Archive for the Category »Musings: Gender «
Cross-posted on The Femme’s Guide here.
Femme–an identity that has caused controversy, celebration and ridicule–is now the topic of a two-volume set from Homofactus Press and editor Jennifer Clare Burke titled Visible: A Femmethology. Femmethology calls the LGBTQI community on its own prejudice and celebrates the diversity of individual femmes. Award-winning authors, spoken-word artists, and totally new voices come together to challenge conventional ideas of how disability, class, nationality, race, aesthetics, sexual orientation, gender identity and body type intersect with each contributor’s concrete notion of femmedom. - from femmethology.com
This month of April marks something I’ve been waiting for quite some time: the Femmethology virtual blog tour! Today is lucky enough to be my day, and so I’m sharing some of my feelings and insights related to the Femmethology. Visit Daphne Gottlieb tomorrow for her day, and all the sites at the bottom of the post on their days.
First, a little about the Femmethology:
Visible: A Femmethology
Femmethology is essential—a roadmap of Femme Nation, an index, an anthropology, a manifesto, and a googleology. – Dorothy Allison
Visible: a Femmethology is a two-volume anthology of essays revolving around femme identity.
I’ve been discovering and embracing my multigendered identity lately, but in that multigendered identity there is a solidly femme identity as well, which these books helped me remember.
Not that I had forgotten my femme identity, I just had been focusing more consciously on my fagette identity than my femme because it was new and in a way easier to focus on because it’s more visible (though only slightly). The identities in no way are opposites, they are complimentary, but they are also different. Reading through the Femmethology in a way re-connected me with my femme identity.
The biggest benefit of the Femmethology, in my opinion, is that it helps remind us that we are not alone as femmes. While some of us have many femme friends and a wonderful support system the rest of us do not and we have to navigate the world without much reassurance and reminders that there are so many of us out there feeling the same things. This is one of the reasons I started The Femme’s Guide in the first place, to emphasize that there are many of us out there, and while we’re all different we are also all the same.
I was moved many times throughout the two volumes. There were authors I knew well or moderately well, from various avenues such as Sinclair Sexsmith, Sassafras Lowrey, and Tara Hardy. There were many other authors that I didn’t know anything about, but I was able to get to know something about them through their stories.
Many stories touched me to the core, rocked me, and left me dazed and contemplating my own stories and my own identities.
I feel that Visible: A Femmethology is not just a book or anthology meant to be read, though it certainly is that as well, it’s also a look into each of these femme’s lives and voices, an adventure into different types of femme-ininity and different experiences that all somehow are similar because of this identity we all embrace and inhabit. It shows the vastness of femme while also showing what unites us.
It screamed “you are not alone” to me right when I needed it.
From the Introduction to the anthology: “Femme means I won’t compromise on complexity. … Above all, my femme is not your femme, which is the good news. … Femme means my sexuality, my partner choices, my definitions and my gender presentation might not match your labels.”
You can order Volume 1 and Volume 2 through the fabulous Homofactus Press.
You can also hear Sinclair Sexsmith reading his Love Letter to Femmes!
Check out the blogs below on the associated dates to learn more about the Femmethology volumes:
4/1. Sugarbutch Chronicles
4/2. Ellie Lumpesse
4/4. CyDy Blog
4/6. Catalina Loves
4/7. cross-post: The Femme’s Guide and Femme Fagette
4/8. Daphne Gottlieb
4/9. Bilerico Project
4/10. Screaming Lemur: Femme-inism and Other Things
4/13. The Femme Hinterland
4/14. Bochinche Bilingüe: Borderlands Writing and The Vagina Adventures
4/15. Dorothy Surrenders
4/16. Miss Avarice Speaks Her Mind
4/17. The Femme Show
4/19. Sexuality Happens
4/20. Queer Fat Femme
4/21. Sublimefemme Unbound
4/22. Tina-cious.com and Jess I Am (butch-femme couple day!)
4/24. The Lesbian Lifestyle
4/25. Femme Fluff
4/26. Weldable Cookies
4/27. The Verbosery
4/28. A Consuming Desire and Creative Xicana
The more I look back over the comments on this post, you know the one, the one I wrote about already, the more I think I reacted poorly. And, well, I’m sure I did, as all my reactions were emotional reactions, either a “ouch I’m hurt” reaction or a “I offended you, I’m bad, I’m sorry” reaction. Neither of which made me react in a way that was at all constructive.
