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Personality or Looks?


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#21
Ltnblt

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I embrace being butch, its who I am, what I am. It doesn't mean I can't relate in a femme way. I'd rather have a femme womyn than be one.

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Butch on the streets, femme in the sheets.
Think about that!!!!!!!


#22
samycep

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Where labels began-dunno!
But I beleive that labeling should explain behavior instead of outward appearance.
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#23
roo

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I don't know about this label thing, either.
I get called butch because I look that way. But I do not act the way I understand butch to act. I do not want to be the man in a relationship, nor do I want to be the woman. For me, a relationship is what the people involved decide it needs to be. Sex is a give-and-take activity (for me, anyway). I do not want to be in charge or to be dominated (not on a regular basis, anyway).
I guess labels give people who don't know us an idea of what to expect. Unfortunately, what we think a certain label is and what someone else does, can be different enough to cause problems and confusion.
I knew a women who told me she was femme. When I met her, she was the biggest butch I had known to that point. lol. She (usually) dressed like a man, was aggressive and in charge. A dominant person in bed and in life. My mother said she was a feminine as a penis (lmao).
I do not really care what a person looks like or what label, if any, she uses. Admittedly, looks are what attract me to someone I do not know. If the personality is not there, I am not interested. However, if I find I like the personality of someone I originally thought was unattractive, I begin to find that person more and more attractive.
Me? I look butch. I have a semi-mohawk hairdo (semi because I do not shave the sides all the way to the skin), have 16 piercings you can see (no hidden ones), wear mens' clothing and shoes (don't even think of putting me in a dress), and like to do some guy-things. I've always been a tomboy. I like cars, football, women (lol), boxing, and I can bench-press what amounts to a whole human being. I am NOT aggressive, don't want to be the man to another woman, don't fight unless it is to protect myself, I like literature and write poetry, and don't usually engage in fart-related humor (maybe with my 14 yr old, because then it's kind of fun). Oh, and I don't work construction. lol.
You are what you are, I am what I am. As long as we are each comfortable with ourselves and each other, then it's fine. If you are not comfortable with someone and want her to change (I mean a major overhaul, not just a bad habit or two), then it's time to move on.
A good woman is like a good book: you'll want to get lost in both for hours and be much the wiser for it.

#24
lesbotronic

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I don't know about this label thing, either.

Hey there, liked your description of some of the difficulties associated with labels. Myself (being Robin from the lesbotronic webmistress group, there are more than one of us, not meaning to make us sound like one multiple-personality-disordered head . . silly grin, so I'm identifying myself here) I look rather femme but often act butch. I like to relinquish control in some situations but take it in others. No extremely consistent pattern. Thus, I'd describe myself as a "butchy femme."


I think labels can be hot, and can be a good place to "get off" in a relationship, and by "get off" I mean starting off, getting off, and probably any other permutation of that phrase your mind could conjure. But I understand why others find them limiting, and totally respect and imagine I *mostly* understand both those that enjoy employing them and those that don't.

Ultimately, I think that most labels involving gender-identity and/or sexual orientation are usually best as the beginning of a conversation rather than the end of one. Know what I'm sayin'? :)

#25
missy40

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HI, this is a really good post. Back in my str8 phase when I did the marriage thing and had kids I was sorta on the more feminine side, I think because that is what I thought I should be. But once I realized that I was truly attracted to women, came out and came into my own I would have to say that I am on the butchier side, though there is a femme side to me too...so soft butch perhaps?? I do like to wear makeup occasionally but I do perfer denim and workboots as my clothing attire....Hey, maybe because I always have control of the TV controller I am the butch one!!??

Missy40

#26
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I think labels can be hot, and can be a good place to "get off" in a relationship, and by "get off" I mean starting off, getting off, and probably any other permutation of that phrase your mind could conjure. But I understand why others find them limiting, and totally respect and imagine I *mostly* understand both those that enjoy employing them and those that don't.

Ultimately, I think that most labels involving gender-identity and/or sexual orientation are usually best as the beginning of a conversation rather than the end of one. Know what I'm sayin'? :)

Labels can definetely be hot!! A cute butch with a strap-on can *always* get me into bed...

Defining yourself in terms of butch-femme is only about who you feel you are. Its about how you identifiy yourself. No one can "tell" you if you are butch or femme or some where in between. Its something that you feel inside and that you may want to share with others.

