Posts Tagged ‘butch’
If I do too many more posts about the bromance I’m having with Rachel Maddow, I’m going to have to put it under aspiring stud … or I’m going to have to rename this blog “Maddow Fans.”
But I can’t resist. There are some new photos from the New York Times Magazine interview, A Pundit in the Country, and I’ve done a bit more of my homework.
First! Two things you should know:
- Rachel has “doubled the audience for a cable news channel’s 9 p.m. hour in a matter of days.” This is totally amazing.
- If you happen to not be a TV person (I’m not), or can’t seem to get home by 9pm to watch the Maddow Show (I can’t), or primarily watch all your TV via Netflix (I do), or never get to a friend’s house to watch their recorded episodes (I’m too busy drinking prosecco with the Muse to watch TV) – NEVER FEAR! As of today, the MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show is now reproducing the ENTIRE RMS via podcast at Rachel.MSNBC.com.
And now: the butchest interview in the history of butch interviews. An excerpt from the recent New York Times Magazine article:
Always on her: A handkerchief. One of my liabilities as a broadcaster is that I am little teary. Having a handkerchief is handy. My partner, Susan Mikula, buys me cute ones.
Always in fridge: Champagne. I always keep a bottle, because you might need to celebrate at any moment, and a bunch of mustard, because I am a mustard person.
Obsolete item she won’t part with: I have a little stockpile of lawn mowers, some of which it has been years since they worked. But it seems wrong to get rid of lawn mowers, so I keep them.
Clothing item a talk-show host needs: For me, it is sneakers, which I can wear 80 percent of the time, secretly behind the desk. That reminds me who I am, even though I am dressed up like an assistant principal in order to meet the minimum dress code for being on television.
Hobby: I am a hobbyist bartender. I have a liquor cabinet. I research classic drinks from the golden age of American cocktails and I make them for me and Susan.
Favorite obscure liquor: Rhum agricole. It is rum made from sugar-cane juice rather than molasses. It is freaking awesome.
And I quote:
Maddow walked into her life after Mikula told mutual friends she needed a “yard boy” to help her manage the demands of a creaky old structure that had stood empty for almost a year as well as the 2 acres of vegetation that were threatening to take over.
“Zing went the heartstrings,” according to both of them, when Maddow, 31, a Rhodes Scholar and gay activist, arrived for the job. Maddow had moved to the area to write her doctoral dissertation comparing AIDS policies in the California and British prison systems, but also needed to earn some money. A year-and-a-half later, on Halloween, she moved in.
“Yard boy,” huh Rachel? Oh you kinky dawg!
I’m getting a PhD in political science,
and the time I don’t spend actively fucking with gender
I’m usually in a coffeeshop. – lc
She is great at spoiling and loves to make me feel special.
Who wouldn’t love to get lost in that stare of hers. – Shelly
(I noticed Shelly has more photos from Kristy’s shoot over at flickr, including the famous butch lean and some sexy shots of sunglasses. Tag your photos with “sugarbutch” on flickr to show off your eye candy!)
“Debs is incredibly handsome & strong. She is chivalrous, passionate, brave and loving. She loves life, riding her motor bike and pinning me down! Lucky me! What a woman!” – Rose
(Rose sent a second photo, too, with a better shot of the bike. I’ve got serious motorcycle envy here.)
The caption read: “What Do I Do at Frameline32? I stand around outside the theater just waiting to see who I will run into (pictured here at the Victoria this past Sunday night before the Transtastic program). Sometimes I even go inside and watch the movies.”
And here’s a bit about Jenni: Jenni Olson is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT cinema history. Author of The Queer Movie Poster Book (2005, Chronicle Books), Jenni founded PopcornQ at PlanetOut.com back in 1995 and continues to write about and actually make queer film. Her feature debut, The Joy of Life is now available on DVD.
I’ve been adopting the word “transmasculine” to use to describe, generally, folks who were assigned female at birth who are male-identified, masculine, and/or masculinely presenting, in some way. I tend to stumble over this in these writings here – “butches and other masculine-identified females” or “butches and trans guys and bois and other girls who are boyish,” et cetera – and ugh, it gets messy to describe it that way.
So let’s start using the term “transmasculine,” okay?
I’ve been hearing it knocked around in the gender/queer communities more and more lately, but it’s from the TransMasculine Community Network that I am adopting this definition:
Transmasculine refers to any person who was assigned female at birth but feels this is an incomplete or incorrect description of their gender.
That’s quite broad – considering the “masculine” element in the word, I would probably say it’s more used as in, “an incomplete or incorrect description of their gender and they have some leanings toward the masculinity areas of the gender galaxy,” but in some ways I do like how inclusive their definition is. Regardless, I tend to use it to mean those of us butches, bois, trans guys, faggy femmes, and all sorts of other genderqueers. I’ve found myself using it in a few different articles I’m working on, so I wanted to be sure to introduce a definition.
I imagine the idea of butch as a trans identity is not so hard to grasp, and I’ve written about femme as a trans identity. The inclusion of the word “trans” as part of it feels touchy to me, because while I do agree that “trans” could – and probably should – be used as a great umbrella term for many gender descriptions, it also calls to mind for many an adherence to a strict gender binary – that if you are masculine, and female bodied, that you must be “actually” trans, not butch or masculinely female, as those spaces sometimes feel discounted. But that’s not how I intend to use it here.
