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Old 12-16-2009, 09:29 AM   #1
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Default The Purse: Unpacking Femme Privilege

We have knapsacks and backpacks, perhaps it's time to stir the things around in the Purse to take a look at Femme Privilege.

Many of us "pass" as straight whether we want to or not.

There is a long list of privileges associated with being Femme in the outside world. Let's talk about them.
I also believe that privilege can be situational. i.e. Femme privilege looks very different on a website geared toward Butches, Femmes, and Queer folks than it does at the supermarket or on the job.

So there it is. Let's have a discussion between Femmes and Feminine-identified people to see if we can do a little unpacking.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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Default Thank you, thank you, thank you.....

... for starting this thread...

Are you in my head??? I've been trying for several weeks to formulate my thoughts for such a thread in a manner that would make sense to others and open a dialogue.

Today is quite busy for me, but I will be back to expand...

Bottom line, for me, from my perspective... I think as a femme I have experienced far more privilege than my beautiful Jess has received male privilege.

I am not on the receiving end of the blatent stares, the not so quiet whispers.... most have no idea of my orientation until I tell them.

ACK! Back to before I go off on a tear!

Thanks again... very interested to hear others' points of view.

Christie
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:57 AM   #3
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let me first say that i am willing to learn, here.

i find that i get a little caught up in being female-bodied as well as feminine and (combined with queer, my olive skin-tone, and my big ASS) and i find it difficult to pluck the *privilege* from the layers of all the -isms that i embody. as i said, i'm willing to learn--take a few of my goodies from my purse, as it were. so i will spend some time thinking and being open to the idea of my priv, i can't wait to hear what everyone's thinking.

(tho i am considering yesterday, Ez and i had to go to the state capital yesterday and there were a LOT of white, middle-aged men to navigate... well there's a large liberty bell out in the courtyard and i wanted to ring it/tried to ring it--i wonder sometimes if Ez is just more "appropriate" than i am or that he's more aware of already being judged (or possible danger?) for who he is--possibly a little of both.... more thoughts later, i am sure Ez will respond, tho just now he's off to the gym.)
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apretty View Post
let me first say that i am willing to learn, here.

i find that i get a little caught up in being female-bodied as well as feminine and (combined with queer, my olive skin-tone, and my big ASS) and i find it difficult to pluck the *privilege* from the layers of all the -isms that i embody. as i said, i'm willing to learn--take a few of my goodies from my purse, as it were. so i will spend some time thinking and being open to the idea of my priv, i can't wait to hear what everyone's thinking.

(tho i am thinking about the way that Ez and i had to go to the state capital yesterday and there were a LOT of white, middle-aged men to navigate... well there's a large liberty bell out in the courtyard and i wanted to ring it/tried to ring it--i wonder sometimes if Ez is just more "appropriate" than i am or that he's more aware of already being judged for who he is--possibly a little of both.... more thoughts later, i am sure Ez will respond, tho just now he's off to the gym.)
THIS! THIS! THIS!

My own layers of growing up poor, educationally disadvantaged, being fat, being from the South (and all that it implies for other people), and the added layer of my brand of Femme are sometimes hard to disentangle from the Femme privilege.
Add in the fact that class-wise, I dont have a lot of the markers that some folks have. I think they call that "no home raising".
I sometimes end up feeling like no matter the fact that I "pass" as a straight woman, I am still NEVER going to be the "right kind" of woman.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:18 AM   #5
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THIS! THIS! THIS!

My own layers of growing up poor, educationally disadvantaged, being fat, being from the South (and all that it implies for other people), and the added layer of my brand of Femme are sometimes hard to disentangle from the Femme privilege.
Add in the fact that class-wise, I dont have a lot of the markers that some folks have. I think they call that "no home raising".
I sometimes end up feeling like no matter the fact that I "pass" as a straight woman, I am still NEVER going to be the "right kind" of woman.
"no home training" (tho, my parents were VERY strict and highly critical--so GO FIGURE.) i will ring that damn liberty bell!!!
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
THIS! THIS! THIS!

