I use an RSS reader somewhat obsessively, and it has significantly cut down on the time that I flounce around the internet, following link to link, surfing. I save that for lazy weekends or evenings instead of doing it during my workday, and it’s lovely. It means I keep up with my friends’ writings, with interesting blogs I might otherwise forget to check. I come across new ones and add them on a trial basis, I go through everything I’ve subscribed to about once a month and weed out those that are not so interesting.
One of my RSS feeds is the Women-seeking-women section on New York City’s Craigslist – but not just every post, I took the feed for posts containing the words both “femme” and “butch.” Because frankly, if you’re not a femme looking for a butch specifically, I don’t want to date you. There’s a lot of “NO BUTCHES/NO MEN/FEMMES ONLY” posts happening over there, and I usually just skip right by them.
Last night, a new post went up, and reads as follows:
Reply to: email@example.com
Date: 2008-03-11, 5:54PM EDT
To all you bois, studs, butches, soft butches or whatever you want to call yourself, this is not back in the old days in which you had to dress like a boy or man in order to go out late at night without getting raped and harassed so why is it that you still dress and look like a male? Why would I want an imitation of a man when I can get a real man if I was straight. It defeats the purpose of being with another woman if I’m with a “female” who looks, acts and wants to be a boy. It’s such a turn off.
Why do you all act like you’re all that when you’re not? I realize the ones who act the most cocky and over confident ones are usually the ugliest too- go figure. You make the rest of the population think we as lesbians are freaks when the majority of us are not. Be born to be who you are, if you are born a male be one, if you are born a female then be one, but if you’re unhappy with your gender then get a sex change but stop looking like a adolescent 15 yr boy girls. Girls actually go down on you?! gross!! makes me want to gag.
For those of you who are femme who like and date these male wannabes, you have no taste LOL, have low self esteem, don’t want anyone to be better looking than you, you want all the attn or not real lesbians. Why anyone would want an imitation male or female is beyond me. Take off your beer goggles LOL nasty! you are why the rest of the population shuns away from us and we don’t have the same rights as straight folks.
If your appearance looks like you are confused with your sex/gender how can you expect the straight world to take any of us seriously? I don’t even take you seriously and I’m gay. You look like a pathetic wannabe. We will never get equality because of you. Do the rest of us a favor and get a sex change and really become a male, and if you were born a male and want to be a female then do it, instead if going in drag, it’s so fake. The rest of us will respect you more for it. Don’t be a coward and go through with the sex change instead of pretending to be something you are not. Stop bringing the rest of us down. You are not a representation of the majority of us. We shouldn’t all pay for your identity issues. Stop trying to stick out like a sore ugly thumb.
I don’t even want to reproduce the whole thing here because, frankly, it’s offensive, personal, below-the-belt punches, and I would not want any of you potentially reading this to feel hurt about this. I want to protect you, see? I want to be the buffer against the big bad world of gender-phobia and only write cool, celebratory things, yay femmes!, yay butches!, yay to people who don’t claim a label but understand why we do! But that’s not what it is all the time, I guess.
And frankly, I’m hurt by this. Me, personally. My identity, my gender, my sense of self – hell, my very mission of activism and tolerance and acceptance.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m fine, I’m not asking for your comfort or praise. I know I’m too damn sensitive. Generally, my butchness is pretty damn well accepted in my life – I’ve never had a single issue at my current job, I have fabulous friends who love me and celebrate my gender expression, I have community, I have this amazing space to write about things, I have lovers who appreciate my boyishness and have their own gender fetishes that compliment my own. I don’t feel ugly or like a “pathetic wannabe” or responsible for the inequality of homosexuals, for which that poster is blaming us butches. I know better than to believe that.
But it’s surprising. People really think this? Lesbians really think this? In New York City, in 2008? Really? Maybe I’m being naive here – but honestly the gender discrimination I’ve experienced in my life is usually about ignorance, not flat-out hatred.
I am tempted to pull the posting apart and write a response, but that idea just makes me exhausted. I’m too tired to defend my identity and sense of self and very essence and sexuality and sexual orientation toward femmes and gender and fetish to someone who has drawn angry, prejudiced conclusions about a group of people who she clearly does not understand. I’d like to write something; perhaps tomorrow I will feel more inspired and articulate. Today, I’m not even sure where to start.
This has created a little bit of lively discussion over on Craigslist; I’ve sorted through it and posted the responses after the jump. The original poster replied to a couple of the responses, most of which are people saying “you’re an idiot,” though one of which – the last one – was in support of the original post. Read them at your own risk, they’re hard to read, and may be offensive.
Date: 2008-03-11, 7:18PM EDT
That’s the same as saying: you’re a girl, you should only be attracted to men. You are such a hypocrite. As a lesbian, you should know that human beings don’t always fit so nicely into little square boxes. So stop stereotyping people and acting like you know everything.
And this is not back in the old days where people (like you) are still prejudiced and ignorant. Get over yourself and stop hating.
