Tag Archives: dyke

Femme is Home

Within the queer community, femme is often reduced to simply outward appearance, but a dress does not always make a femme. It is difficult to formulate a clear, concise definition of femme because femme at its very core defies simplicity. For me, femme is a way to proudly own my femininity and express all facets of myself, soft and flowing complete with rough edges and bursts of color. Femme allows me to subvert the prevailing notions about what femininity is and who it’s for. My very being is a ‘fuck you’ to the idea that women doll ourselves up to snag a husband. Femme is liberation. But femme isn’t simple. I’m a sassy Appalachian femme; a stubborn, never-backin’-down Aries femme; a feisty short-haired, edgy femme; a compassionate, pleather-wearing vegan femme; a flirty, shimmying belly dancer femme. I’m a femme who loves stompin’ it out in heels as much as I love retiring to the couch in my PJs for an evening. I am at once graceful and goofy, serious and silly, always passionate, oftentimes to a fault. I walk with a femme swagger that can hypnotize. My femme identity is much more than simple femininity. It’s not just a costume but a performance emanating from my core.

(The bulk of this post originally appeared in an earlier post of mine, The Complexity of Butch and Femme. I edited and condensed it down for a fellow Tumblr femme, vivelesfemmes, who is putting together a queer (southern) femme zine project for a class.)

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Support the Ohio Womyn’s Festival!

Following my recent rant on MichFest and its continued transphobia, I was directed by a reader to check out the Ohio Lesbian/Womyn’s Festival. I had never heard of the festival but was intrigued. Just like MichFest there is music and performers and workshops and camping and…well, womyn. But…and this is a big but…this womyn’s festival, dear readers, is inclusive, meaning if you identify as a woman, then you’re welcome to attend.

I was thrilled to learn about this festival’s existence (particularly after seeing the above flier cause this belly dancer knows a tribal costume when she sees one!) and vowed to throw my full support behind it. My partner and I started making plans to take a trip to OH and I was even considering camping for the first time since Girl Scouts (seriously y’all, I’m a big ‘ole priss…my definition of camping includes a cabin with electricity). We started recruiting friends to form a Chicago delegation to attend the festival and then…here’s where you can insert some sad trombone sounds…my job destroyed all my plans. I didn’t think it would be terribly difficult to get that Saturday off but I was sorely mistaken. Apparently a month in advance wasn’t early enough to inquire and the schedule was already booked up, making it impossible for me to take off. I threw a minor tantrum involving lots of cursing and bile-spewing at my stupid Saturday shift which regularly gets in the way of me having any type of social life.

So no Ohio Womyn’s Festival for me, but you should go! Really! Please go! For me! And if you do go, let me know what you think! I think it sounds amazing and I want it to do well, I want it to grow. Because this is the kind of womyn’s festival we need, one that’s not stuck in second-wave politics and embraces all womyn.

Information on tickets, location, directions, hours, etc., etc. can be found here.

In conjunction with this weekend’s BUTCH Voices Conference…

Two fantastic workshops are being presented by members of the newly-forming Butch Nation at the Oakland Marriott.

From Sasha Goldberg:

This Saturday (8/20), 12pm. BULLDAGGER: For Women-Identified, Female-Pronoun Using Butches.

This Sunday (8/21), 12pm. “Exploring Our Masculinities While Keeping Our Feminisms.” Oakland Marriott.

The room is under the name Goldberg. Butch Nation will be there. Free and open to the public. Post widely.

Also, a femme and ally discussion is being held:

FEMINIST FEMMES & ALLIES: Holding the Butch Space
SAT 8/20 12 NOON Oakland Marriott 2nd Flr. Free and Open to the Public.

Let’s talk about our love and support for woman-identified butches. “We have a stake in this, not because we can’t exist as femme without butches but because butches are family to us.” Bring your thoughts, words & analysis to our Femme and Ally conversation.
Meet: Cozy couch area north of 12 Bar Lounge 2nd flr. (look for sign)
[H/T to fierce femme Staci of Owning My Truth blog].

Additionally, a “Town Hall” meeting will be held on Friday (8/19) at the Oakland Marriott in the Jewett Ballroom to discuss the recent events surrounding BUTCH Voices. This meeting is free and open to the public and Butch Nation members/supporters are encouraged to attend.*

I think all of these events sound wonderful. Obviously, I’m all for a feminist femme discussion surrounding the butches we love. And the first two workshops are vitally important to our community. Feminism and fighting misogyny can only help us grow (perhaps with the exception of transphobic radical feminists like Sheila Jeffreys, but you all know my stance on that particular brand of feminism). I’m glad that BUTCH Voices is having the Town Meeting because I think community members need to talk about everything that has transpired, really talk about it, rather than just reading press releases and blog posts. I, for one, am anxious to hear more about why the Board of BUTCH Voices is so opposed to including ‘feminism’ in their mission statement and I want to know what they have to say in regards to the accusations of misogyny and ageism, none of which was ever fully addressed in those aforementioned press releases (aside from just flat out dismissals).

For those who are attending any of the events this weekend, have fun! I’ll be there in spirit!

*Unfortunately, it seems that members of Butch Nation were never contacted about this meeting and since it is being held midday on a work day before the conference actually begins, no one from Butch Nation can actually attend. They are calling for BUTCH Voices to either move the Town Hall meeting to Sunday or hold a ‘part two’ meeting so that they may take part in the discussion. More info here. I will update this post with any changes if they occur.

UPDATE: According to the BUTCH Voices Facebook page, the Town Hall meeting held Friday was the first of two, with the second scheduled for Sunday. I have heard 2 pm but the time and location of the second meeting weren’t actually listed in the FB post.