thx to everyone who’s checked out my new zine THESE WERE FREE ON MY BLOG already! if you haven’t yet and you wanna see like 22 pages of this kind of thing you can get it at gumroad!
This was one of my favorite parts of this zine, if folks are interested you should definitely check out the whole thing. But it seems some folks are reacting negatively to this particular page so I want to take a moment to share my reading of this.
First off, it’s key to notice the “rude and abrasive” part about this. The author is talking about a repeated pattern of being attracted to butches who turn out to be jerks and wishing she wasn’t. It’s about dealing with the cognitive dissonance of finding someone to be a jerk yet still being attracted to them.
The decentralizing masculinity bit is a part of a larger political perspective that questions the way in which masculinity frequently gets prioritized even in queer spaces and other counter-cultures - and that often comes in the form of masculinity being seen as hot.
When this issue is applied to butches and femmes, it’s important to remember we’re dealing with two axis of power, not one. Butches are (typically) both masculine and gender non-conforming, and will experience privilege from the former while experiencing oppression around the latter. No it’s definitely not the same way it works out for masculine cis guys, but neither do they simply cancel each other out. It’s a complicated experience that shouldn’t be reduced to a binary understanding of privilege and oppression.
I often see this dynamic coming up around cis butches who have only ever experienced masculinity and gender non-conformity in tandem. From their perspective, they always come and go together and might as well be the same thing. But as a butch trans woman, I’ve experienced them separately. I can see how fucked up people treat me for being gender non-conforming, and I can also see moments where my voice is is given weight and authority at the same time that the feminine folks around me are seen as superficial or non-consequential. And just as I know the hardships of being seen as gender non-conforming and masculine, I know how much worse it is for those who are seen as gender non-conforming and feminine.
As for this idea being presented a couple of times:
wtf is this also butch women aren’t masculine
I think you’ll have to explain this one to me. I’m a butch woman and I consider myself masculine. Certainly not male and certainly not a man, but why can’t I be masculine? Is masculine suddenly something only men can be? Maybe these words mean different things to you and that’s where we’re getting confused. But if so, you’re going to have to explain it to me.
shit, i had such a crush on her. vasquez, wasn’t that her name?
shoulda known right then how gay i was.