The old adage applies: You know her when you see her. Butch is an aesthetic, but it also conveys an attitude and energy. Because part of being butch is owning it, the whole aura around it. What does owning it look like? Decades before genderless fashion became its own style , butches were wearing denim and white tees, leather jackets and work boots, wallet chains and gold necklaces.
The Butches and Studs Who’ve Defied the Male Gaze and Redefined Culture
Butch and femme - Wikipedia
There are so many harmful lesbian stereotypes, and in particular those surrounding 'butch' lesbian women. That's why these awesome women who self-identify as butch are speaking about their relationship and sex roles, they want to break down those tired old stereotypes. Explaining what most people imagine butch lesbians enjoy sex-wise, one woman said, "I think people think butch lesbians are always the more dominant partner in the bedroom. They always assume we like to put on strap-ons or we only like to do the penetrating and not receive. Another woman, who identifies as a soft butch who is in touch with both her masculine and feminine sides said people assume butches are always "on top", "in control" and "the aggressor.
These women are challenging 'butch' stereotypes by speaking about their roles in the bedroom
Human Rights Watch examined the treatment of female students both by peers and administrators, how lesbians may have experienced harassment differently than gay students, and how students who are or are perceived to be transgender were treated. It quickly became obvious from our research that the abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth is predicated on the belief that girls and boys must strictly adhere to rigid rules of conduct, dress, and appearances based on their sex. For boys, that means they must be athletic, strong, sexist, and hide their emotions. For girls, that means they must be attentive to and flirtatious with boys and must accept a subordinate status to boys. Regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, youth who violate these rules are punished by their peers and too often by adults.
Being butch is about playing with and challenging traditional binary male and female gender roles and expressions. Yet butches have been around, challenging societal understandings of gender roles, across cultures and throughout history. Butch is not just one thing, as most queer cultures across the globe have their own variation of the term specific to their own social context such as location, race and class. She was a 19th century landowner, industrialist and adventurer, whose diaries recorded her relationships with multiple women. She presented in male clothing and occupied male spaces afforded to her by her wealth and social standing.