Tag Archives: femininity

Running from Femininity

what is femininity?I’ve written over 150 posts on this blog. I’ve never written about my own femininity.

Femininity. It’s a word I run from even if I can’t explain what it is. I’ve spent over 50 years resisting compulsory femininity. I know that everyone, from John Wayne to Dolly Parton, is a mix of masculine and feminine. No matter what your gender identity is, there is some femininity in it. I have a hard time admitting to mine.

In nice weather, Donna likes to walk with me to our local playground. She likes to point out how cute the girls are, and she wishes she could find outfits that are as bright and lively as what they are wearing. She’d gladly trade places with them. I tell her I understand how she feels, even though that isn’t what I feel. I remember what it feels like to be in a playground, at recess, wearing a dress. I’d gladly trade places with the boys.

My mother and my grandmother dressed modestly and neatly; they didn’t want to draw attention to themselves. They looked in the mirror before leaving the house to make sure their hair was in place and their make up was fresh. They looked down on women who dressed provocatively or flamboyantly and on women who tried too hard to be stylish. They looked down on women who “let themselves go”. Their notion of femininity was narrow and constrained. Continue reading

Masculinity and Misogyny

“I’m not misogynist, I love women.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth I regretted saying them. I was trying to convince Donna that there was nothing inherently misogynist or sexist about being either butch or transgender. That being masculine did not mean hating or objectifying women. Or did it?

This is not about ogling women on the street or tallying sexual conquests. It is about the insidious microaggressions in everyday life that I am guilty of. I am impatient. I get annoyed. I do not like to consider the possibility that I might be wrong about anything. Including being misogynist. Continue reading

Butch Voices

The-Butch-Trans-TrolleyTomorrow I am going to San Francisco for a long weekend. The excuse is that I am going to the Butch Voices conference in Oakland. The truth is that I miss feeling like I am part of a community; I need my tribe.

I’ve drifted out of my old communities (pacifist, AIDs activist, queer). I let friendships lapse, let Donna take control of our social life (not a criticism because otherwise we’d have no social life at all), and I spend too much time with Gracie at the dog run. I am lonely and need some contact. Continue reading