Tag Archive | Butch/Femme

Revisiting The Topic Of Stone Butch

Some time after I wrote Stone Butch, From A Femme Perspective, I received a disgruntled comment that did not get published, because, quite frankly, I was annoyed with the wannabe commenter‘s attitude, plus I didn’t have time at that particular moment to address her points, but I want to revisit it now.

Here is the annoying comment:

Hi, stone butch here. To be honest your piece made me a little frustrated but I’ll try to be civil in my comment.

My being stone means that during sex, I prefer to give more than I prefer to receive. I receive sometimes but even though I register it as being physically pleasurable, I still prefer giving, and it makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to do with a freakout about me being ‘butch enough’ or anything of the sort – I just enjoy the feeling I get when I’m giving more than the feeling I get when I’m receiving. The whole part about ‘pulling out phrases from the stone butch book’ is condescending and paternalistic. Before I read this article I had no idea that people even said things like that, but I knew that I’d said and thought similar things before of my own accord. How am I being brainwashed when I’d never known anything of stone culture before?

I have always felt this vague sense of emptiness and discomfort when receiving during sex, and it wasn’t until very very recently that I discovered what it was like to be stone, and that the experiences of stone butches very closely matched my own. Assuming that we’re just adopting this label because of external pressure or ‘brainwashing’ is just… wrong.

I’m also uncomfortable with your insisting that femmes should slowly try to work at their butches until they give in to being touched sexually, and that femmes with stone butches will inevitably feel unloved and lonely. As a stone butch I’ve allowed partners to touch me but I’ve never really enjoyed it the way I know I should (not because they weren’t good in bed – they certainly knew what they were doing). To me it just feels like eating something that tastes good or taking a nice nap. I don’t get turned on by the idea of someone touching me sexually. My immediate reaction is discomfort, and it always has been ever since I started having sex (which was when I was like 14, so this isn’t a recent thing).

If femmes are not sexually satisfied by stone butches, then they should find butches who aren’t stone to be with. This is not a dysfunction or fault of the stone butch, it’s just an incompatibility. Believe me, if I could just will myself into not being stone I would have a long time ago, because I realize this makes me undesirable to many femmes and may cause issues in the future. It also makes me enjoy sex less than other butches. But it’s really not a fixable thing for all stone butches.

It also just feels coercive to me. Similar to the rhetoric about how lesbians are just brainwashed and they just need a real man to slowly work at them until they give in and stop being lesbians. If someone doesn’t want to do something sexually, you shouldn’t force it. Period. You shouldn’t use self-pity and ‘boo hoo me I feel lonely and unloved’ to pressure them into giving in to what you want either. If a partner used that on me I’d probably feel like I had no choice but to give in and let them touch me sexually but it’d be completely opposite of what I really wanted. I’d like it, physically, but I’d still feel that sense of discomfort and wrongness. Same thing as a man pressuring a lesbian to sleep with him in my eyes.

That all being said, I think people have different reasons for being stone, so if someone is stone due to past sexual trauma or abuse then they can absolutely become un-stone with therapy and love and trust. Some stone butches may be mildly stone. But many stone people, like me, have had perfectly healthy sex lives and are still stone. I’m assuming your reaction to this will be pity, like ‘oh look another poor brainwashed butch who doesn’t realize that they aren’t stone but actually just have sexual dysfunction,’ but it’s really not necessary. Assuming that you, a femme with no real understanding of what it’s like to be stone, know more about being stone than actual stone people do, is honestly pretty offensive.

That’s my two cents. Kyuo

Here is my belated response:

First of all, and most importantly:

NOTHING…and I repeat, NOTHING…in that post (nor ANYWHERE else on this blog, for that matter) has EVER even remotely suggested that anyone should sexually coerce anyone else…FOR ANY REASON, EVER!

But, since that point was apparently unclear to our wannabe commenter, allow me to spell it out more clearly, for the record:

If, at any point, anyone ever says “no”, seems hesitant, seems uncomfortable, and/or otherwise indicates through ANY verbal or nonverbal means that she is uncomfortable with any part of sexual activity…STOP! This is not rocket science, people. 

