“For all that I love the east coast, one phenomenon baffles me. Girls, what IS it with the whole butch/femme thing?”
This opening sentence belongs to a disheartening post I came across today, in which the blogger–a new New Yorker who describes herself as a fleece-wearing lesbian from the west coast–tries to figure out what the attraction to butch and femme genders is all about. Why? Because, according to her, butch/femme is “rampant in these parts and is more than a little annoying.”
Seriously. I’m quoting exactly from her post.
So, here’s my response to you, Annoyed Lesbian:
I’m sorry you feel like you’re getting “the short end of the stick” because, as you see it, there aren’t enough women in NY who “yearn for short-haired girls with a penchant for plaid.” But if you want people to accept and appreciate you, it seems to me that accepting difference in others would be a good place to start.
As for your two theories about why queer women might find butch and femme genders appealing, let me see if I understand them correctly. Your theories are (1) Butch/femme is a “post-feminist reclamation of 50s identity;” and (2) it is the inheritance of ethnic groups (Italian, Irish, Jewish, Dominican) who settled in the NY area and “perpetuate relationship roles” from generation to generation.
I’ll let others tell you what they think of how you have characterized our lives, experiences, and desires. But let me ask you this: why do you feel the need to invent theories about other lesbians who happen to have genders that are different than yours?
As I’ve said here before, last time I checked there was no “right” or “wrong” way to be a lesbian. I try to live my life by respecting and honoring ethnic, sexual & gender diversity–including short-haired girls with a penchant for plaid.
Good luck in your quest for love and happiness,