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What Straightbians Think “Butch” Means And How They Are Wrong

A very smart friend, Genuine Femme, recently commented on Twitter:

Butch to Straightbians is a term with no meaning beyond fashion choice. And they even get that wrong too!

This quote completely sums up a huge problem with the ongoing bastardization of the meaning of Butch and explains a great deal of the confusion and conflict that Dirt, I, Genuine Femme, and other (REAL) Lesbians experience in trying to reclaim the actual meanings of words from the lying, twisted, claw-like talons of Straightbians.

Here is what Straightbians incorrectly think Butch is:

ANY female (who may be a Lesbian, but quite often is another Straightbian) who does any/all of the following:

  • Cuts her hair short or shaves her head or has a mohawk or has dreadlocks, etc.;
  • Has a copious amount of tattoos and/or piercings and/or body modifications and/or rainbow-colored hair;
  • Wears so-called “men’s” clothes (or even so-called “women’s” clothes that are stereotypically perceived to be “non-feminine”), including, but not limited to, any or all of the following: suits, ties, bow ties, ball caps, trousers, suspenders, Doc Martens, jeans, boxers, vests, cargo pants, leather, etc.;
  • Simply (but incorrectly) calls herself “Butch”;
  • Calls herself “gender nonconforming”, “gender defiant”, “gender deviant”, “gender diverse”, “genderqueer”, “non-binary”, or any other such offensive terms;
  • Incorrectly playacts “Butch” using her own uninformed preconceived notions of “Butch” via her version “acting like a man” (because “male-wannabe” is what she stupidly THINKS “Butch” is!), including, but not limited to, any or all of the following: being hypersexual, typically in a “top”/”Daddy” (ewww!!) sort of way; being domineering or overbearing; swaggering embarrassingly around like Barney Fife on steroids; packing; being sexist (treating her Straightbian like “the little woman” in the relationship); etc.;
  • Eschews femininity” (which is a ridiculous and untrue radfem notion; remember that REAL Lesbians do NOT “eschew feminity”).

The above misconceptions explain how Straightbians (many of whom often incorrectly call themselves “Femmes“) state (with the totally misplaced confidence of the completely ignorant) that “Butches strip” and other such nonsensical, inane claims.

Once again for the numerous seemingly slow-witted Straightbians/others who are perpetuating and/or believing such ridiculousness: 

Many people ask why we continue to insist on calling out the numerous shocking inaccuracies about Butch, Femme, and Lesbian in general. We continue because words have meaning, and the truth matters.

If you find yourself feeling threatened by what we are saying, it’s time to stop and ask yourself why.

Perhaps you already know deep-down, underneath all of your rationalizations and layers of denial, that the life you are living is ONE BIG FAT LIE.

It’s time to face YOUR own demons instead of making demons out of us!

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Butches, Stripping, and Straightbians…Oh My

For a couple of days now, I have been in a series of heated debates regarding the question of whether (real) Butches would ever be strippers. (Answer: Not just no, but HELL NO).

In response to my statement that the probability of a Butch stripping would be approximately a snowball’s chance in Hell, I received a flippant, snarky reply from this individual asserting with confidence that, basically, “sure, Butches strip all the time”, with what appeared to be a vintage pic of a short-haired stripper (presumably to “prove” that Butches do strip).

Problem is: The woman in the pic was most certainly NOT Butch, and most likely, she’s not even ANY sort of Lesbian either. This tweeter, along with a plethora of others, incorrectly and ignorantly assumes that if any woman cuts her hair short and dons a suit (or any other so-called “male attire”) and simply makes the claim she is Butch, she is magically (POOF!) suddenly Butch.

But it doesn’t work that way. Not even close. Butches are born, not made.  Butch is NOT a performance, a costume, a political stance, or an act, and it is majorly offensive when people appropriate and misrepresent Lesbian lives.

A true Butch would NEVER strip. She would literally die first, and that is NOT an exaggeration.

What gives me the right to make such a broad claim, you ask? Because I am a Femme Lesbian. Because I am married to a Butch, and have known other Butches. Because I have been in the Lesbian community for many, many years now, and have seen so many dykes & Straightbians call themselves Butch when they clearly weren’t. Because I happen to have a lot more knowledge about this topic that most people.

(Yes, I said it, I mean it, and I really don’t care if you mistakenly think that is arrogant, because, yes, I do, in fact, know more about this topic than most people).

Anyway, I won’t bore you with giving you a play-by-play of every argumentative hetsplaining tweet or every Straightbian arguing with Lesbians about OUR OWN LIVES. It would take a dissertation to just explain the last couple of days.