To our wannabe commenter: It seems like you really need to go back and actually read the post, because if SEXUAL COERCION is what you came away with, you obviously missed the proverbial boat.

Furthermore, nothing in my post even remotely implied that I or any other Femmes are (nor should ever be) self-pitying, whiny, and/or otherwise manipulative in any way.

If our wannabe commenter thinks that is how Femmes behave, she clearly is thinking of Straightbians who are pretending to be “femme“.

And the fact that our wannabe commenter could read my post and even remotely THINK that it meant that I was implying that Femmes should “use self-pity and boo hoo me I feel lonely and unloved to pressure” Butches into sex shows a complete and utter lack of reading comprehension and cognitive reasoning skills.

This wannabe commenter is clearly knee-jerking and projecting, rather than reading and actually comprehending.

Moving on: As the original post discussed, a one-sided sexual relationship will always be just that and only that: ONE-SIDED.

I won’t go into great detail on that point in this post, since I already addressed that in the original post, but bottom line:

If your partner is perfectly, 100% satisfied with being a pillow-princess long-term, YOU ARE DEALING WITH A STRAIGHTBIAN

Furthermore, yes, I agree that anybody always has the right to leave a partner if unsatisfied with the relationship (for any reason), but our wannabe commenter’s assertion that “If femmes are not sexually satisfied by stone butches, then they should find butches who aren’t stone to be with” is just an overly simplistic cop-out which doesn’t address the true root of the issue, which is:

YES, STONE BUTCH IS A SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION. Being Stone Butch is not simply a “preference”.  A Stone Butch becomes acutely dysphoric at the very thought of having a reciprocal sexual relationship with a loving partner.

The fact that our wannabe commenter incorrectly purports that some people might “become Stone Butch” due to sexual trauma/abuse shows that she doesn’t even understand what Stone Butch really is.

Granted, yes, sexual abuse and trauma can indeed create many issues, including an aversion to sexual contact. But NOBODY “becomes a Stone Butch” due to sexual abuse and trauma. Aversion to sex due to sexual abuse/trauma is a completely different issue, and for a completely different reason, than being Stone Butch. Theoretically, the 2 issues could indeed coexist and interact to create an even bigger issue, but they are NOT the same thing. At all.

Being Stone Butch is created by dysphoria. And shame. Not trauma. Not shyness. Not abuse. Not simply “having a preference”. Etc.

And people aren’t “mildly Stone” either ~ Stone means STONE; you either are, or you are not.

Of course, general sexual dysfunction does exist on a continuum, but that is not the same thing.

So, our wannabe commenter is asserting that, instead of actively communicating about a situation that affects BOTH partners, we should instead just BAM! dump our partner and POOF! find someone new.

I actually feel very sorry for our wannabe commenter’s partner if she has one. “Drop Off The Key, Lee; Make A New Plan, Stan” is not a healthy remedy for relationship difficulties. (Insert eye-rolling emoji here to symbolize my disdain for our wannabe commenter’s simplistic, shallow, selfish attitude).

My final point before I let this topic go for now and let our wannabe commenter get back to stewing in her own bitter juices:

To be a Stone Butch, you actually have to be a BUTCH. There are a plethora of screwed-up Straightbian alleged “butches” out there who claim to be “stone” as a mask for their own trauma/abuse/issues.

Based on the whiny, snarky, put-upon, petulant tone of our wannabe commenter, I strongly suspect that she is NOT a real Butch, nor even a Lesbian at all, but, rather, a Straightbian who is play-actinglesbian“/”butch“.

A real Butch wouldn’t “give in” to anything, including sex, if she didn’t want to…but this commenter states she would.

A real Butch would know what it actually means to be Stone Butch.

A real Butch would know that a real Femme does, in fact, have a comprehension of what Stone Butch means. (We may not experience it ourselves personally, but we do recognize it — and we also have every right to speak about it. Furthermore, all Lesbians have a certain amount of dysphoria anyway).

A real Butch wouldn’t (deliberately) “misinterpret” my post to assume I was suggesting coercion or manipulation.

