And because the term is open to interpretation, I shall bore you with an explanation.
I was born with a vagina and still have it and am very fond of it. That’s not a dig at trans people. We live in a foolish society with rigid rules and so I could be medically diagnosed (!) as gender non-conforming and politically as a transgressor … and it’s all rubbish really and simply shouldn’t matter one bit. But we (we humans) are by and large, slaves to things like media and religion and others’ opinions. Tsk.
So here we have this rather lovely old term, “butch,” which people tend to apply to masculine looking women, especially if they’re lesbians – and I am both of those things. As I have said ad nauseam, I only adopted the term myself in my thirties, because of all those negative connotations – butch dykes tend to be seen as portly and badly dressed (and I am neither). I was described as androgynous and then later, soft butch. Over the years I had a think about the portly, badly dressed, mannish dykes who are out there, spearheading visibility, but getting reviled by their own community. It’s bullshit, isn’t it? I started to identify very publicly as butch. I will admit to being far more solid around the middle than I was in my younger days, but I’m still not badly dressed.
I’m instantly read as a dyke, sometimes read as male and I honestly don’t give much of a shit about how people see me – although I am certainly vain enough to enjoy the fact that anybody bothered to look. I get comments sometimes – sometimes they’re directly abusive and sometimes merely fuckwitted.
“So you’re the man in the relationship.”
No. I’m the woman wearing men’s clothing, mostly. My voice happens to be deep, I loathe make-up and can rarely be arsed shaving my legs. My sex is female and has no bearing on my choice of clothes etc. My gender can be a simple or complex as you care to make it. Butch, as they say (them with the beeeg words) is my gender performance. A few minor adjustments to society, however, and I and everyone else would give even less of a shit.
FFS … if butch equalled male and femme equalled female, I guess most of my body parts would be femme and constantly starting uprisings about the way the rest of me is. So ja, I’m butch – by appearance and stubborn politics.
“You dress that way because you want to be a man.”
No. You wouldn’t believe the fun I have as a woman … the orgasms, the orgasms!
“Why can’t you be more feminine?”
Because I don’t wanna.
*no femmes were harmed in the making of this blog post.