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Personality or Looks?

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Since no one else has started a topic for this one, I thought I would. So there!  I can never figure out if a woman is refering to her personality or looks when they define themselves at "butchy" or "femme". My friend always called herself butchy even though she wasn't. But she acted kinda butch. Okay, now I just confused myself. Why did these labels start?!? What am I? Why did I start this topic again?

I was dropped as a child. 

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Since no one else has started a topic for this one, I thought I would. So there!  I can never figure out if a woman is refering to her personality or looks when they define themselves at "butchy" or "femme". My friend always called herself butchy even though she wasn't. But she acted kinda butch. Okay, now I just confused myself. Why did these labels start?!? What am I? Why did I start this topic again?

I was dropped as a child. 

I know the feeling. My butchy side wrestles my femme side into hushed submission alot lol. What can I say? Girls will be girls.

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I was told that I was soft butch cause I am tomboyish yet can be femme when I want to. I hope that makes sense.

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the titles butch and femme arn't just outwardly appearence, although that often goes hand in hand with it. no one can tell you what you are, it's one of those wonderful things that only you can lable (or choose not to) yourself with. it has to do sometimes with dominance and submission, other times the things you're interested in, or, to a certain extent, a gender identification within the queer community. there is, obviously, a spectrum: stone femme, femme, butch femme, androdonous, soft butch, butch, stone butch...and even more. but you don't have to lable yourself as anything. you can just be queer.  which makes me happy. (even though i feel that i'm somewhere in the femme/butch femme area)

(i can't spell, so ignore it  )

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Well queer I am, and queer I shall be!! Here stated on this day, I shall forth go into this world unassumed by a label for I am higher than that! And forthtold to all those who raise against the boundries placed by those who have come before thine.

For some reason, Shakespear makes me kinda horny.

Yes, that did make sense Whitewind, after clariffication from theelvinprincess. I wonder if there's a course on this at one of those crazy universities? "Lesbo Lingo 101"

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Hi ladies,

I have never felt as if butch nor femme decribed me.But I someone introduce me to labels I was not aware of.I am a cross between soft butch & soft femme.I feel much better now!  Maybe someone should put together a visual reference of common labels for those of us that are not sure.

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Labels tend to diminish the very groups in which they intend to describe.

Tamela like you I am not aware of all the different sub catergoories but in saying that I also dont think a visual depiction would aptly express the many varied and unique personages that come under the lesbian heading.

Having said that I think I come closest to maybe soft butch

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Does anyone else find that butch/femme labels are gaining a lot of popularity these days?

A few decades ago, you practically weren't a lesbian if you weren't clearly one or the other (has anyone read Stone Butch Blues?). but it seemed to become quite uncommon after that (there's a great segment about this in the movie If These Walls Could Talk). Until recently. Now it seems that lots of people are at least trying (maybe with varying degrees of comfort and success) to fit into them somewhere. What's up?

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Again I am told I am sporty femme, yesterday at concert I was told I looked like a dyke by another lesbian friend. I actually took offense to it. Mostly because I am only out to 3 or 4 people and other lesbians and don't appreciate being labeled based on appearance. My personality is probably more butchy or tomboyish. I am a deep person, an artist and writer so I take extreme offense to people who make judgements on me and don't really know anything about me. This person who commented on my appearance though doesn't know me a bit, other than the fact that she thinks "I'm hot". While I appreciate being though of as attractive, and am flattered by that, I do take offense to it because she hasn't bothered to get to know ME. There is more to people than their looks and while I am a strong believer in good looks, and taking time to care for yourself, I can't be with someone unless they have a deeper personality and care to know me beyond what's on the outside.

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I find this all very confusing. I've heard the phrase "someone told me I am..." all too many times. We are letting others define who we are, which I find vastly counterintuitive to our efforts of creating an open, non-judgemental post-modern, sexually-liberated space. (Or maybe we're really not trying to create such an environment, what do I know?)

I don't know where I fit in. (I also don't know how to label some of my favorite music, so this isn't new for me. I mean, is Portishead triphop or is it electronica?) I do know that my clothing depends on my moods, just like my musical tastes do. I love to wear skirts and high heels, but you can also find me in jeans, my grandfather's vest, and my sh**-kickers (steel-toes).

To further complicate things, let me delve into my sexual desires for a moment. I find the prospect of wearing a dildo and role-playing as a man very tantilizing! Does this make me a trans-fag? A butch-lez? I dunno! I also love the idea of a strong, aggressive, and yet gentle woman having her way with me.

After reading a book (that I highly recommend) called "Pomosexuals", I've come to the conclusion that I'm just me. "Feminine" is not the same as "female" because the way in which we are expected to express our genders is created and imposed by others, not me.

