Monday, January 30, 2006

ponderances

Here's what I've been thinking about today: Does the lesbian community perpetuate our own stereotypes in terms of appearance? I go to queer events, and a lot (not all, but a lot) of women there are people who, if I saw them on the street, I'd think "Oh, a dyke." I wonder if that's what we've currently been acculturated to think is sexy, and so everybody keeps striving to look somewhat similar. Or maybe it's just a good way of identifying yourself without having to say anything. I remember when I was a lot younger (early high school perhaps) I thought it would be really sucky to be gay because it would be so hard to meet people, because how could you tell? And wouldn't it be embarrassing and even potentially dangerous to ask someone out and find out they were straight? But if you can look at someone and pretty much tell (or think you can, anyway) that makes things a lot easier. It makes us a visible community.
Also, what does actually androgeny look like? I have a hard time picturing a truly androgenous person. I've been realizing more and more this past year or so that we're all really a lot more alike than we probably think. I mistake people for the opposite sex all the freaking time. I am tempted to say an androgenous person would be unidentifiable as male or female, but given my aforementioned inability to tell, that seems a little shaky. Is androgeny as an idea just something that we mostly use as a blank catagory, a neither/nor type of thing? Would it be more accurate to think about how we all have "male" and "female" traits and leave it at that?
In other news, Anna finished her bisexuality zine. If you're interested, send me a message or email :-)

3 comments:

Lauren E-C said...

bisexuality zine: want want want.

Anonymous said...

what androgyny looks like
http://www.time.com/time/2004/style/090604/androgyny/2.html
also, I think stereotypical lesbian appearance is a kind of sexual coding. It has to be in a society that increasingly tries to make anything other than heteronormativity invisible. Unfortunately, it invalidates, or disavows anyway, other kinds of identifying traits that aren't markedly "lesbian." In other words, you're either read "butch" or you're read "straight."
anna

ammie said...

Yeah, I was thinking about that too, after I wrote this. Femmes or just non-stereotypical-lesbian-looking women can get a bad rap, because people don't see them as "real" lesbians or because other lesbians suspect them of being better able to pass as hetero or even live as straight if they want to. Historically, the femme half of butch-and-femme couples was seen as less invested in her lesbianism and more wishy-washy (more like a girl, in other words) by other lesbians and straight people alike.
And I'm going to read more about androgeny, since you've kind of made me think that I'm really uninformed about it ;-)