Femmephobia in the Queer Scene. Last night, I went to a queer/lesbian event that I had been looking forward to for ages. It consisted of a screening of a 1970s lesbian film, with a talk beforehand from one of the actors and some performances and a party afterwards. I was expecting it to be ace, and we had friends come down from Cardiff and London especially for the night. As part of her talk before the film, the actor was telling us a bit about herself, including about her femme identity. I was pretty excited when she started talking about that – it’s not often that femmes get to take centre-stage on the gay scene, and I was expecting her to shatter some of the tired old misogynist stereotypes about femmes, which are sadly still rampant in the mainstream LGBT scene.
So she started recalling a definition of femme that had always stuck with her – the definition that had rung the truest for her. But no. ‘A femme is the kind of woman who looks like she needs some help mowing her lawn.’ Fucking seriously. Look: I get it. Fire in Freetown — Who is afraid of the Big Black Femme? Bell hooks,... Femme is Radical, and Femme-Shaming Isn't Feminist. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m femme Okay, so that’s not really all that shocking–I’m sitting here in a coffee shop, wearing a low-cut red sweater dress and knee-high boots.
It should also, however, not come as a surprise that I am a feminist. The idea of a girl with straight-passing privilege who displays traits commonly associated with femininity, does not fit most people's’ paper cut-out image of an iconic feminist. It’s 2016 and feminism is still conflated with bra-burning, hardline man-hating politics, and utilitarian fashion.
I’ve always been the kind of girl who believes wholeheartedly in fighting the good fight, albeit without breaking a nail. Femme-shaming is more than an abstract concept–for many women it is an all too tangible and traumatizing reality. A few days ago I met with a good friend of mine, one hell of a badass lady whom I’ve always admired for her strength and punky attitude. In 1973, Janice Raymond, wrote The Transsexual Empire. An Interview With Jamal T. Lewis, Director Of “No Fats, No Femmes” What does it mean to desire, and what does It mean to be desired? That the politics of such transcend our very bedrooms is the notion filmmaker and activist Jamal T. Lewis, alum of Morehouse, intends to interrogate, probe, and examine without apology and with much confrontation. Racism, misogyny, femmephobia, fatphobia, ableism. These are words, subjects even, that the LGBTQIA+ community is inclined to dismiss, issues that either people don’t want to acknowledge or only approach with superficiality.
With the documentary No Fats, No Femmes (whose Indiegogo campaign ends on January 5th), Lewis intends on embracing the complexity those questions have to offer, without the hubris of answers necessarily, but with the humbleness of curiosity and desire for insight. I spoke with Jamal recently about how to navigate one’s identity in a homonormative (read: white cis middle class urban gay male) queer world, projections of desire, and what desire means. I guess we should start at the beginning. How To Confront Femme Competition Within Polyamorous Relationships. I am a femme-identified queer woman, and I am overwhelmingly intimidated by other femmes. Not in the fun, sexy, “they’re so kickass and make me blush and I trip over my words when I look at them” kind of intimidation. I’m constantly comparing myself to their minds, their bodies, the precision with which they apply their makeup, the tenor of their voices.
I underestimate them when I’m feeling confident, and overestimate them when I’m feeling insecure. I avoid gaggles of them the same way I avoid mirrors on days when I haven’t had time to shower. I’ve been holding this in throughout the entirety of my adult queer identity, carrying the weight of my discomfort throughout the years like a devastating breakup you never quite recover from. To be honest, I’ve never found kindred spirits in other femmes.
Society projects what female friendships should look like, and we listen. I know how fucked up my feelings about femmes are. How you can help: “I’m flawed. Now I can just tell them to read this. The Cuteness Matrix // Jealousy, Polyamory, Femininity. I’ve done a lot of thinking and praying and struggling and writing and reflecting and work on jealousy. I kind of just want to write jealousyjealousyjealousy all over everything, all over my face. I’m sick of pretending that I don’t feel this or even that I’m some wise spiritual person who knows how to surrender to it and be transformed. Jealousy is one of my biggest issues. I’ve learned a lot from and about my jealousy but it still causes me a lot of pain. Some context: my partner and I started our relationship poly but have been seeing only each other for almost a year. Lately, another layer of my jealousy has become clear to me.
I had this really amazing, healing, validating conversation recently with my friend Sabrina. I don’t feel like this phenomenon is specific only to those of us who are into masc people, but I feel like it’s heightened there. I feel mildly embarrassed even writing these things. The poly literature I have read does not address this shit at all. Like this: Related. Tous les articles sur les fems d'Everyday Feminism. 6 Ways Femmephobia Is Harming LGBTQIA+ Communities. Someone once said that most people only have just enough empathy to accept themselves. I’ve found that to often be true, particularly within the LGBTQIA+ community. While working on transgender military issues, I cannot tell you the number of time that I’ve heard some lesbian and (mostly) gay people who suffered under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” turn right around and oppose open transgender service.