Date: 2008-03-11, 7:42PM EDT
I’m not being a hypocrite and your analogy sucks. We were not born to necessarily just be attracted to men, nor are men born to just be attracted to women. What you are describing is attraction, emotion, pertaining to the mind and/or internal. What I was talking about is external and physical. If you are not happy physically then change it, but don’t call yourself a lesbian if you are wanting to look like a boy or man.
Date: 2008-03-11, 9:01PM EDT
I am going to assume a stupid MAN wrote this, and leave it at that. It’s the dumbest thing I have read all day. Thanks for wasting my time. Your ridiculous, uneducated & nasty post-
Date: 2008-03-11, 9:24PM EDT
and who’s (ex) girlfriend obviously dumped him for a butch/boi etc!!!
Date: 2008-03-11, 11:19PM EDT
To the OP [original poster]: Yes, you are a hypocrite. You don’t want people to judge you because you’re gay, but you judge others because they’re not what you think they’re supposed to be? How is that not being a hypocrite? No one is telling you that you should be attracted to butch women. But here you are telling others who they should be attracted to and how they’re supposed to feel about themselves. People can figure that out on their own. So why don’t you just stop your ranting.
Date: 2008-03-12, 1:09AM EDT
I’m not ugly, I’m just being brutally honest. The truth usually does hurts. You’re like the opposite of an anorexic, they see themselves as less attractive (fatter) than they truly are, but you see yourself more attractive than you truly are. I would read some of the postings on here where you would describe yourself as hot and/or beautiful, I click on the ad and you’re a chubby, short, short hair wannabe puerto rican looking shemale? but I’ve never seen a puerto rican boy who looks like you before, can you use the word hot and beautiful any more loosely? I think your parents inflated your heads up too much when you were younger. :-)
I have turned down many of you, and as soon as I do, your true colors comes out. You only are nice when you want something or need something, once you don’t get it, all hell breaks loose. I’m just tired of the rest of us lesbians and my gay male friends who don’t have baggage and issues not being taken seriously b/c of you. Ask the rest of society what their perception of our community is, they will say that we look confused b/c they see boys who look like girls and girls who look like boys. They think us pretty lesbians have been hurt by men and we haven’t, we are just into women, plain and simply.
They are baffled, it baffles me. You are not a representation of all of us, but the rest of society only sees you and not the rest of us regular folks. We are paying for your identity issues. I wear jeans too and tshirts, polo shirts but I don’t look or act like a male. Gay men who talk/sound, walk and dress like women are fake too. You’re all trying to be something you’re not, so why fake it just be the real thing- get a sex change operation. My brother (born a female) did, everyone in my family, his coworkers and his friends respect him more for it, he’s much happier now then ever.
The comment that butches treat their women better is stupid, that has to do with the individual/person. Butches and bois cheat on their gfs just as much as femmes, if not more, you are just better at lying, I personally don’t though. My friends and I treat our gfs wonderfully, and vice versa. I’ve surprised my gf with first class tickets to Barbados for a week at a goregous beach resort, taken her to Hawaii first class and stayed at the Four Seasons Resort & Hotel in Oahu and Maui for 2 weeks. We’ve gone business class to Costa Rica and taken European vacations all over. We travel at least 2 times out of the country and also do road trips 5 others times each yr. I’m extremely romantic and never take her for granted, I’m not saying every femme are the same, it has to do with the person.
I’ve dated pretty women all my life. I’m not out to stick out like a sore thumb by being someone I’m not. We don’t get to choose what race/color we are, we don’t get to choose to be gay or straight, we dont get to choose to be short or tall, but YOU have chosen to look and act like something you are not.
I didn’t include tomboyish girls in this list, tomboyish girls are usually athletic, but they still look like girls, they’re fit, and don’t act or look like boys at all. Does this clarify things for ya? :)
Date: 2008-03-12, 2:04AM EDT
i agree with the original posting. hey if all lesbians looked as hot and normal as angelina jolie, portia de rossi and jodie foster and they dated other hot normal looking women then the rest of the society wouldn’t be so confused about us and they would understand. Straight men wouldnt ever say or think that they can change us. If you are a femme and date a butch/bois, of course a guy will think you actually want a guy, why wouldn’t he when you’re with a “girl” who acts and looks like a guy. These guys think they have a chance with you, and that you don’t really know what you want or haven’t found it yet. however if you’re a good looking girl with another good looking girl they would NEVER think you’re confused, they would only wish and beg if they could join in. the truth is the truth, it’s not sensely rambling. i have a valid point and so does the woman in the original posting. the other postings who disagree with us have no valid points, if we were in court the jury would award us the win. go ahead ignore us, b/c you know it’s true and you can win this argument.
Who actually gets turned on by watching butches/bois kissing anyone? have you ever been turned on by that or do you look away? it’s not sexy. Can you honestly get turned on by that? come on now, get real. no one would pay to see that! be honest, you know it’s true. even if you’re a butch you wouldn’t even want to watch that unless you’re watching yourself, get real.
thanks for posting, i have always felt the same way.