First, thanks to all of you who have been reading and commenting!
Second, I want to clarify a few things. Yesterday’s post was not intended to insult or rant against another blogger. “The Whole Butch/Femme Thing” isn’t a personal attack–or even an attack at all. It’s a critique. I wrote that post because I felt a blogger did something that a lot of otherwise decent people seem to do on the internet–use their blogs as a forum to make disrespectful comments about people they don’t even know. I guess it’s easy to forget that the blogosphere is made up of real people with real feelings. (Lest there be any doubt, I am very much a real person with real feelings, convictions and commitments!)
So, to all of you fabulous readers and lurkers out there, I hope we can continue to have a meaningful discussion about these issues, regardless of whether or not the person who provoked the discussion is interested in participating.
In that spirit, I’ll get things going by making a follow-up remark. I agree with whatilike‘s comment about ethnicity and butch/femme. I think Annoyed Lesbian’s theory implies that certain (all?) ethnic groups with immigration histories and strong religious beliefs/cultural pride are “backwards” because they’re perpetuating traditional gender norms.
To be fair, I think it’s worth acknowledging that ethnicity *does* play an important role in defining family structures and values for people with diverse backgrounds. For example, I remember reading about how African American and Jewish families have certain similarities because of their histories of oppression, particularly the legacies of slavery and the Holocaust. However, to my knowledge (which admittedly is not expert), ethnicity influences family dynamics in complex ways and often varies considerably from group to group. To make blanket assertions about the traditional gender roles of all ethnic groups who immigrated to the NY area just seems like a reckless overgeneralization.