Femme Queer, Butch Queer

]Slacker!!! :smiley:

Well, that and recite “The Lay of the Last Minstrel” naked and covered in chocolate pudding and Vick’s Vapo-Rub while my wife tickles my asshole with a feather duster, but we do that every weekend.

But I’ve been pretty busy, what with the paradigm of male supremacy to maintain, oppressing the Third World, and my e-mail.


This quote gave me a reaction similar to FriarTed’s. A woman does not have to be “good enough” to be a lesbian. She just has to be sexually/romantically interested in other women. Whether she brings about world peace and rids the world of junk mail, or makes money dealing drugs and tortures pets and children as a hobby, she’s still a lesbian.

Fat kid- check
Non-athletic- check
Nonconformingly religious- check
Sub-genius- check
Politically outspoken- check
Lower-middle class- check
Always good enough to be the Girl’s “good friend”, but not considered Boyfriend material- check

All this subjected me to some teasing, not much bullying, and while I did escape into Rapturism for a while, I actually made an effort to resist this attitude, which if I had lapsed into, would have really brought the crap down on me…

“We are different & against the status quo & out of power, therefore we are a superior breed.”

That’s more like it. Keep up the good work! :smiley:

But seriously, and back to the general gist of the OP. I’ve seen some of this “attitude” in the “community” and it makes me laugh. There are the leather guys, the West Hollywood clones, the Klub Kids, the S&M (stand and model), the cowboys, the drag/CD folks, so many different looks or uniforms. Each one has a less than pleasant attitude toward the others. The uber machos despise the nelly queens. The nellies think the machos are posers. Even funnier, there are some tops (Tab A) who look down on bottoms (Slot B). Now that is stupid. If there were no bottoms, the tops would have to go through life with no place to dip their wick. DUH!

It never occurs to some of them, that they are all in the same boat. It’s the same old song…

“I want freedom and diversity and respect, but only for me”.

Thanks for your help. Repressing the female and non-white majority for 5,000
has been more work than I can handle alone!

Perhaps something even more fundamental at work, at least in Loopy’s example. When I’m envious, I overcompensate. He’s seeing a form of sour gender grapes?

I’m probably sacrificing most of my Queer Liberal street cred by saying this out loud, but I agree with the above. You’re gay, Johanna. That doesn’t make you special, it just makes you… gay. I can, to some extent, appreciate the feeling of relief at being accepted by a social group you admire, but if they hadn’t accepted you, all that would show is that that group wasn’t worth admiring in the first place. At the end of the day, it’s kind of a silly thing to worry about.

[sub]Urdu love poetry? If someone tried to seduce me with Urdu love poetry, I don’t think I could keep from laughing at the sheer pretentiousness of it.[/sub]

Random question… is there a difference between “Lesbian Theory” and “Lesbian Studies”? To me, the latter seems like a reasonable term for intellectual discussion of lesbianness. The former sounds like a field in which, at some point, the Lesbian Equation will be solved! Or perhaps there’s a central Theory of Lesbianness which will eventually be properly formulated, resulting in goodness knows what.
(Oh, and my observation which might contriubute to the conversation at hand, and this was touched on already, is that of all types of queer people, the ones who are by far the most societally accepted, and even in some contexts desired and praised and admired, are femme lesbians, particularly attractive ones. Note that there’s at least one Lesbian Hollywood Power Couple, but there sure as heck isn’t a Gay Hollywood Power Couple. What the precise implications of this are is beyond me.)

My experience with gender and gender roles has been pretty much contrary to the norm my entire life. From my earliest memory, I was a “tomboy”. I prefered to do “boy” things, act like a “boy”, dress like a “boy”, be treated like a “boy”. Once puberty hit and I went to high school (both started about the same time, at the age of 12) when such things were no longer acceptable as “just being a kid”, and the suffocating pressures of peers and the hurricane of hormones moved into my daily life, I found the most comfortable path for me to take was to be an asexual and atheletic intellectual. I gave lip service about being “straight but picky” or “too smart for boys to like” or “too tall” or “too fat” or any number of convenient excuses as to why I wasn’t steaming up the backseats of cars like the other girls. I remained in such a state for the next 10 years, when my social conditioning and denial about my neglected lesbianism began to be at odds with my intellectual feminist sense of fairness and personal freedom.

I began to look back on my preferences as a child in a very different light. I was not the broken piece, it was the gender roles that were broken. The only things “boyish” about what I preferred as a child were things that society had determined to be “boyish”. The same broken gender roles now applied to my adulthood. Being independant, resourcefull, physically and intellectually able and confident, curious, adventurous…these were things often somehow spun as “masculine”. Transcending gender roles became quite fun. Once I stepped completely outside of them, it was undeniably compelling to me to then try and pick them up and play with them like silly puddy. To stretch them and bend them and “reclaim” the inverse of what society expected of a young woman, while at the same time claiming and validating all stops in between, ironically dismissing and invalidating the constructs the more they were played with.

I don’t know if it’s different for lesbian studies vs. theory, but Queer Studies are, as you say, studying queer stuff, whereas Queer Theory is the name for a particular intellectual (?) school based mainly on heapin’ helpin’s of deconstructionism and loopiness, which, for some odd reason, mainly is used to assert that queer people don’t actually exist as such. So there you are.

You give yourself too much credit. You’ve hid in the closet most of your life and been out for what? a year or two at most? Don’t presume to lecture others on their identity.

