Originally Posted by nycindie
But masculinity isn't just about physical appearance or interests and pursuits. It's an energy I respond to, and I can't quite explain it. And I know that my disinterest in bisexual men isn't about where their cock has been, or if they like to be top or bottom...
My "issue" is about who they're attracted to or interested in. And for some reason, tangled up in that, is my perception that their masculinity quotient goes down. Just as Tonberry said that she can't fantasize about gay men because she knows they'd never be interested in her, there is something about a man being attracted to another man that takes away what I see as potential to be attracted to me. It's like, if he's attracted to other women, I know how to compete with that. But in my mind, I can't compete with other men, so as soon as I find out a guy is bi or gay, I lose interest. I don't do it on purpose, it's just like a door shuts for me. I can find them physically attractive, and I can be attracted to them as friends, but there is no more sexual interest. But, I really don't see that as homophobic.
Originally Posted by Magdlyn
Why would a lesbian be attracted to an extremely butch woman? (I am still learning about dyke culture so I don't have this all figured out yet.) I guess some lesbians dress butch partly to be unattractive to straight men, partly because they just like it. Femme lesbians can be looked askance at by butches, thought of as untrustworthy.
In the case of the Michigan Womyn's Festival, he would be, as long as he didnt announce himself as male. Apparently, as long as he has female appearing genitalia, should he take a public shared shower, he's allowed in, even if he's sporting a beard and new muscles and has had breast surgery to get a flatter chest. But transwomen, perhaps even post-op, are not allowed in, as they aren't "womyn-born-womyn", born womyn, raised as womyn, living as womyn. Sigh...
There is so much going on in this thread - in good ways - that I do not know where to start.
Ok, so first I'm going to define the terms I'm using. Sex and gender are NOT the same thing. Sex is biological - it is the body, chromosomes, hormones and so on that we are born with. And sex on its own is freakin' complicated. There are folks who are born with indeterminate genitalia, (intersexed is one common term). There are folks who have chromosomal differences - who look outwardly like stereotypical men or women who are actually chromosomically very different.
Gender is the accummulated social mores, beliefs, thoughts, ideology, that get attached to sex - gender is what makes a man a man and a woman a woman. Gender is the sets of practices that we all do consciously and unconsciously to indicate to others where we stand - do we present as women or men? (Keeping in mind that some present as both, or neither, or other.) Gender is truly a performance - it is what we do.
So, to continue. Masculinity does not equal man. Femininity does not equal woman. Butch women are so attractive to many lesbians and bi women (myself included) because they are masculine AND female. How a butch woman 'does' masculine is different from how a man (straight or gay) 'does' masculine. The energy is very different. It's hard to describe but once experienced, instantly recognizable. And, yes, some butch women realize that they are trans and decide to transition - to match up their masculine selves with their sex self (so masculine AND male). Also how femme women 'do' femininity - even though the tools (makeup, clothing, etc.) are the same - is different from the femininity of straight women.
Butch lesbians aren't butches to repel men. They couldn't care less the ones I've met. Most like men just fine as brothers, uncles, friends, coworkers. They are not the mostly non-existent lesbian man-hater. Their presentation of self is not about men at all. They are not hiding their attractiveness or downplaying their looks but presenting themselves to a particular audience. They express a more masculine sense of themselves through their clothes, their look, their energy, how they walk and talk. And generally, it's total catnip to the people butches do care about - lesbians and bi women.
Ah, I miss butches. I don't have enough of them in my life. Anyway...
Femme lesbians can 'blend' in more easily than butch women. Until you know how to look, femme women look a lot like straight, stereotypically feminine women. Bi women who are conventionally feminine presenting also have a similar problem where they can just disappear in a sea of straightness. That privilege or problem depending on how you define it can and does cause tension between butch and femme women, between lesbians and bi women.
On a side note, I strongly believe that the Michigan womyn's festival has lost its mind over the trans policy. I haven't gone since shortly after they put it in place and won't until it is gone.
Hmmm. More to say but I can't easily organize it in my head just yet.