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people who don't like the way other people look in public


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#21
Guest_EmberPhase_*

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[quote]Iam reading Ember's original comment as purposefully instigative. (Is that a word, instigative?) There's certainly a prejudice towards butch women just as there is one towards femme women and it's not just one type making the assumptions about the other. She posed a question that wasn't PC, but it started a lively thread. [/quote]
Zami makes excellent and thoughtful comments about the continuum of gender and took Ember's initial query to an intellectual level. (Zami - did you continue this thead somewhere else as mentioned? I didn't find it yet.) [/quote]

Thank you for your two cents Filly and F.E. Although, F.E. I don't take offense to your comments, but I don't see where my entry wasn't PC (I didn't use degrading language or images). But then again, I feel that everyone is trying to be so PC these days that you aren't sure if you can call a girl a girl without stepping on some toes. If you knew me outside of my postings, you would read my posting much differently. They are correct that the written word is often mistake of things that it is not.

[quote]It seems like there may be two discussions going on here: one wanting to get a good rant on, and one wanting to educate on a level that isn't being appreciated by the audience.

The short of it is, to me (note the "I" statements) that there are preferences and preferences. We all have them to one degree or another (yeah, Filly, kinda like mint ice cream). What's not cool - and it's just my opinion as I hold free speech in high regard - is pissing on someone else's like of mint ice cream or thinking that you are more correcter for liking it, or not liking it, or thinking that it should have more or less mint in it. You've got a place to say it, but don't get surprised if people take issue with it. [/quote]

As for the point of the post, I am still not sure anyone (even those appearing to "agree" with me) got my question. That is ok, I think on so many subjects that it is hard for me to even keep thoughts separated. I have to say an apologize for all the ruckus that this brought on, but questions are just my nature. I am a biological sciences major and my HOBBIES are things like genetics, social behaviors, reproduction, diseases history; basically anything in the medical field tends to grab my attention and get my brain started. I wonder about a lot of social behaviors, constantly. This particular that I posted came up because an actual representation of why I was intrigued by the behavior actually walked into my 2nd job and literally had their lovers' spat inches from me in a crowd restaurant. Sorry, it just intrigued me.

[quote]- A. Dyke. (BTW I think it's a totally different thing when we call ourselves dyke than when some redneck yells it at us. Like the use of queer or bitch or liberal. Be it. Own it. Tell it.)[/quote][/quote]

My apologies, I hope you can understand my meaning here, but I would have to disagree with you on this statement. To me it is not different members of the African-American community calling each other the 'N' word as a point of greeting or association. I have heard many social leaders in that community speak out against such usage, so I know that my thoughts are not alone on this topic.

#22
nicolevf

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[quote name="zami"] [quote]To summarize....I guess what Garbage and I are trying to understand it why some women, who happen to be lesbians, feel that they have to turn in their makeup and 'personal appearance' card to obtain and carry the "I like women" card. Well, at least that is what I wonder (hint, hint, the point of my org'l entry).[/quote]

I don't understand how you are associating a narrow version of 'femininity' (i.e. makeup, etc.) with'good hygiene'. I also don't understand why you feel there must be some form of essentialized womanhood that is understandable and identifiable i.e., if you wear makeup, you are a 'real' woman, and if you don't, are a bit too tomboyish (what, play sports? Don't wear makeup?) then you are somehow not a 'real' woman and are 'acting like a boy'. And I also don't see why this is of so much concern. Suddenly, you gotta wear makeup and carry a purse, or else you give a bad name to the lesbian community?!??! Wow, I guess I've lost my 'lesbian' card.