Honestly I’m not sure how to be constructive in a situation like that. The people involved were obviously looking for something to be offended about rather than trying to understand my experiences. Maybe I should have ignored it all together, but it really really hurt me, so much so that I felt I had to respond in some way. If only I could get them to understand what I actually meant… but rationally I knew that nothing I said would change their minds, and so I went for the other route: apologize until they realize it was unintentional. Well, that didn’t do me any good either.
Something that helped me yesterday after this first started was a piece by Madeline H. Wyndzen a transsexual psychologist titled Why are Trassexuals so mean to each other? which applies not because I’m a transsexual (I think I’ve made that clear) but because the reaction that she’s talking about is actually pretty universal, and I think transsexual people react this way to someone who is outside gender lines as well.
This is my first interaction that I can think of where a post of mine offended someone enough for them to personally attack me. I’ve gotten personal attacks before, but never on my blog, never on the subject of my gender, and never due to me being offensive to someone else. I tend to be hypersensitive toward others, which is why something like this is such a blow to me when it happens because I tend to err on the side of caution. I’ve made mistakes before, sure, and I’ve misspoken, but never to the point of being so blatantly attacked.
Looking back, one big thing I would do differently is I would stand my ground more firmly. I wasn’t appropriating trans experience by using the same language. I wasn’t even close to that, they chose to interpret my words that way. By saying I have cissexual privilege somehow that makes it okay for them to ridicule me but not okay for me to use similar language or identify with a quote from someone who was not even considering transitioning when he wrote it? Would my gender issues be more valid if I transitioned? Probably in their eyes.
What does claiming to have a more difficult time being marginalized compared to other marginalized groups get us? Nothing. No, wait, it gets us squabbling within groups that should be supportive rather than the support that the people within the groups actually need.
I do find it ironic that the first attacking comment made to me focused on telling me that I failed at my gender. What trans person doesn’t hear that at some point in their life? The gender failure was partially intentional as every gender fails, all gender is drag, and no gender is perfect, which is something I enjoy playing up when possible.
I also find it ironic that I was told that the gender I feel on the inside isn’t real by a trans person. Let me say that again: a trans person told me that the gender I feel on the inside is not real. Um… does anyone else see the obvious flaw here?
This brings me back to Why are Trassexuals so mean to each other? by Madeline H. Wyndzen. Her big point is that it’s a defense mechanism, one quote which is particularly apt is: “a lot of us feel this need to put others down in order to feel better about ourselves. And many of us are hypersensitive to ‘criticism’ so we can often misread an innocuous remark as though it was saying something invalidating about us personally.” It’s easy to read something offensive into something when you’re looking for it to be offensive or if you are hypersensitive to anything that might possibly be offensive if taken the wrong way.
Another thing she said also rang true for this situation: “if anybody really bothered to challenge if I’m a “real girl” or a “real transsexual”, I would just go “whatever” and think they really need to get a grip and not waste so much of their time deciding what I ‘really’ am.” Basically, why do they even care that I’m using the same language? Why does it matter to them what I call myself or don’t call myself? Shouldn’t that only matter to me?
As Elizabeth pointed out in the comments of my last post, this issue wasn’t actually a misunderstanding and that probably the best thing to have done in the situation was not to engage them, especially since I knew it wouldn’t do any good.
Gabe has helped me come to the ideas in this post as well, mostly to make me realize how bad it was of me to give in like I did, essentially placating anything that they said to appease them rather than standing my ground. He was nice about it, probably nicer than he should have been.
I have a tendency to roll over and give someone anything they want if they are telling me I offended them. I will do just about anything to try to make them not hate me, as that is something that hurts me inside and out, it’s not rational, but it’s the way I work. Like I said above, I reacted in a “I offended you, I’m bad, I’m sorry” way which was not at all constructive.
Overall if I had to do it again there would be many differences, at least in theory. I’m not sure, should something like this happen again (and, let’s face it, it’s the internet and a touchy subject so it’s bound to happen again), I’m not sure I could actually disregard my automatic “coddle and appease until they don’t hate me” reaction, but maybe I’ll remember this situation and at very least wait to respond until I have something better to say, or just not respond at all.
