To be honest, I dated her with the intention of experimentation. I was intrigued by the butch-femme dynamic that seemed to be so steeped in lesbianism and wanted to see what it would be like. Looking back, I realize how shallow and selfish I was to use her in satisfying my own curiosity, but the universe got me back when I ended up falling hard for a woman who had never so much as used concealer to cover a zit. I had no choice but to broaden my perspective in order to see things through her eyes. My intention is to provide you with things to consider when choosing to date a butch woman; things that you might not have considered before. All guidelines go out the window if you are not in a safe and equitable relationship. These rules are only to be followed if you have a mutual trust and respect.
However, in a more recent study conducted by Blair and Hoskin entitled Experiences of Femme Identity: Coming Out, Invisibility, and Femmephobiaparticipants describe going out of their way to make their sexuality known while remaining true to their femme identity.
None of the participants claimed they adopted a femme identity to conceal their lesbianism. Regardless, femme identity does not appear to be a decision to conform to heteronormative standards or to pass as straight. One thing that nearly all femmes appear to agree upon, is that femme identity is not an attempt to pass, even if passing is a privilege. It is a gift and a burden-a gift to navigate the heterosexual world with more ease, but a burden to wade through incredulous glances and accusatory questions from within their own lesbian communities.
Since the harsh criticism of femme identities in the s, femmes have grappled with their place in LGBT and lesbian-specific communities.
Butch femme dating advice
They are still unpacking what it means to be a feminine lesbian in a postmodernist world. In Levitt et al. Using the label femme, lesbians who identified as such were able to share experiences with one another that aided them in coming to terms with their sexuality. They noted that stereotypes identifying all lesbians as butch or androgynous made it difficult to see themselves in the imagery and narratives about lesbians they had been exposed to.
As a result, femmes often became aware of their same-sex attraction later in life.
Once femmes came to terms with their sexuality, they still struggled to assert themselves as valid lesbians in the gay community at large. Understanding this feeling of invisibility is integral to understanding the femme experience in postmodernist lesbian culture.
Without a clearly defined social role such as they had in the s and s, femme identity is called into question on the basis of feminine presentation. The same barriers femmes overcame to acknowledging their own sexuality also inhibit others in the lesbian community from recognizing the sexuality of femmes as valid. Many have bought into the myth that all lesbians are visibly gender non-conforming.
Butch Advice For A Femme (femme asking for advice from butch lesbians) hello O? (F22) I've been dating my girlfriend (F24) for almost a year, we've had some communication issues as she likes to deal with things by herself, and I like to deal with things by being open and communicating.
Femmes across the board discussed the complexities of reconciling the expectation of androgyny with femme identity, not only due to perceptions about lesbianism from mainstream culture, but also from within the lesbian community. Adopting the label femme, a lesbian-specific term, allowed them to navigate those communities and assert their validity and right to exist there. The label helped them to reconcile their performance of femininity with their understandings of feminism.
Inspired by their desire to differentiate femme identity from heterosexual femininity, many women described a process of checking in with themselves and their intentions when performing femininity.
The important element was that they were consciously excluding the male gaze when choosing makeup, revealing clothing, or high heels. This is quintessentially what differentiates femmes from feminine heterosexual and bisexual women.
Femmes perform femininity exclusively for themselves and for other women-never for male attention or validation. Modern femmes take and leave parts of femininity according to what feels empowering. Many modern femmes who strongly identify with radical feminist theories and even feminist critique of compulsory femininity are rewriting the terms and reconstructing femme as a lesbian gender.
Jun 27, The relationships between butch lesbians and femme lesbians have a long recorded history, with descriptions of what we would identify as butch/femme unions dating back centuries, images appearing in the early twentieth century, and finally these identities being coined as such in the mid-twentieth century. After I posted my index of blog topics for the past year, a Twitter follower mentioned that "femmes" aren't in the index. I'd considered including femmes as a separate topic, but decided this would be redundant, since so much of my writing on relationship and dating pertains to femmes and butch-femme . Sep 10, Butches want to be women dressed in a masculine style. They don't (for the most part) actually want to be men. If anything, the butch-femme dynamic challenges heterosexual relationship/gender Author: Charlotte Dingle.
Many modern femmes may choose not to shave or not to wear makeup as a means of rejecting these beauty standards. The process of self-evaluation viewed through a feminist lens has healed the once contentious relationship between radical feminists and femme lesbians.
The terms are no longer mutually exclusive. Butch Lesbian Identity Butch-identified lesbians or butches also have a clearly defined history within the lesbian community in relation to and independent of femme lesbians.
Butch can be defined simply as a masculine lesbian. However, similar to femme identity, the social roles and presentation of butch identity is complex and nuanced, and there is nothing simple about defining the term. Butches are gender non-conforming, meaning they do not present in the ways typically expected of their sex. For butch lesbians this means rejecting the patriarchal expectation to perform femininity in physical and social presentation.
In other words, butches do not conform to gender norms placed upon women. Modern butch women, in rejecting femininity, choose not to wear makeup or to shave their body hair. Butch identity appeared in language at the same time as femme identity, in the mid twentieth century.
Butches played a key role in lesbian communities as protectors.
