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Old 10-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #21
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Arrow WOOF

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Originally Posted by Martina View Post
Re June Cleaver, I would do her. I would lift that shirt dress over her head and . . . .


OMGAY!

I so wanted to go there, but I was attempting to be a tiny bit conservative. HA!!! I love it.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #22
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:41 PM   #23
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Coming back with one more... and I'll probably be back again...

Part of the journey in my figuring it out too has been figuring out how to accept from a butch. Things like, well no shit, of course I can open that door. I could install it too. But you are opening it for me because it's part of who you are and it makes you feel good and that makes me feel good too. It's the flip side of my smoothing the collar and slipping the love note in the lunch box. This moves far beyond the opening of the door scenario of course- and I think it's an important part in not just figuring out how we give as femmes, but also how we receive without it falling into a possible preconceived notion or media fed role model.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:41 PM   #24
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The best part of the 50's were the pin-ups.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:42 PM   #25
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Arrow Thoughts

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Originally Posted by guihong View Post
I was thinking of two other TV women from around the same time who may seem almost the opposite-Lily Munster and Morticia Addams. Ignoring the fact that their houses were supposed to look like that, each prided themselves on the appearance of their homes (well, Morticia had servants). Both were devoted mothers, and Lily was often a font of wisdom for her niece, Marilyn (who was far closer to the "ideal" 60's woman).

It's interesting, maybe only to me, that Lily was one of the few TV wives who was portrayed as being more decisive and perhaps smarter than her husband. She swung into effective action to try to get the family out of a jam of Herman's making. Both of them, but especially Morticia, brought sex appeal back. She wasn't afraid to show "heat" with Gomez.

Maybe the only way TV mothers and wives could be that sexy and independent was to be almost freakish and foreign, especially to the "normal" people around them.

Yet none of the women portraying a more powerful role in the relationship is upheld as a model or example of what Femme should be, as a matter of fact it's dismissed, nose wrinkled at and pushed aside for a more softer version of Femme.

Women who are empowered are spoken to different, treated different, objectified differently, and put into a less than hole than the softer version.


It's engrained sexism, that we as Femmes are engrained with. I could be wrong though, I don't think so though.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:19 PM   #26
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The best part of the 50's were the pin-ups.
Yes! Yes! I totally agree!

I loved how voluptuous they were! Yum
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #27
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Arrow Question 7 & 8

7. Do you even care who she is or what she seems to stand for?



I know who she is, and sometimes what she supposedly stands for makes me tilt my head and wonder WTF.

It's not because I scoff at the chosen dynamics and desires of others, it's because when she is placed in a Femme identity I am like wait! She's not, she was a straight woman, not queer so for me in regards to my gender the comparison does not compute and it makes me twitch. The epitomy is perpetuated that a white woman is more valuable and that too makes me a lil uneasy. It's hard, it's hard to admit an almost twinge of insecurity that surges through me.







8. How does this affect you as a Femme of Color?




It pisses me off, it makes me want to cry and it makes me sometimes wish I wasn't who I am. It's a struggle and it's an inner fight with myself of when to speak up and share my thoughts about it or just keep my mouth shut and share them with people who are willing to have those kinds of conversations, to examine and deconstruct what the issues and ism's that are so deeply embedded in what defines a "good Femme".

Latinas are starved for role models, wide hips, large nalgas, a strong dominant side swirled into Feminine markers.

Carmen San Diego is a good Latina role model, yet she's not continually used as a Latina model. Ugly Betty was someone who we could look up to but yet at the same time she was called "Ugly" and with time her body image and things changed to fit a "better" look.

Rosario Dawson, you would think her being so deeply involved in Vote Latino that you would see images of her continuously flashed before our eyes or that Femme be risen up to that imagery of what can be and is.

So I struggle some days more than others. I'd like it more and yes this is me wishing out loud that instead of comparing Femme to June a straight woman that for once someone would rise Femme to (insert someone else a woman of color at least) so that I could at least get it that way.

It's a struggle to put what I am thinking into words so but I promise I am trying and thinking really hard before I post.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:22 PM   #28
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OMGAY!

I so wanted to go there, but I was attempting to be a tiny bit conservative. HA!!! I love it.
Seriously, she could be a sports dyke.

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Old 10-26-2012, 05:26 PM   #29
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Seriously, she could be a sports dyke.



