AfterEllen.com has opened up voting for its annual Hot 100 list, which is largely a response to the “top hot list” time of year, and to give “lesbian/bi women a way to express what, or who, we find attractive, since our voice is largely missing from mainstream, heterocentric pop culture.”
A noble goal, to be sure, especially since AfterEllen’s major realm is in fact mainstream pop culture. To add voice to what queer women find sexy is a great place to start.
Last year’s list (has it been a year already?), though, is part of what got my boxers in a twist and why I put together Top Hot Butches, which is a list of 100 genderqueer, androgynous, and butch folks. The AfterEllen list has so far been extremely feminine, white, under 40, and straight. Last year, AfterEllen launched some supplemental lists, which were: women of color, women over 40, and out women.
But still, no gender diversity.
Though there are a few notable folks (Katherine Moenig, Rachel Maddow, Tegan & Sara, arguably), the majority of the list is still completely feminine.
And coming from someone who works in gender diversity, and who interacts with many, many queer women, many of whom, I know for a fact, are specifically oriented toward masculinity in their sexuality and partnering, I think that is missing a huge segment of the queer world.
So head on over and nominate some of your favorite butches for that list, willya? Need some inspiration? Browse through the Top Hot Butches, see who catches your eye. Who knows, they might not make it onto the final cut. But at least it’ll be an increase in votes from last year, and maybe next year they’ll finally do a genderqueer supplemental list, at the very least.
Aaaaaaand insert the nice segue here:
Speaking of encouraging more gender diversity in the mainstream pop culture, especially dyke culture:
I wrote a piece for AfterEllen recently, called Sugarbutch Says: Butches on Television, about the gender representation on television in the recent past. I was aiming for it to be current, but I just had to include some L Word folks in there.
I didn’t include Tasha, played by Rose Rollins, from The L Word, though perhaps I should have. I was focusing on the actors (or TV personalities, in the case of Rachel Maddow & Ellen Degeneres), not necessarily the character, and it’s pretty rare for a butch character to be played by a straight woman, though I suppose it’s been done (Chloe Sevigny in If These Walls Could Talk II, or Hilary Swank as trans man Brandon Teena).
I also didn’t include Sue Sylvester and/or Jane Lynch. She’s out, right? And she’s butch-ish—at least, she’s not feminine. I’m still enjoying Glee, despite it’s occasional insanity and bad writing, and she really makes the show. Sue, her character, is not out, though, and again, I was kind of focused on queer butches who were somewhat explicitly queer and fairly masculine in appearance.
But there is more to explore here—I guess it’s time for a follow-up article already!
If this piece goes over well, I may be writing more for AfterEllen, and I already have some notes about butches in films and butches as characters in novels.
So, do you like the article over there? Comment and let them know, will ya, so I can keep going, trying desperately to inject some gender diversity into lesbian pop culture?