But let’s examine one striking example of the sort of ignorance and attitude real Lesbians have to put up with:

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Let’s examine this snippet. Seemingly out-of-the-blue, a relatively new “feminist” account with 14 followers at the time and only a handful of tweets crawls out of some hole to randomly bust my chops?

Hmmmm…it seems likely that this is a familiar clown in a new disguise, but regardless of this person’s true identity, automatically accusing that there was any sort of racial connotation when race was not even mentioned (nor even remotely pertinent) is an incredibly transparent attempt to derail the actual point (which is: “real Butches don’t strip…period.”) by implying I am somehow inexplicably being racist by talking about a Lesbian issue.

Obviously, that idiotic crap doesn’t work with me. “Stick to the topic or shut up” is my motto.

(And, no, there are not any Butches of any race stripping for a living, now or ever).

Moving on to the next ridiculous assertion from our know-it-all who actually knows nothing:

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Okay, so calling me a racist didn’t work, so what does this ludicrous buffoon do now? Hmmm…Oh, I know, she “thinks“, let’s bring RAPE into it! THAT always derails the discussion!

This “rape culture” statement is completely off-topic and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, so, again, this is an obvious attempt to derail the discussion by twisting what we are actually saying to try to make it mean something completely unrecognizable.

This is actually a very common Straightbianfeministploy:

If you have no coherent argument and/or simply don’t understand the topic, Straightbians and/or so-called “feminists” on Twitter apparently think it’s time to bring up any of the following to try to completely derail the conversation:

  • Rape or Rape Culture
  • The Patriarchy
  • The “Trans Cult”
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Any other “ism”
  • Discrimination
  • Violence Against Women
  • MRAs
  • Men (of any variety) systematically “coercing” Lesbians into having sex with them (Not happening)

Well, those tactics may work with some people, but they are certainly not going to work with me or Dirt.

Again, the topic at hand was simple: Butch Lesbians and stripping. This topic has nothing to do with racism, rape, etc. etc. etc. Obviously. (Duh).

Back to the point: Do Butches strip?

And the final answer is: Butch Lesbians would never strip, regardless of race, age, audience, era, or circumstance. The end.

“Dirt Is A Failed Transman”: The Urban Myth

I have written before, here, about how the urban myth that Dirt is a “failed transman” persists like a demented zombie in a low-budget horror film.

What I didn’t fully address, though, is WHY this myth is so prevalent.  I did mention that the people perpetrating this falsehood are so trapped in their own gender-straitjacketed notions that they simply cannot conceptualize the fact that Dirt is a LESBIAN, nor do they understand that Lesbian is NORMAL, but I didn’t elaborate further on the underlying causes of this tedious rumor.

But the exact WHY is crucial, and needs to be addressed directly.

Therefore, Dirt did her own post on this topic (link here).

I have also copied and pasted her post below, because I strongly feel that it is important to address the root of this prevalent lie.

So, without further ado, here is Dirt’s response, in her own words:

As not simply someone who has written about Lesbians and transition for more than a decade, BUT as a Lesbian writing about Lesbians and transition, to assuage transgender fears and prejudices, in transgender circles the world over it has become urban myth that I myself have “tried to transition” but sadly “failed“. I’m not quite sure how one would fail, apparently the myth making never got beyond fail, but there you have it. “Dirt is a failed transman.”

A little something about myths:

As there is ZERO facts/truths to me having transitioned/detransitioned/tried transitioning/tried and failed transition, what would be the analogy which motivates these falsehoods? Outside of the zillions of petty little self soothing needs/motivations that spring from the individual, there are two prime reasons for the Dirt is a Failed Transman Myth:

  1. Lesbian has been removed from Lesbians.
  2. If Lesbians don’t exist beyond RadFem anyonecanchoosetobealesbian warped ideology and gender nonconforming confirms transgender origins, then normal Lesbians MUST surely be Trans, even if we fail at it.
Myth doesn’t hide things, it distorts them.”

Prior to Transgender ideology being commonplace, Lesbians like myself were often viewed/called and bashed with phases like mannish lesbians, lesbians who want to be men, lesbians who really are men, lesbians who act like men, masculine lesbians to list a few. Insults all couched in the swaddling cozy comfort of Heterosexuality.

But also prior to Trans Trending, even prior to the DSM III, Gays and Lesbians found comfort in finding other Gays and Lesbians. We didnt feel threatened by other Gays and Lesbians, instead for many of us we felt for the first time what it felt like to BE normal! To KNOW we were normal. NORMAL Homosexuals! NOT freaks of nature! NOT sick mother fuckers who shall burn in hell! NOT Gender Non Conforming! And most certainly NOT Transgender!

