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Femme Invisibility and Butch Marginality


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#21
ladyk

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i sure miss zami and her thought-provoking posts. i never did respond to this one.

i am stonefemme identified. i don't feel like getting into what this means too much, but basically for me it gives a more accurate jumping-off point for who i am in the butch-femme community: a femme who has a preference for stonebutches.

i am a feminine woman. matter of fact, i am more than just feminine. i live it on the outside and the inside. i am girly and womanly and am this way all the time. it's not performance for me, but then again i'm a rather reserved woman. you won't catch me in fake eyelashes and fishnets (unless asked, of course *wink*). i am often mistaken for being straight, unless i'm in the company of butches. even then, i am still sometimes am invisible.

do i think this is a problem in our community? yes, in certain aspects of it (not sure what i'm meaning here by 'community'). anytime any community has a limited expectation of what "we" are supposed to look like versus "them" there's a problem. it drives me a little crazy that the queer community can be this way because for goodness sake we are people who are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be women, or what it means to be female-bodied, of what it means to love ourselves despite the prejudice against us. why then is our vision so limited?

i find that socio-economics play a part in this vision sometimes. if i walk into some booshy lesbian club, i am expected to be feminine and date other feminine lesbians (lipstick lesbians). if i go into some other popular local lesbo spot where there's a slightly more mixed crowd, i tend to be mostly invisible. but if i go into a working-class hole-in-the-wall, i never have a problem. the butches kick it to me, and the ladies make like we're competition. *laugh* as it should be!

kidding! i can't stand that whole competition thing.

i have often wondered why this is....why i can go into my local bar, in the hood, and we can look all different kind of ways and i never get the fuzzy eyeball, yet i'm never invisible. i get lots of positive attention, but when i lived in san francisco and went to the different hot spots i barely ever got hit on. still something that makes me scratch me head. *shrug*

#22
terri

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ok i'm a femme and only am interested in Butches, i believe it and live it ....Butches are sooo ummmm :wink:
~terri~

#23
DarKaYoS

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Quote

ok i'm a femme and only am interested in Butches, i believe it and live it ....Butches are sooo ummmm :wink:

Where are all the women like you in Knoxville, TN?

Truthfully, I have ALWAYS identified and BEEN identified as "Butch" or "Tomboy" since I was a little kid. Although, as a child, I never wondered at this (I am originally from Chicago), here, in Tennessee it has come to be something to think about. People DO look at me and stamp "Dyke" on my forehead, but no one seems to appreciate that I am still a woman, too. Here, most women seem to be femme's who pass in general society as "straight". Whether by choice or not, it DOES provide them with the ability to separate themselves from the masses here that are homophobic. However, for some reason, these same women seem to only respond to femme's as well. I don't consider myself a dashing dyke, but I am not offensive to the eye either. It just seems lesbians here only WANT femme women, so perhaps THAT is why there are so many of them here. A simple case of suppy and demand, if you will? Who knows?

My truth: we are all simply who we are- we express that everyday in different ways. I just think everyone should feel free to be who they are and be allowed to be HAPPY with that, without all the stigma that seems to go along with it. I am butch. I love women. It doesn't make me hellspawn, it doesn't mean I am a better lesbian than anyone else, it's just part of who I am. And now, on with the show...

DarKaYoS
"I've had plenty of sex. It's just, now, I'd like to try it with a partner..."

#24
terri

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Quote

Quote

ok i'm a femme and only am interested in Butches, i believe it and live it ....Butches are sooo ummmm :wink:

Where are all the women like you in Knoxville, TN?

Truthfully, I have ALWAYS identified and BEEN identified as "Butch" or "Tomboy" since I was a little kid. Although, as a child, I never wondered at this (I am originally from Chicago), here, in Tennessee it has come to be something to think about. People DO look at me and stamp "Dyke" on my forehead, but no one seems to appreciate that I am still a woman, too. Here, most women seem to be femme's who pass in general society as "straight". Whether by choice or not, it DOES provide them with the ability to separate themselves from the masses here that are homophobic. However, for some reason, these same women seem to only respond to femme's as well. I don't consider myself a dashing dyke, but I am not offensive to the eye either. It just seems lesbians here only WANT femme women, so perhaps THAT is why there are so many of them here. A simple case of suppy and demand, if you will? Who knows?

My truth: we are all simply who we are- we express that everyday in different ways. I just think everyone should feel free to be who they are and be allowed to be HAPPY with that, without all the stigma that seems to go along with it. I am butch. I love women. It doesn't make me hellspawn, it doesn't mean I am a better lesbian than anyone else, it's just part of who I am. And now, on with the show...