A real Butch wouldn’t passive-aggressively throw around pseudo-“feminist” terms like “paternalistic” to express herself, nor would it even occur to a real Butch that what a Lesbian wrote could possibly be “paternalistic”. I guess our wannabe commenter thinks I wrote “in the manner of a father”. Well, I don’t know about your Dad, but my Dad never wrote about Lesbian sex, LOL.

Seriously, though, the fact that our wannabe commenter took so much offense at my words that she had to use the tired old Straight/bian trope of comparing Lesbians to MEN essentially proves her heterosexuality. A real Butch would not assume another Lesbian was communicating, in any way, “like a man.”

Finally, a real Butch would communicate directly and assertively…in other words, like the actual LESBIAN she is.

In summary, Straightbians, including, but not limited to, this particular whiny wannabe commenter, take your hetsplanations elsewhere because that crap isn’t welcome here.

UnStraightening Lesbian: Removing the Heterosexual Lens: Sheila Jeffreys

Note: This post is part of our ongoing UnSTRAIGHTening Lesbian series, and was originally posted here.

Next up in our unSTRAIGHTening Lesbian series is Radical (“political lesbian — AKA Het) Feminist Sheila Jeffreys.

Jeffreys was born/raised in England and later moved to Australia, taking up a professorship at the University of Melbourne. Jeffreys is known as much for her criticism of lesbians as she is for her criticism of Transgender ideology. Her friend and RadFem compatriot Julie Bindel said this of Sheila:

 Jeffreys’ introduction to feminist campaigning began in the early 70s when she joined a socialist feminist group (she was later thrown out for suggesting men were to blame for the oppression of women). Sandra McNeill, who met Jeffreys in that group, remembers her as “the Andrea Dworkin of the UK. She was, and still is, seen as an extreme, man-hating feminist”. Dworkin, as it happens, lived with a man, whom in 1998 she married.

Not Jeffreys. She became a lesbian in 1973 because she felt it contradictory to give “her most precious energies to a man” when she was thoroughly committed to a women’s revolution. Six years later, she went further and wrote, with others, a pamphlet entitled Love Your Enemy? The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism And Political Lesbianism. In it, feminists who sleep with men are described as collaborating with the enemy. It caused a huge ruction in the women’s movement, and is still cited as an example of early separatists “going way too far”.

We do think,” it said, “that all feminists can and should be lesbians. Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not fuck men. It does not mean compulsory sexual activity with women.” Although many of the more radical feminists agreed, most went wild at being told they were “counter-revolutionary”.

These few quotes alone, are more than enough proof of Jeffreys’ innate Heterosexuality and her calculating Hetero=privileged co-option of Lesbian for her own selfish purposes, we really do not need to write anything further.

BUT due to Jeffreys making a long career out of Hetsplaining Lesbian and dressing/strapping actual Lesbians in STRAIGHTBIAN frocks, we are!

In the Spinster and her Enemies Jeffreys looks back on early male sexologists like Havelock Ellis to devise how/why early suffragettes/feminists were scared away from girl on girl relationships:

Interestingly, while Ellis fails to truly define real Lesbians (biological), he comes closer to understanding us than Jeffreys EVER has or will. That point aside, Jeffreys like Adrienne Rich or Radfems in general, Homophobically fear/ed being seen as real Lesbians (ugly/mannish per Het norms). Jeffreys/Radfems fears were/are so great as to stop them in their tracks (according to Jeffreys) from “BECOMING”lesbians!

Jeffreys continues, but extends her Homophobia by dragging in Radclyffe Hall’s novel, The Well of Loneliness. Jeffreys cannot see past her own Heterosexuality to realize that Radclyffe and her novel’s characters were also Heterosexuals PLAYING at their Hetero notions of Lesbian.

Jeffreys obsessive hatred of Butch/Femme shows itself through this passage. Jeffreys ignorantly attributes Hall’s warped STRAIGHTBIAN ideas about Butch/Femme as proof of her own STRAIGHTBIAN notions of Butch/Femme.

In a nutshell, the STRAIGHT leading the STRAIGHT about STRAIGHTS who are pretending to be Lesbian.