She reminds me of the church ladies at Sacred Heart. I think it's the pearls, damn those pearls!!
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:30 PM   #30
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i am so very happy to have missed the part where somebody brought up june cleaver as a role model. (although i guess in the old-fashioned thread and other threads that might have been an undertone in the conversation.) cause that gets me about fifty different kinds of pissed.

to me, there is no way she is a femme role model because she is straight and she is the paragon of heteronormativity. to me, being femme is largely about interpreting femininity in ways that are queer and subversive. being femme, for me, is about resisting colonialism and sexism. i don't see june cleaver as queer or subversive...i see the whole 1950s housewife thing as straight up sexist and colonialist. although i know some people who claim nowadays that they identify very strongly with the 1950s housewife thing because they find it subversive...i sure as hell don't.

i'm indigenous and poor and i was raised by a family full of single mothers. nobody wore heels or aprons. i don't think my mom ever baked a batch of cookies in her life. the idea that somebody like june cleaver is supposed to be a role model to me is really offensive and fucking disgusting, to be honest with you.

i love taking care of people and sometimes service as a form of play can be hot, though not necessarily in a heteronormative/1950s context.

my femme role models are mostly other queer/trans* disabled femmes of color and indigenous femmes. and working & hustling class femmes.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:37 PM   #31
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to me, being femme is largely about interpreting femininity in ways that are queer and subversive.
It is not to me. My femininity is really very like my mother's. I actually do feel that it connects me to straight women in many ways, and I celebrate that. I actually think it's dangerous to repudiate that. But that's another thread. (I actually wrote a paper on this, which I presented to a bored crowd at the first femme conference. It's a pet peeve of mine.)
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:41 PM   #32
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It is not to me. My femininity is really very like my mother's. I actually do feel that it connects me to straight women in many ways, and I celebrate that. I actually think it's dangerous to repudiate that. But that's another thread. (I actually wrote a paper on this, which I presented to a bored crowd at the first femme conference. It's a pet peeve of mine.)
i'd be interested to hear more of your thoughts on that. i definitely don't ever see my views on this changing but i'm curious to know how others understand femme for themselves.

i don't think any one view of femme should be or is universal, but for me at least, june cleaver as a paragon of what it means to be femme is absolutely fucked up. and really soul crushing. i'm glad some people see it differently...femme can hold so many different meanings for different people. but for me, to embrace june cleaver as a role model would be dangerous. not the other way around.

(i guess in many ways my femininity is like my mother's, too, but my mother was the antithesis of june cleaver, LOL.)
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:42 PM   #33
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June Cleaver?..funny I grew wishing my mom could be..she was the only mom on our block divorced & working..a distinction which upset my world in so many ways..June, was a tv ideal and fun to watch as a kid and forget childhood woes and when i had my babies I have to admit I would ask myself from time to time "What would June Cleaver do?" It brought back memories of home, having grown up, I realized it was more perfect then I gave it credit for back then..I don't believe there is anything too wrong with having an ideal especially if you're not sure what it is you want..it's a good place to start, but that's all..at some point we grow up and realize we can shape our destiny, we can imagine & be whoever we want to be..then it's all about energy (given time)..(imo)
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #34
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When I think of June Cleaver in this context, I think only of what has become the iconic image. Mostly her appearance/style, and then the “Martha Stewart” qualities that others have mentioned. I’ve never thought of her as a Femme role model or ideal. It’s all about personal preference, choice, and point of view.

When I was coming up and out, it was sort of at the tail-end of lesbian feminism’s androgyny days - the time when rejecting all traditional gender roles and hetero-normative expectations was required or one risked ridicule and alienation. But there was that butch-femme pulse underneath all along and I picked up on it right away. I felt at home with it – I felt subversive.

To me June Cleaver represents subversion. Because I took their straight-laced, heterosexual icon and turned her into a deviant. At least when I am channeling her, she is deviant. It’s a sort-of reclaiming of femininity and certain other qualities but then using them as I wish – NOT how they are prescribed or forced upon me nonconsensually.

I can cook a great meal and keep a nice home, and look fabulous doing it. Because I want to. Until I don’t want to – then June gets put away. Maybe I’ll pull out her apron and heels later for fun – I’m sure Ward and June never dreamed of some of the things that will happen next. Subversive, I tell you.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:14 PM   #35
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The wife I wanted to be was Nora Charles from The Thin Man series. I think I wrote about this before on another thread. Maybe on the other site. Anyway, she is beautiful. They are in love. And she is dignified and lady like, but they party constantly and she is a total smart-ass. It was unheard of for those things to come together. Well, not unheard of. Of course, that was the thirties and forties, better times for depictions of women in film.

But I loved the fact that she was rich and her husband wasn't. Although there was a class difference, which they played with, she was never a snob. They occasionally -- well, often -- made fun of her attempts to solve crimes, but her guesses often lead her husband to the real killer.

What I liked about Nora was that she was grown up and married, but she was still having FUN. You never saw women like that. She was surrounded by chaos, dressed in silk and fur, drinking and laughing and happily in love. I was like, "That's the way to do it." Much later, I learned that the character was based on Lillian Hellman.

