Another Post About Lesbians
Oh my god, it’s another logic post about being gay.
The idea from this originally came from one ex-friend telling me that being a “butch lesbian” was racist, but their argument held up about as well as you think it would. Instead I decided to write on a topic that’s filled with misconceptions – that butch lesbians have the male gaze. If you don’t know what the term male gaze means – it’s not the creepy dude who sits in the corner of subway staring you down for an hour. The male gaze is the sociocultural phenomenon in media and literature, wherein the world is presented through a typically heterosexual, masculine point of view: presenting women primarily as the objects of male pleasure. If you’re not familiar with inter-community identity terms, here’s a rundown on butch and femme terms.
Butch and Femme are terms used to describe identities and cultural markers in the lesbian community. The terms aren’t to be confused with gender identity – they’re a form of gender expression. Butchness is associated with a masculine role in the lesbian relationship, while Femme is associated with the traditionally feminine role. There’s a surprising amount of politics and discussion around the two, as Second Wave Feminists, as well as some third wave feminists, view butch/femme as replicating heterosexual power dynamics.
Butch identity is equivalent to being male
This argument isn’t truthful – your gender is your gender identity, as stated above, and the butch identity is more a form of gender expression and a cultural marker. You could argue that since butch lesbians attempt to emulate masculinity, that they’re close enough to just copying the male gender role and basically “acting like men”. However, masculinity is a social construct, but is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors. This means that masculinity was originally derived from what it means to be male and encouraged males to mimic the male gender role of aggressiveness and power over women. Butch is not male, Femme is not female. Butchness isn’t based around power over women like the male gender role is. Butch identity is mostly defined by the butch aesthetic than any particular personality traits.
TLDR; Gender expression, or the way others perceive your gender expression, is not your gender identity.
Men have the male gaze
To understand this premise we have to understand the male gaze. The male gaze is the sociocultural phenomenon in media and literature, wherein the world is presented through a typically heterosexual, masculine point of view: presenting women primarily as the objects of male pleasure. It is not something you can accuse real life men of having or doing to women in their day to day life . Sexual attraction to women is not equivalent to the male gaze, and is not necessarily objectifying or misogynistic.
Butch lesbians have the male gaze
There’s not really a logical reason as to why butch lesbians would have anything similar to the male gaze – saying otherwise is similar to point one and implying that butch lesbians are men. The theoretical “female gaze” is non-existent in our media and literature – half of the examples you could use are ironic and used for humor.
The conclusion here makes this a valid argument, but it doesn’t make it a truthful one. The conclusion logically follows the premises, and the argument has the right form that makes it valid. However, the first premise isn’t true, and neither is the conclusion.