My own layers of growing up poor, educationally disadvantaged, being fat, being from the South (and all that it implies for other people), and the added layer of my brand of Femme are sometimes hard to disentangle from the Femme privilege.
Add in the fact that class-wise, I dont have a lot of the markers that some folks have. I think they call that "no home raising".
I sometimes end up feeling like no matter the fact that I "pass" as a straight woman, I am still NEVER going to be the "right kind" of woman.
I once took a womens' studies class that began with an exercise in privilege. Our professor passed out an equal number of tootsie rolls to every student in the room. We were asked to remove a piece of candy from our privilege pile if we could not answer in the affirmative for each question she posed, such as:

I grew up with more than 20 books in my home.

My family never worried about where meals would come from.

Questions around race and education and class were all asked, although I distinctly recall that no questions of size were addressed. When the exercise was complete, and as white as I am, I was still among a group in the room with the fewest tootsie rolls on her desk.

It occurs to me now that had the questions been inclusive of size, I would have had a larger share of 'privilege' at the end of that lesson. It also occurs to me now how much it meant to me to have so few pieces of candy.

We tend to hold our oppression close to us, like a kind of prize. I want to keep in mind of this - that even while I am the daughter of poor, white Southern uneducated people - that holding to my lack of power will not gain me anything, and certainly will not bring me any closer to netting a wider share of power for everyone I believe deserves a more fair share.

While it's true that I pass to the unsuspecting as a straight woman, it's also and equally true that I am not one. I need to be cognizant of the ways in which this can both harm my community and however, if ever, it can serve us. Being read as straight sometimes has the unintended affect of meaning that I am allowed entrance into spaces that would not otherwise permit Queer. And once inside, I have more power to do and change what more visible others might not have.

I have to hold this kind of power carefully, recognizing that backlash is ever immanent and always dangerous. I cannot go incognito. It's their lack of perception that is at issue; not my lack of forthrightness.
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:16 PM   #7
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I also can pass for being straight and that hurts when you want to date someone who thinks you are. I grew up with three brothers and I have had to work for everything I have now. Some people ask me why I waited so long to *come* out and I explain to them, that my father, was a man who did not like gay people. When I was 28 years old, he passed away and I was finally able to be me. Having to keep your true self hidden for so long, makes you long for your own identity even more. That is why when someone ask's me if I am gay, I tell them very proudly that yes I am; even if I lose my job as a result. I am proud to be femme. I also grew up in the South.

Have a good day,

Zimmy
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:51 PM   #8
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WHat an excellent thread!! I have to add femme privilege on top of all the other privileges I have: white, upper middle class upbringing, educated, previously heterosexual married mama, able bodied. I chose Judaism as an adult so I don't feel as though I have encountered a lot of antisemitism in my life. The privilege of being a femme and having the ability to disclose my sexual orientation if I choose to is a definite privilege. When I first started dating my partner I did not notice any difference in how I was treated. As time has gone on I am now noticing people looking or seeming uncomfortable. I am sure it was there before I was just oblivious. It never even occurred to me to look for or expect that before because I have never encountered any discrimination in my life.

To those I have come out to in my community and in my family I have experienced some not very nice reactions. The only thing I think has made it easier is the femme invisibility factor. I don't look queer to most straight people so I am more palatable I guess.

The interesting thing to me is that the place I feel the most out of place is the queer community. I don't have any credibility. I've only had one partner, hopefully always will. I don't have a history of activism. I'm not sure if time will change that. So many of the experiences of other femmes here I have yet to experience or may never experience. I guess I don't know how to unpack all this privilege. I'm trying.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:45 PM   #9
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I feel it is a priviledge to be a femme in a world that assumes me to be straight. It is a priviledge to me because I am given the opportunity to educate and possible take some of the hate away. My female straight friends are always eager to listen and learn. My friend Melizsa imagined that because I am femme, that my boifriend would have a certain look (Joe Dirt anyone?) It meant a lot to me to teach her. In turn, she educated her family. It was a neat cycle to watch.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:28 AM   #10
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Default i dont care if i look like a schmoe...i'm thanking everyone

i dont know what to do with this thread.

i had a super shinyshiny femme chip (with the word " marginalized " inscribed on it in really pretty foo foo calligraphy) on my shoulder and Medusa just poinked it offa me ingloriously with one mighty and gentle flick of her dainty finger.

i dont know whether to swear like a longshorefemme or be uber-grateful. or both. prob'ly going to do both.

i can only shuffle around the following two thoughts at the moment:

1) i dont want to pass. i stopped wanting to pass a bit later in life than some (32) but once i stopped i never looked back. if i thought my bangs would look good parted in the center i'd have "queer-as-fuck" tattooed on my forehead.