How do myths get created?

Between un-signifying Lesbian and inventing signifiers for Transgender from the ashes of Lesbian, Transgender has suddenly ALWAYS existed in human history. So much so, the once Lesbian tropes used by Lesbians (and Gays) as both survival instincts and mating instincts alike, are being used to back label historical Gays and Lesbians as Transgenders of history!

In my case, Heterocentric qualifiers/traits like mannish looking, acts like a man, masculine, handsome (rather than cute or beautiful), wears mens clothes, keeps a short or cropped hair cut, passes as a man etc, with Lesbian removed from history and with me being qualified as man/nish BUT also being a biological female—queers special snowflakes/Transgenders of both sexes/Trans cohorts and allies of both sexes conclude that I’m a transgender who failed at transitioning because I remain calling myself by my sex (female)/and my sex’s proper (she/her) pronouns. And from thence, myth!

I’m not a failed transman because I am, I’m a failed transman because some people need me to be.

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Unstraightening Lesbian: The Sex Edition!

Approximately a week or two ago, the Kindle Edition of the The Whole Lesbian Sex Book (2nd edition) by Felice Newman was on sale ($1.99), so I thought “What the heck?” and bought it.

I already suspected this book was yet another buttload of crap (pun semi-intended) because of Dirt’s and my earlier research into many (so-called) lesbian experts (who are neither lesbian nor expert) Susie Bright and Shar Rednour, among others.

After reading it, I sadly came to the conclusion that the book is indeed total crap.

Actually, to say this book is “total crap” is unnecessarily complimentary. This book would have to dig its way out of the sewer and make its way up through the pipes and into the toilet before it could even be considered crap.

Pour quoi“? you may be asking.

The answer is: So many reasons, so little time.

Since the horseshit is shoveled abundantly in this book, I will have to focus on the absolute worst of the worst for this post.

Let’s start with this little gem from Chapter 1:

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Okay, remember: this book is supposed to be about and for LESBIANS. The word “LESBIAN” is even in the freaking title.

First of all, most Lesbians aren’t promiscuous enough to have sex with random people (and groups of people!) as the first paragraph implies.

Secondly, and more importantly, the major flaw of the above quote comes with the second paragraph, which erroneously and slanderously implies that Lesbians have sex with men.

News Flash: Lesbians do NOT have sex with men.

Lesbians want to be with other LESBIANS. Period. End of story. It’s not rocket science, folks.

This ridiculous theme of (alleged) “lesbians” wanting sex with men, fantasizing about sex with men, having sex with men, etc. etc. etc. is repeated ad nauseum throughout this book, so I won’t belabor each and every example of this blatant falsehood.

Bottom line: NO, WE DON’T.

Moving on from this damaging and untrue theme (although the author unwisely didn’t), my next major gripe occurs in Chapter 2:

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The author seems to assume that Lesbians either do, or should, have a fetish. The author turns Lesbian love-making into a completely unrecognizable hypersexualized kinky fetishistic fuckfest.

Here are just a few of the bizarre and unrecognizable alleged “lesbian sex” (NOT!) examples mentioned by the author in Chapter 2: blood play, breast whipping, caning, enemas, golden showers, knife play, paying for sex, and triple penetration.

The author moves on to supposed Lesbian fantasies, and right off the bat, we’re back to my original complaint:  “Lesbians can and do get off to fantasies about sex with men“, the author claims.

Um…no. No, no, no, no, no.

Lesbians: I have said it before and I will say it again now: If your lover wants you to pretend to be a male in bed, or fantasizes about having a male join you in bed, or in any way whatsoever brings the concept of “male” into your bedroom, you are dealing with a Straightbian.

Lesbians are females who are sexually/romantically oriented solely to females. Regardless of what lesbians are doing in bed, there will never be a male involved, even in fantasy.

Another purported frequent “Lesbian” fantasy, according to our increasingly offensive author, is “Age Play” (also known as “incest fantasies” ~ ugh!): “Daddy/girl, Daddy/boy, Mommy/girl, Mommy/boy are popular forms“, says the author.

Hmmmm…let me think…how can I express my feelings about this topic in the nicest way possible?

Okay, here goes: That is some seriously sick, twisted, perverted, disgusting, and deviant shit.

(And that is the nice version of my thoughts on the matter).

Children should NEVER be a part of any sexual encounter, even in someone’s sicko fantasies.

My hope for those who are into “age/incest play”: Please get some serious therapy, because you truly need it if you think that pretending your lover is your “Daddy” (or that you are the “Daddy” having sex with a child, or any other variation of this repulsive “game”) is a hot or a harmless fantasy.