They were often tasked with protecting lesbian spaces, such as bars, from male brutality and police raids Levitt et al.
Butches were often the target of harassment and arrests.
Butch women also struggled to hold down jobs in the s and s, making them dependent at times on femmes for financial support. This was in part due to the discrimination butch lesbians faced in the workforce. Despite this recorded history of workplace discrimination against butch lesbians, a common misconception surrounding butch women is that they benefit under patriarchy.
It is important to distinguish however, that while butch women may present as masculine, and may even pass as men in certain contexts, they cannot benefit from male privilege as they are not males. They still experience misogyny in the form of female socialization and other sex-related oppressions such as restricted access to reproductive health care and sexual abuse. This could be due to vulnerability among butch girls who feel different from their peers. The study speculated that experiences of childhood sexual abuse may inform butch gender identity as girls attempt to distance themselves from their own trauma and potential for future victimization.
The study was unable to determine whether these women began to develop butch gender identity before or after instances of childhood sexual abuse Lehavot et al.
Acknowledging the sex-based oppression of butch women is important in distinguishing their role in lesbian communities as separate from heterosexual males in same-sex partnerships. Observing butch experiences through a feminist lens aids in disproving the myth that butch lesbians benefit from patriarchy. Butch women are not men, did not grow up benefiting from male socialization, and therefore possess inherent differences from heterosexual men that are intrinsic to butch identity.
Gender conforming men are meeting social norms, while butch women are deconstructing them. In this way heteronormativity affects butch lesbians as well. As gender non-conformity is so closely linked to lesbianism, the pressure to conform to gender norms for women is interrelated with lesbophobia.
Butch lesbians, unable to avoid attention, are often the face of the lesbian movement and the most likely to receive harassment.
Let me clarify a few things
Gender non-conforming women experience oppression for daring to reject carefully cultivated societal expectations of femininity imposed on women.
This oppression is deeply rooted in misogyny when both men and women experience it. Men who choose to perform femininity are oppressed for associating themselves with women as a class. Women who reject femininity are oppressed for challenging expectations placed upon women as a class. This oppression has historically has been experienced by means of institutionalized police harassment and brutality.
Stories such as these were not uncommon in lesbian communities. Because of the violence often faced by butch women, butchness became synonymous with toughness.
They were often leaders in the community and earned their role because they could protect themselves and their friends from the hostility of police and homophobic men. Butch women provided much needed protection in an increasingly tempestuous environment for lesbians in the s, and their femme counterparts provided emotional relief and comfort.
The butch? We both can have the baby and just might! Butch embraces femme and vice versa. Which one are you? Mary G. Lesbian Dating.
Discuss This! Look at Portia and Ellen. Let me clarify a few things. Related Topics:.
In general, when we build a romantic relationship with someone, we want nothing more than to have empathy for their hardship. We know that, if we can walk through that pain, we can love our partners on a deeper level. And, although facing their pain in such a real way may hurt, it will only serve to further solidify the bond that we share.
Unfortunately for us femmes, when it comes to understanding our butch counterparts, there will always be a barrier that cannot be crossed. And that barrier is lived experience. As a lesbian woman who has been feminine throughout my life, I cannot fully understand what it is like to live as my wife; a butch woman.
I have not walked through this world knowing that being who I am is an affront to the sensibilities of many.
I simply cannot understand. I can empathize and ask questions and listen.
But, I cannot completely know. I cannot fully understand what it means to be butch any more than a man can fully understand what it means to be woman.
Butch femme dynamics dating - Men looking for a man - Women looking for a man. Is the number one destination for online dating with more marriages than any other dating or personals site. Join the leader in mutual relations services and find a date today. Join and search! To be honest, I dated her with the intention of experimentation. I was intrigued by the butch-femme dynamic that seemed to be so steeped in lesbianism and wanted to see what it would be like. Looking back, I realize how shallow and selfish I was to use her in satisfying my own curiosity, but the universe got me back when I ended up falling hard for a woman who had never so much as used. The (Real) Truth About Butch vs Femme. Mary Gorham Malia Posted: 5/17/ Email. Discuss This! Butch versus femme isn't real because butches and femmes don't see themselves as competing against each other. Instead they often see themselves as vying for each other's affection. 5 Tips for Dating Survival During the saporiviafrancigena.com: Mary Gorham Malia.
As a white woman, I cannot fully understand what it means to be black. I can only listen to her and support her and defend her right to be exactly who she is. I must also include that, if you are attracted to butches, you should go for it. I have been drawn to masculine women for as long as I can remember, but shied away from taking a shot with one because I got caught up in superficialities.
A Guide to Dating Butch Women
Those bothersome conversations do happen, just as I feared. I feared that I would be perceived as the weaker, more subservient partner because, again, society has such a narrow view of what strength looks like. And, again, I often am perceived as such, just as I feared.
HOW TO GET A GIRLFRIEND // when you look "straight"
But I cannot base my decisions on fear of the prejudices and ignorance of others. So, here I am: a proud feminine lesbian navigating marriage within the context of a butch-femme relationship.
It has its own set of struggles as, in so many ways, we come from different worlds, but it is our own unique version of happiness.