View Full Version : can someone explain "butch" to me...(lezzies)????
11-15-2001, 12:16 PM
ok, i go to neighbours on thursday once in awhile...for their 80s night...basically its the only place you can hear 80s beatmatched and in a continous flow without sounding wack...and yes, neighbours is about 75% straight now...
ok...being a straight male, with a huge appreciation for the female form...the one thing i don't get is butch...WHY? if you don't like guys, do you8 try and look like one? i don't get it...can someone fill me in?
of course,i am more then willing to accept that i am biased due to media presentations and cultural stereotypes, but i do not understand why or what the butch look is about.
what is the culture and history behind this look, or "lifestyle?"
sorry if i sound ignorant, i am trying to understand this...
is it just a style? a way of dressing? is there some history to it? is it women redefining sexuality? confronting stereotypes?
i personally think it maybe a combo of all of the above...but i maybe wrong...
*breeder male seeking input*
11-15-2001, 01:15 PM
Let's see if I can shed a little light on the issue for you.
The butch identity came out of the pre-Stonewall era. As I'm sure you are aware, things haven't always been as "easy" as they are for gay folks now.
When it was still dangerous for same sex couples to appear in public together, it was common for one of the two to "pass" as the opposite sex. Often times this "passing" occurred in all facets of the individual's life...they passed in the gay clubs and at their jobs, etc. Historically, there were the butches and the femmes and it was rare for butches to couple with other butches and femmes to couple with other femmes. Both types could be labeled as homosexual but the key difference was in their gender identity. Most lesbians now are just "lesbians" and even if they look "butch", they are not necessarily confined to butch-femme pairings.
The one to "pass" as the opposite sex often identified more with the male gender in many ways - they may have looked more masculine or just felt more masculine inside. So, it was common in the gay bars to see women dressed as men and more feminine looking women with them.
Being that this was the gay cultural norm for decades, this trend has carried over a bit. Even though we don't see very many people truly attempting to "pass" as the opposite sex anymore, there are still many lesbians who feel more identified with all things considered "male" in our society...clothing, interests, etc.
Not being sexually/emotionally attracted to men has nothing to do with wanting to look like one. I would even go so far as to say that most butch looking women today aren't exactly trying to look like men, they just don't identify with the socially defined role of a girly girl.
So, yes...today it is a style, a way of dressing, a way to feel like yourself regardless of how society perceives you, a way to defy cultural norms. It is also the reminants of our gay history.
11-15-2001, 01:16 PM
you have a way of starting threads that get nasty and long
11-15-2001, 01:30 PM
there's some history + answers there but they mostly deal with the butch-femme dynamic.
first off, i'm glad you recognized the influence society has one people's perceptions of what is and isn't "female". gender stereotypes suck.
a lot of people ask women who are dating butch women the same question. if you don't want to be with a man, why are you with someone who looks like one?
beneath the jeans and sweaters and short hair they're still women. they still have breasts and pussies and hips. they are still women.
i personally like femme, andro, and butch girls. they're all hot in their own way.
there's also the subject of queer girls who identify as genderqueer or genderneutral and those who id as ftm's. not all "women" id as female, so looking at one who is butch in apperance may be reflecting the fact that inside they feel like they're actually male or neither.
i think that this is one of those subjects that straight men/women will never really quite *get*.
11-15-2001, 01:56 PM
thank you kitten for the well thought of imput...
and misha ( i miss you! where you been?) thank you for your insight as well...and yes,i probably won"t *get* it...but i am just looking to understand...
11-15-2001, 02:01 PM
i used to ask myself a question like yours....the question was, "if lesbians arent sexually attracted to men, why do some of them get with women who LOOK like men?"
but i think the answer is pretty simple. i think it pretty much just depends on what teh lesbian is attracted to. such as, she likes certain masculine attributes, but totally prefers the female body.
and on the butch side of the argument, as to why they look, well, manly...maybe they feel as if they were born into the wrong body and are jsut more comfortable looking, dressing, and acting the part of a man.
i think it might happen a lot in some transgendered people too---isnt it fairly common for people to feel as if they arent the gender they were born into? i cant imagine how confusing and sad that might be to have to go through :(
(if any of this was offensive, im sorry, but im not exactly a genius when it comes to homosexual issues)
11-15-2001, 05:12 PM
i think some women dress "butch" because it's a more visible way to be aware that they are queer.. for the same reason ppl put rainbow stickers on their car or whatever.. makes it easier to get a date. :P heh.
11-16-2001, 01:25 AM
well im sure as a straight male commmenting on this i will get a ski pole in my stomach but ohh well...
After working in gay owned nightclubs in the midwest for the better part of 2+ years i have met quite a few BUTCH lezzies and BUTCH dykes and even a few drag Kings (defining dykes and lezbians will be a later topic) most choose that lifestyle for above listed reasons but i have also met quite a few that think dressing like a man will get them that "str8 acting" girl over by the dj booth. Others just kept that tomboy look a little longer then the rest of them. anyways... next thread, nelly little boys haha
11-16-2001, 09:30 AM
I guess some "butch" women are that way not by choice, but genetics. They may have been born a girl, but maybe weren't as pretty as other girls. (They looked like boys from an early age, and were tomboys as well) As they grow up, they never really shake the stereotype, but they don't try to either. They see no point in trying to be a lesbian most men would want to have fantasies about (porno lesbians, hot babes, etc), and they have a sexual power that's all their own. The more masculine, yet still feminine power, and the fact that most men aren't attracted to "Butch" lesbians, because when they look at one, they sorta just see themselves, except the other person has tits and a pussy....
I mean, it's like gay men that are flamers. They're men, but they act in a feminine way. Sorta the same thing if you think about it. And then there's gay men who are "Butch", because they wear leather and look like one of the guys from the Village People....I forget the name of the artist, but there was this one guy who did lots and lots of drawings(pencil and charcoal) of "well endowed" men who could make John Holmes look like Howard Stern(Since all Howard does is brag about how small his dick is)......All those men that this guy drew, would be a classic example of "Butch" men....I don't think he wasted his time drawing a femme male, and I know for a fact that he hated to draw women. He just could not even if he had a female nude model, he only felt comfortable drawing the male body....
That being said, I guess you'll come up with all sorts of gay people that will or won't fit some stereotypes, but even so, they are still people inside, and that's all that should matter. Even if you're attracted to them or not....
11-16-2001, 11:48 AM
ok, what is the difference between dykes and lezzies???
11-16-2001, 02:50 PM
I guess some "butch" women are that way not by choice, but genetics. They may have been born a girl, but maybe weren't as pretty as other girls.
uuuuh. being "pretty" has nothing to do with it. i know a lot of women who are extremely tomboyish, androgynous, or butch (like my girlfriend) who have short hair and wear boy clothes but are fucking gorgeous. if you put my girlfriend into a dress and stuck a wig with long hair on her, she'd be very "pretty". the way she has her hair cut and dresses have nothing to do with physical apperances.
it's just the way you feel like dressing and behaving. some people like to hold, some like to be held. some like to open doors, some like to have doors opened for them. some like to wear suits, some like to wear dresses.
i usually consider lesbians to be older (middle-aged) and dykes to be younger. dykes also tend to be more flambount about their sexuality and more 'masculine' in apperance.
but i call myself a dyke on occasion and i've femmed out a lot. so i duno.
forrest, you have to come visit me. i miss you!
i really like this thread because it's fun to read people who either: a) aren't queer, b) are male, or c) are a combination of both try to define something that's not in their general area of knowledge.
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