*quote from House Season 4 Episode 11 “Frozen.” Used because I tend to be hypersensitive to the feelings of others, and often nice beyond the realm of necessity.Possibly related posts:
My heart hurts a little. I woke up yesterday to an attack on my gender, which if you follow me on twitter you’ve probably already heard about.
I wrote a post not too long ago on The Femme’s Guide about my newfound femme fagette identity, my multigendered femme identity and I was hoping for a while that more people would comment on it, so I suppose this is the one of those “be careful what you wish for” moments.
I woke up to this comment:
You are a cissexual person appropriating the expriences of trans women and other MtF-side trans people.
Wearing a feather boa and badly-applied lipstick that is the wrong color for you with your t-shirt and half-assed fauxhawk does not make you a drag queen and isn’t even particularly femme.
You are not a starfish, snowflake, or magical twinkling unicorn, and your personal identity is not a form of activism.
Pretty much a direct personal attack on my person, my gender, and my appearance. I replied well, or so I thought, but apparently I was being condescending and though I was trying not to be defensive it’s difficult not to be defensive when someone is out and out attacking you.
The comments went on, but one person stopped commenting and another took over. This second commenter was much more reasonable and constructive, she didn’t attack just told me to pay attention, basically, which I am grateful for. You can read all the comments here, many of which are insightful and thoughtful not just personal attacks.
The big issue that was offensive was they thought I was trying to appropriate trans experiences, which I wasn’t. Here is part of my latest comment:
When I talk about gender I’m not talking about anything “biological.” Never in the post did I talk about my sex, only my gender, and I get attacked with “you’re cissexual trying to be a trans woman” which is not at all what I’m saying. Am I cissexual? Very probably. I’ve never had a real affinity toward my sex, I don’t “feel” female (whatever that means) but I don’t feel male either so I’ve thought about reassignment surgery but, like the quote above, I’ve “decided that would not resolve my gender conflicts.” (Note: the quote I am referring to is the same one in this post) Part of the reason I love that quote. As Riki Wilchins said, you can say “I feel like a woman trapped in a man’s body” (or in my case, woman’s) and get results, but if you say “I feel like a herm trapped in a man’s body” people don’t understand and would think you’re crazy. (And I do know hermaphrodite is not a positive word, I was, however, quoting Riki from the book Genderqueer.) If I had my way I would be able to change sex frequently, but since I can’t do that, that’s what my gender and strap-ons are for. ;) (Though I know that’s not the same as transitioning, that’s supposed to be a bit of a joke.)
As for appropriation, I wasn’t trying to appropriate trans experiences in any way shape or form. This comes down to a language issue. Am I transsexual? No. Do I feel like Patrick did when he wrote the quote above? Definitely. I was agreeing with his sentiments, using the same language, and he wasn’t transitioning then either. The problem is that I don’t have any language for what I’m feeling or experiencing, the best I can do is use the language around me and try to make sense of myself as best I can. Just because I use language that sounds similar to trans experiences doesn’t mean I’m claiming to be trans, it just means I don’t have any better words, and that’s my fault for not finding any. I am multigendered. I never claimed to be trans in the post and I’m not trying to claim to be transsexual. I may be transgendered but that depends on the definition. I do not use gender and sex interchangeably.
Through these comments (the constructive ones, anyway) I have been made to think more about my gender and my definitions and experiences. I may repeat myself a bit from the quote above, so apologies if I do.
While I’m not transitioning I haven’t ruled it out completely, I just don’t think it would solve anything. I don’t feel female or male, I’m not sure what that’s supposed to feel like. I like having breasts and orifices, but I also like having a cock (though mine’s silicone, granted, and that’s not the same). I like the idea of growing facial hair, of my voice deepening, but I like my breasts and don’t want to get rid of them. I’ve felt for a while that I would feel most “me” as an intersexed person, somewhere between male and female. I’m not trying to appropriate the experiences of an intersexed person, I’m just saying I don’t feel male or female.