DarKaYoS

Hi Dark :wink: Amen to You
i simply adore and admire Butches who know Who they are and are proud of being " real " . i do not think of a Butch as a man , 2 totally differen't species lol. i love the strong caring ways Butches have without that male grossness. ( at risk of sounding like a man hater! lol ) Butch women to me are beautiful , i love to see all of the strong masculine expressions they have , the way they walk, talk, their Butch hands etc...
but what i personally love the most is when W/we are alone and the clothes come off, then i am in heaven :oops: i love the softness and i adore the female parts * giggle* i think its the combination of
hard and soft-
tough and gentle -
dominant and Butch to me and to all -- yet only turned into a kitten for me :wink:
ok i have wrote enough *sigh*
You rock on honey and the right femme will come along and make You know what a special BUTCH You are !

love, ~terri~

~terri~

#25
DarKaYoS

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Quote

Quote

Quote

ok i'm a femme and only am interested in Butches, i believe it and live it ....Butches are sooo ummmm :wink:

Damn, a femme AND she likes GUNS?! I think I'm in love...gotta get to Buffallo and see how this is happening and why no shipments are being made HERE!

I appreciate ya' Terri- sometimes it is difficult to live in a hetero world. However, my philosophy has allowed me to believe that the world really ISN'T Hetero- a small few just want everyone to think it is, like ultra-concervative religious factions, who are just mad 'cause THEY are GETTING CAUGHT with their hands in the choir boy cookie jar (Do choir boys have cookies? Maybe I didn't say that right. ANYWAY...).

What do the magazines say- there's only 10% of us in the population? Yeah, right. I don't know about men, but in women, I'm CERTAIN there are more than 10% who are either lesbian or bisexually identified, and/or have "tried" it- but won't ever tell anyone until the need becomes so much that they have to "try" it AGAIN! Can I get a witness to testify?

DarKaYoS



Where are all the women like you in Knoxville, TN?

Truthfully, I have ALWAYS identified and BEEN identified as "Butch" or "Tomboy" since I was a little kid. Although, as a child, I never wondered at this (I am originally from Chicago), here, in Tennessee it has come to be something to think about. People DO look at me and stamp "Dyke" on my forehead, but no one seems to appreciate that I am still a woman, too. Here, most women seem to be femme's who pass in general society as "straight". Whether by choice or not, it DOES provide them with the ability to separate themselves from the masses here that are homophobic. However, for some reason, these same women seem to only respond to femme's as well. I don't consider myself a dashing dyke, but I am not offensive to the eye either. It just seems lesbians here only WANT femme women, so perhaps THAT is why there are so many of them here. A simple case of suppy and demand, if you will? Who knows?

My truth: we are all simply who we are- we express that everyday in different ways. I just think everyone should feel free to be who they are and be allowed to be HAPPY with that, without all the stigma that seems to go along with it. I am butch. I love women. It doesn't make me hellspawn, it doesn't mean I am a better lesbian than anyone else, it's just part of who I am. And now, on with the show...

DarKaYoS

Hi Dark :wink: Amen to You
i simply adore and admire Butches who know Who they are and are proud of being " real " . i do not think of a Butch as a man , 2 totally differen't species lol. i love the strong caring ways Butches have without that male grossness. ( at risk of sounding like a man hater! lol ) Butch women to me are beautiful , i love to see all of the strong masculine expressions they have , the way they walk, talk, their Butch hands etc...
but what i personally love the most is when W/we are alone and the clothes come off, then i am in heaven :oops: i love the softness and i adore the female parts * giggle* i think its the combination of
hard and soft-
tough and gentle -
dominant and Butch to me and to all -- yet only turned into a kitten for me :wink:
ok i have wrote enough *sigh*
You rock on honey and the right femme will come along and make You know what a special BUTCH You are !

love, ~terri~

"I've had plenty of sex. It's just, now, I'd like to try it with a partner..."

#26
LiliumCorsica

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Ok, I'm femme, as you'd like to say.
The BAD thing about this (for me) is that I am always assumed to be straight, and guys hit on me all the time. Not just that, but because no one assumes or knows I'm a lesbian unless I tell them (or something comes up in convo) then there are no lesbians hitting on me, or anything like that. I also haven't even connected with the gay/lesbian scene in my city at ALL, since it's really small or underground or something, and I just pass as being straight so I don't get invited anywhere. I DO feel invisible to the gay community. Not only that, I'm not conected to the straight community either, as in I don't involve myself with guys and I don't take part in all that dating stuff that my friends do, and I don't have much in common with any of that.

So, pretty much, I feel invisible to both worlds.

If only there was a way to let everyone know how lesbian I am without compromising myself or my style. Ugh....


#27
PrinceKing

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It seems to me that all these women saying that butch girls are trying to look and act like men really just don't have a very full understanding of what a 'woman' is.. or what it means to be one.

Basically, I was born a girl. I have boobies (whether or not they're in view at all times), I have a vagina; I'm a woman. I know gender can be complicated to some people, but this is my personal view about it, as I am very comfortable having all of these things and wouldn't want to change them. So, they make me a woman. No matter how I act, I am acting like a woman because that is what I am. There is no WAY to be a woman - if you're born like that and you accept that as the way you want it, BAM! You're acting like a woman. If you deviate from the 'usual' or overall 'popular' ways of acting like a woman, you're just giving that title more scope.

