26.2.09

gender, again, finally!

Today I wish I had a more private place to post my thoughts. I'm feeling so conflicted, and a little bit confused. But calm and steady anyhow.

I'm going to be included in a "blog tour" of an upcoming publication in April so look out for some new information soon!

I have finally developed my thesis for the capstone project I have to do in order to graduate with my B.A. in Women's Studies. It is as follows:


Two main gender presentations, "butch" and "femme," dominated the lesbian community before the women's liberation movement of the 1960's and 1970's. "Butch" women presented themselves in a masculine way, and "femme" women presented themselves in a feminine way. Feminist of the time viewed the butch and femme lifestyle as a replication of the traditional roles within heterosexual relationships.

The 1990's brought to lesbian culture a surge of novels, anthologies, and other writings about the experiences of butches and femmes. Many books focused on the gender transgression of butch women while others focused on the complex relationships that butches and femmes have to one another. I believe this disproportionate focus on female masculinity has attracted gender theorists because patriarchal culture favors masculinity and undervalues femininity. Writings about the experiences of femmes have only recently begun to appear in academia. My research will assess works dealing with butches and femmes, and the availability of scholarship about queer femininity. I hypothesize that a disproportionate body of work focuses on butchness while relatively few works explore queer femininity. An inventory of the available literature will illuminate the overshadowing of femininity within gender theory and lead to a better understanding of the politics of theoretic production.

This was with the help of Tegee, otherwise I really wouldn't have been able to make it sound that smart and scholarly. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty smart, but she made it sound so much more important and big than it actually is! Craziness.

Had a nice day with Dana, did laundry, had tea, we knitted/cross stitched at the laundromat. I realized that not having a washer and drying gets me out of my uberwhiteness a little bit, and maybe I won't get a washer/dryer. Bought a clothes line today, so we can hand wash some small items, and save on laundry costs by drying them at home. It reminds me of Mexico. And that one time in turkey that we stayed in the top floor of a hotel with out own landing so we strung up our clothes there.

I need to talk to someone unrelated to my situation but who still understands what I'm struggling with. Dana wants me to be happy, but she doesn't believe the same way that I do about it, so our discussions are a little bit circular. I think I need a great big hug and a cry. Haven't had one of those in awhile. It's coming, I can feel it.

5 comments:

greg said...

Oh sweetie, I really wish that I could give you that hug. I'm thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way.

the queen'z here said...

sounds very interesting
great to see the femmes represented

Alia said...

My phone is always on. <3

Dirt said...

WOW! What a serious load of crap! Butch women have NEVER been visible and remain invisible to their serious detriment!

dirt

Ms. Avarice said...

I do not mean to say that butches do not struggle, or that their visibility is a benefit to them. By visibility, I mean that people assume butches are queer. People also assume that feminine women / femmes are -not- queer. This assumption that femmes are not queer is where femmes become invisible. Butches' visibility -is- troublesome because it attracts negative attention from people who are opposed to homosexuality. In society at large, most queers, lesbians particularly, are indeed invisible in the sense that our needs and our rights have little value within the dominant culture. Butch, femme or otherwise, we all struggle for a balance between being recognized as queer and being equipped to navigate a homophobic world.