I have been feeling more masculine lately, not sure why I just have, more of my fagette side than the femme. Yet I don’t wear pants. Granted, gender is more than the clothes you wear it’s an attitude, a feeling, which is partly why my masculine gender is fagette as it’s a feminine masculinity. I never wear pants, or, almost never, I wear pants when I go to the gym and that’s pretty much it. Can I be masculine in a skirt or dress? I think so! Though not all would.
The big issue here is it is felt that I am trying to appropriate trans experiences. This too, is a limitation of language. I’m not transsexual, I freely admit that, and I’m not trying to say that I’m a trans woman, far from it! I used similar language, but I did not mean to appropriate anything. I do not think my experience is in any way shape or form similar to that of a trans woman.
I do think I am transgendered, however, though that depends highly on the definition of transgender, and I usually use genderqueer over transgender but they are similar though not the same. I know that is not the same as being transsexual (in my and many others definition). I don’t feel like I fit in with my culturally assigned gender. I am not a typical femme (whatever that means) or a typical feminine female, I embrace masculinity and femininity and rework them into me in a way that works for me. I enjoy drag of every kind, and I love to change my gender expression at the drop of a hat. I’m genderqueer.
When I walk down the street do I think that people see my gender as I see it? Not at all. I’m not easily identifiable, as I’m not easily categorized. I use the terms femme and fagette but what do either of those really mean outside of my own definitions? They’re so open to interpretation that I often don’t know what I mean by them, but I know I identify with them.
I try to learn as much as I can about gender and sex differences. I have a degree in Gender Studies focused on gender and sexuality issues. I try not to be offensive but obviously that doesn’t always happen. I try to understand as much as I can, but I don’t think it’s possible to fully understand the experience of another even if you have gone through a similar experience and definitely not if your experiences don’t come close. I have read a lot, but it’s never enough to avoid misunderstandings like this. I don’t really have any answers yet, but I’m thinking about it, and I think that’s important.
Although I was caused much pain yesterday from the hurtful and attacking way the comments started I’m glad that this issue was brought to my attention, as it’s not something I had considered before. I admit my own ignorance on this freely. All I can do is learn from the experience and try to be more precise with my wording in the future.Possibly related posts:
How do I start a review of a book which speaks to me in such personal and intimate ways, beyond being about sex? How do I begin to describe the ways this book has clicked with me? I guess by answering those questions.
The brilliance of the book is that it delves into theory while still having an element of smut in it, mixing the two together in a true Carol Queen-esque way, because in some ways it’s impossible to seperate the smut from the theory and the theory from the smut. The first book I read of Carol Queen’s was Real Live Nude Girl back nearly four years ago when I was still living in Oregon.
I fell in love with her then, realizing how similar we were, wanting to become like her, to explore my own sexuality and look at it through the lens of theory. She was my inspiration for nearly all that I do now, and all I’m working toward including San Francisco and The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.
I found Leather Daddy and the Femme by Carol Queen to be not only wonderful hot get-your-genitals-stirring smut but also an interesting look at gender identities and identity politics. It starts off with the meeting of Miranda/Randy and Jack, then follows their relationship as it progresses, adding in a third partner, Demetrius, and playing with others as well. It is a wonderful queer genderfucking depiction of a gay leather daddy and his boy/femme and the creation of a family.
I found that the identities and relationships within The Leather Daddy and the Femme were some of the closest depictions to what I consider perfect. This wouldn’t be true for everyone, of course, not everyone would have such a personal reaction to the book, dreaming of being in an open and poly-committed relationship or having two different but equal genders that are easy to step into. I found myself identifying in some way with all of the characters and realizing that my dream situation is one very similar to what Jack, Miranda, and Demetrius have, with slight modifications of course.
In some ways the situation in the book is similar to my own, it emphasizes that queerness isn’t restricted to same sex relationships, that there are more ways for males and females to interact sexually and romantically than within a heterosexual model. Something I’ve thought was true for years, but that is difficult for me to describe.
The biggest thing that Leather Daddy and the Femme did for me, I think, was make me think about my own identity, my own desire for a chosen family (as opposed to born family), my desire for multiple lovers, for queer sex, for my own embracing of my multigendered self. It opened me up to looking at my own gender and sexual identity paths, how I got here and where I want to go from here. Oh, and it also made me wet.