2) my white privilege feels more omnipresent to me than any of the other institutionalized ways in which i might benefit. it's the one i feel most keenly anyway. because i live in HippievilleUSA i am blessed with an environment that, quite literally, finds it unremarkable that i'm queer. that same environment is also wildly indifferent to the fact that i am poor, fat, well-educated, and that i'm constantly humming tunelessly. the one thing about me that's difficult not to note is the one thing for which i would prefer not to be noticed: i'm as annoying as hell. i live in a little hippiebubble.

i'm going to apply some pain relief to my now Medusa-shattered paradigms. i'll be back when the thinking stops hurting so much.



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Old 12-21-2009, 09:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by evolveme View Post
I once took a womens' studies class that began with an exercise in privilege. Our professor passed out an equal number of tootsie rolls to every student in the room. We were asked to remove a piece of candy from our privilege pile if we could not answer in the affirmative for each question she posed, such as:

I grew up with more than 20 books in my home.

My family never worried about where meals would come from.

Questions around race and education and class were all asked, although I distinctly recall that no questions of size were addressed. When the exercise was complete, and as white as I am, I was still among a group in the room with the fewest tootsie rolls on her desk.

It occurs to me now that had the questions been inclusive of size, I would have had a larger share of 'privilege' at the end of that lesson. It also occurs to me now how much it meant to me to have so few pieces of candy.

We tend to hold our oppression close to us, like a kind of prize. I want to keep in mind of this - that even while I am the daughter of poor, white Southern uneducated people - that holding to my lack of power will not gain me anything, and certainly will not bring me any closer to netting a wider share of power for everyone I believe deserves a more fair share.

While it's true that I pass to the unsuspecting as a straight woman, it's also and equally true that I am not one. I need to be cognizant of the ways in which this can both harm my community and however, if ever, it can serve us. Being read as straight sometimes has the unintended affect of meaning that I am allowed entrance into spaces that would not otherwise permit Queer. And once inside, I have more power to do and change what more visible others might not have.

I have to hold this kind of power carefully, recognizing that backlash is ever immanent and always dangerous. I cannot go incognito. It's their lack of perception that is at issue; not my lack of forthrightness.

I relate to this post very much. Thank you.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
We have knapsacks and backpacks, perhaps it's time to stir the things around in the Purse to take a look at Femme Privilege.

Many of us "pass" as straight whether we want to or not.

There is a long list of privileges associated with being Femme in the outside world. Let's talk about them.
I also believe that privilege can be situational. i.e. Femme privilege looks very different on a website geared toward Butches, Femmes, and Queer folks than it does at the supermarket or on the job.

So there it is. Let's have a discussion between Femmes and Feminine-identified people to see if we can do a little unpacking.
I just I feel I have earned the 'priviledge'. I grew up in a large family where my Dad was a white collar worker and my mother a blue collar worker. My dad was violent and authoritarian. My mom was sweet, gentle, smart, artistic and could fix almost anything. I have inherited her traits. My MOM could dress to the 'nines' and fix a leaking sink. When I first came out, I presented as butch. Mainly I think because no matter how smart or competent I was a women I couldn't get ahead or be taken seriously because I was a small frame, very young looking, and femme. I saw that with my Mom being passed up for promotion by a younger inexperienced males. I didn't want to re live what mother went through. Also I wanted permission to protect myself, by making myself unattractive to hetro males. However, I didn't id as butch and felt I was acting out a role. It was a very special butch that swept me off my feet 40yrs ago. He accepted me for who I was. He allowed me to grow into my own. Unfortunately, I outgrew him. I continue to discover myself everyday. I have struggled, planned, and worked to develop ME. I have lived long enough to know that priviledge is earned. Position is given.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:18 PM   #13
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I'm still sorting out thoughts and feelings and absorbing others thoughts on the subject, but I just wanted to mention that when the subject of femme privilege comes up, my first thought is that it breaks my heart a little every time we're in public and Logic tells me he has to pee...

I never thought that something as simple as going to the restroom would have privilege attached to it, and it makes me sad that it does...
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
We have knapsacks and backpacks, perhaps it's time to stir the things around in the Purse to take a look at Femme Privilege.