In Unpacking Queer Politics Jeffreys begins:

Like many RadFems, Jeffreys hatred of men isn’t limited to Het males, she equally despises Gay men and blames her Heterocentric ideas of “lesbian” masculinity/masculine worship for early “lesbian” transitions. One only has to read where Jeffreys got her information from (Halberstam/Devor etc.) to understand where Jeffreys fucked up. If you are going to write about Lesbians in ANY capacity, in order to obtain accurate information, you just might want to get your information from actual Lesbians and not STRAIGHTBIANS. (Duh).

Jeffreys continues her Homophobia by citing more Radfem garbage from one of the BIGGEST Homophobes and known STRAIGHTBIANS-Adrienne Rich!

Again, Jeffreys criticises lesbian role playing by citing the likes of mentally fucked up Heterosexual Women (STRAIGHTBIANS) like Joan Nestle/Sally Munt/Leslea Newman/Judith Halberstam. 

Jeffreys again uses faulty information from warped STRAIGHTBIANS. It is well known at this point that the inappropriately named “lesbian sex wars” were fought by hypersexual STRAIGHTBIANS on one side and prudish STRAIGHTBIANS (like Jeffreys) on the other… actual Lesbians were NEVER involved!

MOST interesting, though, is that Jeffreys (“lesbians who criticized“) admits to being turned on by what SHE calls dominance/submission/sado-society! Jeffreys merely convinces herself that she is better than the Califia’s and Nestle’s because she fights her NATURAL Hetero/sexual urges!

Sheila, honey, Lesbians don’t have urges to be fucked by men regardless of who’s on top!

Jeffreys then cites pro-pedophile STRAIGHTBIAN faghags Gayle Rubin and Pat Califia 
to cast more aspersions on Gay men leading poor little “lesbians” astray! Sorry, Sheila, you would have to be either a complete fucking idiot or STRAIGHT (or both) to know neither of these warped freaks are Lesbians.

Well, Sheila, you got one thing right in your Julia Penelope description(STRAIGHTBIAN), she is from the US!

From Lesbian Heresy Jeffreys continues her warped Homophobic diatribe of STRAIGHTBIAN ROLE PLAYING, or, as she INCORRECTLY deems it: “butch/femme“:

Yes, Sheila, Lesbians actually agree these STRAIGHTBIANS are sick motherfuckers, but what they are most certainly NOT are fucking LESBIANS!

Sheila just about gets it (close, but no cigar…pun intended): Yes, sexual abuse often informs warped Hetero/sexual role playing…among STRAIGHTBIANS!

Sheila fails over and over and OVER to understand the obvious fact that these women are not Lesbians, but, rather, they are Heterosexuals who are role-playing “lesbian“… JUST LIKE SHEILA HERSELF!

Sheila, Carolyn Stack? Really??? Straight therapist giving advice to STRAIGHTBIAN couples about STRAIGHTBIAN sex/lack thereof has fuck all to do with Lesbians again, how???

Sheila, Sheila, Sheila. You’re striking out yet again!  Margaret Nicholls and Joann Loulan might be therapists, they are certainly not Lesbians!

Despite having much to say about Homosexuals, Jeffreys fails miserably to write with any accuracy about Lesbians, Gay men,  or Homosexuality period and the same is true of much her ideas on Transgenders:

Statement From Dirt: “Sorry, Shelia, as a Butch Lesbian who has spent more than a decade documenting female transition (Who is Transitioning), I have yet to find a single Butch Lesbian who has transitioned. While I’m sure there might be some, they are VERY. VERY rare. You, Sheila, again confuse sexually abused STRAIGHTBIANS playing at being male who transition, NOT Lesbian and most certainly NOT Butch!”

“Identified” being the operative word, Sheila! They weren’t “proud lesbians, Sheila….they weren’t Lesbians at all, hence “identifying as gay men” early in their transition. You might want to familiarize yourself with cross-sex hormones and their effects on Hetero/Homo brains.

Holly Devor, Sheila, is a Heterosexual female who transitioned…NOT a Lesbian and therefore NOT a reliable source for Lesbian accuracy!

