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“she’s running around with her rag-top down”

September 4, 2008

Why femme?

Yeah, i’ve been reading other blogs (that is Sublime Femme and Green-Eyed Girl, regarding the question originally posed at The Femme’s Guide: “Let’s post the who, the what, the where, the when of how we got to call ourselves “femme.””)

Except i can really only answer the (implied) why and how part; and when and where are pretty much impossible. I live in a sort of wishy-washy process-based world that doesn’t lend itself to defined moments, but rather to vague lineages.

The lineage of my masculine-to-feminine progression is pretty simple, and has been hashed and rehashed here: it was just a (very) slow progression that started, basically, in college. I have to thank the boys who liked me when i was butchy for awakening me to the amazing femininity of being the “girl” to someone’s “boy” – it was the first sort of femininity i enjoyed.

But feminine and queer (that bein’ gay thing happened in college too) don’t quite equal femme. So, why femme? The simple answer is that i’ve got no idea; it just kind of grew on me, and seemed “right” or something.

Except that it didn’t, at first. I realized (perhaps just now, reading all this) that my confusion really stemmed not from being too masculine, but from being not very feminine. I mean, “masculine” aspects seem to be a perpetual source of femme anxiety (as i seem to read on everyone’s blogs): am i “really” femme if i can swing a hammer? throw a football? kick someone’s ass? I banished those concerns a while ago, into the “fuck you, it just makes me fucking competent and femme, what of it?” box.

What i had a lot more trouble with was the fact that all of the people i know in real life who id as femme (and very nearly all my internet-friend femmes) don’t leave the house without makeup, wear heels every time they dress up (and quite often when they don’t), dress up every time they “go out.” Whoa. That’s a helluva lot to live up to for a girl who has bought exactly one makeup item in her life (eyeshadow, for drag; sideburns and shadowing), and two pairs of two-inch heels (one, prom, worn to walk inside and promptly ditched. two, black ones i own now, worn three or four times). I’m in the middle of a progression – so, who knows, maybe i’ll be high femme someday, though it’s hard for me to picture – but for now i’m a t-shirt and skirts kind of girl, and “femme” was hard to justify (especially as i was more t-shirt and jeans when i started considering it).

I think what i finally concluded is that femme seems like, primarily, a celebration of (your own) femininity. I am all for that – i was never discontent with being a girl, even when i was a little boy. So, whatever my femininity is, i’ll celebrate it by being femme, whatever my femme is. I’m mostly content with not justifying it, but i think if i am to, that does.

As for who, i don’t think i can pinpoint anything, but i can do some general acceptance-speech thank-you’s.

*gasp* My very own Femme Award?! This is just spectacular. *sniff* But i wouldn’t be up here if it weren’t for all of you; my friends, lovers…and you, cute girl in the back. Hey there… *ahem*

Um, fer serious. Although i think my gender-transitioning was one of the reasons shit didn’t work out, i still don’t think i could have been comfortable trying that without Jake’s support (and she was there for the most of it). But Jamie’s better for my gender. That, uh, sounds really funny. But it’s true. Last, but certainly not least, i’d like to thank the internets. That is, Sinclair, who, you know, has made a school of this sort of thing =), the lovely Essin’ Em and Miss Avarice, as well as Dylan, who were the first people i knew of talking about all this fun gender stuff. That’s not to discount the rest of the internets; it’s just that i haven’t known y’all as long. If i would get off my ass and update you chaps on the right, i could say “you know who you are.” But if you’re actually reading this, then, there you are.

Lady Brett
“Look At Miss Ohio” – Gillian Welch

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2008 12:26 pm

    Gotta love all of this gender talk. :) Great post! I’ve added you to my reader!

  2. September 4, 2008 12:31 pm

    I’m a fan.
    “So, whatever my femininity is, i’ll celebrate it by being femme, whatever my femme is” especially after that line. :)

  3. beingbelle permalink
    September 4, 2008 4:14 pm

    it seems defining femme has been a hto topic this week. So odd that we are all on the same page at teh same time.

  4. September 4, 2008 5:37 pm

    In addition to your charming acceptance speech, I **love** the idea of getting your “very own Femme Award.” How can I get one of those?!

    If you come over to Sublimefemme Unbound and leave a comment with the link to your post (which I really hope you’ll do, hint hint), you’ll discover that you’re on my blogroll now.

    Thanks for your post!

  5. September 8, 2008 2:08 am

    Awww. Thank you for your thank you. You and the Gender Mafia if you will have also been instrumental in helping me figure my Femmeness out. Post will be up next week on it…or something.

  6. September 9, 2008 9:54 pm

    I am very, very pleased to have been of service! Sorry my comment comes so late, I thought I already commented, apparently I didn’t. You know it’s so hard for me to envision you as a girl, considering my December present last year! Alas, I’m letting go of Mister’s image, and thinking of you in the femme light. You are special!

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