All of you whining about her comments need to back off and dial down your offense-o-meter. The “good enough” quote exemplifies someone striving to live up to a high standard; the traits and values she sees in an ideal. It takes courage and strength of character to embrace an identity that is often scorned and still too frequently victimized. We need look no further than the Gwen Araujo tragedy to see that. Having the courage to be different and proud is laudable and, yes, it does make you better than someone who hides their true self, who keeps the closet shut at work, who dodges questions rather than answer them honestly. Larry Kramer is more honorable than a closet case like James West.

Nobody would take FriarTed to task for saying he hopes to someday be good enough to be worthy of the Christian moniker. Hell, if most Christians did at least try to meet the high standards required, it would be a better world.

I had such a positive experience that it allowed me to get beyond labeling people as one sub-group or another. To be free of the issues discussed in the OP, which was a big relief. There was an agreement within the group to treat everyone equally and there were no status markers. Everyone’s contribution was valid. You could have an alignment with a particular sub-identity or not, it didn’t matter. This is such a sane and decent way for humans to get along.

Props to E-Sabbath who not only understood what I meant but explained it clearly and eloquently.

Claiming lesbian identity was important to me because deep down this was where I felt I belonged. I had hesitated to own it because of the physical disadvantage I was born with. Being in a welcoming environment helped me to get over that and own it already. It wasn’t that I was promoting lesbians as super women. I know it’s nothing more than a matter of chicks who dig chicks. Rather, I was putting myself down in comparison to others. Gals, you know how sometimes getting out from under your own self-loathing can seem like digging away a mountain. It helped me a lot to have my peeps behind me. Since then we’ve all stayed in touch and kept the energy going. Each one of us has been telling the others how empowering and liberating it is to join together like this.

Someone’s a little cranky.

Maybe you need some Urdu love poetry.


Homebrew, I for one found not so much my offense-o-meter as my pseudometer clicking at the “good enough to be a lesbian” line. I don’t think the comparison with being a Christian holds up. (I also don’t think that it’s meaningful to talk of being “good enough” to be a Christian.) Being a Christian entails making a choice to adhere to a certain set of beliefs, and hopefully taking on board Jesus’s teachings and acting accordingly. Being a lesbian wasn’t even a choice, the last I knew about it.

I know what Johanna means in post #32. If I were having a cranky day myself, I’d be tempted to paraphrase it. But that would be unhelpful, uncharitable, and to be quite frank, none of my damn business.

I really hate it when you’re funny because it makes me suspect you’re not such a bad guy afterall.

It must be nice to be full of self-confidence. To never have doubt that you’re “good enough”. To never feel inadequate. To never doubt that you’re living up to your own standards of what it means to be a capital “M” Man. Yes, all it requires of a woman is to be sexually attacted to women to be a lesbian. But the Lesbian Identity, for that author, means more than that. Just as I’m sure that to be a Man means more to you than that you’re over 18 and have a dick.

It seems so ironic that so many tighty-righties complain so frequently, and often rightly so, that left-wingers are easily offended. Yet at the same time we’ve got those same complainers whining about something so innocuous as someone admitting that it took her years to have the self-confidence to believe she could live up to her own standards.

It’ll be one year come Thanksgiving, actually. But your post is a good illustration of why I disagreed (offended is far too strong a term for anything I’m seeing in this thread, outside of your post) with Johanna’s post. According to you, I haven’t been out “long enough” to have an opinion on the subject. Which, I assume, is more or less the reaction Johanna feared receiving if she started self-identifying as a lesbian: that she somehow hadn’t “earned” it yet. Hell, I’m hardly a stranger to that feeling. I still feel some hesitance at identifying as gay because I’m “only” bisexual. The trick is, you don’t need approval of a group to claim an identity. Johanna didn’t need permission from her women’s group to call herself gay, no more than I need yours to call myself gay. It’s great that she found a group that accepts her, of course, but its sad that she felt she needed that group before she could claim her identity.

You mischaracterize my comments to you. It’s not that you can’t have an opinion. My problem was with the tone of your lecture and the Self-Martyrdom you affect in the “I’m probably sacrificing most of my Queer Liberal street cred by saying this out loud, but I agree with the above” opening.

The sad thing is you made a good point with

But you buried it under the self-righteous posturing.

Johanna’s issue was building the self-confidence to embrace her own identity and the understandable nervousness about the well-known issue that some born-women lesbians have with trans lesbians. She deserves cheers for gaining the strength not a lecture.

I’m not sure that I am mischaracterizing you. You started by questioning how long I’d been out, and then chastised me for presuming to lecture others about identity. How long does a person have to be out before they can lecture about identity? Five years? Ten? There was a pretty clear implication in your post that I had somehow not earned the right to have an opinion on the subject, or at least, I hadn’t earned the right to voice one. If that wasn’t your intent, what difference does it make how long I’ve been out? If my tone was unacceptable, it should be equally unacceptable no matter if I just came out fifteen minutes ago, or if I’m really the resurrected corpse of Quentin Crisp.

That was meant as a joke. Can’t all be gems, I guess.

If this were MPSIMS, I’d agree with you. However, we’re in GD. She advanced a position I disagreed with, and so I advanced a counter-position. I’m pretty sure she’s strong enough to handle the disagreement.

Lectures are never welcomed. Advice is weighted in favor of someone with more relevant experience.

I don’t want to hijack this thread further into personal issues I have with you. Suffice to say that I’ve always liked you on the board; but lately you’ve annoyed me with what I precieve, perhaps wrongly, as arrogance and condensation.