may change my mind.

Lady Brett
“Righteously” – Lucinda Williams

2 Comments leave one →
  1. arielariel permalink
    February 29, 2008 4:05 pm

    Oh I love this point right here:
    Isn’t that part of the point of feminism? That the things we do aren’t (or shouldn’t be) inherently gendered, but who i am still can be?

    That is the succinct way of saying something I have been trying to put words to for so long and I think key to all of this, and to some of my frustrations. I have to think about this more before I say more but I think this is a great point.

  2. March 1, 2008 1:36 pm

    yeah…. femme is more than whats on your body. <3

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