Culture August 29, 2017
Stand up for your girlfriend or bestie.
Phobias come far and wide in our ever divisive world of fears and the unknown, but perhaps butchphobia is something less widely spoken about.
Recently I watched a favorite gay YouTuber of mine, who quoted, “and for lack of a better term and just to set the image, I don’t want to identify for her, but I’m just going to assume for the story that she would label herself as a ~butch~ lesbian.”
In this very long, drawn-out way, she goes on to say how this butch woman ruined her girlfriend’s night by being femmephobic and saying hurtful things to her and her girlfriend at the time. SIGH. This was so disappointing, but sadly nothing new.
Let’s get one thing straight, all lesbians are capable of saying hurtful, invalidating things. Just like straight people, old people or young people. There is no human who is incapable of being shitty sometimes. I think it becomes an issue when we start to attribute a singular person’s actions with an entire identity or presentation.
I have had awful things said to me by other femme-identified lesbians about my choice in butch or MoC [Masculine of center (MoC) is a term, coined by B. Cole of the Brown Boi Project, that recognizes the breadth and depth of identity for lesbian/queer/ womyn who tilt toward the masculine side of the gender scale and includes a wide range of identities such as butch, stud, aggressive/AG, dom, macha, tomboi, trans-masculine etc.] girlfriends or partners.
I’ve been privy to my own biases and those of my colleagues and friends. Yes, butches have a smidge of male privilege walking down the street, or within a company of straight men who automatically assume her to be kin. However, in the community and the world at large, they are served a double dose of haterade.
Sure, it’s hard out here for a femme, too. Trust me, I know as an eyelash-curling, skirt-twirling, hair-styling femme, the world is REAL. However, butches get screamed at by straight ladies in the women’s restrooms, are taunted by drunk or angry men on the street, “oh, so you’re some kinda wannabe man?” or given a real confused side eye wherever they go by stunned passersby.
On top of that, many queer women on dating profiles have in all caps, “NO AGS/MOC/BUTCHES.” Similar to the “NO FEMMES MASC 4 MASC ONLY” in gay men dating, it’s a shame that the very community founded on the laurels of inclusivity is so afraid to open its arms wholeheartedly to differing presentations that raise a middle finger to the binary.
It’s a shame to me that our communities are divisive, but all communities are just a microcosm of the world at large. We are sadly a divisive world, however; one that is ever-evolving despite its survivalist fears.
What to do with a problem like butchphobia? If you’re a femme ally, stand up for your girlfriend or bestie. Don’t be afraid to validate your own relationships or friendships or family. Definitely speak up for yourself in the face of people shitting on you, but don’t take that as a green light to shit on anyone else’s identity as a whole.
After all, there’s enough shit to step in today, so you can take your doggy bag and scoop it up to make this a world a friendlier place!
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