Friday, 23 September 2011

Femme Invisibility!


The subject of femme invisibility has been popping up everywhere lately. Well it seems that way to me. And why I haven't blogged about it before I do not know. It's been blogged about by Femme on a Mission, Effing Dyke, The Fab Femme & The Adventures of Two Girls in Love lately to name a few.

For those of you who don't know 'femme' refers to feminine looking lesbians i.e Whitney & I. Also known as 'lipstick lesbians' (Whitney & I have always loved this phrase, whereas others hate it).

The issue is the problem of femmes being noticed as gay against the stereotype of what people think a lesbian looks like...

& looking LIKE a lesbian is fine, nothing against that if that's who you are. Typically short hair, no make up, baggy jeans and a tshirt blah blah. You can spot them straight away. Of course theres also those who are a mix of femme & dykey, so slightly easier to spot. But femmes? We mainly slip under the radar, from both straights & gays. I used to go out gay clubbing twice a week whilst at University. The majority of my friends were gay males. It was very hard for me to ever find a lady when out because 1) I was most likely assumed to be straight/ fag hag 2) I assumed the majority of pretty ladies in the club were straight/ fag hags. Also there tends to be the coupling of femmes with butch lesbians, so its more rare to see femme/femmes. Gah.

Looking femme has its disadvantages, not only in finding a girlfriend (but hellooo I clearly did & woot yay for me lol). However you also get looked at by lesbians like you shouldn't be there, and then straights don't believe that you are gay (especially guys of course). So you're left wondering, where exactly do I belong and where can I find others like me. It does have its advantages, you can more easily escape homophobia and any form of hate crime by not being able to be singled out as a gay.

But the question remains, how do we tackle femme invisibility??

A few months back evidently we launched 'Real Life Lesbians' to try and tackle general lack of visibility and lesbian role models. As lets face it, there aren't many out there. Femme wise we have Portia De Rossi & Amber Heard.. but Lindsay Lohan doesn't really count does she? & Megan Fox? Not sure.

The Adventures of Two Girls in Love brought to my attention how there is a lesbian character in the new playboy club series, in which Amer Heard is playing a straight character in it and shared her annoyance at how they made the lesbian bunny be less feminine. Even those shes meant to be in the closet and married to a gay man.. she still has to be a bit obviously gay?.. NO she doesn't!!

Also, I propose to add to our RLL campaign a 'Femme Visibility' section. For those of you fellow femmes who want to stand up loud and proud, or want to join in with the voice of other femmes. Here's your chance! If you'd already submitted to our RLL campaign and want to be included in the Femme Visibility section, then just drop us a comment/email/tweet. I'll get working on it today ;)

So thoughts people! I want to hear thoughts from those of you reading this whether you be gay or straight yourselves. What image do you think of when you think of lesbians? How did you feel to discover a blog like ours of two femme lesbians? What do you think can be done to increase femme invisibility?

Also thanks to Femme on a Mission for posting this rather funny & relevant song:

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  1. :) nice post
    you guys are amazing
    i bet girls that go thru the same things
    get a lot of help with what you share here!

    i hope both of you have a lovely weekend!<3


  2. Love the post and totally agree! As much as straight people come in all shapes and sizes and have different styles it's annoying that most of the world has a 'one size fits all' attitude to lesbians.


  3. lol yeah Karen is my cousin :)
    and she also told me she was doing the story
    for you guys she didnt finish it cause she couldnt make it short enough lol

    cant wait to read it even though i heard it a thousand times :)
    we are a big support for each other during our long distance relationships


  4. I admire your dedication and drive in bringing focus to this issue. My basic understanding of this issue is indicative of how human beings perceive themselves in their deep seated part of their souls. I am a person, it doesn't matter what I look like or how I am perceived by others. I am me. Accept me. Love me. Don't hate me because I am different. I am me.
    I applaud you and cheer you on from the sidelines. YOU are helping so many individuals who are silently crying out for help.
    Visibility is everything.
    I am me.

  5. wow thats pretty amaizng! thanks for sharing. you guys are soo lovely!

  6. I found your blog a few weeks ago and am completely in love! Thank you so much for raising this issue. I categorize myself as a femme, or lipstick, and as I was reading this post I asked my partner what category she thought she was. She said "I'm me." It just convinced me that no one is the same, therefore preconceived ideas of what a lesbian looks like just don't work in our day and age.

    While my blog isn't primarily about my relationship, I do talk about us a lot, so feel free to check it out. I would love to help out with your femme visibility project, just let me know if I can do anything!


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