Furthermore, these fantasies are NOT LESBIAN.

Lesbians desire other ADULT Lesbians.

Lesbians don’t want to be your freaking “Daddy” or your “little boy” (or any other variation of this disgusting fantasy).

Some Lesbians may play along with this horrid game in order to please their fucked-up STRAIGHT girlfriend, or, in some cases, perhaps because they have been abused themselves and are acting out (See **Important Note, below).

In general, though, “age/incest play” is NOT a part of Lesbian sex.

**Important Note: Lesbians, like anyone else, may be victims of child sexual abuse, but to be very clear, being a Lesbian is NOT caused by, nor in any way related to, sexual abuse.

Instead of being truly “Lesbian“, this “age/incest” fantasy/activity is perpetrated by mixed-up Straightbians; most likely in a misguided and futile attempt to heal childhood wounds. Rather than addressing these wounds in a healthy manner, instead, they play out these wounds in an endless loop of sordid sex, pain, and confusion…never making progress, never achieving true intimacy.

(I normally would feel sorry for such confused individuals, but these people are doing it, and publicly gloating about it, in the name of “Lesbian“…and that is unforgivable).

I wish I could say that “age/incest play” is the worst lie the author gives as an alleged “Lesbian” sexual fantasy, but alas, shockingly, it’s not!

What could possibly be worse? Molestation (sex with minors!!), necrophilia (sex with dead people!!), and bestiality (sex with animals!!) are also all listed as supposed “Lesbian” fantasies.

They’re not.

Let me say it again: THESE ARE NOT LESBIAN FANTASIES/ACTIVITIES.

Please stop perverting all Lesbians with these outright lies, Felice Newman.

And readers, please, please, please get professional help if you actually do fantasize about any of that.

Moving on to the author’s “helpful” (NOT!) tips on purported Lesbian” porn:

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Hmmmm, I’m sensing a theme, aren’t you? Newman seems to want to pound (hahaha!) it into everyone’s heads the absolute lie that “Lesbians want men!” We don’t.

Again, it should go without saying, but apparently some people are too stupid to think it through, so it bears repeating:

Lesbians do NOT want men, so please take that drivel and shove it really far, far, far up where the sun don’t shine, Newman (et al.).

 

Let’s ignore the next few chapters. While I certainly didn’t agree with all of what was written in them, they didn’t make the list of the worst of the worst.

Moving on to Chapter 14, let’s examine this quote:

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First problem: Being a Lesbian is NOT about “gender”, and that statement includes Butch/Femme Lesbians. To explain why would require its own post, but for the purposes of this post,  suffice it to say that Butch/Femme Lesbians are NOT playacting/performing “gender roles”. We are simply being ourselves.

Remember: LESBIAN IS ITS OWN NORMAL!

Second problem: Butch sexuality is NOT in any way male sexuality. Please read Dirt’s post on this very topic, where she directly addresses yet more nonsense by this very same author.

The depicted image in the above quote of a Butch swaggering around, Barney-Fife-style, with her “thumbs hooked in belt loops“, trying to draw attention to the “lump in her jeans” is not only devastatingly incorrect, it’s downright insulting to real Butches.

Similarly, the description of an “aggressively erotic” hyper-feminine Femme who is “unconditionally interested in her own sex” (whatever that means) is a depiction of a Straightbian…NOT a real Femme. This cartoonish image is both untrue and damaging to real Femmes.

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More Butch/Femme bullshit ensues. This entire paragraph is FALSE.

Butch/Femme is NOT an “identity” to be “adopted“, it is NOT a “sexual dynamic“, and it is NOT a vague, nebulous concept that varies with the wind.

We most certainly do NOTcome from all genders and sexual orientations“!

Butches and Femmes are LESBIANS. Simple.

As I said above, Butch/Femme is NOT about “playing with gender signifiers“; we aren’t playing dress-up, for God’s sake!  We are born this way.

Also, the traditional/historic/correct usage of the terms Butch and Femme is in relation to the Butch/Femme dynamic. Therefore, there is no such thing as “Butch-on-Butch” or “Femme-on-Femme“.

Some may think this is quibbling about language, but for a group that is constantly misunderstood and misrepresented, correct language matters deeply, and it is both erasing and insulting to see our terms used improperly.

The next chapters deal with various aspects of BDSM. While I don’t feel as harshly about general BDSM as I do about “age/incest play”, I do object to the assumption that all, or even most, Lesbians are into BDSM, and particularly hardcore BDSM. For the author to take up copious space about hardcore BDSM in a purported “Lesbian sex” book gives the false impression that hardcore BDSM is indeed “the norm” for most Lesbians.

