Tag Archive | persistence anthology

What is femme anyway?

Roland Torpor, "Les Masochistes"

I’ve been feeling like maybe I should talk about how femme feels (for me at least.) I’ve no doubt that the way I relate to being femme will be forever changing, & I’m positive that other femmes would describe this term differently, but that’s just fine, too.

  • Femme is intentionality. When you compliment my outfit, you are appreciating my taste, my resourcefulness, my creativity, my sense of adventure, my liberal application of glitter, my choice to wear sequins with sequins.
  • Femme is sharing. When my friends text me to tell me where there is a sale on cute underwear. When you show me how to shorten a hemline. Our conversations in front of a bathroom mirror when you borrow my lipgloss. All the things we have time to discuss when we get ready for a party together & show up three hours late, with the tallest hair and the most eyeliner.
  • Femme is defiance. Femme ignores the male gaze & tells patriarchy to fuck off. Femme is a refusal of the pressure to be thinner, whiter, pimple-free, wrinkle-free, smaller, quieter. Femme says that we’ll take the short skirts but you can keep the catcalls to yourself.
Femme and Proud

Florence Ravelle, "Femme and Proud" self-portrait

  • Femme is certainly queer, but it doesn’t tell you who you should love or who you should make out with.
  • Femme is not the opposite of butch.
  • Femme is open to everyone of all genders and sexes. Not all women are femmes, and not all femmes are women.
  • Femme is about style, not about “flattering.”
  • Femme is about pleasure, not about suffering. Femme is about healing.
  • Femme is about taking the time to be present with the body, to make time to care for your self. Femme is about quiet moments waiting for your nail polish to dry, the hair dye to develop, the moisturiser to soak in.
  • Femme is not needing to apologize.
  • Femme is about subjecthood, not objectification. Femme is about self-making, about magic. Femme is a little bit of a mess. Femmes don’t give a shit if you can tell they didn’t wake up looking like that, if their hair colour isn’t natural, if they have a run in their stockings.
  • Femme is about politics, about power, about play.

Honey CoCo and Frostine Shake at The Galactic! Photo by Polar Eyes

Femme Shark Manifesto, written by Leah Lakshmi Pipezna-Samarasinha. Also available in print in the Persistence Anthology.

FEMME SHARKS RECOGNIZE THAT FEMMES COME IN ALL KINDS OF SIZES AND EACH KIND IS LUSCIOUS. WE WORK TOWARDS LOVING OUR CURVY, FAT, SKINNY, SUPERSIZE, THICK, DISABLED, BLACK AND BROWN FINE-ASS BODIES EVERY DAY. WE REALIZE THAT LOVING OURSELVES IN A RACIST/SEXIST/HOMO/TRANSPHOBIC/ABLIST/CLASSIST SYSTEM IS AN EVERY DAY ACT OF WAR AGAINST THAT SYSTEM.

Claire's New Year's Eve self portrait

Claire’s femme manifesto:

IT’S ACTUALLY A RADICAL POLITICAL STATEMENT THAT I WAKE UP EVERY FUCKING DAY IN THIS GODFORSAKEN, PATRIARCHAL, WHITE-SUPREMEST WORLD AND DECIDE TO PUT ON LASHBLAST WATERPROOF MASCARA AND A PUSHUP BRA. NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES WHITE CIS-MEN SEXUALLY HARASS ME FROM THEIR CARS, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES WHAT I WEAR MAKES ME INVISIBLE TO THE QUEER COMMUNITY, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I FEEL OBJECTIFIED BY A STRANGER, I STILL WEAR ALL THE LINGERIE I WANT AND TAKE ALL THE TIME I NEED WITH MY HAIR STRAIGHTENER. ALL OF THESE THINGS MAKE ME EXTREMELY BADASS, AND ALL OF THESE DECISIONS ARE NOT ACCIDENTS. IT IS A RECLAMATION AND IT IS NOT EASY.

STOP UNDERESTIMATING ME.

Dolly Parton with the cast of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Dolly Parton in BlackBook:

Eventually people realize that there’s a brain under this hair, and a heart under these boobs, but I also like being a character that they can enjoy. It makes it kind of fun when I do get out on stage and tell my real story, and they get to see the real me. I’m a very artificial-looking person, but I’m a very real person.

Femme Cowboy Rae Spoon’s “Be The Light”

Unobject:

Every morning, getting dressed is a process of quantifying an apathy to violence, potential, mediated, or openly hostile, for the day.

It’s impossible to exhaust this topic in one post – and if so, what would I blog about? I’d love to hear yr femme definitions, too.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 145 other followers