Because Sheila has no actual knowledge of real Lesbians, she likes to recycle STRAIGHTBIANS who she incorrectly believes are fucked-up sicko Lesbians in effort to give heft to her hatred of STRAIGHTBIANS who are not like her/other Radfems.

Sheila fails to make the simple connection that “CHOOSING to be a lesbian” and “CHOOSING to be a femme” amount to the very same thing:  TOTAL BULLSHIT!

Sheila, clearly Sally here isn’t even a fucking Dyke, yet here you are wholeheartedly taking her word as “Butch Lesbian” truth. Why? Because she states what YOU want to hear! That’s not very good investigative writing ,Sheila, and it’s certainly not “academic research”: any fucking 3rd grader could do a better job!

Heather Findlay isn’t a Lesbian Sheila, therefore, she cannot be a Femme Lesbian! Those responsible for male and female transitions are Homophobes (like you, Sheila) and ALL the Radical Feminists who backed pedophiles like John Money simply because you IGNORANTLY dreamed/hoped gender was/is a mere construct, despite clear evidence to the contrary! Instead of tackling sex-based inequalities head on, Radical Feminists passively blamed gender for all Heterosexual female ills! The plague of Identity Politics jump-roped through the gender loophole left by Radical Feminists.

Sheila Jeffreys, being a STRAIGHTBIAN herself, willfully took at face value the word of all STRAIGHTBIANS, without a care as to how these Lesbian inaccuracies affected actual Lesbians, then or now. Sheila and her ilk succeeded in helping de-sex “gender“, which has led us to where we are today.

Bottom line: It is neither radical nor feminist to hijack “lesbian” for your own selfish gain.

Dirt and Mrs. Dirt 

When The Straightbians Go Riding In

I have written before about how being a Lesbian is NOT all about sex.

But it bears repeating, again and again and AGAIN, because straight people make that mistake over and over and OVER…and that includes Straightbians who are pretending to be Lesbians.

In a recent argument, a friend was dismissed by a group of Straightbians and basically told that she needed to “get laid”.

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Others chimed in with their own tales of “riding butches”; here is one such (too-much-information) comment:

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First of all, ewwww.

Secondly, the fact that some females have the appalling nerve to dismiss another female’s thoughts/concerns with the heterosexist, DICKsgusting notion that “getting laid” is somehow a magic bullet simply defies belief. (The “you-need-to-get-laid” concept is exactly the kind of riDICKulous, rude, and unwelcome nonsense that men have said to women for the purpose of dismissing their concerns since the beginning of time).

Thirdly, and most importantly for the purposes of this post, this apparent fetishizing of Butches (and even the Straightbians who pretend to be Butches) is a gross and completely inappropriate sexual objectification. Butches (and even the Straightbians who pretend to be Butches) are not sex toys to be used. How would these Straightbians feel if their lovers were talking publicly about “riding” them like a Harley on a bad piece of road? Would they embrace being objectified, used, and depersonalized in such a crass and uncaring way? Maybe…but I doubt it.

The point is that this response is soooooo common for Straightbians. When confronted, many Straightbians typically respond with some sort of sexual comment. Why? Because they think that having sex with a female means they are a Lesbian. They are wrong.

Once more for the recordBEING A LESBIAN IS NOT ALL ABOUT SEX.

Straightbians: You are NOT proving your “Lesbianism” by bragging about how much sex you’ve had with females. In fact, you’re proving instead that you absolutely have no clue what it actually means to be a Lesbian; and you’re proving that you mistakenly think that such hypersexualized playacting is “Lesbian”.

So, keep on riding, ladies, if that is what floats your boat…but don’t dare think that makes you a Lesbian, because it doesn’t. Not in any way, shape, or form.

Oh, and you may want to consider that nobody really gives a crap about your sex life. If your sex life is great, by all means, please enjoy yourself…but just be aware that most people really don’t want to hear the details about it. Just sayin’.

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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“Not Femme Enough”…?

This is a post I have been slowly working on, a little at a time, because I am finding it quite difficult to process and articulate this topic; also, recently, I have been focused on my beloved sick cat, Ari, so it’s been hard to focus more than a few minutes on anything else.