I could probably go on for pages about exactly how it touched me, about what part of which characters I would like to inhabit, what I have thought of due to the book, how it has changed my perceptions and desires… but those things are all for posts previous and to come. Instead, I’d love if you have read it for you to give your reaction to the book in the comments.Possibly related posts:
Sinclair brought up a great point the other day in his post define: cisgender that I want to touch upon and explore. Now, I’ve had cisgender in my lexicon since I started this site, and have been in the process of reading the book Sinclair mentions in his post, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity for longer than that (though am currently starting it over now that I’m not in school and can devote more attention to it). Whipping Girl is also where I got the definitions of traditional vs. oppositional sexism used in my definition of femmeinism. Needless to say, I think it’s brilliant, and look forward to finishing it.
For those of you who have not read Sinclair’s post (though I highly encourage you to), here is a definition of cisgender: people whose gender aligns with the cultural expectations of their sex and who have only ever experienced their subconscious and physical sexes as being aligned (e.g. feminine female, masculine male). “The word has its origin in the Latin-derived prefix cis, meaning “on the same side” as in the cis-trans distinction in chemistry.”
Now, back to the point. I have used the term “bio-female” in my gender/sexuality/general description for quite some time, and quite purposefully. Ever since reading Sinclair’s post I have been questioning this, and as you may notice I have taken it out of my description on the sidebar and in my about page. I have done this for a number of reasons.
First, however, I would like to explain my initial reason for choosing the term bio-female when I have been fully aware of the terms cisgender and cissexual for quite some time. What I realize now I meant was assigned-female-at-birth, as opposed to cis-female, because I have never quite felt cis-female, my gender has always been a little (or a lot) queer. Not only am I not cis-female because of my femme identity, but then when other identities are taken into account they dispute this as well. While I often do appear to the casual observer to be cisgendered, there are also plenty of times when I do not.
Sinclair’s post got me wondering: why do I have that in there? Why does it matter what I was assigned at birth if I don’t believe in binary genders or sexes? What was the reason for me to include this in my own description? The only answer I came to was that I didn’t want my sex misinterpreted. When I realized this I mentally laughed at myself. I realized it was a safety blanket, my version of a blue-blanket, and something I didn’t need anymore (perhaps never needed).
Because of that realization as well as the realization of the incorrectness of the term “bio,” for as Sinclair put it “there’s nothing non-biological about trans folks,” I decided to take it out of my description. I simply don’t need it anymore. Obviously at one point I thought it was necessary, I felt threatened that I would be assumed for anything other than female. I say this with a little bit of shame, it was my own internal cissexism rearing it’s ugly head. Despite being a decidedly fierce trans supporter and advocate for years I am still subject to my internalized cissexism, but I’m working on it.
There were two distinct times I can think of where I was “mistaken” for a male queen. These were both many years ago during high school. Nowadays I would be rejoicing for such a reading of my sex and gender, but in those days I had not gone through much if any gender revelations and while I wasn’t disgusted or outraged I was confused and taken aback (mostly because my boobs were huge and in both instances I was wearing a low-cut top, in one instance a corset). I think my original adoption of “bio-female” was in part due to those instances.
I have more thoughts about the differences between femme and cis-female, but will have to save them for another time.Possibly related posts:
One of my new favorite words, one which I’m even considering adding to my long list of labels up on the masthead, I’ve already added it to my gender description. I first encountered the term in the Fagette video by Athens Boys Choir which is absolutely lovely, hilarious, wonderful, and perfect.
Doing a search on google for faggette brings up over 18,600 results which are a mixture of pages with the Athens Boys Choir video on them or linked, personal profiles like myspace or digg, information for people with the last name of Fagette, some is information about La Fagette, France, and random other things. Aside from the video I’m interested in the Urban Dictionary definition of fagette which reads:
A lesbian or a woman that displays either a masculine or feminine attitudes, mannerisms, and dress depending on their whim at the moment.
At the Lesbian Club, Cheri was such a fagette that she was receiving looks of interest from both the Butch and Femme crowd.
As opposed to the simple other definitions: 1. A gay frenchman. Derived from “faggot” and “baguette.” 2. A female homosexual/lesbian. I would say I prefer the first definition of fagette(s) from UD instead of the other for fagette.
