Femme=Bottom (And Other Myths)

It’s been a looong day, plus I chipped 2 nails right before I left the office (damn!), so I’m pissed as well as exhausted. Maybe this is the reason I’m seeing red after reading ASK A LESBIAN: “Sleeping with Straight Girls”, which is (sort of) a straight girl’s guide to sleeping with chicks in Q & A form.

This post reproduces so many offensive stereotypes about queer femininity–such as the myth that femme equals straight–that I keep asking myself if the whole thing is meant to be a satire. (But a satire of what? Sapphic cluelessness?) Seriously, would it kill these folks to do a little homework about femme, butch, and stone femmes?!!

I can’t believe that any lesbian who’s been out for more than 5 minutes really believes that femme and bottom are “synonymous terms.” I’ve pasted an excerpt from the post below. What do you think? Is this thing for real or a bad joke gone wrong??

So like whaddo I do? I guess I can’t just lie there anymore.

Scared str8

Dear Str8,

As it so happens, there is in fact a subspecies of lesbian for whom “just lie there” is precisely their distinguishing modus operandi. These lesbians are the first cousins of straight girls and are known as “femmes” or “bottoms,” which are synonymous terms (occasionally you will happen across an extremely rare breed of lesbian known as the “butch bottom,” but that is typically considered a crime against nature). Now, it might strike you as “unbalanced,” “unfair,” or even “aping heteropatriarchal relations” to have just one lesbian doing all the work in the bedroom, but femmes are possessed of a remarkable phenomenon known as “wiles,” which nearly all butches are powerless to resist. As a result of a femme’s “wiles,” a typical butch is not simply willing but rather indescribably eager to perform all the labor of sexual relations while the femme just lies there the whole time.

helpfully yours!

12 Responses

  1. sf, where do you find these people? lol.
    she basically just regurgitated every lesbian/p.c.”feminist” stereotype that’s out there.
    I was trying to figure out if it was lesbian hipster irony or not…the jury is still out.

  2. “first cousins of straight girls?” eeek.
    also, since when is a good bottom someone who “just lies there?”
    AJ needs a lesson from a tough femme switch like myself.

  3. At the risk of being terribly vulgar, I THINK MY VADGE JUST THREW UP A LITTLE.

    Gross, dude. Um, after these kittens get their certificates of completion from SF’s Charm School, can y’all send them to the FFAF Boot Camp? Kthx. Good heavens.

  4. urk.
    as a general rule, i try to avoid interactions with people who don’t write in words. but…but…urk.

    *ahem* the term for a girl who “just lie[s] there” is pillow queen, dear – get your definitions straight, so to speak. interestingly, we don’t have a masculine term for someone who just lies there, even though it is just as easy for the masculine party to do (pillow prince, perhaps? i think it flows better than pillow king). i suppose it would be too insulting to the bogus theory that fucking is what makes a man.

    p.s.(point the second) – if you are tallying “work” in order to rate the balance and fairness of your relationship, frankly, i think you are doomed. unless you’d like to date your clone, but i think that’d be awkward.

    -lady brett (femme bottom)

    You make a great point about the sexism implicit in criticizing stone femmes/pillow queens for “just lying there”–that is such an incredibly disrespectful turn of phrase. What counts as “active” and “passive” in this culture is always gendered, as your remarks so aptly demonstrate. Thanks! xo SF

  5. i’m having a major internal conflict over this post and whether it’s supposed to be ironic or not. i would like to think that fellow queers, trans men especially, get more the nuances of gender and even if they don’t, that they would think twice before running their mouths…but maybe i’m being too generous. i think, regardless of his post’s intention – whether he truly feels all femmes to be bottoms or not, which *thank you*, SF, for clarifying that “bottom” is not the equivalent of “pillow queen!” – it’s just plain irresponsible! making leaping generalizations is always problematic, but doing so and being, possibly, *completely unaware* of what you’re talking about makes it 100 times worse. epic fail.

  6. whoops, it was the dear lady brett that highlighted the difference between bottom and pillow queen!

    also, in solidarity with the aforementioned, hussy red = proud, fierce, femme bottom…and i’d still teach him a lesson.

    Actually Nikki made a similar point first. I have no doubt that you both could teach him a thing or 2! xo SF

  7. Okay, so I gave in and posted real answers to those questions in a serious, semi-rant like comment on the blog. You can find it here ( http://tinyurl.com/cxx95q )

    Maybe I shouldn’t have engaged, but some days it just gets to me!

  8. uhhh I share the same initials with that cretin. I want to smack her with my huge heeled boot. Maybe the most important to thing to note about this under-a-rock-dweller is that she has clearly been having some seriously shitty sex.

  9. i’m tempted to think it’s a joke. even the language she uses is just a little too silly.

    femme = bottom? laughter all round! my only queer experiences so far have been with ftms, i am quite the femme and was very much the top in both of those encounters too.

    femme = bottom indeed

  10. The writers of this piece say it’s a joke. They describe themselves as satirizing the absurdity of the positions that we are critiquing. At least it’s a relief to know that they don’t actually think these things are true. To read more (including Natt’s great comment), go to http://tinyurl.com/cxx95q.

    @SBJ I hope your vadge is feeling better.


  11. Hello, AJ here, one of the authors of the piece.

    As has been observed in the comments here, and as I explained in the comments of my post, the piece is, of course, a joke. Most of the content of lolAJ is satirical, as I think you can get a sense of by looking at some of the other posts on political issues. In particular, the blog attempts to use hyperbole to critically (and hopefully humorously) illuminate the absurdity of most mainstream discourses on race, sexuality, and gender. There is no banner at the top of the blog disclaiming, “THIS IS A JOKE,” because I think breaking character like that sort of kills the mood–I instead rely on readers’ ability to take clues from the blog’s content in order to interpret its meaning (incidentally, “Stuff White People LIke” was a major inspiration for lolAJ’s comedic style). Needless to say, the vast majority of my readership “gets” it or else I probably wouldn’t have many readers, and even fewer friends. Every now and again, however, someone stumbles across something on lolAJ and misinterprets its intent, which is kind of a calculated risk that I take. Because offending people is something I take seriously, however, it is pretty much the only circumstance under which I “break character,” as I am doing here.

    If further contextualizing things makes any difference to you all, the post was authored by myself (a transman) and two friends–one of whom is a butch lesbian, the other a queer woman. I am also a graduate student whose primary research is in gender and sexuality studies, and I’ve worked with a fair number of queer, antiracist, and economic justice organizations over the years. The content of lolAJ is heavily queer culture-oriented because most of my adult life has been downright saturated with queer culture. I think queer people are both excellent and hilarious (and str8 ppl, well, mostly the latter).

    If anyone happens to have any further questions about me, lolAJ, or has anything else they want to talk about they are of course welcome to contact me at lolajblog at gmail dot com.

    so, power to the people, every1.

  12. Is it a wonder there are so many misconceptions about anyone who doesn’t conform to the socially accepted ideas of what’s normal, let alone who and what lesbians are, and do! And when this sort of sh*t is peddled as information…argh!

    It scares me to think there are so many ill-informed, ignorant, uneducated, possibly brain-dead people wondering around in an upright position breeding more of the same!

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