[quote]It almost seems like they are making the statement to other females, that you aren't truly a lesbian if you wear eyeshadow and carry a purse. But, that is just what I take away or read into their acts and appearances. Who knows? I am human and I have been wrong before, it is a good thing to know that I can admit it :D :twisted:[/quote]

I read over your question and response to these two women. And in my opinion, and remember: Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. But in MY opinion *lol* it's all irrelevant. I mean, I can see your curiousity and admittedly I wonder why women do appear as rather masculine. Are they struggling with their own sexual identity? But is that to say that we all have to look like a woman in the "femme" sense? It's all very confusing so what I do is look at what I like and I don't question anything else, it just is what it is. You are comfortable with what you look like and how you present yourself to society, as these other women are also, so lets all just be happy with that and go about living. You don't have to be sexually attracted to these women, nor they to you, there are no hard and fast rules in life, always choose what's best for you. To be or not to be? That is the question. :lol:

#23
Guest_EmberPhase_*

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[quote name="nicolevf"] [quote] [quote]To summarize....I guess what Garbage and I are trying to understand it why some women, who happen to be lesbians, feel that they have to turn in their makeup and 'personal appearance' card to obtain and carry the "I like women" card. Well, at least that is what I wonder (hint, hint, the point of my org'l entry).[/quote]

I[quote] don't understand how you are associating a narrow version of 'femininity' (i.e. makeup, etc.) with'good hygiene'. I also don't understand why you feel there must be some form of essentialized womanhood that is understandable and identifiable i.e., if you wear makeup, you are a 'real' woman, and if you don't, are a bit too tomboyish (what, play sports? Don't wear makeup?) then you are somehow not a 'real' woman and are 'acting like a boy'. And I also don't see why this is of so much concern. Suddenly, you gotta wear makeup and carry a purse, or else you give a bad name to the lesbian community?!??! Wow, I guess I've lost my 'lesbian' card.[/quote]

Yeah, I can see you didn't read my entry or read it thoroughly enough. If you did, you would have seen my statement that I don't wear makeup everyday either (What happen to the days where they taught thorough reading in school?). Just because I know how to look good for a pic, doesn't mean I live my life in eyeshadow and blush.

Actually, it really was NEVER even a point of their not wearing makeup. It was a point of too many "wrongs" (in the fashion and persentation sense) and not enough "rights". I hate using those words but I think the general way in which that phrase is used is what I am going for.

[quote]It almost seems like they are making the statement to other females, that you aren't truly a lesbian if you wear eyeshadow and carry a purse. But, that is just what I take away or read into their acts and appearances. Who knows? I am human and I have been wrong before, it is a good thing to know that I can admit it :D :twisted:[/quote]

[quote]I read over your question and response to these two women. And in my opinion, and remember: Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. But in MY opinion *lol* it's all irrelevant. I mean, I can see your curiousity and admittedly I wonder why women do appear as rather masculine. Are they struggling with their own sexual identity? But is that to say that we all have to look like a woman in the "femme" sense? It's all very confusing so what I do is look at what I like and I don't question anything else, it just is what it is. You are comfortable with what you look like and how you present yourself to society, as these other women are also, so lets all just be happy with that and go about living. You don't have to be sexually attracted to these women, nor they to you, there are no hard and fast rules in life, always choose what's best for you. To be or not to be? That is the question. :lol:[/quote][/quote]

How can one question be misread so much? :D I never said that I wanted to be attracted to these women. I never said if they had eyeliner on that I would have been attracted to them. I never said that their presentation was too butch or not enough femme (it is more about being tidy). I never said anything about [u]having to be [/u]femme, or none of that. Like I said, I think it is a southern thing where you are taught to make yourself presentable in public. I guess I was just raised differently. (For those who don't read throughly, presentable doesn't mean supporting Max Factor or Clinque).