Further, I would propose my own definition (as that’s what this post is all about, right?) which brings it slightly away from sexuality, though I would say queer is a necessity as I believe queerness and gender have some sort of link together but queer doesn’t always have to do with who one sleeps with. I really like the “depending on their whim at the moment” part of the definition, and I think that is key for my own feelings and adoption of this label.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my boi side, especially since reading The Leather Daddy and the Femme since it is so amazing and is a queer femme who also dresses as a boi, who has both aspects (genders) within her and plays with both and in between. I have been feeling more of my boi side lately, but also enjoying and analyzing my femme side, yet another “switch” label for me to inhabit, perhaps, switching from boi to femme and back again and everywhere in between.
It’s often difficult to not have a definite place in this gender galaxy, or to be circling around more than one sun. At the same time it’s very freeing, because through embracing these specific labels I am able to then open up my own gender expression to fit inside or outside of the gender lines as I see fit. Just like I feel it’s sometimes necessary to restrict something or go to one extreme in order to find where you really feel comfortable, and I’ve had to do that.
Back to my definition of fagette. Basically I think of it as a queer who mixes masculinity and fem(me)ininity and creates their own version of both, whether their biology is male or female. I know it’s a rather open-ended definition, but I think gender is open-ended in some ways, a lot more open-ended than society would like us to believe anyway. A fagette can look like Athens Boys Choir: a boy with a vagina, or a bio-female drag queen, or like Miranda/Randy of The Leather Daddy and the Femme, or all sorts of other configurations. There’s something about femme masculinity in it (not to be confused with female masculinity), which seems contradictory, in any way but I’m talking simply gender and not biological sex.
There’s a type of femme which can only be achieved by mixing a little masculinity in, I think, the drag queen is a drag queen because it’s putting a feminine gender on the socially “wrong” body, but a similar gender is difficult to achieve when you are putting a similar gender expression, drag queen, on the socially “correct” body. Fagette is recognizing that wrongness, that queerness, and embracing it.
It doesn’t come out as femme drag queen for everyone, that’s just my experience of fagette, having to map it onto my identity in order to have it fit. It’s similar to what I mean by “femme drag queen,” the purposeful combining of femmeininity and masculinity in order to create a new gender all my own, an androgyny that doesn’t come out looking primarily masculine as most androgyny does.
Fagette is not limited to the gender expression “drag queen” as some drag queens are not fagettes, but some fagettes are drag queens. Fagette can encompass any gender which is a mixture of femme and fag (I believe).Possibly related posts:
Yes, I know, it’s not Sunday (again) I’m getting bad at these, but at least I’m trying to stick to the posting schedule even if it is not the right day! And, that’s what backdating is for! My best excuse for being late is that our mama cat had her kittens yesterday! See all five kittens and the mama or just two kittens close-up. I’ll be posting pics on twitter as they progress.
Somethings I’ve been thinking a lot about since starting The Femme’s Guide (I start off too many posts that way, don’t I? Maybe I just think too much): What is femme? What does it mean to be femme? Who can be femme? Is there any sort of limitation on what femme means?
Something I came across a while ago here via The Femme Show was a definition of what femme is, or can be: “[the femme is] a betrayer of legibility itself. Seemingly “normal,” she responds to “normal” expectations with a sucker punch– she occupies normality abnormally.” – Lisa Duan and Kathleen McHugh from “A Fem(me)inist Manifesto” The abnormality in the normality of feminine can be caused by a number of different things, and in all cases conscious choice is the forerunner, but can also be accompanied by a deviant sexual orientation (queer, dyke, lesbian, bi, pan, etc. to which I also include queer heterosexual), biological sex-to-gender allignment (such as femme males), or etc.
My basic definition of a femme is someone who consciously chooses to embrace fem(me)ininity as a “deviant” identity. Femme is a conscious genderfuck in the rouse of traditional femininity. The major difference between a feminine woman and a femme is conscious gender performance, and anyone who consciously takes on the role of femininity as a deviant identity can be femme.
I don’t believe that femme is reserved for any type of person, there are femmes of all sexes, orientations, sizes, colors, etc. The only thing I believe must be present in order to embrace the identity of femme is just that: embracing the identity and consciously performing femmeininity.
