I don't know what this blog is anymore, I think it has something to do with animation, superheroes, a hapless college student and tea.
If you have a question about something I have posted feel free to ask away.
I think skinny ppl can turn off her song and open literally any magazine, watch any other video or movie and tv show and see their body types idealized and praised
being femme is not about being feminine. it’s about reclaiming what it is to be strong.
people read as feminine have also been condemned as weak, frail, unauthentic, and incapable as long as time is old. being femme, no matter gender identity, is about saying, fuck you, the things that make me feminine also make me strong. my femininity is not fake, contrived, or narrow - it is real and broad and open and empowering.
femme is a lesbian term just fyi (meaning femme lesbian)
i mean i agree but you tagged this with bi tumblr and it’s not an inclusive term it is lesbian exclusive (as is butch, dyke).
nope. sorry, but you are 100% wrong.
bi women have ALWAYS been a part of queer women’s movements and always will be. we have always been a part of forming “lesbian” culture and always will be. and we will always reserve the right to reclaim words like femme, butch, and dyke, because these are also descriptors of our lives and our experiences of queerness.
i am a queer, bisexual femme dyke and no amount of sapphobic, bisexual erasing identity policing can make me otherwise.
no one’s saying bi women aren’t queer women
but we are 100% saying the terms butch and femme (and dyke) arose from the LESBIAN community for LESBIANS exclusively about the LESBIAN experience
u don’t get to rewrite history and appropriate a lesbian term and then call it bisexual erasure ????
Butch and femme emerged in the early twentieth century as a set of sexual and emotional identities among lesbians. To give a general but oversimplified idea of what butch-femme entails, one might say that butches exhibit traditionally “masculine” traits while femmes embody “feminine” ones. Although oral histories have demonstrated that butch-femme couples were seen in America as far back as the turn of the twentieth century, and that they were particularly conspicuous in the 1930s, it is the mid-century working-class and bar culture that most clearly illustrate the archetypal butch-femme dynamic. - GLBTQ
Oh my god. This is so…. painfully bad.
Just a tip for any blogger out there: When someone from their community tells you that there is a problem with your community downplaying, ignoring, or erasing their contributions to history, YOU DO NOT GO GET ALL YOUR SOURCES FROM THE COMMUNITY THAT DID THE ERASING TO PROVE THEM WRONG.
All this post proves is that lesbians are REALLY good at erasing the contributions of bisexual people in our shared queer women’s history.
I’m not even going to touch the first bit of “proof” from glbt.org since they don’t use any sources for their articles. But all the rest of these sources about butch/femme are from lesbians aka “the people doing the erasing”. Of course they are not going to give you accurate perspectives on bisexual contributions in history!
It’s like when you have a relative who watches nothing but Fox News and you try to talk to them about something that is happening that Fox News ignores or only covers in their skewed way and they keep insisting they are informed because they watch a lot of Fox News. *facepalm*
So let’s lay down some real knowledge about the history of butch/femme and hell, I’ll even throw in a bit about dyke even though that’s not what this post is about. It gives me a chance to brush the dust off my Bachelor’s degree (History and Women’s Studies major with a minor in LGBT Studies).
The word femme was first used by cross-dressing lesbian Anne Lister to refer to her bisexual lover Marianna Lawton. The word femme has always been for bisexual women because it was first directed towards us. We share it with lesbians because in Lister and Lawton’s time there was not such a clear-cut distinction between lesbians and bisexuals. There was only one group - what is often referred to as Same Gender Loving People. Lesbian, bisexual, and even gay were not separate islands in the queer sea like they are now. Think more like queer Pangea.
At that time, lesbians were not what we think of now — namely that identifying as a lesbian did not preclude sleeping with and having relationships with men. Bisexual was not a commonly used term at the time. It’s use was mostly limited to academia given that it had come from botany though it started to gain ground in psychology circles after 1900. Other terms for queer women like invert, sapphic, homophile, and tribades were thrown around just as easily as lesbian. However lesbian was the one that eventually took off.
But there is a danger of getting too excited about particular words in history — words change their meaning.
The word lesbian itself was originally used as a synonym for tribade or tribadeism, referring to women stimulating other women sexually by scissoring. Lesbianism was something one DID not something one WAS. You could be a lesbian when you were with a girl and straight when you were with a boy — all in the same evening if you liked! Clearly this not how we use the word lesbian in modern times.
Butch came to us much later then femme, in the 1940’s. There were lesbian non-monosexuals in all lesbian communities of the 1940’s when butch was easily paired to femme and took off as identity labels. At that time you could call yourself a butch lesbian and be non-monosexual (ie what we now recognize as bisexual). Again, the word bisexual had not yet come into common use outside of academia so there was no easy way to distinguish between a woman that had relationships with women exclusively and a woman that had relationships with men and women.
Sidenote: If this sounds cissexist, it’s because it is. If there is anyone in the QUILTBAG whose history is more mangled then bisexuals, it’s non-binary people. I have no idea what non-binary people were doing at this time period or how they fit into this puzzle, and if someone does, please let me know. I assume lesbians of this time slept with non-binary people because they were also sleeping with men, but I really have no idea how non-binary culture fit into pre-1960’s queer history.
The word dyke is a lot more ambiguous in it’s origins. No one is really sure where it came from and speculation runs WILD. I’ve seen everything from French pirates to Romans fighting Boadicea. Some say it came from hermaphrodite, a word that in the early 1900’s was used for transgender, intersex, and bisexual people. Yep, you read that right. Dyke might not have had anything to do with lesbians in it’s original term. However it was in the dictionary by the 1940’s so again, it came from a time when lesbian and bisexual communities were merged. And it’s VITAL to note that both dyke and butch were most commonly associated with working-class queer women and queer women of color.
It was not until the 1960’s that the word lesbian began to imply NOT sleeping with men AT ALL, i.e.being exclusively attracted to women. The decision to do so (and to treat bisexual women as not-really-queer) was very much tied up in second-wave-feminism. That history includes gross TERF Shelia Jeffreys’ manifesto which stated bluntly “Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not fuck men”. She made clear in 1979 that bisexuals were no-good gross traitors.
By the 80’s there was a firm split between lesbians and bisexuals, and lesbians decided to take all the history and act like bisexuals had never been there at all. It was easy. Everything already said lesbian on it. All they had to do was ignore the real history the words in our shared community and not teach it to younger lesbians about them. Now today bisexuals are constantly excluded from our own history and accused of stealing it by lesbians who frankly don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Hello bi erasure.
So any time you see the word lesbian being used or being applied to queer women before the 1960’s, you need to remember that many of those lesbians were what we would now call bisexuals.
This is why the claim “the terms butch and femme (and dyke) arose from the LESBIAN community for LESBIANS exclusively about the LESBIAN experience” is misleading as hell. Lesbian communities were shared with bisexuals from the very beginning. Our history is shared as Same Gender Loving People.
So it is indeed historically accurate to say, as feminismandflowers did: “bi women have ALWAYS been a part of queer women’s movements and always will be. we have always been a part of forming “lesbian” culture and always will be. and we will always reserve the right to reclaim words like femme, butch, and dyke, because these are also descriptors of our lives and our experiences of queerness.”