Before I start trying to explain today’s topic, I wanted to mention that I’ve written before about being a Femme Lesbian, and this post will continue with that topic.

If you are interested in reading those previous posts, which are directly related to this post and which provide some important background to this post, here are the links:

Deciphering Butch/Femme

Femme: Defining Ourselves

Femme: Fact Versus Fiction

Do Femmes Wear Lipstick?

For additional related information, please also refer to Hekate’s blog, Genuine Femme, which addresses similar topics.

Today’s post is about the rampant misconceptions and outright lies about Femmes, and how these misconceptions and lies are prevalent, even within the Lesbian community.

There is a huge gap between what people THINK Femmes are versus what we ACTUALLY are.

Many people incorrectly THINK Femme Lesbians:

  • are hyperfeminine;
  • are obsessed with makeup, clothes, hair, shoes, etc.
  • are overtly seductive and hypersexual
  • are helpless, dependent, clingy, needy, etc.
  • are dumb, flighty, stupid, etc.
  • are Stepford Wives
  • are uninformed, unfeminist, old-fashioned, etc.
  • are “mimicking heterosexuality”
  • are an “identity” that can be chosen by anybody
  • are “performing gender”
  • are “really Straightbians
  • are subservient to Butches
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Shoes People THINK I Wear: Image: Pixabay: Pexels: CC0

These stereotypes have been perpetuated by a huge number of sources, including, but not limited to, so-called Lesbian experts” who are neither Lesbian nor expert, by purported Femmes who are actually Straightbians, by allegedly  Lesbian magazines/media/blogs/etc. which are decidedly NOT Lesbian, and by websites/forums which falsely proclaim to be for Butch/Femme Lesbians, but instead are just hideous mockeries, chock-full of Straightbians mingling with a few lonely, confused dykes.

Here is the truth about Femme Lesbians ~ we are:

  • REAL LESBIANS;
  • Born this way;
  • Equal partners in our relationships;
  • Independent, capable, strong, practical, etc.;
  • Typically outspoken;
  • Just being ourselves (Meaning: We are NOT mimicking heterosexuality, NOT performing gender, NOT playacting, etc.);
  • NOT obsessed with looks, makeup, hair, nails, clothes, shoes, etc.;
  • Dress appropriately for the task; function is important;
  • Can/do dress up if/when we choose to, but we don’t feel the need to impress the guy bagging our groceries;
  • NOT an “identity” which can just be adopted by anyone; because you either ARE a Femme Lesbian OR you are NOT…period.
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Shoes I ACTUALLY Wear: Image: Pixabay: Wokandapix: CC0

So, you would assume that most actual Lesbians would be free of such misinformed assumptions, but sadly, this is rarely the case.

This widespread ignorance, even within the Lesbian community, results in real Femmes often feeling invisible. Sometimes, this invisibility presents itself in the form of being rejected and/or unrecognized by other Lesbians. At other times, paradoxically, this invisibility presents itself as being thought of as “not Femme enough” to some dykes who have issues of their own which leads them to partner with Straightbians.

Please see Dirt’s companion post, here, about some of the possible issues dykes might have which would lead them to partner with Straightbians. I won’t be covering that in this post.

Instead, I wanted to address the issue of my being perceived as “not Femme enough” by some dykes.

This phenomenon has happened to me, although I didn’t fully understand it until recently.

For instance, I was told repeatedly by 2 previous Butch partners that I was “too athletic”, and I was encouraged incessantly by both of them to dress more provocatively and to wear more makeup, etc.

I didn’t EVER stop working out, nor did I change my appearance/clothes (because I am a particularly stubborn person, LOL!), but I will admit that such comments did bother me and make me feel criticized and unwanted.

Interestingly, although not surprisingly, both of these Butches had only dated Straightbians before me, and both went back to dating Straightbians after we broke up.

In other words, both of them were comparing me to Straightbians, and found me lacking in the hyper-femininity department.

Both of them wanted another kind of woman (a Straightbian!) who would meet the male fantasy of a sexy, seductive woman, and that is so NOT me.

