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Role-Playing
by Vicky Nabors
2005-11-01

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The Black butch/stud—femme culture doesn't have a regular published voice in Chi-town, which is why I've spent the past two years talking about it. Initially, I wasn't sure what my purpose was, I just wanted to bring out certain issues, being discussed in the community, to my female readers. However, as a result of your feedback, it's crystal clear that you enjoy reading about, talking about, arguing about, and complimenting or attacking me about the butch/stud—femme views discussed here.

So, let's continue. Feel free to send topic ideas along with your views ( and how you identify ) . Since I can only speak from my butch/stud perspective on issues, I've gathered some femme consultants ( who understand the culture ) to advise me; and keep me from being too chauvinistic in my views—smile: I call them 'The Sistahs.'

Now on to our butch/stud—femme debate!

Let's begin with the concept of 'Role-Playing.' We hear this phrase often from homos ( dontcha just hate that word? ) and heteros alike, 'What role do you play in your relationship?' or 'Who's the man?' I don't know about you, but these questions have always pissed me off; because I'm not playing a 'role'—nor is my womyn! These types of questions are most often targeted at the butch/stud in the relationship; it includes hidden sarcasm. ( People love to f—- with those who are different don't they? ) To say that we're 'playing' anything suggests our day-to-day lives are not real, and that we're merely play-acting like children.

Unfortunately, too many sistahs in our own culture incorrectly believe we're playing a role as well. They don't understand the nature of the butch/stud—femme culture, there's a clear balance of energy: masculine/feminine. It's quite different from being 'a lesbian without labels' where you reject everything that is masculine.

In the butch/stud—femme culture, femmes are strongly influenced by their upbringing to behave according to gender teachings ( be strong, but ladylike ) ; while butch/studs are strongly influenced by male teachings to refrain from being gurly and to man-up at all costs. Gender role teachings are key here, the behaviors that you identify with as a child will be the influencing behaviors you embrace.

The final part of this scenario is the butch/stud or femmes attraction to a lesbian partner much different from herself. Seems like influence can be at play here as well, a masculine lesbian seeks a feminine partner, and vise versa. Still, it's not a based on a role; it's more personal preference and comfort. Old school traditions were based on old-fashioned heterosexual views where the man was king. Today, new-age views have changed behaviors in all types of relationships. This shift can be observed in the butch/stud—femme culture as well, where some still practice old-school living, while others are more new age; the femme may be the breadwinner while the ( hard ) butch/stud carries their baby or handles the domestic chores. There are no roles in the butch/stud-femme culture; it's not pretend games, just a balance of masculine and feminine energy, a clear separation of learned gender behaviors, and lesbians defining themselves for themselves.

Now on to the next topic in the butch/stud—femme debate!

vickynabors@hotmail.com


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