Many of us "pass" as straight whether we want to or not.

There is a long list of privileges associated with being Femme in the outside world. Let's talk about them.
I also believe that privilege can be situational. i.e. Femme privilege looks very different on a website geared toward Butches, Femmes, and Queer folks than it does at the supermarket or on the job.

So there it is. Let's have a discussion between Femmes and Feminine-identified people to see if we can do a little unpacking.
I have come in to my own throughout a long metamorphsis. When I first came out 40+ years ago, I presented as butch. This was because it was the closest to what I id. I was raised in a large family with a white collared yankee Dad and a blue collared southern Mom. My Dad was paranoid schizophrenia, abusive, and alcoholic. My Mom was gentle, kind and nurturing. She also could fix anything from a broken washing machine to a child's toy. She appeared tombyish, but she was abused and supressed. I fought my own non hetro id because I reasoned my orientation was due to my poor male role model. So, I got married not once but twice. I have 2 bio children and 1 adopted child. I was only married a total of yrs. As a butch guys didn't hit on me, but I didn't feel comfortable. I met my first love a great butch who allowed me to grow into my skin. Unfortunately, I became aware that I had changed and he didn't unfortunately and we grew apart after 10yrs. I have had a few other longterm relationships but never lasting. I spend one day a week in pampering myself (what I call my femme day). I do feel I have earned my priviledge as a femme. I am capable of letting an interesting guy know I am interested.
If a straight guy hits on me, I am capable of letting him know I am not interested. The difference today then back when I was young, I don't have to qualify with my id. I am confident enough to say thanks but no thanks. I don't have to give a reason. I do believe priviledge is earned. It is not entitlement.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #15
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I have a whole heap of privlidges. I'm white, educated, with an educated family, I can get things that suit my culture (well, ish. enough) and tastes, I don't have kids so I can pick up and move anytime I like. I'm not bogged down by a morgage cause I don't swing that way so I I dont' have the added debt. I have a loan from school but a canauck loan is far better than an american one, at least they removed the provincial loan.

At 16 I had two set of parents that are all friends. I was shown that you can be friends with your ex's and how to do it - as it's important for people to get along if there's kids involved.

My parents have been pretty damn supportive of me. They didn't care I was gay.

We didn't have much money, and we lived in a group house, I had an extremely disturbed and abusive - severely abusive brother - and severely abusive boyfriends... but this thread isn't about how things don't count cause I've got exception tickets.

it's about how I know I've got priveldge. It's hard when talking about walking into shops though... inks gets occationally hassled/stared at because she looks like a big blonde germanic dyke, I get hassled a little more often for having big tits and white blonde hair.

I don't get harassed for my gender, she rarely ever gets sexual harassment. We are both in the store getting harassed. By the same people, usually. If someone harasses inks, I can gaurentee within 5 seconds that harassment will move on to me. Same the other way, though slightly less often. If I get really verbally harassed by an idiot, that idiot will probably then start harassing inks. We look like lesbians when together.

however, on my own I can keep my sexuality to myself in a minicab going home at 2am. Which is wise. minicabs can be dangerous things. I don't know how many times a minicab driver has tried picking me up. It's rather frightening. If I was visibly a dyke to them, I'd be way way more frightened.

There are times I'm very glad I'm cisgendered and not visibly gay. Makes traveling a lot easier. Makes going in and out of countries easier. Inks gets dirty looks and occational extra checks but not enough to bug her all that much. However she was really fucked off in Malaysia because people stared at her all the time, quite openly and we were CONSTANTLY harassed by people trying to talk to her about her tatoos and using that point to try and bully her into buying something/taking the piss/making shitty comments.

I didn't get that kind of harassment in maylaysia. I found people treated me with greater respect there. Her treatment was worse; mine was blissfully free of sexual harassment, mostly.

She has to hide her sexuality at work - or make it a complete non-issue and skips around questions. She works with very ill/terminally ill children and parents often ask her personal questions. she can normally suss out who's going to be ok with it, but the majority of people she can't take a risk with. Not that she'd be fired for being gay and out. It's against the law and it's a respected hospital, run by the NHS. So that wouldn't happen. But she'd find it difficult to talk to the parents in the way she needs to if they had problems with her.

I don't get asked personal questions.

Inks gets far more personal questions about herself than I do. People are more curious about her "presentation" in the mainstream world. Not rude, mostly, but just "you what?? sorry what did you just ask me?" usually from young people, not meaning harm but being pig stupid about stuff and expecting inki to educate them.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:31 PM   #16
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Every time I need to go to the bathroom when I'm out in public - and I march right to the "women's" door without a worry, knowing without a doubt I will not be challenged or made uncomfortable in any way, I am humbled by how steeped I am in femme priveledge -- all other "isms" aside.

Add to that -- PLUS every time I feel like it, I can have a coffee or soda or drink of water when out in public because I KNOW I can just go to the bathroom with no trouble at all.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:14 PM   #17
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Exclamation Re: my privilege

I grew up in a privileged world. Most of my parents friends were either gay or bi, so when I came out that was no big deal. My mother looked more butch than most of the butches I knew in school. She was bi and had a femme girlfriend. I also grew up in an upper-class environment. My parents had graduate degrees; most of our friends were doctors, professors, and the people who ran the county. I came out when I was in my first year of Jr. High. I went on to get a graduate degree at a State University but spent a year in grad school at an Ivy League College. I've managed a bookstore, taught Philosophy at a University, and been a librarian for years. THAT was my privilege.
As far as passing as a femme, I COULD have but chose not to do so. I also made it clear to those around me that I was a queer femme. This could have thrown me out of straight society, but my upper-class up-bringing and "air of education" seemed to prevent this but being femme DID get me thrown of lesbian society more than a few times. I was stopped at bars and coffeehouses for being straight. I wore skirts and dresses rather than the "uniform" of flannel shirts and jeans. My hair, short enough to be a bhikkhuni's, was accompanied by make-up and perfume. I knew enough about b/f dynamics to hope that one day I would meet a butch who wanted a high femme one day. Finally I did, and my world was complete.
I realize that I was extremely lucky to have grown up in the environment that I did and to have been given the education that I had. To this day, according to my two husbands, I still have that aura of high class about me. I don't flaunt it , nor do I apologize for it. I am who I am. I don't think that I am better than anyone else b/c of this, nor do I think I am less. I am very queer where I live: queer, femme, Taoist/Tibetan Buddhist, Asian in my outlook, bookish, intellectual, outspoken in a place where most women aren't, my dresses don't look like anyone elses's, etc I realize that I might get slammed for this extended statement of who I am, but be that as it may.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:41 PM   #18
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I'm not sure where I fit into this thread either.

I grew up in a family of extreme white privilege--financially, educationally, just about in all ways you can think of. My family also never cared I was gay, I am close to my siblings and my parents are still happily married after 48 years. I don't know a lot about hardship or what it is like to live life without any safety nets.

My background, however, has made me shy away from talking about how I grew up. Mention the word "privilege" and I tend to cringe. Through the years, I've been judged fairly harshly on occasion for having a privileged life, so I hide my upbringing or any indication I might have privileges not enjoyed by others as a result.

My femme privilege is not something I dwell on for those reasons. Maybe someday I will be able to think about privilege--any kind of privilege--without negative energy attached to the thoughts.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:38 PM   #19
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I think many femmes do have privilege, but I'm not sure it's exactly femme privilege. I'm trying to think what exactly femme privilege would be, and although I can think of many privileges shared by femmes which are not shared by many butches and transguys, I see these falling into two distinct categories: a very real privilege based on gender-expectation-conformity and passing privilege.

Here are my thoughts.

Gender-Expectation-Conformity Privilege

Insofar as a person's gender-presentation matches a culture's gender-expectation, that person has privilege. When I walk into a bathroom, people see a woman who looks like a woman. When I'm pulled over by the police, they see a woman who looks like a woman. When I go anywhere and do anything, people see a woman who looks like a woman. That is a privilege.

I also think this gender-expectation-conformity privilege extends to issues of being gay-bashed or harrassed by homophobic strangers. It's not usually a person's orientation that strangers notice - it's their gender presentation - unless a person is on the arm of another person of the same perceived gender or wearing items of clothing that scream, "I'm queeeeeeeeeeer." But

I don't consider it a "femme privilege," and here's why: Not all femmes have this privilege. Not all butches are without this privilege, not all non-femme queer or lesbian women are without this privilege.