I’ve heard them use the same talking points against transgender people that were used against LGBQ+ people just a few years ago. They’re gross. They’re a distraction. The military isn’t a social experiment. Showers. The talking points and opposition to transgender people are almost never focused on transgender men though. This does not only affect transgender women negatively; it can be seen across LGBTQIA+ communities, and all of them are harmed by this expression of misogyny. Femmephobia seems like something that would be much more endemic to straight, cisgender, heteronormative culture. 1. 2. 3. Baby, i'm an anarchist. Femmegasm. THE FEMMES. Share © 2016 by Femme Space. Built by arkansassy Femme Space is dedicated in loving fierce memory of Taueret Davis & Bryn Kelly the Sarah Jenny Kimmie Juniper Rahel Neirene Savannah Rayne Kat Em Danielle Pizza Cupcake Denise Caitlin Rose Dulce aka Fierce Femme Alysia Benji Lexi Marilyn Violet Vannessa Show More Sarah Jenny, 32Brooklyn, NY queer, fat, Jewish, leftist, activist, cis woman, white, soft femme As a cis woman and a femme, I straddle two worlds: one of queer femme (in)visibility and another where I am not truly seen/not seen as a disruption to the norm in straight or not explicitly queer spaces.
Kimmie, 29New York, NY femme, Filipina-American, nerd, kinky, nonmonogamous, queer, little I work in a bar in Chelsea. Juniper, 19Azusa, CA Brown, Trans feminine, Queer, Poor, Feminist, Revolutionary, Radical, Student As a transgender femme, restrooms have always been traumatic and on the top of my "avoid at all costs" list. Rahel Neirene, 29Brooklyn, NY Queer Black Femme Savannah Rayne, 18Little Rock, AR More. Why Femme Matters to Me | The Femme-inist. There is a long history of people arguing against labels for personal identity that continues on today. “We all bleed red,” “there’s only one race, the human race,” “labels are for soup cans,” etc.. Straight and cisgender people often struggle to understand why LGBTQA individuals like to label sexual/romantic orientations and gender identities.
In fact, I often hear that string of letters bemoaned. Why do we need so many different labels they ask? Why can’t we just be people? It’s the same love after all! Trans folks especially face heat for coming up with “new” words for identities (which of course isn’t always the case, and even when it is, language is ever-evolving and that’s ok). But labels have always been important to me, especially so as a bisexual individual who had a hard time settling into that identity, feeling for years that it was invalid. Femininity isn’t something I’ve embraced all throughout my life. Femme captures so much of who I am and how I choose to be. -Katie P.S. On Being (Femme): Speaking Truth to Experience - Proud Queer (PQ Monthly - Daily Online) “I’ve been femme all my life, whether or not I have chosen to identify as such. But we all know identity is never just about our relationship to ourselves.
It’s about that and it’s about how we are read and how we are treated in relation to how we present. By Katey Pants, Special for PQ Monthly I have been putting off writing this and sending it in for over a year. I mean what’s so hard about it? Just talk about being femme. I’ve been femme all my life, whether or not I have chosen to identify as such. Katey Pants is a femme, a dyke, a communist, a weirdo, a broken person, sometimes a sad person, sometimes a party person. Share and Enjoy Comments comments. Femmazine #1 by Femme Hive. Sweet Tea Femme #1 by BikiniRevival. My Life as a Lesbian: I’m Not A Real Lesbian Because I Have A Handbag | Lana Woolf. My name is Lana and I am a lesbian. Now the reason that I tell you this is because looking at me, you might not know. You may assume that I am a straight woman, hetrosexual. It often happens. People assume a lot, often and with many things. My identity as a lesbian is based on my physical attraction to women.
I thought that was the key point to lesbian identities. I have always thought a lesbian is a woman who fancied women. You get the picture right? So based on the aforementioned premise, – I am a lesbian. The thing is I recently had an experience where I was told I was not a “real” lesbian. We had only just started seeing each other, it was really new, and this was the first time we had had been intimate. So here I am, still in her bed, when the woman I had been sexually intimate with tells me a story. My response was, “I have a handbag.” She replied, “yeah, but you’re not a ‘real’ lesbian.” I looked at her, and she elaborated, “You’re a femme.” Like this: Like Loading... Sexism In The Queer Community | Lana Woolf. As a young person, I ‘outed’ myself as a feminist before all other identities.
I looked to feminists and learnt about sexism, the objectification of women, and learnt about the male gaze. With discovering black feminists, I learnt about race politics, and the colonialisation of black women’s bodies. I discovered the theories of socialism and have done my utmost to identify the issues of class, race, sex, sexuality, gender and health to consistently and conscientiously live my life as authentically as possible and disrupting the oppression and discrimination of all people, not just the femme, queer, women of colour, like myself. Kate Moran would call me a ‘stringent feminist’. I am the woman who will make any social gathering awkward by calling out the dude on his oh so funny jokes about women or race or the working class. Oh so funny? Sexism Well, lets firstly revisit the meaning of sexism. Femme-phobia Well, lets move on to explore the concept of femme-phobia.
