In this new configuration of butch and femme, it was acceptable, even desirable, to have femme-femme sexual and romantic pairings. This usually limited them to a few jobs, such as factory work and cab driving, that had no dress codes for women. This dress was very similar to butch dress, weakening a key identifier of butch lesbians. It is not uncommon for women with a butch appearance to face harassment or violence.
Lesbians who are unisex and neither butch nor femme are called "androgynous" or "andros". For example, Susie Bright , the founder of On Our Backs , the first lesbian sex periodical of its kind, identifies as femme. This dress was very similar to butch dress, weakening a key identifier of butch lesbians. A masculine person of any gender can be described as butch, even though it is more common to use the term towards females with more masculine traits. Femmes gained value as their own lesbian gender, making it possible to exist separately from butches. The term boi is typically used by younger LGBT women. Rush reported that women held strong opinions, that "role distinctions needed to be sharply drawn," and that not being one or the other earned strong disapproval from both groups. Although femmes also fought back, it became primarily the role of butches to defend against attacks and hold the bars as gay women's space. By daring to be publicly attracted to butch women, femmes reflected their own sexual difference and made the butch a known subject of desire. In these excluded communities, butch-femme roles persisted and grew throughout the s. On the other hand, the writer Jewelle Gomez muses that butch and femme women in the earlier twentieth century may have been expressing their closeted transgender identity. The s saw the rise of a new generation of butches who refused to live double lives and wore butch attire full-time, or as close to full-time as possible. Femme Like the term "butch," femme can be used as an adjective or a noun. The femme lesbian historian Joan Nestle argues that femme and butch may be seen as distinct genders in and of themselves. Because they do not express masculine qualities, femmes were particularly vexing to sexologists and psychoanalysts who wanted to argue that all lesbians wished to be men. It is not uncommon for women with a butch appearance to face harassment or violence. In the first half of the twentieth century, when butch-femme gender roles were constrained to the underground bar scene, femmes were considered invisible without a butch partner - that is, they could pass as straight because of their gender conformity. A woman who likes to receive and not give sexually is called a "pillow queen". Lesbian separatists such as Sheila Jeffreys argued that all forms of masculinity, including masculine butch women, were negative and harmful to women. Gender expressions outside of the norm prevented assimilation. They tend to be influenced by urban and hip-hop cultures and are often, but not always, Afro-American. To me, butch is like an adult In , filmmaker Daniel Peddle chronicled the lives of AGs in his documentary The Aggressives , following six women who went to lengths like binding their breasts to pass as men. This was especially true in relation to the butch identity, as the organization held the belief that assimilation into heterosexual society was the goal of the homophile movement. Instead, they argue that gender is socially and historically constructed, rather than essential, "natural", or biological. She believes the link between appearance and gender performance and one's sexuality should be disrupted, because the way someone looks should not define their sexuality. In her article, Somerson also clearly talks about how within the lesbian community some are considered more masculine than others.
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