Archive for February, 2008

“Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity”

February 7, 2008  |  miscellany  |  6 Comments

I have much to write about, I’m working on a couple pieces for you, more rantings on re-valuing masculinity, something about butch stubble, and of course there’s the aforementioned “Therapy session” where Miss DD & I got kicked out of a bathroom at a gayboy club.

Also, I’ve slightly changed the settings on my WordPress template so that it no longer produces /#/ in the URLs. If you’ve linked here, and you have that in the code, you might discover that your link no longer works. Just sayin’.

Also, for that matter, some of you are still linking to my old blogspot address – please check your linkrolls and update to www.sugarbutch.net.

Meanwhile, I’ve been a bit caught up in all the politics of the presidential race. I, like so many, am going back & forth between Hillary and Obama (interesting that we call her by her first name, isn’t it? I know she’s perpetuated that in her campaign, but still). My inner brain argues, She’s so experienced! She could really fix some of the bad stuff that’s happened! But – he’s such an orator! An inspiring leader! I get so inspired by his politics, in a way that I never get riled up when I hear politicians speak!

(Apparently my inner brain speaks primarily in exclamation points.)

I’d be pretty happy with either one, honestly. There are benefits and drawbacks to each. It hit me this week that we will, most likely, I really believe, either have a woman or a black man as president next year. That’s phenomenal. I remember hearing the rumors a few years back that Obama and Hillary would likely be running and I thought, really? Are we ready for that? This country seems so bass-ackwards and I can hardly believe we would elect a minority, of any kind, after we elected W twice. TWICE! Sometimes I think this country deserves what it gets.

I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, it is certainly making the rounds, but just in case you haven’t: the “Yes We Can” speech Obama made was set to music by will.i.am of the Black-Eyed Peas and overlayed with some celebrity singers, and it’s brilliant. The speech by itself is even brilliant, but lord, I love this so very much.

And hey, help me out here: who is the white chick with the fabulous mouth and the plunging v-neck showing off her cleavage who is singing in the “Yes We Can” video? Someone told me this was one of the Pussycat Dolls, but I think that’s the other girl, not the one I mean. There’s a list of all the celebrities on yeswecansong.com but I don’t recognize enough of the names to figure it out.

Sometimes lately I’ve been thinking that we need a great leader even more than we need someone who will be able to navigate the system, because hell, I and so many people I talk to are so disillusioned with politics right now. How many times did I hear “I’m moving to Canada” or “I haven’t been able to watch any political speech or debate or a word that W says since 2002″ or “why even bother? this country is run by the elite” or et cetera in the last eight years? We – the liberals, the radicals, the social change fighters – need some hope and inspiration.

A few other links, before I stop ranting politically:

And: if you’d like to follow some of the articles and blog posts that I’ve been reading lately, you can either subscribe to my Google Reader RSS feed, or add me as a friend on your own Google Reader (I’m under aspiringstud (at) gmail (dot) com), or look over in the sidebar, now, where I added a clip of my shared items.


While I’m doing some housecleaning, let me also let you know that I’ve been invited to join the Lesbian Bloggers Blogads Hive (thanks Kelly!), which means that you may be seeing some ads appear on this site in the near future. I have such grand plans for Sugarbutch, and I love the ways that people are responding and contributing and communicating with me – and with each other – about so many of the things that I’ve brought up here, and I want to be able to do more, but I currently can’t devote as much time to it as I’d like. I’m hoping that, if it begins to make me some money, I’ll be able to clear more time in my schedule for it, write more, make some changes, keep it up better. I hesitate, though, because I really do think that ads compromise a blog’s integrity, but I’m trying to remember that these labors of love are expensive and time consuming, and I – we all – deserve to be compensated for our time and hard work.

I’ll keep you updated as the quest for compensation progresses. Ideas are always welcome.

That concludes your random political/community post for today … we will return you to your regularly scheduled smut on Sugarbutch Chronicles soon.

minor victories (#117)

February 5, 2008  |  miscellany  |  4 Comments

Best of the best, baby. Here’s your weekly Sugasm features:

 Erotic Writing and Experiences:

Thoughts on Sex and Relationships

More Sugasm - Join the Sugasm 
See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday

re-valuing masculinity

February 1, 2008  |  essays  |  14 Comments

Part one … more thoughts forthcoming

It is no secret that I like identity categories. Anyone who has read around on Sugarbutch knows I identify strongly with some of these labels – hell, even if all you ever read here is the masthead, my chosen categories are listed right there – kinky queer butch top – which is also the chronology of their development.