Now with that said, I like your statements anyway (even though they don't directlyt deal with what I questioned). I can see where you have curiosity about a woman's persona or personality (or struggle there of) based on her appearance. That is also something I have let my mind wonder on at times, just like I did with my org'l question here (which had nothing to do with their struggle of sexuality). I think you have the same tendencies I do and I thank you for sharing your intrigues and inquires with me. It is good to know that I am not alone and other minds out there think on all kinds of crazy planes like mine. :wink:

#24
nicolevf

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Okay, I see what you're saying :roll:
I didn't misread what you said, I started writing my own questions and thoughts...it happens. In regards to tidiness, well it does relate to presentation. That was my way of putting it. You know to be honest, I forget what the whole bloody topic was about :shock:
I can relate to what your thoughts are as I have wondered the same at times in my life, but in saying that I still think it doesn't matter but for the sake of discussion well...it was obviously a good topic to bring up because look at the response, women have either jumped on their high horse or agreed with you, it's all good. Many of us don't admit what we are thinking or feeling, and you shared your thoughts honestly and openly, that is to be commended. There is no "right" or "wrong", it's something we humans created. Keep smiling and keep being honest to yourself darlin :)

#25
Guest_EmberPhase_*

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Quote

Okay, I see what you're saying :roll:
I didn't misread what you said, I started writing my own questions and thoughts...it happens. In regards to tidiness, well it does relate to presentation. That was my way of putting it. You know to be honest, I forget what the whole bloody topic was about :shock:
I can relate to what your thoughts are as I have wondered the same at times in my life, but in saying that I still think it doesn't matter but for the sake of discussion well...it was obviously a good topic to bring up because look at the response, women have either jumped on their high horse or agreed with you, it's all good. Many of us don't admit what we are thinking or feeling, and you shared your thoughts honestly and openly, that is to be commended. There is no "right" or "wrong", it's something we humans created. Keep smiling and keep being honest to yourself darlin :)

As you can tell, honest is all I know how to be :) (and as you truthfully put it, maybe too honest for some).

#26
Fat Ephiny

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Thanks nicolvf for your comments and Ember for responding. I think you hit on something about saying outloud things we may think privately. I've been thinking just that sort of thing since posting - so I'll disclose ...

I get your offense (for lack of a better term right now) about the bad behavior of the couple in public. At times I have seen similar displays - outbursts, drama, criminality, whatevah - and thought, "Great. Thanks for representing lesbians like that. (frown)" Like, here's a woman who 'reads' physically as a lesbian and is acting like an asshole and so those people who are always looking for an excuse to take us down have an examplar they can now use to continue their disparaging remarks, behavior, or voting record.

I always feel a little bad about this and worry about my internal homophobia and fear it's a symptom. (Maybe that's another thread? this isn't a butch/femme issue at all.)

#27
nicolevf

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Hi Ephiny and officially hi Ember :D
I have found that we are never taught to really think for ourselves. We are told what to think, and that is what I like about these open forums, it's an opportunity for us to speak openly and honestly, to ask an honest question. There is no need to be attacked for feeling something, questioning anything. Unfortunately society pick the "worst" attribute about a particular "group" of people and kick it to death. I don't think Ember is butch bashing or labeling, simply asking an honest question in regards to these two "lesbians" that she encountered. As Ephiny has her own personal thoughts and wonderings, as do all of us. Everyone is allowed to express their thoughts and feelings as long as it does not hurt them, if it hurts you, then you're just taking a person's idea or thought way too personally. It's all about you, not the other. It's about how you conduct yourself, behave. Like I said...it's all good. Keep thinking for yourself ladies :P

#28
Troublemaker

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whoa. interesting thread...

(All quotes are from EmberPhase)
> Maybe someone out there, even ones like the following, could help
> enlighten me.

Hi Ember! I'm probably one of the dykes who looks the way you're describing. *laugh* (mostly, though, i do not stage my relationship melodrama in public *grin*)

Ember, it seems as though you originally were trying to distinguish between women who care about how they look (butch, femme, or otherwise) and women who don't. i'm going to totally ignore the stuff about hygiene, since i think you weren't talking about that, and i suspect we're all agreed that people should wash periodically. I'm also not going to address the specically butch/femme stuff... I'll save that for another post.