That's Dandy 

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To further complicate things, let me delve into my sexual desires for a moment. I find the prospect of wearing a dildo and role-playing as a man very tantilizing! Does this make me a trans-fag? A butch-lez? I dunno! I also love the idea of a strong, aggressive, and yet gentle woman having her way with me.

Oh Dandy dear! We MUST talk! hehehe 

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Since no one else has started a topic for this one, I thought I would. So there!  I can never figure out if a woman is refering to her personality or looks when they define themselves at "butchy" or "femme". My friend always called herself butchy even though she wasn't. But she acted kinda butch. Okay, now I just confused myself. Why did these labels start?!? What am I? Why did I start this topic again?

I was dropped as a child. 

personally I don't like labels. most of my friends say that I am more of a soft butch. I don't think of myself as anything. Just a woman. I don't have a perference as to what kind I am attracted to. I look at everyone as beautiful.I am more attracted to a woman's personality than her looks. She has to have a great sense of humor and love being herself.

Have a great day all.

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Oh Dandy dear! We MUST talk! hehehe

Oh behave! Meow! 

That's Dandy 

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To me, labels only seem useful (or accurate) when discussing looks.

Personality is too complex to put into a box, whereas appearance is a little easier. I have always described myself as "femme" but someone asked if I consider myself butch because I like hiking! LOL My interests and activities have nothing to do with my "Looks catagory"

The purpose of labels in my opinion is to make looking for potential lovers easier. Its very hard on some sites to browse through pictures of everyone, so you identify yourself with something and the general type of people you're attracted to based on cultural labels already "set" in society and you try to narrow things down that way.

Sometimes labels can backfire though! On one site it asked women to describe their body type as one of 4 catagories, one of which was "ample" which I have always thought meant "a few extra lbs or heavier" but plenty of women thought it meant "hourglass-shaped" or "voluptuous" I'm sure this caused plenty of confusion for people who were basing their search on body type

--C

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To me, labels only seem useful (or accurate) when discussing looks.

Personality is too complex to put into a box, whereas appearance is a little easier. I have always described myself as "femme" but someone asked if I consider myself butch because I like hiking! LOL My interests and activities have nothing to do with my "Looks catagory"

The purpose of labels in my opinion is to make looking for potential lovers easier. Its very hard on some sites to browse through pictures of everyone, so you identify yourself with something and the general type of people you're attracted to based on cultural labels already "set" in society and you try to narrow things down that way.

Sometimes labels can backfire though! On one site it asked women to describe their body type as one of 4 catagories, one of which was "ample" which I have always thought meant "a few extra lbs or heavier" but plenty of women thought it meant "hourglass-shaped" or "voluptuous" I'm sure this caused plenty of confusion for people who were basing their search on body type

--C

I agree with you Carrie You said it just like I would have. i look into a persons heart and find what I need to find there. I see a woman's beauty as it is and I am only attracted to her personality and not her looks.

It is nice to see the beauty in everything. 

Have a nice day.

Lynn

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Hmm, if labels really are meant for outward appearances only, then may I find a femme who sports whole different attitude! LOL Does such a thing exist?

That's Dandy 

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I don't know the difference . . . well, I have seen butch women and what society stereotypes as 'dyke', but . . . I like wearing jeans and t shirts and sweat pants, but I also like wearing dresses and things like that. Foo foo la la. I don't know . . . is butch femme a personality or an appearance? i think it's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?

Yours,

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Dandy, you wrote:

Hmm, if labels really are meant for outward appearances only, then may I find a femme who sports whole different attitude! LOL Does such a thing exist?

Yes, such a person or type exists. I do not believe in such labels but if we must use them, then to accurately do so they need only apply to physical appearances b/c we as individuals are too multi-faceted. I once dated such a girl. So yes, your unicorn does exist. I also look femme w/ a few dominant traits (unfortunately, not in the areas you seem to seek). Like I said in a previous reply, I think everyone is a bit femme and butch if we must use labels. But if everyone is a combo, what is the point of such labels? (P.S. If my ex ever becomes available I'll tell her to give you a buzz. But just in case she doesn't, keep looking. I promise you will find her. True love is hard to find, but not impossible.)

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Hello eveyone. How's this for labels; I am a black identified white lesbian. Figure that one out...Anyway, I would rather date femme women,but I have been known to be attracted to those sistahs who are a little genderbending back when I was younger...Still there is nothing more attractive to me than a sexy femme in high heels and lingere...Sigh 

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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.

Butch on the streets, femme in the sheets.

Think about that!!!!!!!

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Where labels began-dunno!

But I beleive that labeling should explain behavior instead of outward appearance.

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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.

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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'? 

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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

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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.

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