I would have lived the rest of my Lesbian life quite happily ~ in fact, even happier ~ having never known a damn thing about a “golden showers bottom” or a “tit-torture top” or a “scat bottom” or a “rimming top” or “blood play” or “seeks menstruating partners” or “sex in a body bag“, thank you very much.

An extensive section is then devoted to “play parties” (AKA group sex parties). I have known a ton of Lesbians in my life, and never…I repeat, NEVER…have I even heard of any “Lesbian Sex Party”.

Lesbians, at least for the most part, are monogamous, even if some are serial monogamists. Those serial monogamous relationships might only last years (or months) versus a lifetime, but they are one-on-one relationships with the intent on lasting the long haul.

It is NOT Lesbian culture to have orgies. It’s just not. Not even in California, because the famous ones having all the orgies…guess what…aren’t Lesbians!

These are the same twisted sisters we have written about before, and others like them: Straightbians who are acting out their sexual dysfunction and incorrectly calling it Lesbian.

I could go on and on about this book, and many others like it, which not only buy into the absurd notions listed in this post (and many more), but even worse, actively spread and perpetuate this misinformation.

I am speaking out about this because these lies are harmful to real Lesbians in many ways.

Lesbians already struggle with invisibility in a heterosexually-dominated world, and lying about us makes us all the more invisible, because the truth about the REAL us is not being told.

Misinformation like this also is actively dangerous to real Lesbians, in several ways. It is literally dangerous, because it reinforces some males’ delusions that Lesbians really do want men, leading to unwanted attention, harassment, stalking, or even physical violence.

It is also dangerous because it makes it seem like Lesbians are perverts, when WE are not the ones who are the perverts. People who (incorrectly!) believe Lesbians are perverts can do much damage to us, in many different ways (laws against us; refusal to hire us; firing us; denial of housing; violence; etc.).

Another, more insiduous, danger is the cumulative effect of constantly reading/hearing falsehoods about ourselves has on Lesbians. It makes us more willing to put up with nonsense in relationships. It isolates us. It removes us from ourselves. It makes us feel even more puzzled, confused, and alone than we already are, because we don’t recognize ourselves in what we read/hear/see.

It can even lead to Lesbians transitioning, because propaganda, like what is in this book and in many other sources, normalizes transition and makes it seem like an appropriate “step” for many Lesbians to take. Already separated from the norms of straight females, reading nonsense like this can make Lesbians’ normal feelings of “otherness” seem like we really “should be male“. (Some particularly ignorant Straightbians even CALL US male because they cannot understand what we are talking about).

No, Lesbians are fine as we are. And we’d be even better if warped opportunistic charlatans would shut the fuck up.

Gender Dysphoria: What It Is, What It Isn’t, And How To Feel Better About It

Note: This post was written by my partner, spouse, and all-around sweetie-pie, Dirt, and originally posted here.  I wanted to post it here because it is so important to spread the word that what most people are mistaking for “dysphoria” is NOT actually dysphoria.  This post explains what it really is. 

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Source: Public FaceBook Group

Gender Dysphoria is a term/diagnosis professionals (wrongly) staggeringly overuse to identify and unnecessarily treat transgenders and a term astronomically used by pedestrians to self-diagnose.

As someone who has suffered true Gender Dysphoria to the severest degree, developing puberty related discomfort around age 12, then drastically intensifying a year later, I will discuss Gender Dysphoria from various angles; a first person account, secondary, as an long term lesbian community member and thirdly as an experienced reader/writer on transgender related issues.

I’m told by age two I refused to wear dresses or any clothing that was over the top girly. I can recall at three years of age choosing clothes either uni sex girls or boys clothing, the same was across the board for toys/friends/games/play etc. I also recall specifically at age three that random adult strangers began to ask me “Are you a boy or a girl?”. The question at first confused me, because it made no sense to me. I had long hair, so how couldnt they SEE I was a girl? Later this question or the flat out assumption that I was male, caused me a deep sense of shame. Not a shame in being a girl (that would come later) but shame from the disappointment held in the adult faces questioning my sex when I said “girl”. I kept wondering what was so wrong with being the girl I was and not the boy I was not?

Fortunately my Ma didnt give me any grief for the girl I was and my Dad seemed to take great pride in it. He even encouraged my interests with gifts like a baby blue battery operated motor bike when I was three or the maroon and black mini-bike when I was four, which he drilled holes in the bike’s frame to fashion training wheels till I was comfortable enough to ride without them a year later. I also received no fallout or weirdness from adult relatives or cousins, cousins of whom my closest allies were only boys. It was only strangers/non family adults that seemed genuinely uncomfortable and perplexed by me/my looks/my behaviour/my mannerisms.

I do recall upon entering kindergarten, some mild confusion/uncomfortableness from other kids. I remember specifically during bathroom lineups getting into the girls line and boys yanking me back into their line, whereupon the teacher placed me back into the girls line. I also remember being mortified when such situations occurred (and they occurred often-sometimes still) and filled me with embarrassment. But boys claiming me a their own would follow me all through school. Knowing I was a girl, but also knowing I wasnt like any girl they knew. I was one of them, without being them. Going back to the kindergarten bathroom situation, it was the teachers abrupt actions to physically guide me into the girl’s line (several times), it was her uncomfortableness that made me uncomfortable, not the other kids. And not my own differences, which by age five I was well aware.

Being allowed/accepted to simply be myself-Lynn-by peers, family and having a VERY athletic body that could do just about anything I required of it, as far as bodies go, I didnt give it a second thought till I was about twelve. This was the first time I became aware of my body when it reminded me I WAS my body. My breast began to grow, not much but enough I could no longer run around shirtless and within a year grew enough to warrant wearing the nightmare called a bra.

I don’t know if sports bra’s were available then, but had a plain black sports bra been available it would have made the transition to breast a GREAT deal easier. I may still have laid in my bed at night and beat them with my fists, hoping with everything that was within me to awake each morning and they’d be gone, but reality being reality and they wouldn’t be, a comfortable sports bra would have felt like a blessing. Yet even the severe degree of uncomfort I had when I developed breasts, it was just that, discomfort, NOT dysphoria. And being one who always wore baggy comfortable clothes, once I got over the bra ickiness, while it wasn’t something I loved wearing, I did acclimate to having to wear one. By my late teens I discovered sports bras and never looked back.

At age thirteen, while still dealing with the bra issues, the onset of my period began. The best way to describe my feelings of periods, particularly early on can best be summarized by the writer Janet Frame when she wrote of her feelings each time she was to receive shock treatment “each the equivalent, in degree of fear, to an execution“. That is the most honest description of my feelings whenever a period was due and the most honest during, was the execution itself.

Beginning from age thirteen and ending at age 46, I did feel some form of dysphoria/mental discomfort when a period was coming on/on. I did make a conscious choice in my teens to do my best to live/deal with it and as period products changed (huge pads to thin) it was mostly just discomfort/annoyance. Being a lesbian, most importantly being a Butch lesbian I obviously was NEVER going to get pregnant and give birth. Were it readily available at the time, I would have had ablation to reduce/stop my periods without interfering in my natural hormone processes.

Even purchasing period products gave me a certain amount of embarrassment/mental discomfort. I felt like EVERYONE knew, whereas I wanted NO ONE to know. Meaning, the uncomfortableness that occurred was in feeling like MY personal private business was suddenly on display for strangers. Strangers who saw period products in my shopping cart, strangers who rang my purchases up and the strangers who bagged them. Even when strategically hiding them in my cart, I still had to deal with the cashier and bagger. The times I had long term girlfriends, they would take care of buying period products, knowing as Femmes do, the process made me uncomfortable. I would liken buying period products to the feeling adults who need adult diapers must feel.

It may seem like there is little difference between dysphoria and discomfort, but there is a most critical difference. Just about everyone EVER has felt some sort of uncomfortableness with their body, especially females. That discomfort can be GREAT or it can be small, it can lead to exercising to feel better about yourself, eating healthy or it can lead to an eating disorder. Instilling a healthy self image and a healthy interior can prevent most developing body related issues and where/when body issues arise help to remove all or most body discomfort from them.

Dysphoria is rooted in function and control, specifically bodily functions and the inability to control them. This can be bodily functions tied to our sex or bodily functions independent of sex such as voiding. Some transitioned homosexual males have expressed disliking erections because they emphasized that they were male, but only felt displeasure AFTER they took pleasure in their erection. These feelings are akin to a dieter who cheats with a peace of cake, enjoys eating the cake then feels guilty/bad afterward-that is not dysphoria, that’s regret and self loathing.

Females who hate dealing with periods (every female who’s ever had even one), females complaining of the dreaded “shark week” or a visit from “Aunt Flo”, their discomfort/distress/annoyance in and of itself also doesnt qualify as dysphoria. Gender Dysphoria as it is defined, does not exist. Prior to its debut and the criteria that followed, no person or either sex met the GD criteria.

When Psychology sold its soul to Big Pharma, in its blind ambition for scientific legitimacy, it relaxed or tossed many of its former discerning practices. It is no secret that the young, the intellectually slow and emotionally damaged and fragile are dramatically susceptible to the POWER of suggestion. It is also no great mystery that the rise of Gender Dysphoria diagnoses, much like the rise in Bipolar, ADHD, Autism etc followed AFTER the criteria for these disorders were both broadened and wildly publicized, resulting in hundreds of thousands misdiagnosed and most certainly mistreated.

Body dysphoria is VERY real, VERY distressing and currently has no known clinically successful treatment/cure. Transgender transition is a mentally/physically VIOLENT form of treatment for Gender Dysphoria and since nearly all seeking help for Gender Dysphoria do not adequately meet GD criteria, the treatment is useless and unsuccessful. Transition as treatment/cure for Gender Dysphoria is akin to treating the common cold by way of leg amputation. The focus of the cold would be redirected toward the missing limb, but the cold itself while not the focus would still be present/uncured. And due to the missing leg, a host of other issues would then ensue.

And when those like myself, who would have met (and then some) or even have moments where we might still meet Gender (body) Dysphoria criteria, we found help in the form of common sense, maturity and lovers who didn’t shame us, who instead reminded us we were MORE than our periods and our periods didn’t make us disappear. But even were transition used as treatment/cure for the TRULY body dysphoric like myself, the treatment is an act of disappearing and burying problems has NEVER made problems go away. And once upon a time, uncovering problems was the root of psychology.

dirt

Deciphering Butch/Femme

Lesbians in general are marginalized, misunderstood, and made invisible within general society; and this sad phenomenon is also true of Butch/Femme,  who also have the additional burden of being marginalized, misunderstood, and made invisible within the (purported) “Lesbian community: itself.

There are many inaccuracies and misconceptions about Butch/Femme…far too many to cover in a single post, so my aim with this post is to simply highlight the major misconceptions about Butch/Femme, and to give a brief general explanation of why these beliefs are faulty.

1).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #1:

“Butch/Femme is ‘performance‘; a cartoonish mimicry of heterosexual relationships.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

We are both Lesbians. We have no desire whatsoever to mimic heterosexual relationships. Dirt is NOT “the man one” and I am NOT “the woman one” (and to imply that we are is both unbelievably ignorant and offensive).

We are not “performing” nor “playacting”: we are just who we are, period.  We couldn’t change ourselves, no matter who pressured us to ~ and, quite frankly, we wouldn’t want to change, even if we could.

There isn’t a power-imbalance dynamic in our relationship; we are equals and we both contribute to the relationship in every way. We don’t have rigid duties/roles/expectations, nor do we want them. We don’t relate to each other like Ward and June Cleaver.

2).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #2:

“Anybody can be Butch/Femme simply by assuming different hairstyles, wearing different clothes/shoes, no makeup/makeup, etc.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

This assumption is related to #1 because it incorrectly assumes that Butch/Femme is what you do, rather than who you are.

Slapping on a backwards ballcap and some jeans and a t-shirt does not make you Butch, just as dabbing on a little lipstick and wearing a bit of jewelry does not make you Femme.

The truth is that we are always Butch/Femme, regardless of what we are wearing.  Right now, I am wearing no makeup, athletic shorts, a (so-called) “men’s” t-shirt, and Asics, and yet (gasp!), I am still Femme.  Why?  Because that is who I am and how I was born.

3).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #3:

“Butch/Femme is based upon roles performed within the relationship.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

Again, this faulty assumption is related to numbers 1 and 2 above, because it is also basing the definition of Butch/Femme on actions rather than being.

Mowing the grass and washing the car doesn’t make someone Butch, and cooking dinner and decorating the house doesn’t make someone Femme.

Conversely, doing creative things such as crafts or cooking or decorating does not make a Butch “less Butch” and carrying the groceries in or changing a tire does not make a Femme “less Femme”.

The truth is that we are always Butch/Femme, regardless of what we are doing. I drive a truck, Dirt drives a car.  Dirt does the majority of the cooking and decorating for holidays/seasons, and I pay the bills and manage the money.  I would be willing to bet that many people who see us would be surprised by that information.

4).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #4:

“Butch/Femme is determined by what you do in bed.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

While I have no intention of discussing our sex life (sorry!), I do want to clarify that I have seen/heard many incorrect assumptions about Butch/Femme in relationship to sex.

For instance, I have seen people assume that Butch/Femme means you are into BDSM and/or that the Butch is always dominant/”top” and the Femme is always submissive/”bottom”.  People also assume that all Butches are “Stone Butch” and that is also not true.

While I cannot comment on the sex lives of all Butch/Femme couples (nor do I even care what other people do in bed!), I can unequivocally say that nobody should universally make these assumptions about Butch/Femme couples.

Also, role-playing or positioning in bed does not make anyone Butch or Femme.  (Just because you were on top last night does not mean you are Butch).

Do whatever floats your boat (well, I mean, of course, as long it is between consenting adults), but please don’t assume that whatever it is that you are doing in bed defaults you to Butch or Femme.

Relatedly, please don’t just assume that you know what we are doing in bed either, based on one of us being Butch and the other of us being Femme.

5).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #5:

“Butch/Femme couples are the most visible Lesbians.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

I have heard many Lesbians (and Straightbians) refer to themselves, or others, as Butch/Femme inaccurately. For instance, I have frequently noticed that Lesbian (and Straightbian) couples will often say stuff like “I am the Butch one”/”She is the Femme one” or vice versa.

Usually their reasoning is based upon some variations of the misconceptions listed above, such as division of household duties; one fixes the toilet and the other does the laundry.  Sometimes the reasoning might be that Lesbo/Straightbian # 1 (the alleged “Butch”) has shorter hair than Lesbo/Straightbian # 2 (the alleged “Femme“).

These misconceptions only makes Butch/Femme Lesbians feel further isolated and misunderstood within our own (supposed) community, and these issues stem, at least in part, from the rarity of Butch/Femme Lesbians within the “Lesbian community.”

It is frustrating for both of us to rarely be seen for who we are (and, in the case of Butches, to only rarely to be seen as what sex they are!). Dirt has been called “Sir” in Lesbian bars and has been asked/ordered to leave Ladies’ Rooms on many occasions. I, on the other hand, have had the repeated frustrating experience of being mistaken for a straight woman who must have somehow gotten lost and just happened to accidentally wander into the Lesbo bar.

It is bad enough for the general public to not recognize us, but it is 1000 times worse to not even be recognized/accepted/understood by who should be “our own people”, the “Lesbian community”. Instead of being accepted and welcomed by the “Lesbian community”, we are constantly falsely accused of “trying to pass as straight”, of “role-playing”, and of “mimicking heterosexuals”. (However, it should be noted that many who are in the so-called “Lesbian community” are NOT actually Lesbians).

Even some purported experts of the Lesbian community (most of whom are not Lesbian at all, but rather, are Straightbians) have put forth misleading, inflammatory, ridiculous, and just plain ignorant theories about Butch/Femme.

I seriously doubt that most of these self-proclaimed experts have ever even seen an actual Butch/Femme couple in their entire lives, much less had enough experience with us to offer an informed opinion.

Which leads me to my last point of the day, which directly ties in to #5:

Since most people have erroneous notions of what Butch/Femme couples are, because most have never actually seen or heard of any Butch/Femme couples in history, in person, on TV, or in movies, people frequently mischaracterize well-known fictional and non-fictional couples as Butch/Femme.

Just to be clear, I do not know of any accurate fictional or non-fictional Butch/Femme couples in history, books, stories, plays, movies, TV, etc.  That’s right…ZERO.  Zip, nada, none. I said it, and I mean it. (If anyone can recommend any accurate portrayals of B/F, please let me know and I will be happy to check it out and amend this statement if needed).

Please note that I am not saying this to hurt anyone’s feelings, nor to put anyone down in any way, because it’s not a hierarchy and it is not an insult to say that someone is not Butch. (I refer to Butch in this example because I have never known any Lesbian to care if they don’t get called Femme, but they do seem to care passionately if it is pointed out that they are not Butch!).

I am also not saying we (meaning Butch/Femme) are better than they (meaning all other Lesbians) are, or vice versa. I am simply stating that we are different, and that Butch/Femme couples have never…I repeat, NEVER…been included and/or accurately represented by alleged experts nor in the media. Never. Not even once.

Finally, here are some clues to help decipher whether someone is Butch:

  • Has she flat-out refused to wear a dress since the approximate age of 3?
  • Has she usually/regularly been “Sir’ed” or “passed as male” from a very early age on up?
  • Are all of her closest peers/friends male (and/or were they when she was growing up)?
  • Has she been accepted by males as “one of their own” from an early age and up until the present?
  • Are her mannerisms/demeanor/language viewed as (so-called) “masculine/male” by others?
  • Is she like catnip to straight women? Do straight women change how they act around her and giggle like schoolgirls when she enters a room?

Answer Key:  If the Lesbian in question is actually Butch, the answer to ALL of the above would be “Yes”. 

Today’s thoughts are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg regarding the numerous ways that Butch/Femme Lesbians have been ignored, disrespected, maligned, and misunderstood.