cradle and all

I hold my hand out for a femme who is walking in heels next to me when we go down stairs, because I want her to have something solid to hold onto in those high heels. I switch sides of the sidewalk when I notice a grate or something she can’t walk over. I open the door for her because I don’t want her to ding up her fingernails that she spent two hours perfecting. I take her coat because her dress is tight and if she lifts her arms up above her shoulders it could actually damage the dress.

I am aware of the ways that her gender – her physical body – interacts with the world, and I want to enhance that presentation, cradle her, protect her, celebrate her ways of showing off her beautiful, sexual, powerful self.

Just like she does for me.

Sinclair, Sugarbutch, August 2007

This is a little bit of a rant. This quotation comes up for me all the time in thinking about why I’m femme, why I love butch women. How I love butch women.

Just like she does for me.

From my paper journal: I’ve been thinking about why I love butch women so very much. perhaps I simply have a tender heart that sees the fragility of gender. The fragility that gender creates… How lovely. How dear their masculine identity is to me! I want to wrap myself around their queer masculinity. I want to embrace it, to protect it, to hold it tightly. I want masculinity to run to me when its self-confidence is wounded, so I can shower it with healing kisses. [reference to above quote] […] It’s the same idea of protecting the other persons’ subjugated gender. I always feel visible and validated on the arm of a butch woman. Is that the same thing as feeling validated by a man? I don’t think so. I pass for a straight woman, so being on the arms of a butch means I’m more likely to be read as a woman who loves women rather than men…

That is related to this:

Cody: I think so. I think that’s a big fucking part of it. It’s fear. It’s [seen as] not hot to be a butch, or a man. Because you have to work for it.

Sinclair: It amazed me how much I felt socially policed while I was still coming to this butch identity. All those comments from other butches about toughness, competition, objectifying women. I still get those comments – they just don’t effect me as they used to. One comment would throw me for a loop for days.

Cody: Every time someone put down my butchness, or my male-ness, I regressed like YEARS in my discovery and comfortability with it.

Sinclair: [Masculine identities are] so sensitive! I wonder if this is also what teenage boys go through, all that fag/pussy-bashing stuff.

Cody: Homophobia: the deconstruction of masculinity. Homophobia is all about the construction of masculinity. It’s more about gender than sexuality – sexuality is a part of it, but its more about gender. It’s all about ‘othering’

Sinclair and Cody, September 2007

My internal instinct is to love and cradle and hold very near to my heart the masculine identity. This is where it is fragile – there was not men’s movement to give presumable “un-masculine” men a place in society! Boys and men are so harshly punished – more so than women – for being “un-masculine” and in my deepest heart, I wish to comfort, to console masculine people when they are looked-down-upon by society. I want to center their being, to build up their sense of self.

I didn’t have time to explore all of that in my journal the other day. It takes much longer to write than it does to type, so sometimes all my thoughts don’t end up coming out before I forget them. There’s a problem here, if I feel invisible [as a woman who loves women] without a butch by my side I’m frustrated by the fact that I cannot feel confident about my visibility by presenting femme. So. How do I fix that? Do I have to get a big ole dyke tattoo? Do I have to wear a big sign around my neck (I DON’T DO BOYS, GO AWAY) or (FEMME FOR BUTCH. YOU?)

My time’s almost up. Darn hour limits on school computers! grr!


3 thoughts on “cradle and all

  1. Last night I went to my favorite lounge, and was struck anew by the number and quality of femmes that seem to have sprung out of the woodwork even since last spring. Used to be we were highly markable in gay settings, now it seems fashion has swung our way. I’m not sure I like it.

  2. i’m not much good at gender theory, just not a passion of mine. but, i do totally get the validation i feel when the person of my desire – regardless of gender – matches my interest, and who’s presence compliments my sense of self-expression. for me, it’s not rigid specifics of biological plumbing or gender strutting, it’s the saucy combination my ticklish parts tickling theirs, and vice versa.

  3. I so relate to this. I am getting so tired of people assuming I am straight (and telling me so like it’s an insult) – but yet, I can’t change how I am to be more obviously gay. A conundrum indeed:)

    Actually, I have found in the six months that I’ve been out that my personal style has changed somewhat, not in an attempt to look less straight, but more (I think) because I’m just more comfortable with myself and with mixing it up a little.

    I find any discussion of gender and sexuality and how it all flows together so very interesting. I have only just begun to explore your blog – but i expect I’ll be a frequent visitor.

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