Being a Femme Like this: Butch Femme Photo Project @ Butch Femme. Femme lesbians shouldn’t be defined by their butches. Photo by Eric Hutchinson, courtesy of Madeleine Blum There are two commonly held beliefs about femmes, and both of them are wrong. The first is that real lesbians aren’t femmes (with the pernicious corollary that all bisexual women are). The second is that all lesbians should be pretty, meek, and gender-conforming in the way our culture expects feminine women to be. It’s a frustrating paradox: Somehow, femmes manage to be invisible and overrepresented in our popular culture. The butch/femme subculture goes back at least as far as the early 20th century, when women dressed as men so they could escort their female partners out in public. To understand how femme identities have changed, I spoke with Wendi Kali, a photographer who traveled the United States speaking to and photographing butches and femmes for the Butch Femme Photo Project.
Like other identity groups, femme is a broad category that is claimed by individuals who then interpret and express it in different ways. Coming Out As Femme - R U Coming Out. Femme Odd Couples: Leopard and Plaid — Qwear. By Guest Blogger, Anita Dolce Vita Masculinity is often accepted as the gold standard example of radical transgressive style, particularly for bodies assigned female at birth (AFAB). AFAB individuals who dress feminine are often dismissed as normative and conforming to oppressive mainstream fashion rules. Furthermore, femmes, both cis and trans, are sometimes accused of lacking any real agency to consciously decide to wear lipstick, heels, fake eyelashes, and skirts as a means of communicating power and authority. The argument is that we have been indoctrinated to wear these oppressive artifacts and that, try as we might, the meaning behind said artifacts cannot be transcended.
However, perpetuating the belief that Western masculine style is superior to feminine style is in and of itself oppressive. (After all, masculinity is a social construct that varies across cultures. Why Femme Matters to Me | The Femme-inist. What is femme anyway? | Bossy Femme. Roland Torpor, "Les Masochistes" I’ve been feeling like maybe I should talk about how femme feels (for me at least.) I’ve no doubt that the way I relate to being femme will be forever changing, & I’m positive that other femmes would describe this term differently, but that’s just fine, too. Femme is intentionality. When you compliment my outfit, you are appreciating my taste, my resourcefulness, my creativity, my sense of adventure, my liberal application of glitter, my choice to wear sequins with sequins.Femme is sharing. Florence Ravelle, "Femme and Proud" self-portrait Femme is certainly queer, but it doesn’t tell you who you should love or who you should make out with.Femme is not the opposite of butch.Femme is open to everyone of all genders and sexes.
Honey CoCo and Frostine Shake at The Galactic! Femme Shark Manifesto, written by Leah Lakshmi Pipezna-Samarasinha. Claire's New Year's Eve self portrait Claire’s femme manifesto: Dolly Parton in BlackBook: Unobject: Like this: People Who Identify As Femme Share Photos Of Themselves For #WhatFemmeLooksLike. Femme Invisibility: On Passing Right by Your People and Not Being Recognized. How Stereotypes About What Queer Women Look Like Erases Femmes. Images of Butches and Femmes: Celebrating Our Living Queer Legacy! 11 Problems Only Femmes Have To Deal With - AfterEllen. What is femme anyway? | Bossy Femme. Femmes | Femme FATale. 50 Fierce Femmes — Jack Tar 207. Femme Talks: It's Not Easy Being Femme. Main.php?g2_view=core. Why Your Disbelief in My Queer Identity Doesn't Negate Its Existence.
Love Letter to a Femme in Need | Sublimefemme Unbound. Great Expectations: Thoughts on Choosing Femme | femme on a mission. Femme on a mission | changing the world - in my best high heels. The Femme Show. Femme Galaxy. Main.php?g2_view=core. Femme Privilege Does Not Exist - Femme Dreamboat. Bi-Racial, Queer, Femme and Finding My Voice | Multicultural Affairs | Pace University. 4shared.com - free file sharing and storage - Document Preview - text. Los Angeles Femmes of Color Collective. Finding Language for Femme Partners of Trans Men | Georgia Kolias. 11 Problems Only Femmes Have To Deal With - AfterEllen. And so shall our Heels till the Earth | The Glamorous (?) Life of… You Don’t Have a Dick. Butch Trans Women - Femmephobia and Resources. Girl Talk 2011 - Tobi Hill-Meyer. Femme Invisibility: On Passing Right by Your People and Not Being Recognized. Do i need to wear lipstick to be femme? | living not existing. GoodBadblog: This Girl is on Fire: Queer Misogyny and the Consumable Queer Femme Body.
Femme. Color Images — The Identity Project. AINT I A HUMAN?: FERGUSON AND THE NEGLECT OF BLACK WOMEN, FEMMES, AND GIRLS; By Danielle Stevens | This Bridge Called Our Health: Re(imagine)ing Our Minds, Bodies, and Spirits.