I'm definitely someone who, most of the time, just doesn't care. That's right -- I don't care how I look. I leave the house with bedhead sometimes (difficult with a brush cut, but i can do it!). I wear clothes that I'm vaguely aware are out of style. i don't wear any form of makeup. Worse, I don't shave my legs or my armpits!!! *grin* yes, i wash regularly, and yes, i pay attention to BO and bad breath. but i don't give a shit at all what i look like.



> It is almost like, and forgive my ignorance on the topic, they "refuse" > to attempt to polish their appearance.

In a sense, you're right. the way i see it, life is short, and there are lots of things i want to do. spending time on my appearance is just not as high a priority for me as the other things i want to do. *shrug* i guess my question is, why is it such a high priority for you? also, do you have the same standards for men about whether they style their hair, pick out flattering clothes, etc? (as with your question, mine are strictly interested. hope you're not offended).

as a fringe benefit, i like to stir up people's assumptions about "how a woman is supposed to look"... just as this thread is doing, so well. someone wrote that they were glad this was getting talked about, instead of just quietly thought! i agree.


> why do some lesbians feel this is the way to look?

i can't speak for anyone else, but for me, it's not that i specifically want to look any particular way. however i look, when i am clean and healthy and spending the minimum amount of time on appearance, that's how i look. i want my clothes to be comfortable and cheap (cuz i'd rather spend my money on other things too!), and i don't want to spend a lot of time looking for them. that often means hand-me-downs, quick trips through the second-hand store picking up just about anything in my size, and drying on a clothesline so my stuff lasts as long as possible before i have to start over.

on the rare occasions that i do pay attention to my looks, it's because i'm performing, or in drag, or in costume. and that can be a lot of fun *impish grin* During my short life, i've travelled all over the gender continuum. I do know how to apply makeup, and how to merengue in high heels (much to the distress of men in bars, when my girlfriend would in while i was dancing with them). I also know how to bind my breasts, pick out a flattering suit, tie a tie, and flirt while lighting a woman's cigarette. but these are rare special occasions (halloween? gender-fuck night-on-the-town with friends?).

when i feel most comfortable, when i feel like "myself", is when i'm spending those precious minutes on the things i love... and paying attention to my looks just isn't one of the things i love. i know i'm supposed to love it, because all women are "supposed" to love it... but i don't. i think our (north american) culture allows men a bit more freedom about this, because they can be all stylin if they want to. but if they don't give a damn, or can't afford the time or money to look "polished", that might cause some problems, but people don't get all confused about whether they're male or female, or start wondering if they have gender identity problems.


> if it is really a helper or a henderance to their finding someone to be
> with

well, i'm polyamourous (see my post in the poly forum!), and i don't have any trouble finding people to play with or commit to, so i guess i can't complain. *grin*

let's face it, there's a lot of societal shit out there for women who break the rules. and there are as many ways to break the rules as there are women... as zami pointed out so well, just about anything can be subversive. "high femme" can be rule-breaking, so can "butch", and anyplace inbetween. so can "ignoring the idea that i should care about my looks in the first place." and it takes a lot of courage sometimes to break rules publicly, openly, without shame. for a lot of people, courage is an attractive quality, whether that courage expresses itself in femme, butch, or "i don't give a damn" flavour.

so in my own way, I *am* proud of how i look... i'm proud that i have the courage to look however i want, without caring how or whether other people judge me. which, basically, isn't so different from what you do, am I right?


> neglect of their own appear and presence while out in public was
> slightly offensive and it caught me off guard.

this seems really interesting. part of the question seems to be about distinguishing between appearance in public and appearance in private. What does that mean to you? Why did it catch you off guard?


> It almost seems like they are making the statement to other females,
> that you aren't truly a lesbian if you wear eyeshadow and carry a
> purse.

