Butch and femme  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Butch and femme are terms often used in the lesbian and gay subcultures to describe a person's approximate adherence of traditional masculine and feminine gender roles respectively, within a same-sex relationship, or to describe an individual generally.

Butch and femme attributes

These terms often describe lesbians, though the term butch is also used for gay men also. Butch can entail short-cropped hair, overtly masculine clothes including posibly military dress, attitude involving deliberate machismo, chivalry, or sometimes rudeness. Femme can entail long or femininely styled hair, feminine clothing and/or attitude.

Gay men who adopt typically butch roles may be termed "bears". Those who may be more "femme", may be described as "flamers". Femme lesbians are sometimes described as "lipstick lesbian", and conversely butch lesbians may be described as a "bulldyke" or simply just "dyke", though the latter usage has widened to encompass lesbians generally.

Despite this, lesbians or gay men are not always strictly beholden to being nor do adopt strictly butch or strictly femme roles. Some may adopt elements of both. Relationships are not always butch/femme either, though these forms of relationships of course do exist. Many butch gay men will only date other masculine men, though others prefer femme men. Among homosexuals the practices of 'femme on femme' and 'butch on butch' sex preferences are sometimes repressed by cultural mores.

Many young people today eschew butch or femme classifications, believing that they are inadequate to describe an individual, or that labels are limiting in and of themselves.

See also

See also

Butch-Femme Writers and Activists




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Butch and femme" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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