I am also butch, as I define it as having an overall masculine energy. Masculine has been defined as protective, assertive, aggressive, strong, etc. All qualities which I posess, though am not limited to. More than that, the label feels right to me. I can be soft, sweet, caring; I can be seductive, flirtatious, goofy; I can dress to the 9's in a man's fitted suit. I am an actor and an artist. I am also a model and I can stomp down the catwalk in a $2000 gown, heels and self-applied makeup. It's my energy and my mind that makes me a butch. Try and tell me I'm anything other.

The point is that I am naturally - and enjoy - being MASCULINE, not manly. Believe me, men are not the masters of masculinity, either. This is the 21st century, people. Men are baking cookies at home with their kids. I can't believe butch women are being compared to men at all, seeing as many of them define masculinity far better than many men could. Would you ask men why they feel the need to act like women by bonding with their children and being sweet and caring to their wives/husbands? Everyone is free to have their own views of how the world works, but this seems like a pretty ignorant one to me.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

- PK
:I Want To Break Free:

#28
ZoZoHarle

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Quote

If only there was a way to let everyone know how lesbian I am without compromising myself or my style. Ugh....
Wear a double-female symbol necklace? =^_^=

*Applauds PrinceKing's post!* This is so true! Though we often jump to the thought that style defines whether or not someone is butch or femme, it truly is the personality we adopt that makes us more masculine or feminine, and often it is not so easily seen. Aaand, you are right~! Attributes of a butch does not necessarily mean "like a man", but more of a confidence and coolness of personality.
But... even though I say this, I am sure I'll still view butch or femme as styles, too. ^_^;

"Be yourself. No one else can do it better!" =^_^=

#29
dizzyspells

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I don't identify with either butch or femme. I recently cut my hair very short into the popular lesbian haircut in New York right now. I didn't do it because it identifies me as gay to other women (even though that makes it extremely fun to walk around downtown), I did it because I like the way it looks. And it also happens that it looks gay, I like being identified as gay.

The funny thing is, that a lot of guys won't realize my orientation and will hit on me. So it must not be totally obvious. There are a lot of girls in Manhattan who dress the way I do and have my haircut, who are straight. It is a popular look right now. I enjoy wearing dresses just as much as sweaters and button down shirts. Sure, the places I am going and the people I will be with factor in to how I get dressed in the morning, but at the root of it, it is just about expressing who I am and how I feel. I enjoy experimenting with my identity. I like expressing my sexuality in what I wear and being proud of who I am.

In many ways I could say that there is something butch deep inside of me, something that I can't express in words. But those things are, again, just a part of myself that I want express, regardless of labels.

I spent a few years struggling with the idea of presenting myself as gay to the world. It was always a very private thing for me. Not private in the sense of not wanting to share it, but private in the sense of being completely at peace with my sexual identity and not feeling any kind of need to express it through dress or participate in groups. If anyone had asked me how I felt, I would have said, I am bisexual.

After having my first relationship with a girl, and experiencing the negative and positive reactions of other people to our holding hands in the street and generally acting like a ridiculously cute couple in public- I began to deal with issues of how to present my sexuality to the world. My sexuality was very quickly put into a public sphere.

It is a new area to explore, clothes, hair, degrees of outness, self-respect, support for the community, etc. The only thing any woman can do to respect herself and the gay community, is to be herself. And that goes for anyone in any community. Prejudice often comes from people who have issues with their own identity and can't deal with it. The only way to avoid prejudice is to focus on loving and understanding ourselves (instead of judging others).

It is always the things that we dislike in ourselves that we hate in others.

Eve
If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.

Charlie Parker

#30
MzJane

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Quote

Ok, I'm femme, as you'd like to say.
The BAD thing about this (for me) is that I am always assumed to be straight, and guys hit on me all the time. Not just that, but because no one assumes or knows I'm a lesbian unless I tell them (or something comes up in convo) then there are no lesbians hitting on me, or anything like that. I also haven't even connected with the gay/lesbian scene in my city at ALL, since it's really small or underground or something, and I just pass as being straight so I don't get invited anywhere. I DO feel invisible to the gay community. Not only that, I'm not conected to the straight community either, as in I don't involve myself with guys and I don't take part in all that dating stuff that my friends do, and I don't have much in common with any of that.

So, pretty much, I feel invisible to both worlds.

If only there was a way to let everyone know how lesbian I am without compromising myself or my style. Ugh....

I can completely relate, I get the "Oh Goodness, but you don't LOOK like a lesbian"..aaaaaack.. drives me mad..and butches whom I am attracted to seem to need to be 2x4'd with a large piece of wood.. though it can be amusing at times.. since I have come out as a femme... my dating life has almost died.. what to do?





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