Posts Tagged ‘female masculinity’
I’m counting down the Fridays with classic and modern butch book titles that I highly recommend because the Butch Voices Regional Conference in New York City (and then in Portland and LA) is coming up in just a week.
If you haven’t registered yet, you better get to it! We probably have something like twenty tickets left, and it’s filling up fast. The workshops and the schedule, and don’t forget that there are other events on Friday and Saturday nights. More information on those events (open to the public!) shortly.
This week’s book is the classic text Female Masculinity by Jack Halberstam. See how I called it a “text” instead of a book or a pile o’papers? Well that’s ’cause it’s pretty academic. But don’t let that stop you—it’s an important, classic piece of writing on masculinity and femaleness, and deconstructs gender in ways that paved the way for gender activism and theory in the years after. It was first published by Duke University Press Books in 1998.
I know it sounds like it’s unreadable and intimidating, but it’s worth struggling through. I haven’t read it since college but it kind of blew my mind. I should add it to my list of books to re-read, especially with all this butch stuff coming up, I’m inspired to delve into the theory again.
Here’s the description of the book:
Judith Halberstam’s deft separation of masculinity from the male body in Female Masculinity. If what we call “masculinity” is taken to be “a naturalized relation between maleness and power,” Halberstam argues, “then it makes little sense to examine men for the contours of that masculinity’s social construction.” We can learn more from other embodiments of masculinity, like those found in drag-king performances, in the sexual stance of the stone butch, and in female-to-male transgenderism. Halberstam’s subject is so new to critical discourse that her approach can be somewhat scattershot–there is simply too much to say–but her prose is lucid and deliberate, and her attitude refreshingly relaxed. Essential reading for gender studies and a lively contribution to cultural studies in general.
In addition to this book, Halberstam is the keynote at Butch Voices LA on October 9th! She’s scheduled for 1:30 – 2:30pm on Saturday, and boy I would love to be there. I had to pick between the LA Butch Voices conference and the Talking About the Taboo conference at the CSPH, and with other travel I’m doing, it made sense to stay in the region. Plus, Megan is kickass and the lineup at the CSPH conference is going to be fantastic, and I’m attending two other Butch Voices conferences, so … not much of a contest. But if you’re going to LA, know that I am envious! And I hope her keynote is amazing and inspiring.
Jack Halberstam currently writes online at Bully Bloggers. Here’s her recent bio, lifted from there:
J. JACK HALBERSTAM, Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity and Gender Studies at USC. Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture with an emphasis on subcultures. Halberstam is the author of Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke Up, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (NYU Press, 2005). Halberstam was also the co-author with Del LaGrace Volcano of a photo/essay book, The Drag King Book (Serpent’s Tail, 1999), and with Ira Livingston of an anthology, Posthuman Bodies (Indiana UP, 1995). Halberstam is currently finishing a book titled “Notes on Failure” and beginning another on “Bats”…yes, the ones with wings and teeth.
Part of the deal of me posting eye candy is that you, as readers and appreciators of the butch/femme dynamic, which I assume you probably are if you are visiting this site, are required to comment about how hot the butch is.
Hey, it’s hard to be objectified as “eye candy.” It’s hard to be judged purely on sexiness and looks and hotness and female masculinity appeal. So we must give these butches lotsa love.
And Dani is particularly hot. See what I’m getting at? There should really be more than two comments on that post.
I’m not usually toppy or controlling about comments, but part of the entire point of posting photos of butches is to celebrate female masculinity, especially in the face of a community that often villifies butches with nothing short of blame for the entire oppression of women, feminists, lesbians, dykes, etc. Cause that’s all our faults, you know. If we were only a little more of a “real woman” (read: conforming to our prescribed societal gender role) we wouldn’t be so oppressed.
So please, spoil the eye candy, will ya?
I’ve been thinking lately about how to do an equivalent of femme eye candy series. It might be called something like “femme not straight,” but I’m not exactly sure how to do that without it becoming “photos of pretty girls” which, though that’s awesome, is I think a cheap blog trick. Any interest or ideas?
Speaking of eye candy, I’ve got some good ones coming up. A filmmaker, and a butch on a motorcycle, great photos both. Keep sending ‘em in, or tag ‘em sugarbutch on flickr.