Kinky and queer came easily to me. Well, let me clarify. Not easy, exactly, but without much social stigma. It took me a few years to get out of the relationship with my high school boyfriend and come out, for example, but once I was out, I was out and didn’t really look back. Kinky, too, was generally easy to adopt.

Butch was much harder for me. I’ve written about that some, and many folks have pondered and asked me about the amount of work that I seem to put into it, as if questioning whether or not all this work is worth it. These questions asked to me are often followed by things like I just don’t get it, I am what I am, I’m just me, I don’t fit any one category.

Two things about that.

First, I like the work. I get off on it, I find it hot and engaging and fascinating, and interconnected to so many of my interests.

Also, I don’t fit into any singular thing either. I have a long string of identity labels – and even still, the whole is more than the sum of its parts, right? So even if I told you I am also a pianist, a photographer, a yogi, an Ears with Feet, you still don’t actually know me. You have to meet me, interact with me, see me in different situations, hear my history and future aims.

I wouldn’t ever force labels on anyone else. Call yourself or don’t call yourself whatever you like; just because I feel strongly connected to these things doesn’t mean I think you have to. I study post-identity politics, I understand that identity categories have issues.

I recognize that I am in the minority here, and even that I have a gender fetish. I love these categories and language that they provide when discussing gender. It is tightly connected to activism, for me, and I strongly believe in the ways that gender diversity is liberating and subversive. (Back to that in a minute.)

I run into many people, lesbian and queer women especially, who say, “I don’t fit in,” “I don’t know what I am,” “I don’t want to limit myself,” “am I femme/butch if I _____,” “I’m not really femme/butch, look at the ‘real’ femmes/butches out there, I don’t look like them.”

I would never presume to put my gender fetish on you. If I want to reject the labels and categories, or if you want to call yourself and your gender “blue” or “leopardish” or “the eleventh hour” or nothing at all or whatever, I don’t care. Do whatever you like, do whatever feels good to you.

And, if it feels good to you, I will gladly talk to you about it, explore it, lay down some of my concepts like the gender galaxy and the dress-up test and my theories on separating gender from personality.

The people I’ve done this with have generally been very interested in gender play and categories and theory, but were wary of being policed by the community about it. They don’t feel femme “enough,” or like a “real” butch.

Quite often, I find that the people who want to talk to me about this stuff want to identify with a gender identity category, but fear the social policing. Maybe it’s just part of human nature – to organize, categorize. I’ve said before, I don’t think one should conform to a label – any label, especially not gender – I think the label should conform to you.

All that said: generally, I do want to encourage more dykes to adopt the labels of butch femme – if they want to – primarily because I know how liberating it has been for me.

But I also want to encourage gender identity labeling, specifically butch/femme dynamic – because the primary contrary argument I hear to these labels is that they are limiting.

And this is where the activism comes in: I believe we need to go inside these labels and expand them.

We’ve actually done a pretty good job re-valuing feminine/female/femme in this culture, which has (in my opinion) everything to do with the three waves of the women’s liberation movements, and, especially, the Third Wave feminism of the 80s and 90s that questioned the notion that gender causes oppression, which was a major assertion of the Second Wave, and instead said that hierarchizing the male/female binary meant that femininity was inherently defined as “not as good as,” which should be examined and changed.

And, I would argue, generally, it has.

For more on that I suggest Manifesta by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards – a very readable feminist book covering third wave politics and theories.

But: We have yet to have a gender re-valuing for men and masculinity. It is starting – and the fags and butches and drag kings and FTMs are on those front lines, for sure – but it is far from full force. This is, I think, particularly why there are so many more femmes than butches out there in the queer communities these days – to quote Team Gina, “there’s like one of them and thirty of us.”

We need this. Men and fags and butches and FTMs and people need a revaluing of masculinity.

And this is why I want to encourage more lesbians to identify as butch – because the more who do, the wider the understanding of the label becomes, and the more range the label has. If we say, I’m not that, because butch is this tiny limited thing, and that’s not me, then we are allowing it to be this tiny limited thing instead of going inside of it and exploding it, opening it up.

And that’s one way to add more acceptance to the range of masculinity.

What happened in January (2008)

February 1, 2008  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Posted January 21, 2009, but back-dated. I'm late on this roundup - a year late, actually. I started writing up roundups in February of 2008, so never wrote up January. But as I'm doing a year-end roundup, I've been trying to get this all in order.

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