This also doesn’t mean that they must be femme all the time, or that it has to be an all-or-nothing experience. I am an advocate (and practitioner) of gender fluidity, and I don’t believe that once an identity is embraced it must be the dominant identity at all times.
This brings me to the question of how is femme deviant? How is being femme any more deviant than being feminine? In a culture which considers femininity to be a counterpart to masculinity and therefore everything that masculinity isn’t: weak, vulnerable, emotional, etc. when a femme consciously chooses to be femme ze is choosing to take on this culturally slandered role. When we consciously choose marginalized roles while recognizing their marginalization we are, in a way, giving power to them. This is, in my mind, deviant and a small way of rebelling against social order.
The big issue with femme, in my opinion and experience, is visibility. It’s often difficult to be recognized as femme as opposed to feminine.Possibly related posts:
I’ve been thinking a lot about femme cock lately, ever since I posted on the subject. I haven’t only been thinking about the acquisition of one, however, but also what it means to have a femme cock, and what it means that my cock is femme. On one hand, it’s a very minuscule difference. I mean, what does it matter if my cock is femme, butch, genderqueer, a dildo, or any other label that I put on it? It’s still a cock, right? It’s still a piece of silicone. On the other hand, cocks are not thought of as femme or feminine. Cocks are, as we generally associate them with males, usually considered a masculine item.
So, what does it really mean to have a femme cock? What’s the big deal? For one thing, when a cock is strapped on it is pretty much assumed that the strapper is masculine in some way. While there are many people who do not make this assumption I would say that the overwhelming majority do. Though it does seem like pegging (female penetrating a male with a strap on) has been getting more popular lately with videos like Bend Over Boyfriend and lots of beginner strap-on kits popping up all over the place. Even then, however, the penetrator is still thought of as taking on the masculine role even if the penetrator isn’t thought of as masculine.
Penetration is nearly always considered a masculine act, even if done by a feminine body. Rarely do you see a dildo called Felicity or Sophia, instead we see Leo, General, Magnum, and Throb. That’s not to say that there aren’t female-named dildos like Goddess, Mistress, Wanda, and the ever delightful Vicky Venus, but they are nowhere near as common as the others. There have always been vibrators with feminine names, because they are trying to appeal to their target audience, but if you delve into the realm of “realistic” dildos… well, I’ll just say I have yet to see a dildo marketed as realistic named anything feminine (though there could be one or two, I can’t claim to have seen all the dildos in the world). I’m not saying that they should be more common, I wouldn’t make that call, but I am saying that thinking of a dildo as feminine or thinking of penetration as a feminine act is not common.
But what does it really mean for a femme to have a cock, or for a femme to pack? There are infinite ways in which a femme can pack, and an infinite number of reasons and desires which can come out of packing/having a cock. I can’t help but think of an excerpt from The Leather Daddy and the Femme when thinking about femme cock, and the infinite possibilities:
It was lavender silicone and not shaped like a cock at all. It wasn’t even meant to be a cock, on her. She never got especially turned on to cocks–but strapping on something to fuck with, something that let her pin me to a bed or a wall and let her cunt-energy come exploding out of her and into my cunt or asshole, she liked that just fine. [...] She didn’t think of it as a cock so I didn’t either, but I sure did take it seriously.
This is part of the way I think of my cock, I declare it as a cock but I don’t think of it as a cock but as an extension of my cunt, which is also why I’m not very attracted to realistic-looking cocks for my own personal cock. I wouldn’t be against a realistic-looking (and feeling) cock in my collection, but that wouldn’t be my main cock.
The more I read in The Leather Daddy and the Femme the more I work with and figure out my own gender queerness. My sexuality is so tied in with my gender, and it’s interesting to have this lovely femme woman as well as a butch boi within me, both aching to get out and both who desire to wear a cock.
This brings me back to the question: what does it mean? Obviously, it can mean a lot of different things depending on who is wearing the cock and who is viewing/feeling the cock. Is there a big difference between someone who embraces femme packing or strapping on than someone who embraces butch? I think there is. That’s not to say that the same meaning couldn’t be applied to the cock or the wearing of the cock in both cases, because it could be, but there would still be a difference. What would that difference be, I’m not entirely sure. Something I’ll have to think on more and get back to you.Possibly related posts: