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Old 08-09-2011, 09:13 AM   #41
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Maybe I am alone in my thoughts...

I feel (for myself) that I have WAY more privilege now as an older femme (gonna be a crone soon) then a younger femme. I have EXPERIENCE.

I have no doubt misogyny plays heavy in our community. Older butches lusting after younger femmes. But my internal self esteem knows and believes... What I got going on with this body, mind and soul and the years I have lived and the scars I have endured...

I have even experienced reverse ageism. I would NEVER date a young butch. Hell NO! What would we possibly discuss? LOL - see. Poor younger butches are shunned by older femmes like me.

Give me a seasoned butch with history and the know how - and I am a very happy older femme.

The only privilege I feel a younger femme has over me, is time. She has more time to live her life and experience so many more years of love and love making than I do. She has the privilege of making babies if she should choose. She has the privilege of wearing what she wants, that I (my choice) as an older femme would not wear. She has the opportunities to change her career over and over again, whereas - I am 50, and I know the work place is not as interested in me, as perhaps they might be in someone younger.

Julie
I agree with this. For me, I feel that older femmes do usually have more advantages such as experience, respect, etc. Younger femmes may have more time for opportunities, but are sometimes viewed as "less than" or not taken as seriously, based solely upon age.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:17 AM   #42
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Well.

Some of these posts have made me cry. And they have made me think. And they have pissed me off. And they have given me the courage to say the following....

I came out later than some ~ I was 36. I'm not sure why I landed in Dallas, but I did. My future partner, with some mutual friends who wanted us to meet, saw me first and said, "She's not a lesbian! She's somebody's MOTHER!"

At first, I want You to know, I was incredulous at best. What???

Well....from that point on, I began to notice that we were always stared at/glared at in public. I hated that, but soon, I learned to stare them down because, by God, I wanted them to know that *I* was a lesbian, TOO, dammit!

And there is privilege coming out of every pore, even now. These days, financially, I guess I would be considered poor, but I have an upper~middle class mentality. I grew up in a white collar household, though my parents were both very frugal. I don't have to worry about going into the bathroom....there are never raised eyebrows there. And, like Merrick, the thought of having to 'steel oneself' is a foreign thought to me. I can't even imagine, though I know it is a reality.

But now, I am reading that the GOP ~ for their convention (in Texas, I'm sad to say) ~ has made their platform known, in that they will 'officially' state that homosexuality should be punished with incarceration .....that marriage should only take place between a "natural man and a natural woman"....and that anyone who performs a marriage for anyone other than those 2 folks will also subject themselves to incarceration.

And in seeing that this morning, I felt as thought it was now time (past time, actually) for me to flush my privilege down my Queer Toilet and scream very loudly against THEIR privilege, which takes away mine and those I love.


{{{{{Diva}}}}}
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:24 AM   #43
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I agree with this. For me, I feel that older femmes do usually have more advantages such as experience, respect, etc. Younger femmes may have more time for opportunities, but are sometimes viewed as "less than" or not taken as seriously, based solely upon age.
Dixieboo!

I hear you and experienced some of this when I was a 23-year-old Femme first signing up on the Dash site. I was head-patted by lots of older Femmes because "How could I possibly know anything about life" and also by older Butches who thought of me as a "party girl" or whatever.

I did, however, feel that I had privilege in the dating pool as a younger Femme because I felt like many Butches in my orbit objectified younger Femmes as sexier/more sexual or whatever. But I dunno if that was such a privilege, only being seen for sexual value. IMO now, not so much.

I have been witness to older Femmes being called things like "crusty" or having insults hurled about like "who'd want to fuck her old ass?" so I do think there are huge elements of ageism when it comes to us...but more than anything, this is residual from the ageism in the world at large and our community has proven that we are not immune to it.

I always try to keep in mind that there are Femmes older than me who "know things" and also Femmes younger than me who "know things" and that all of those experiences are valid, valued, and essential!
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:45 AM   #44
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I believe the bottom line falls on ourselves.
We can allow ageism, sexism, misogyny and all the other negatives to influence our lives.

None of us are better than the other... As Medusa said (without quoting) We all bring something valuable to the table.

It is my hope always - that all of us are empowered by the Femme's we are and by one another. That we do NOT ever allow someone to get away with dis-empowering us.

And I challenge any person to call me "crusty." Perhaps though, it will be a great day in my life, when I have this descriptor thrown on me. It will mean, I have lived.

Julie
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:14 AM   #45
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I believe the bottom line falls on ourselves.
We can allow ageism, sexism, misogyny and all the other negatives to influence our lives.

None of us are better than the other... As Medusa said (without quoting) We all bring something valuable to the table.

It is my hope always - that all of us are empowered by the Femme's we are and by one another. That we do NOT ever allow someone to get away with dis-empowering us.

And I challenge any person to call me "crusty." Perhaps though, it will be a great day in my life, when I have this descriptor thrown on me. It will mean, I have lived.

Julie
Yes!!!

I have a hope as well. I sincerely hope that the young femmes do have more privilege than i had.

My hope is that *our* existance in this world is way more than self appropriating. I hope that we have, even in some small way, smoothed the path, added an additional stone on the yellow brick road, attended a gathering standing proud to be a femme, forged an accepting thought from others, signed at least one petition for human/femme/any ID's rights that actually helped broaden the world's acceptance. I hope that we have some how made the journey a tiny bit easier, a little more obvious that we exist, and have shined a little light toward the beautiful ID of femmes for the younger generation.

For all of the hard times *we* have shared, the fights for identifications and self-recognition, standing proud with our brothers/sisters and being heard, it was worth it for ourselves as well as providing a beacon for the young, ever evolving femmes.

Just as the ones before us have done and just as these femmes will do for the next generation.

That is my hope.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:07 PM   #46
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Yes!!!

I have a hope as well. I sincerely hope that the young femmes do have more privilege than i had.

My hope is that *our* existance in this world is way more than self appropriating. I hope that we have, even in some small way, smoothed the path, added an additional stone on the yellow brick road, attended a gathering standing proud to be a femme, forged an accepting thought from others, signed at least one petition for human/femme/any ID's rights that actually helped broaden the world's acceptance. I hope that we have some how made the journey a tiny bit easier, a little more obvious that we exist, and have shined a little light toward the beautiful ID of femmes for the younger generation.

For all of the hard times *we* have shared, the fights for identifications and self-recognition, standing proud with our brothers/sisters and being heard, it was worth it for ourselves as well as providing a beacon for the young, ever evolving femmes.

Just as the ones before us have done and just as these femmes will do for the next generation.

That is my hope.
I was thinking about this very thing just the other day after shopping in a vintage clothing store with a femme friend. We found a fluttery pink chiffon skirt with pink spangles, and it was her size. She really wanted to buy it, and we had a fascinating discussion about how very transgressive it would be for her to wear it. We called it 'the skirt one must not wear'. This skirt would have been sooooo off limits to any lesbian when I was in my twenties. Had I shown up to any of our events in such a thing I would have been the object of derision, and I probably wouldn't have gotten laid for the rest of the decade. Even though my friend is 10 years younger than I, she's certainly felt the judgement of many a lesbian for her interest in all things girlie. Not to the extent I would have of course, but enough. She ended up not buying the skirt, but only because she couldn't find a blouse that would match. When she put it back on the rack she commented that a 20 something femme with no idea that the skirt represented anything or was in any way transgressive would happily buy it and wear it for her Daddy, conflict-free.

It took me a day or two to realize that this reality for many young femmes, that they can express themselves without the judgement and conflict those of my generation experienced, is an awesome gift that we've given to them. I don't personally care whether or not any one of them recognises it as such. I'm quite certain that I took many things for granted when I was in my 20s, and those advances had been purchased in blood by my forebears.

I'm not sure what this has to do with femme privilege. Probably not much at all. My point is that whether or not we're privileged over butches, or any other stripe of our communities, we still face and fight our own battles. This is one battle that seems to have had a wonderful outcome.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #47
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I didn't have a privileged life. I'm privileged as I'm white, I'm pretty, I pass as middle-class, no one questions my intelligence (except older white heterosexual males), no one bars my way as I walk into the bathroom and most believe me to be better educated than I am.

I don't consider 'passing' as straight to be a privilege aside from the bathroom privilege it accords me. I definitely didn't consider appearing 'straight' to be a privilege when I was trying to get laid on the gay scene. Nor is being pretty much of a privilege when you're young, gay and fending off misogynistic male attention.

I didn't have a privileged life at all, but I accept that in many ways I have been very lucky.
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:20 PM   #48
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Just a few thoughts. One cannot fake being a femme, nor can one fake being a butch.

Take a femme, throw her in a flannel shirt, dirty jeans and work boots and she will still scream femme. Take a butch, tie her down and put a dress on her and she will still scream butch, no? I know that if I was forced into a dress I would look like a straight man pretending to be a transvestite.

A femme friend once said that she felt a sense of femme anti- privilege, or disadvantage for lack of a better word, because she often saw butches in the public giving each other the “hey dude” acknowledgment look.

She said it was hard for her to get butches to ever ask her out unless she was at a gay event, etc. She said it was a hard to get butches to pay attention to her in public and that other femmes had the same issue. This gave me pause.

So, like an idiot, as an experiment I began to ask women who seemed to be flirting with me (in non-gay places) out for coffee, just to see what would happen. Every single time I got a stunned look and was politely turned down. LOL. Now, sure , maybe I am beastly in every way and that was why I was turned down each time, but I sort of doubt it. I think the women were just straight. After being turned down so often in non-gay places I can see why femmes have a tough time getting butch attention.

I suspect each has its advantages or privileges, and the opposite.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #49
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I really don't know if I am completely on track here, but when I was reading I couldn't help thinking of some of the experiences that I have had as a femminine woman. The things I do know are that pretty things make me happy. The fancier the dress the happier I am. I feel like a child at Christmas and my eyes light up when I see something beautiful. I so enjoy the feminine side of me and I indulge it as often and as much as I can. (on a budget) lol.
There is alot of happiness for me being femme and truly living as the woman that I am.
However, that is not to say that there are no negative things that are involved. I have been shunned by other femme women. There are the incidences of partners friends whispering to my partner "Are you sure you wanna deal with this, she is high maintainence" as if this was an insult to who I am. My own family teases me because I dress up when going to dinner. My personality is quite down to earth if given the chance. Why judge the cover? I just wanna be me. I have experienced the defending of a partner when they are entering a women's restroom.... I have felt invisible a good part of my adult life. My last relationship (which was 7 yrs) ended in part because I was only a supporting role, a trophy (per se) to have on hys arm...
Privledged, possibly... I would prefer to think of it as we all have our own burdens. I don't know if mine are bigger than hers or hys all I know is that throughout all of these experiences I have grown stronger and learned to be okay with who I am, how I dress and what makes me me.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:50 PM   #50
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Just a few thoughts. One cannot fake being a femme, nor can one fake being a butch.

Take a femme, throw her in a flannel shirt, dirty jeans and work boots and she will still scream femme. Take a butch, tie her down and put a dress on her and she will still scream butch, no? I know that if I was forced into a dress I would look like a straight man pretending to be a transvestite.

A femme friend once said that she felt a sense of femme anti- privilege, or disadvantage for lack of a better word, because she often saw butches in the public giving each other the “hey dude” acknowledgment look.

She said it was hard for her to get butches to ever ask her out unless she was at a gay event, etc. She said it was a hard to get butches to pay attention to her in public and that other femmes had the same issue. This gave me pause.

So, like an idiot, as an experiment I began to ask women who seemed to be flirting with me (in non-gay places) out for coffee, just to see what would happen. Every single time I got a stunned look and was politely turned down. LOL. Now, sure , maybe I am beastly in every way and that was why I was turned down each time, but I sort of doubt it. I think the women were just straight. After being turned down so often in non-gay places I can see why femmes have a tough time getting butch attention.

I suspect each has its advantages or privileges, and the opposite.
True, but what about eye-contact first? If you lock eyes first, then you pretty much know how she feels. Around here butches seem to glance and wait for you to notice them. If you do they have the confidence to give that little smile and then if you wait around long enough you get approached.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:42 PM   #51
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Just a few thoughts. One cannot fake being a femme, nor can one fake being a butch.

Take a femme, throw her in a flannel shirt, dirty jeans and work boots and she will still scream femme. Take a butch, tie her down and put a dress on her and she will still scream butch, no? I know that if I was forced into a dress I would look like a straight man pretending to be a transvestite.

A femme friend once said that she felt a sense of femme anti- privilege, or disadvantage for lack of a better word, because she often saw butches in the public giving each other the “hey dude” acknowledgment look.

She said it was hard for her to get butches to ever ask her out unless she was at a gay event, etc. She said it was a hard to get butches to pay attention to her in public and that other femmes had the same issue. This gave me pause.

So, like an idiot, as an experiment I began to ask women who seemed to be flirting with me (in non-gay places) out for coffee, just to see what would happen. Every single time I got a stunned look and was politely turned down. LOL. Now, sure , maybe I am beastly in every way and that was why I was turned down each time, but I sort of doubt it. I think the women were just straight. After being turned down so often in non-gay places I can see why femmes have a tough time getting butch attention.

I suspect each has its advantages or privileges, and the opposite.
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True, but what about eye-contact first? If you lock eyes first, then you pretty much know how she feels. Around here butches seem to glance and wait for you to notice them. If you do they have the confidence to give that little smile and then if you wait around long enough you get approached.

Well, I hear you about the eye-contact thing. Perhaps in NJ it is different.

About two weeks ago I was in Dunkin Donuts and it was late at night and two nurses in scrubs were getting coffee. I was next to them getting my own coffee, when the dark-haired one began chatting me up. I chatted back. She was kind of nice and seemed like she could have been a femme lesbian, but it was hard to tell since she and her friend were both wearing scrubs.

I got the feeling she was flirting with me. Normally, I am sort of dense about such things, but I have been lacking a femme in my life, missing that pleasant femme energy a lot lately and so I am more aware of its absence, I guess.

She and her friend received their stuff and I said to her, "I'd be happy to get that for you ladies", holding out a bill in their server's direction. She said "Oh, uh,..." and she stammered and looked at her friend. I added, "Might I get those coffees for you?" She finally said, "Oh, no, no. Thanks anyway. We have it." I said "OK", paid for my coffee and left.

Now, I could interpret that interaction in a few ways. My best friend, a femme by the way, made a disparaging remark about straight women who enjoy flirting with butches when I recounted this tale to her. Maybe she was just a friendly woman who was not flirting at all. Who knows?

Until I am coupled, I will continue, on those rare occasions, to make friendly gestures to women who appear to flirt with me in public.

It's kind of fun, in a strange, character-stretching way, to be shot down in public. After all, a loaded gun, once properly disassembled, is rendered impotent. The same holds true for defeat.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:58 PM   #52
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Lightbulb Or..

Maybe she was flirting, and was confused or put off how that equaled getting her coffee payed for. Maybe next time slip her your number unnoticed.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:34 PM   #53
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It's kind of fun, in a strange, character-stretching way, to be shot down in public.
How do you know you were shot down? She said no, you paid and left.

She could have very well been flirting because she was interested, but maybe she felt uncomfortable because she was with a co-worker/friend. You may have been able to continue to chat while she was waiting. You don't really know for sure whether you were shot down or not.

I personally don't allow anyone I don't know buy my coffee or anything else for that matter, even if it was a hot butch and I was single. Makes me uncomfortable; nothing personal against anyone.

What do you think you would have done if she said yes? Would that say to you that she is interested?
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:39 PM   #54
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Maybe she was flirting, and was confused or put off how that equaled getting her coffee payed for. Maybe next time slip her your number unnoticed.
calling them 'ladies' might not be a good idea either.......

I don't let random folks I am talking to in a line buy me coffee or anything else...........
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:08 PM   #55
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calling them 'ladies' might not be a good idea either.......

I don't let random folks I am talking to in a line buy me coffee or anything else...........


Toughy, that's a whoooole fucking other thread I tell ya!
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Last edited by The_Lady_Snow; 09-18-2012 at 06:09 PM. Reason: Bumped arm
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:53 PM   #56
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Toughy, that's a whoooole fucking other thread I tell ya!
ain't it the truth.......
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:59 PM   #57
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Well, I hear you about the eye-contact thing. Perhaps in NJ it is different.

About two weeks ago I was in Dunkin Donuts and it was late at night and two nurses in scrubs were getting coffee. I was next to them getting my own coffee, when the dark-haired one began chatting me up. I chatted back. She was kind of nice and seemed like she could have been a femme lesbian, but it was hard to tell since she and her friend were both wearing scrubs.

I got the feeling she was flirting with me. Normally, I am sort of dense about such things, but I have been lacking a femme in my life, missing that pleasant femme energy a lot lately and so I am more aware of its absence, I guess.

She and her friend received their stuff and I said to her, "I'd be happy to get that for you ladies", holding out a bill in their server's direction. She said "Oh, uh,..." and she stammered and looked at her friend. I added, "Might I get those coffees for you?" She finally said, "Oh, no, no. Thanks anyway. We have it." I said "OK", paid for my coffee and left.

Now, I could interpret that interaction in a few ways. My best friend, a femme by the way, made a disparaging remark about straight women who enjoy flirting with butches when I recounted this tale to her. Maybe she was just a friendly woman who was not flirting at all. Who knows?

Until I am coupled, I will continue, on those rare occasions, to make friendly gestures to women who appear to flirt with me in public.

It's kind of fun, in a strange, character-stretching way, to be shot down in public. After all, a loaded gun, once properly disassembled, is rendered impotent. The same holds true for defeat.
Goodlooking, hot, very sweet-appearing butch, or not; no stranger buys me anything.

Very nicely, however, I would have said: "Thanks very much but I have this". If said butch was pleasant about it, I might have said, "But I have time to sit and drink some of my coffee with you, if you would like to chat".

Would you have said, OK or "I would like that"?
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:09 PM   #58
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I'm curious as to why people feel uncomfortable about accepting a cup of coffee from a stranger. I have bought for and accepted various things from strangers.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:10 PM   #59
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Just a few thoughts. One cannot fake being a femme, nor can one fake being a butch.

Take a femme, throw her in a flannel shirt, dirty jeans and work boots and she will still scream femme.
I had to chuckle at this, remembering my pathetic attempts to do the flannel-shirt short-haired dyke routine. Maybe the dangly earrings were the problem?!?

Someone else in this thread commented about the issues the older femmes faces in the lesbian community. I started going to "lesbians united" meetings in 1979 in Dayton Ohio, and would go there right after work wearing a dress, with long hair and nothing at all about me that (to them) said "lesbian" and they didn't hesitate to tell me so - sometimes with a level of sheer meanness that makes me so amazed that I didn't just run away and stay away.

So to take it back to the point about privilege, I really do get that from the bigger picture, femmes do enjoy the privilege of "passing" but I would challenge that as a privilege. Let's put it a different way: Would I consider it a privilege that I "pass" as a Jew and people presume I'm Christian? Would I consider it a privilege if my biracial granddaughter "passed" as white? I don't know that passing as a privileged class of people is in itself a privilege FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL. There is an advantage to being able to walk into a room and have people know something about you that's an important part of your identity without your having to say a word. I can only come out by deliberate action: Telling someone that I'm gay walking on the arm of a handsome butch, for example. There's very little feeling of privilege in having to always correct people's assumptions of being straight and Christian.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #60
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I'm curious as to why people feel uncomfortable about accepting a cup of coffee from a stranger. I have bought for and accepted various things from strangers.
cuz my momma didn't raise no fool.........laughin.........

don't take candy from strangers........
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