I love Sinclair Sexsmith's newest project, ButchLab. Every few months she gathers all of the bloggers who wish to participate in a sort of writing carnival, a symposium, and gives a writing prompt for everyone's consideration. The site gives the symposium this definition:
The Symposium is a cross between a blog carnival and a round-up, where participants write about a monthly topic and submit links to Butch Lab which are then recounted. Participants are requested to a) link to the Butch Lab Symposium in their post, b) reprint the roundup on their own blogs within five days, and c) commenting on the other participants’ entries would be an added bonus (let’s support each other eh?).
You do not need to be butch to participate, anyone is welcome to discuss their opinion.
The topic for the second Butch Lab Symposium is Butch Stereotypes, Cliches, and Misconceptions.
Here's the writing prompt:
What do people think “butch” means? What are the stereotypes around being butch? What do people assume is true about you [or the masculine of center folks in your life], but actually isn’t? What image or concept do you constantly have to correct or fight against? How do you feel about these misconceptions? How do you deal with them? Do you respond to these stereotypes or cliches? How?
It’s interesting that the symposium is on this particular topic. Specially since it’s been a part of my last few blog posts. (Does Being Butch Mean I Want To Be A Guy?)
As I’ve talked about before, being butch to some people just means I want to be a guy. This is the most typical of stereotypes that I’ve come across. Not just from the heterosexual community but from the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community, as well. The LGBTQ community tends to assume I am transgender, which translates to me as ‘wants to be a guy’. So, essentially, because I dress in men’s clothes and have a buzz cut I must want to be a guy. This is one assumption that certainly isn’t true of me and one that I feel as though I constantly have to correct. Well, not necessarily have to correct but often times I do.
I do, however, like to pass as a guy and enjoy being called ‘sir’ when I’m out and about. That hasn’t always been the case though. I used to get really angry and embarrassed when it happened and would have these little fits of rage in my head telling off whoever decided to call me ‘sir’. “Women can have short hair, too, and they certainly don’t have to wear women’s clothes, dammit! Let go of your fucking stereotypes!” It’s only been within the last couple of years that I’ve come to terms with this and have shifted my perspective in regards to this. I like passing. I like being gender fluid. I love that I can move between genders in this world and I now smile when someone calls me “sir”. It makes me happy.
Other assumptions that people make about me are interesting. Because I’m butch I must be stone, always strong physically and emotionally, feel no emotions, never want to be touched sexually, always the top, never shy, always the aggressor, can fix anything, owner of many tools, threatened by a strong and independent femme and that I don’t embrace any part of my feminine side. None of these assumptions are true for me.
I am far from being a stone butch.
I have my moments of weakness both physically and emotionally. I feel all kinds of emotions and most of the time I have absolutely no way of hiding them. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I definitely want to be touched, bitten, kissed, licked, penetrated and everything else when it comes to sex. I LOVE being a switch and find it incredibly hot when a femme woman tops me.
I am mostly shy and a bit oblivious to flirting. Let me rephrase that. I am mostly completely oblivious to flirting.
It takes a shit ton (Yes, that’s a technical term. Because I said so.) of courage for me to ask someone out on a date but most of the time, if they say yes, I’m all over being the aggressor after getting past that initial question.
While it’s true that I can fix a lot of things, I definitely can’t fix everything nor do I want to. I am, sadly, not the owner of many tools, although I really would like that assumption to be true some day. I like tools. I like them a lot.
I certainly am not threatened by a strong, independent femme. As a matter of fact, I’m really turned on by them. I mean, think about it. A femme fixing things or building things, knowing how to use her hands and get dirty? Yeah. So sexy.
As far as embracing my feminine side, I embrace all sides of myself. Feminine, masculine, dorky, nerdy, silly, weak, strong, witty, serious, emotional, artistic, boi, Daddy, etc. I am finally at the point in my life where I embrace and accept all of me. Because, you see, I’ve finally realized that while I may or may not find my soul mate and be with her for the rest of my days here on this planet, I am definitely going to be with me so I damn well better start liking me. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long road.