In response to bugbrennan's blog on:
This is about identifying as Females First, the usual Female issues are trotted out: abortions, pregnancy and access to birth control, while the latter issues that correlate to Butch Dykes are considered an 'identity group' and yet those issues could apply to all Females and especially those who don't conform to heterosexist female roles, I argue that it is as important to me to see MY issues represented as much as the issues that don't affect me personally first and foremost. I have no intention to get pregnant, practice birth control or have an abortion, while these ARE important issues to all who retain a working fertile female body, my sexuality is 100% Lesbian, and my first concern sexually for myself would be safe sex with anyone beyond my primary partner, and my ability to be treated equally in a world that completely invisibilizes my needs as a Butch Dyke Female, mostly, the ability to work, get and keep a steady job and make a living, be treated equally and fairly on that job, to move through the world without harassment, violence or threats or being made fun of by either men or hetero women for not conforming to their idea of patriarchal womonhood, ect. This does not just apply to a Sister Dyke like BugBrennan who I do greatly respect, but to how heterosexual women treat Butch Dykes, and constantly dismiss our issues, much less Lesbians who also dismiss some of our issues who can pass for straight. I just experienced all this at a yearly women's conference I attended this past weekend which I may go into further later on.
So here's my response to her blog:
"Wow, great post. But nonetheless as a Butch Dyke Female, it IS important I have a group representing who I am as a Butch Dyke FEMALE. And to have solidarity with other Butches who throw their lot in with all of womonkind, instead of escaping it as so many are pushing away the Female/woman label. Because when people talk of feminism and women’s rights, it always seems to be HETEROSEXUAL womens’ rights, abortion/prochoice, childraising, relationships to M E N, even though others may think they’re ‘Lesbians’ if they aren’t in their straitjacketed feminine roles and are advocating for other Females first and foremost. For us, as Lesbians it is necessary to do so for our survival. For us as Butch FEMALES it is even more necessary when literally Butches are being pushed out of the Female realm and identifying as male/genderqueer/ftm/trans but NOT as a woman, and where the word ‘woman’ in the queer community is seen as a dirtier and dirtier word, even though they are coming together in basically bio female to female sexual relationships. As Butches we are so often told by the straight world “you just want to be a man”, and now we are being told the same by the queer world: “you must be a man.”
I could say, ‘abortion is not really MY issue, it certainly isn’t my primary issue” and that is totally true. Access to equal pay for equal work, equal opportunity, freedom from male violence and harassment and discrimination, as a Butch, as a woman and as a large woman are the biggest levels of discrimination I find in the outside world….first as a woman, but in that, other women are hired, and then I’m percieved as a large Butch woman….and they make an issue of my size, whereas with a guy they wouldn’t, and NEVER would they say because I’m a Butch Dyke, so which is it????It’s all three……sex, size, and sexual orientation/nonfeminine presentation…..the interplay of the three. Also I want the right to stay married to my Butch Dyke partner, and she works in an all female field and is hugely oppressed in opportunities, raises and advancement BECAUSE she is a Butch Dyke, BY OTHER HETEROSEXUAL FEMININE WOMEN!! We BOTH
suffer in the workplace, access to work in the first place(getting hired, me), her in advancement, raises, being treated fairly and opportunities BECAUSE OF BEING BUTCH LESBIANS….
So, for a feminism that works for me, I don’t want to be lumped in with straight women issues, except as pertains to ALL women/females moving ahead. I WANT MY issues taken as seriously as straight women have their issues taken. And it is one reason that Black Feminists and Black Lesbians started their own womanist movement to have their particular issues addressed as well. So if the personal is political and the political is personal, there has to be a two way flow with our commonalities AND our differences acknowledged and VALUED, because there are some of us as one kind or another as further minorities of womonhood that have the boot even harder on our necks, while other women who are more conventional and have more privilege do get the opportunities over us and get to move ahead, sometimes on our backs!"