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Old 10-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #36
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Yeah, my mother, not June Cleaver. What I was disagreeing with -- for me -- was femme as by definition subversive, femme as performing femininity free from sexism and oppression (would that were true). That shit gets way old.

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Originally Posted by aishah View Post
i'd be interested to hear more of your thoughts on that. i definitely don't ever see my views on this changing but i'm curious to know how others understand femme for themselves.

i don't think any one view of femme should be or is universal, but for me at least, june cleaver as a paragon of what it means to be femme is absolutely fucked up. and really soul crushing. i'm glad some people see it differently...femme can hold so many different meanings for different people. but for me, to embrace june cleaver as a role model would be dangerous. not the other way around.

(i guess in many ways my femininity is like my mother's, too, but my mother was the antithesis of june cleaver, LOL.)
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Martina View Post
Yeah, my mother, not June Cleaver. What I was disagreeing with -- for me -- was femme as by definition subversive, femme as performing femininity free from sexism and oppression (would that were true). That shit gets way old.
okay, i'm trying to wrap my head around that. i don't think it's possible to perform femininity (or anything) free from sexism and oppression. i also don't necessarily see being femme as a performance but as an identity. but as someone who has experienced being shamed a LOT for being femme, among other things, to celebrate queer femininity as a form of resistance is empowering - to me, anyway.

in another thread (i don't remember which), there was a discussion of butch as a form of queer masculinity (specifically as butch being -queer- masculinity). in a world where sexism, transmisogyny, and heteronormativity are what is celebrated and what we are measured against as human beings, personally, i'm not interested in celebrating or embodying more of the same.

i'm even more disgusted by june cleaver as an icon in particular because she is white and middle/upper class, and honestly, as a poor indigenous woman, it gets REALLY fucking old to be compared or measured against some sort of white middle/upper class feminine ideal. i mean, it makes me REALLY sick. because that shit has been going on forever and it is disgusting and it is everywhere and it is pushed on me all the time. fuck that.

edited to add: i would rather celebrate leah lakshmi piepzna-samarasinha, aurora levins morales, audre lorde, june jordan, frida kahlo, minnie bruce pratt, chrystos, or any number of other femmes who have lives and experiences that in some way resemble my own, and who are doing really amazing shit for themselves and their communities. not a woman who i've always been told i (and women like me) should kill ourselves to be like and who i could never possibly measure up to even if i really wanted to.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:46 PM   #38
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I get that. But I don't want to define myself as femme in OPPOSITION to straight women or feminine lesbians. I don't want to lose my solidarity with them. I also think some of them are doing incredible things to create a space where femininity is powerful. I want to acknowledge that we are in this together. I am not better or substantially different because I am queer.

Also it's perfectly fine -- imo -- to wear your femininity in a comfortable way, in a non-transgressive, this is how my mother did it, way. That's good too. My femmeness is not any more transgressive than many straight women's. I learn a lot from them. I am in it with them. That's how I feel.

I do not think queer femmes say this as much as they used to, but it used to be in every statement of we are fabulous femmes, this is who we are. Not so much anymore, thank heavens.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:49 PM   #39
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Good Gods i love this thread.

i've only read the first few posts and want to thank everyone for posting.

i just realized that when i was a kid, watching that show, was such a fantasy for me, and an escape.

i don't want to sound like i am complaining about my childhood but my family was the complete opposite of all of those shows, the Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, Family Affair, whatever was on i watched it if there was a family involved. i loved and hated all of the characters.

My parents were alcoholics and all that came with it. My parents were angry and the violence in our home was a daily thing. In these shows the parents nurtured, were respectful and didn't scream at each other or beat the kids to the point where they couldn't go to school. Ward didn't come home drunk from the bar and verbally and physically abuse the entire family. Ohhh what an episode that would have made! The kids on TV had friends over, and nice lunches made for them, family dinners. We were lucky if there was a potato for all of us at the table at dinner. Just once i wished my mom would talk to me like June did, soft and caring, not angry and spiteful. Dinner time at my house was so stressful i couldn't eat and was a very thin, sickly kid. Our hood was nothing like where the Cleaver's lived. i armed myself at a young age to get to school, and while at school.

For me that was the attraction as a kid, a way to escape. At the time i was not thinking of oppression, suppression, privilege, classism, sexism etc. but then again i was just a little kid. My world consisted of walking on eggshells and staying out of the way.

i haven't decided what the attraction for me as an adult is, but i sure love sporting an apron, being a homemaker and not an angry pissed off drinking and two fisted smoking one.

Maybe i shared too much, if so i am sorry!
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:51 PM   #40
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I loved your post, Dee. Didn't quote it all cause that annoys me, but wanted to cheerlead outside of the thanking feature.
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