It's a privilege that many femmes have, but to call it femme privilege seems to put some restrictions on the definition of what a femme is and is not - which subsequently seems to try to disqualify/discount/erase the femmeness of those who don't meet the gender-expectation-conforming requirement.

Furthermore, the term "femme privilege" used to mean "gender-expectation-conforming privilege" also implies restrictions on the definitions of butches, of non-b-f queer and lesbian women and even some transguys (and probably others).. Not every butch is mistaken for a man when she or he or hy enters a bathroom. Not every butch is interpreted as anything other than a gender-non-conforming woman. Not every non-femme lesbian or queer women is interpreted as anything other than a gender-non-conforming woman. To imply that femmes are the only ones who get this privilege - even in a strictly butch-femme culture is to imply that butches who receive the same privilege are somehow not butch or less butch.

Passing-Privilege

Is it a Privilege?

Passing as straight and/or cisgender is often cited as a femme privilege, but passing-privilege is such a mixed bag. I'm not sure it's exactly a privilege, though it sure can have some advantages. I know in the past I've seen some really great, highly informed discussions of whether or not passing is a privilege. I can't replicate those here, but my impression is that it's not the same type of privilege the type of privilege you get for being read for who you actually are. I am sure there are others here who can speak to this aspect with more authority than I can.

Who in our Community has Passing Privilege?

Again, as with Gender-Expectation-Conforming Privilege, conflating Passing-Privilege with "Femme Privilege" implies that this is a privilege unique to and inclusive of all femmes. There are femmes who do not pass for straight and/or cisgender even when they try real hard. There are butches who do pass for straight and/or cisgender. There are plenty of non-femme queer and lesbian women who pass for straight and/or cisgender.

Do femmes have privileges not covered by the above? I can't think of any others, but I'm a bit tired today. Are any of these privileges due to femmeness, or are they due to other traits shared with many other people?

Though I cannot see exactly how "femme privilege" exists, I do think many (the majority?) of femmes have the above-listed privileges. Am I being too stringent in my application? If these privileges applied to 80% of femmes, 60% of non-b-f queer and lesbian women and 20% of butches, would it still qualify as femme privilege?

I have met both butches and femmes in person and online who express dismay at their own lack of conformity to butch/femme gender-expression standards. (For example, how many butches wear make-up vs how many butches will admit they wear make-up in this community? How many butches wear women's underwear vs how many butches will admit they wear women's underwear in this community? How many femmes are daily read as lesbians vs how many femmes will admit they are read as lesbians in this community? How many femmes hate wearing dresses or makeup vs how many femmes will admit they hate wearing dresses or makeup within this community?

I just think calling this privilege "femme privilege" may re-enforce an external standard for internally-defined identities.

I'm open though - these just my tired thoughts for the moment.
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Strutt View Post
I'm not sure where I fit into this thread either.

I grew up in a family of extreme white privilege--financially, educationally, just about in all ways you can think of. My family also never cared I was gay, I am close to my siblings and my parents are still happily married after 48 years. I don't know a lot about hardship or what it is like to live life without any safety nets.

My background, however, has made me shy away from talking about how I grew up. Mention the word "privilege" and I tend to cringe. Through the years, I've been judged fairly harshly on occasion for having a privileged life, so I hide my upbringing or any indication I might have privileges not enjoyed by others as a result.

My femme privilege is not something I dwell on for those reasons. Maybe someday I will be able to think about privilege--any kind of privilege--without negative energy attached to the thoughts.

I get this, Mrs. Strutt!

It's hard for me to hear "Oh, that's just your privilege" talking when I feel like it's something I didn't have control over.
Being white, a Femme, cisgendered, and the other myriad ways that there are privileges (situational and static) in my way of being feels negative sometimes.
I dont *want* to be told Im privileged for being white or cisgendered when I have a background that includes various class/size/ability struggles. It feels like all of my hardship gets negated by merely being white/cisgendered/Femme in B-F space/etc.
I do know on a core level that I have privileges even if I don't exert them in ugly ways or even if Im hyper aware of them. They're there. Sometimes I can see them, sometimes other people have to see them for me.

I can understand shying away from talking about how you grew up - especially if there is immediate judgment attached to you by other people when you talk about it.
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