Ed Team

Tranny bois in... Femmes out...

Filed By Ed Team | June 19, 2005 4:51 PM | comments

Filed in: Media

Well... at least according to this Washington Blade article that claims the Death of Femme and drives home the point by claiming that lesbians who are in to feminine women are getting fewer and farther between. This article also claims that it is out of vogue to consider oneself "butch." In this postmodern, genderqueer world, butch lesbians supposedly now call themselves tranny bois (not to be mistaken for the FTM trans men who have obviously just gone too far) and more often than not, they are in to each other, leaving femme girls out in the cold altogether.

The author writes: "The butch-femme dynamic is all but dead for women under 30. I'm not crying about that. I myself always felt trapped when I was the femme half of a butch-femme couple. It's not easy being the one who is always expected to be weaker, more emotionally savvy, less able to protect herself, more easily moved to tears."

*argh!* (For those in the know... that is NOT what being femme is about -- it's different things to different people to be sure... but for many it is about power -- feminine, queer, sexy power.)

Here's a simple equation:

Femme and Femininity DOES NOT EQUAL Weak.
I find it sadly ironic that no matter how enlightened we like to assume sexual and gender minorities are... when it comes down to it, our community is just as susceptible as anyone else to mainstream prejudices that keep us all down.

Let's face it: denigration of femme and things feminine has at its core mysogyny -- pure and simple.

What's so postmodern, enlightened, or trendy about that?


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DATE: 6/20/2005 12:11:10 AM

This article seems to point to what is in vouge at the moment. Labels... they're pretty damn simplistic and useless in the actual living and loving in life.

AUTHOR: Jerame Davis

DATE: 6/20/2005 07:43:55 AM

Labels are a necessary part of life. We have a natural proclivity to categorize things by generalities. Just because a label shares certain traits with others of that label doesn't mean they share all traits. There is diversity among sameness, if you catch my drift.Labels are sometimes a chain that holds us down, but they are also a natural and, yes, simplistic means of describing persons, places, or things that are alike. It is actually the simplicity of labels that make them useful. A dog is a dog, but not all dogs are the same...We have to keep in mind that the same goes for any label we put on each other as well.

AUTHOR: Steph Mineart

DATE: 6/20/2005 10:09:09 AM

I've always said that labels describe you, they don't define you. And if a label isn't an accurate description of who you really are, use a different label, or a sentence, or paragraph to tell your story.I do think they article's interpretation of feminine isn't very nuanced, and therefore makes the conclusion they reach pretty silly. I'd say Angelina Jolie is definitely feminine, but she's in no way weaker or less able to protect herself.And they must be talking about some small pocket of lesbians somewhere, because the phenomenon they're describing isn't happening here. Thankfully. 'Cause I love femme girls.


DATE: 6/20/2005 12:01:26 PM

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AUTHOR: bilerico

DATE: 6/20/2005 02:02:12 PM

After going to two Pride celebrations over the past two weekends and hosting a protest/fundraiser in the middle, I think I can honestly say that the butch/femme connection is still going strong in Indiana.

AUTHOR: brylo

DATE: 6/21/2005 07:53:59 PM

I agree with jerame on this one... naming oneself by claiming a label that others in an affinity group use, can be limiting but it is also helpful to build communities of like minded individuals. At the same time, I feel like the strongest, most resilient communities allow room for individuals within those affinity groups to express themselves in a variety of ways without being shunned if they deviate from community norms... The community, the label, the affinity group is flexible enough to grow (expand the definition) to INCLUDE the "aberrant" expression or behavior. Of course this requires not only the community to be resilient and flexible, but also that the individuals be strong enough to dwell in the community/claim the label long enough for it to expand. In other words, labels can be good to help us find community, but also they can divide us and ghetto-izing ourselves is not always the best solution either...