Another instance in which this scenario has affected me is when someone Dirt and I know online (from our blogs or Twitter or Facebook) wants to meet us in person. I always worry about what people’s reactions will be when I don’t meet their incorrect Straightbian/sexy/seductive/MALE-fantasy notions of what a Femme “should” be.

Often, it feels that people are expecting me to show up looking/dressed like I plan to be on the cover of Vogue, but when they meet me, I am always dressed as I normally do (which certainly does NOT include high heels, skimpy dresses, or plunging necklines).

It is impossible not to feel that such people are somehow disappointed with me for not being the femme fatale of their imagination.

When I was younger, I was both puzzled and hurt by such situations. Now that I am older (and hopefully at least a little bit wiser), I finally realize that I am fine as I am; heck, I always was. I am proud to be a dyke. If anyone has the nerve to feel like I am doing it wrong, she is the one with the problem, not me.

Do Femmes Wear Lipstick?

Since I published “Femmes: Facts Versus Fiction” just yesterday, I have received several comments/emails along the lines of:

“But I wear lipstick”

“But my Butch pumps my gas for me”

“But I like kitten heels!”

“Maybe you’re not a Femme yourself”

etc.

Just to clarify, I didn’t say/mean that Femmes NEVER wear lipstick/makeup or get dressed up ~ the answer is: we may or may not, depending on the setting/situation and personal preference. I wear lipstick myself sometimes, particularly to work.

Regarding duties, etc., what I actually said/meant was:

Fact

The point is: Femmes are NOT “performing gender”. We aren’t play-acting or mimicking straight women. We aren’t primping and preening incessantly. We are more practical than that. While we may choose to “dress up” if the occasion calls for it and if we feel like it, we don’t feel the need to constantly prance around the world like a runway model. We wouldn’t put vanity over safety.

Here’s an example: Years ago, I took a Lesbo cruise to Alaska, and went on a group hike one day. It was over (fairly) rough terrain…in other words, it wasn’t a simple stroll on a neat concrete path. Everyone, including me, wore hiking boots, as allegedly required by the hiking guide…except for one purported “femme” Straightbian who wore…get ready for it…KITTEN HEELS (and a miniskirt)! Yes, it’s unbelievable, but…there she was. If I’d been the guide, I would have refused to take her, but it was not my call. So, this beautiful but helpless creature tottered dangerously throughout the hike, needing constant assistance. Even her girlfriend looked annoyed. I never saw Ms. Kitten Heels again, but I would bet anything that she MARRIED A MAN and is likely driving a soccer-mom van.

Also: Of course, there’s nothing wrong with dividing duties with your partner in whatever way it works best for both of you. So, there may be some instances where one partner primarily pumps the gas or one partner primarily does the grocery shopping (or whatever).

But what I was trying to say is that many people incorrectly think that Butch/Femme couples divide up the duties based on the perceived “Butchness” or “Femmeness” of the duty itself, and that perception is simply not true. For example, Dirt does most of the cooking, and I do most of the bill-paying. I drive an old truck and Dirt drives a car. I would be willing to bet that most people would not guess those things.

The main point that I was trying to make is that Femmes are NOT helpless, hapless, frilly, little goofballs who are dependent on a Butch or anyone else to help/save/rescue us. Femmes are Lesbians, and we function as Lesbians. We know how to take care of ourselves, and we have been fending off wannabe male suitors successfully ever since…well, forever.

Our relationships with our Butch partners are straightforward and equal. There is no straight-wannabe playacting nor any false dichotomy of “the strong one” and “the weak one”. We are both strong. We are both Lesbians.

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 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 the individual asserting with confidence that “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 she sent 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 assume 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 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:

Image 2

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

Hmmmm…it seems likely that this is a familiar troll in a new disguise, but regardless of this person’s true identity, automatically jumping to a racial connotation when race was not even mentioned is an incredibly transparent attempt to derail the actual point (“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 wannabe know-it-all:

Image 4

Okay, so calling me a racist didn’t work, so what does this buffoon do now? Hmmm…Oh, I know, 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 discredit what we are saying 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, these people think it’s time to bring up any of the following to try to 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.

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.