Analysis Of Butch Please: The Dichotomy Of The Butch-Femme

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Butch Please: The Dichotomy of the Butch-Femme (1940-1970)
The role of butch-femme lesbians has shifted from the 1940s to 1970s, though what has remained constant is dichotomy of the masculine and feminine. The existence of butch-femme lesbians exists today, though very differently from the original of lesbian bar culture of the 1940s. The phases of butch-femme coexist with other important aspects of history, such as the blue-collar working class expectations, women’s rights in World War II, Second Wave feminism, and overall gender roles. This essay will demonstrate the creation and sustained social expectation of masculine and feminine lesbians as a continuation of heteronormative systems and fear of heterosexual hatred. While taking into
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Traditionally not feminine, loves women. Butch women cannot pass as straight, as femme lesbians can. The existence of butch lesbians goes both against and for gender and sexual stereotypes. Specifically, the stereotype of butch lesbians as the masculine counterpart to the feminine femme. As recounted by a butch author, “Straight people call me sir and faggots cruise me.” Masculine women are more likely to be noticed by the outside community than feminine women, because it goes against traditional gender stereotypes in mainstream culture. Considered a betrayal of gender identity: the true lesbian is butch, aggressive, and masculine. Butch lesbians are noteworthy, because in some ways, it is destroying and bolstering heteronormativity. Butch lesbian “stick out like G.I. Joes in Barbie Land” due to gender expression and easily identifiable sexuality at the time. On one hand, the gender expression of a butch lesbian is very different from the femininity established for women, as they do not match the typical housewife ideal. As well, butch lesbians are homosexual, and do not participate in the same type of misogynistic existence as typical straight men. Butch lesbians do not have the same privilege of men, and are kept at a level of disrespect both based on gender and sexuality. Even though stereotypically, butch lesbians are seen as the ‘man’ in lesbian relationships, and expected to fulfill similar emotional and sexual duties. In reality, butch women as personal identities are the bane of heteronormativity, because masculine lesbains oppose traditional gender roles, and are gay. Though, this does not stop the heteronormative binary from existing, and prevailing over other forms of lesbian
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