I consider myself a "tomboy femme" because I know that I'm femme and have always been. But, I love to clomp around outside in the dirt and have no qualms about killing bugs, touching snakes, playing softball, and using power tools. I came up with my own label because the others didn't quite fit me. I'm not butch enough to be considered a butch-femme.

Here's a great story as to how I came up with my "label" -- A butchy girl on my softball team called herself a butch princess because she is definetely a butch girl, but hated to get dirty, didn't know what a pilot light was, and doesn't know the end of a drill from a hole in the wall - no offense, of course. :) The label really did fit her.

An ex of mine told me that I couldn't be femme because I didn't wear makeup and wasn't fussy all the time. Well, screw her...this is MY definition! Not to mention that some hard-core femmes out there would be pissed to hear that in order to be femme they have to wear makeup and be fussy.
"Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country." -Anais Nin, The Diaries of Anaïs Nin

#27
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Back in my str8 phase when I did the marriage thing and had kids I was sorta on the more feminine side, I think because that is what I thought I should be.

This relates to one of my favorite quotes from "Femme-dyke" by Arlene Istar, an article in The Persistant Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader edited by Joan Nestle:

"A few years ago, I baught a pair of warm winter boots. I worked in an agency where all the women wore heavy femme drag, and even if I hadn't been out, my differentness was apparant. I wasn't sure if the agency would even let me wear boots to work. I walked into my office, and two male co-workers immediately began playfully whistling. 'Ooh, new boots - how butch,' they teased me. Later that evening, I met my lover and another friend, both butch identified. They too teased: 'Ooh, new boots - how femmy,' they said. And I suppose that's what being a femme-dyke means. The boys think I'm butch, and the girls think I'm femme."

Similar to Arlene in the above quote, I'm more of a tomboy when I'm around my straight feminine co-workers, but I'm defininetely a femme when I'm out and about in the lesbian community. To me, that's what butch-femme is all about - being defined by your female, lesbian/queer peers. And NOT being defined by the hetrosexual roles that we were born into. Part of being queer is making your own rules and roles - so lets all enjoy them to the fullest! 8)
"Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country." -Anais Nin, The Diaries of Anaïs Nin

#28
ladyk

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i'm often fascinated by conversations about butch/femme labels. as a self-identified (stone)femme, it is not a word that is useful for me to use to describe my looks. we already have a word for that in english, it's 'feminine.' *smile*

femme has a different connotation, and also has historical connotations to our very queer past....not so far away past either. at one time, of course, when a woman came out she did not have much choice -- she was either butch or femme....and for those that sometimes switched it up there was the term ki-ki. certainly, when the feminist movement hit and butches and femmes were looked at with scorn for "imitating" straight people and perpertuating the patriarchy, it became less attractive to express this part of oneself, but they/we didn't disappear. maybe just went underground for a bit. and for those that felt freed by the feminist movement to now 'just be themselves' -- that's wonderful. but not everyone felt inhibited by butch/femme labels -- in fact, i'd say, some felt free within them. as i do today.

for me (and this my definition), femme speaks to who i am attracted to as it also speaks to that i am a feminine lesbian. it is, in a sense, my sexual orientation within the queer community. i am primarily attracted to butches, and also to FTMs/tg butches. i am attracted to those that possess masculine energy and a female body (or once female). not all femmes identify with this description, but again, it is what the word means to me.

so, i just wanted to throw that out there. not everyone dislikes labels -- and for me, being able to claim them has in fact made me feel more free than before i found them. it helped me to feel less alone, a part of something, and ultimately to develop into the woman i am today.

respectfully,
ladyk

#29
blueyez

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I actually have never heard of this Butch / Femme thing. well not in the uk anyway, but i guess i would be soft butch as i am tomboyish in one way but femme when i go out.

#30
BauboBBW

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hmmmm.....

This butch/femme thang has me in a quandry....i've been grappling with it for quite sometime....

I've been told that it's why i don't have many "dates" or other lesbians won't come near me....the "signals" aren't clear....huh??

i tend to wear pants (butch trait), and lipgloss (femme trait), dangly silver bits on the ears (femme), short nails (butch), body oils (femme), boots (butch)....i do my eyebrows (femme)....can put together PCs & stereos (butch?).... :roll: (and, sometimes i have a walk that rivals John Travolta's in "Saturday Night Fever"! ) :lol:

I'm about ready to give up!!! I think it's quite obvious to those who look at me that i'm not het.....

Personally, I feel I'm a fab blend of both....and that's absolutely the type of woman I'm looking for! :)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Don't compromise yourself, you're all you've got..." - Janis Joplin





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