Hm... this i don't get. Ember, you look one way, i look a different way. how is either one of us making a statement about the other?

take care folks,
Troublemaker

#29
nicolevf

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You raise some interesting points Trouble...and in conclusion come up with the same point I made, "it doesn't matter". But again, it's great that Ember has put it out there, asking honestly what she feels. It's an opportunity for all of us to speak our thoughts out loud and Ember, you certainly have raised a "popular" topic ... hehehe.

I do have a question for you Trouble if you don't mind? Can I ask why you bind your breasts? My thoughts have been that it's to give a look of a males chest, is that right in your case? Are you uncomfortable with having breasts? Or does it just look better with a suit and tie? I'm curious :?:

I ask out of curiousity and not judgment, let me make that crystal clear. I think a womans breasts are beautiful, and although I don't feel they need to be displayed in a provacative way, just the the shape is very beautiful as is the the entire body of a woman. Hopefully you can indulge my curiosity...

Til next time,

Nicole :)~

#30
Troublemaker

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Hi Nicole, that's quite a question! *grin* Yes, I understand that your request is genuine, and I think it's a whole separate topic, so I'll start a thread in a minute with whatever little piece of the answer that I have. Before I do though, I have a bunch of questions about this one...

Quote

You raise some interesting points Trouble...and in conclusion come up with the same point I made, "it doesn't matter".

Hm... well, not quite. I concluded that my appearance doesn't matter to me. But how I am seen by others... well, sometimes that does matter (to me, and by the sound of this thread, how I look matters to others too!).

And of course, many people (in fact, probably most) do care how they look, and how others look. My question is, why does it matter? I imagine there are as many reasons as there are people reading this (quite a number, I notice from the forum stats! Come on lurkers -- tell us how you really feel! :P )

Quote

I think a womans breasts are beautiful, and although I don't feel they need to be displayed in a provacative way, just the the shape is very beautiful as is the the entire body of a woman. Hopefully you can indulge my curiosity...

I agree -- bodies in all their amazing shapes are quite wonderful. This whole topic just raises so many questions though... like, what is "provocative" (as in your quote above), and what isn't? What is "flattering" or "polished" or "presentable" (all words that have been used here), and what isn't? When we talk about "clothes that fit", what does that mean, and who decides? Probably there are lots of opinions about this, but I'd be interested to know what they are, and why people feel the way they do...

Ember has emphatically stated that this is not about butches in particular:

Quote

Seriously, I NEVER said A THING about butch women other than I when I stated that I WASN'T talking about their kind in my first entry.

And yet it's posted in the Butch/Femme forum. Is it significant that the discussion has several times now sort of slid into being about butch/femme? And not about butch/femme in general, but about butch women specifically (aren't they just boys? are masculine-looking women struggling with their sexual identity?). It seems to be somehow very easy to make that mental shift from "shabby" to "butch", yet not to "femme". It seems about equally reasonable to wonder if really femme women are overcompensating because they're insecure about their gender identity as "real women" or somehting (IMPORTANT NOTE: I'm not suggesting this is the case!!). But we haven't wondered about that. So far, several questions have been raised about butches... and the one person on this forum who actually identifies as butch has been flamed off the board, as far as I can tell. When I take a step back and look at the big picture, I wonder if there's more going on than the original question itself really conveys.

Reading back over this thread, I realized too that I had missed this the first time around, in an exchange about makeup and purses:

Quote

I was talking from the OTHER perspective of why they tend not to and would ignore women who do

The "why" part is the same as the original post, but the "ignore" part is new, and a bit baffling. Women who don't wear makeup ignore women who do? Since when? Uh, some women who don't wear makeup (aka butch dykes) are well known for being rather interested in women who do. *grin*

Just as baffling as Ember's other suggestion that dykes who don't care (or care less, or care differently) about their appearance are "making a statement that you aren't truly a lesbian if you wear eyeshadow and carry a purse."

Whoa. Ember, I'm getting the sense that you feel judged by these women (your customers? other people you've met? me maybe?), or disapproved of, or something. Am I wrong? What's going on?

take care all,
Troublemaker





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