Actually, I think I used to use “butch” in this way – as a catch-all phrase for anyone born female who leans toward masculine performance. But as my gender studies have gone on, I’ve come to accept and use a concept like transmasculine (for which I hadn’t had a term until now) as much more accurate, as I see “butch” as actually a very specific sub-set of being transmasculine. For me, butch is very much tied together with chivalry, a classic style of masculinity, feminism, and a sort of romance.
I of course think people should define these terms for themselves, but the more I do get involved in the genderqueer/transmasculine discussions, the more I see commonalities in those of us who identify as butch, and I see why some bois or other transmasculine folks don’t necessarily see that as their identity. I think in the past I’ve been much more inclined to say things like, “there is room for you in ‘butch’!” And it’s not that I take that back – certainly, if your lips tingle a little at the idea of calling yourself butch and claiming a butch identity, there is room for you in that identity and I think you should go for it, try it on, see if you like it, if it fits – but I’m seeing the ways that butch is actually more specific than I used to think it was.
Fascinating, how these things evolve. There’s so much to still create and discover and uncover and remake and expose about how gender works, what it means, our relationship to it. Man, I love this work.
“Dani loves forensics, hip hop and rock, her animals, coffee, fishing, being choked and boobs. She gets called ‘sir’ at the coffeeshop when she holds the door, looks at me, and throws horns.”
Clockwise from top right:
“1. Reading “Butch Is a Noun” and learning that there are others. 2. Butch dyke with a cigar hanging out of her mouth? Yesplz. But it’s more the eyes. 3. Her son’s name on her hand, holding onto the knife, the boxers, the rainbow. The picture took itself. 4. One of my favourite photos of her.”
- photos by Alisha, she who photographs
My very own kinky queer butch top, Ferret.
She likes cigars, corsetry (on me), and being called Sir. - Lemur
I still remember the day I had an awakening about my underwear, much like my butch breasts / bras moment a few weeks back, where I found some girly undies in my drawer and wondered why I even owned any like this anymore.
This was years ago, now, and any time I bought new undies, they were always briefs – not “boy briefs” from the girl’s section, but men’s briefs. And pretty soon I had a whole drawer full of ‘em, save a few that were my favorites. But then I discovered those few favorite pairs, back in the back, lacy or silky or whatever they were, and I realized I hadn’t worn them in years, and that I couldn’t forsee myself wearing them in the future.
So I got rid of them. I haven’t missed them once.
These days, I’m a briefs kind of guy. Yes, sometimes it’s awkward to be the only girl (“girl”) shopping in the men’s section, and I do get looks or stares or scoffs from both other male shoppers and the sales people. That used to bother me, but I’ve come to the realization that I have just as much right as they do to be there, to be shopping there, to buy clothes that I like on my body, and as I’ve developed more and more comfort in this gender-bending space, I see their responses as their issue, not mine.
I do like boxers, but generally I wear them as pajamas or kick around the house kind of wear, not so much underneath slacks or jeans, I find them too bulky. And perhaps because I’m not particularly thin, the hybrid boxer-briefs aren’t really comfortable either, they tend to ride up and I notice them, I tug at them, they itch, they annoy me. And I don’t know about you, but really, my main goal for most of my clothing is that, once I put it on, I don’t really notice it again. I’m not so into fashion, though, that I want people to notice my clothing – I would rather someone look at me and think, “Hey, Sinclair, you look great today,” rather than, “oh wow, Sinclair I love your shirt.” KnowutImean?
So, these are some of my favorite briefs that I’ve found in recent years. Comfortable, cute styles, affordable – briefs I wouldn’t mind wearing on a date. I’ve had a few questions about where I shop for my underthings lately, so here’s the rundown.
I don’t remember them being this cheap, but that’s what the website says – the ones I have are slightly different, grey and white, and I remember them being more in the $12 each range. I like these three-packs, I may have to go pick some up.
Their fabric is very, very soft, that’s the best thing about the Gap over other brands.
Forgive the (cis) boy shot, you know I don’t generally do that. But the awesome colors and white lines of the American Apparel briefs make them still some of my very favorites.
Plus, you can get matching tee shirts for pretty much any of the colors that the briefs come in. Once upon a time, I read an article that claimed that these matching briefs-and-tee-shirt combos from AA are pretty much the lingerie of boy wear, meaning that girls kinda go nuts for it.
And I have to say, in my experience? This has pretty much been true.
H&M’s men’s briefs
Various colors & styles
(photo from andreasmarx on flickr)
H&M is the third store that has my favorite briefs. Unfortunately, they don’t have an online store, and they are pretty limited in their stores around the country (I don’t think they’re on the West Coast at all).
They’ve got some really excellent patterns, great solids, really cute stuff. The fabric is a bit thinner and feels more synthetic than the other two, but they are still smooth and fit well. They carry a lot of boxer-briefs too, actually many more boxer-briefs than regular briefs, so those of you who dig that style might be particularly fond of this place.
So that concludes my brief post (hah) on butch style.
Alright, butches (and other masculine gals) out there: How about you? Boxers or briefs? Where do you buy your undies? Favorite brands or styles?
Femmes (and other folks who date masculine gals), what are your favorite undies to see your boi in? What do you love, what do you hate? What do you always buy your butch for holidays that she never wears? What do you wish she wore? What do you love that she wears?