Saturday, March 12, 2011
A Stonebutch or “Butch Plus”.
Some stonebutches are almost aggressively masculine, and may fall just short of being transgender. Other stonebutches may prefer to pass as men, or live as men, but still be considered a butch stonebutches do not permit themselves to be touched intimately. They instead derive pleasure from making love to their partners, who often identify as stone femmes. Some butches may also choose to use male first names and pronouns, because while they do not identify as men, neither do they consider themselves women. Yet often they still identify very strongly with the lesbian community.
In recent months we have been watching a steady stream of discussions, opinions and complains locally from varying quarters in the lesbian and bisexual women communities chief among them are the increased reports of abuse verbally, stigmatization, profiling and otherwise towards women who present aesthetically as masculine which all of a sudden has become a problem for some men in Jamaica. Same sex attracted women never had so many problems navigating sexuality in this complex society now there are issues of clothing stores refusing to sell a woman a pair of male jeans within the last week this kind of open discrimination was unheard of before. Is this a result of the moves towards full metrosexualism in Jamaican men? when a popular dancehall DJ can openly defend skin bleaching and full body tattooing which was once relagated to gays in years gone by the change is rather rapid and dramatic, the same DJ as in Vybz Kartel commented at a recent lecture on the University of the West Indies campus what was taboo will soon become widely accepted. One wonders if he contemplated that homosexuality will be in that mix?
One butch sister complained that at a central location in Kingston recently she was verbally abused by men as she beckoned to another female she was waiting for to go about their private business. Another woman was harassed by a taxi driver in the same area as he drove his car almost in her path. In previous posts here we examined the fact that most women who were butch identified were sometimes considered "one of the boys" given our homosocial trends Jamaican men get together and the butch sisters never really experienced major lesbophobic problems as late as 2008 until we started to see the increase in cases of corrective rape, beatings and forced evictions to include both femme and butch sisters as victims in a bid by their attackers to straighten them out. Historically from I can recall I have always seen butch identified women even at my primary school there was one who was the physical education teacher and coach and she had cordial relations with the male students and other male members of staff as far as we could see. There was a popular female police officer who was assigned to the bike teams and when she rode around it was fascinating to most onlookers to see her strut her stuff with broad shoulders and a husky voice with her gun embedded on her holster. It may look attractive to some men for the sake of having a "buddy" of sorts but then there is the ever constant reminder that it's a female by either the aesthetic or physical features that are feminine including cleavage which cannot be hidden for some. What triggered this post also was my witnessing a butch taxi driver recently who plies a route in Kingston and how she seemed quite comfortable with the boys chatting and idling on the terminus dodging between cars calling for passengers while she had a stick of marijuana rolled and stuck behind her ear, it was clear that some onlookers by the nearby taxi stand were obviously captivated watching this woman being one of the boys but there were no open lesbophbic remarks. When examples of some of the opposing gender norms appear in public most persons are indeed fascinated until some fool takes it to another level.
The concept of butch and femme identities have long been hotly debated within the lesbian community, yet even achieving a consensus as to exactly what the terms "butch" and "femme" mean can be extraordinarily difficult. In recent years, these words have come to describe a wide spectrum of individuals and their relationships. It is easiest, then, to begin with an examination of butch-femme culture and meaning from a historical perspective.
Butch and femme emerged in the early twentieth century as a set of sexual and emotional identities among lesbians. To give a general but oversimplified idea of what butch-femme entails, one might say that butches exhibit traditionally "masculine" traits while femmes embody "feminine" ones. Although oral histories have demonstrated that butch-femme couples were seen in America as far back as the turn of the twentieth century and also in Jamaica to a certain extent it is the late nineties to present working-class and bar culture that most clearly illustrate the archetypal butch-femme dynamic.
Then there are the issues of some butches get strong criticisms of being to "manly man" or "man royal" many soft femmes (pardon the labels) and more mixed soft thugs remark that if they wanted a man they would have gone to find one and are not looking for a replacement, so one could conclude that even if a same sex attracted woman wants another female as her romantic interest with her butch mystique and all she must not seek to replace that attraction or distort it with being to masculine in dress and attitude. Some butches respond by saying that's who they are take it or leave it and why not if one is seeking a dominant partner. Question is, is the national obsession with masculinity, associated societal beliefs and rules that govern them are some how rubbing off on the lesbian sisters who identify as butch or stud? The stigmas that affects butch identified sisters seem to be coming to a head with the walls closing in. As more butch identified women are becoming targets for violence one response is self defense classes offered by a new lesbian owned entity Couture Elements for a relatively small fee concerns have been raised especially during International Women's Day activities.
Butch-Femme net http://butch-femme.net/Butch/BF/ says:
“To the mainstream dyke world, Butches are often seen as "men" or as selling out to the enemy. Butch energy is often read as male energy because it is closer to what we consider male energy than it is what we consider female energy. We are sometimes seen as oppressors of Femmes who they see as "tools of the heterosexual patriarchy" because they are feminine and often don all the feminine accouterments such as makeup, long fingernails, and high heels.”
The butch-femme dynamic is well known among lesbians. The most well known combination is a butch with a femme, although it’s not impossible for a butch to be with another butch, or a femme to be with another femme.
According to GLBTQ social sciences encyclopedia, In recent years, "pansexual" and "polysexual" have joined "bisexual" as terms that indicate women's attractions to more than one gender. Another indication of that fluidity is the fact that one cannot always tell simply by looking whether a lesbian identifies as butch or femme. Butches are not necessarily tops; femmes are not necessarily bottoms; and butches and femmes are no longer expected to date only each other.
Trends that are to be watched.
Peace and tolerance.
Monday, March 7, 2011
IWD Press Release
London, March 2, 2011: March 8 sees the highest level of global women's activity ever witnessed as groups celebrate the International Women's Day centenary.
The first International Women's Day events were run in Austria, Denmark, Germany and
Switzerland in 1911 and attended by over one million people. 100 years on, International Women's Day (IWD) has become a global mainstream phenomena celebrated across many countries and is an official holiday in approximately 25 countries including Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia.
8 March sees extensive global women's activity. Performer and social activist, Annie Lennox, will lead a mass march across London's Millennium Bridge for charity. In Washington D.C. over a thousand people will descend on Capitol Hill demanding a better world for millions of marginalized women and girls around the globe.
A major international businesswomen's conference will be hosted in Sydney, Australia. Schools and governments around the world are participating in the day. Trade Unions and charities are campaigning. Global corporations are hosting conferences and distributing extensive resource packs. The United Nations Secretary-General delivers a formal message. The United States even designates the whole month of March as Women's History Month as officially proclaimed by President Obama on February 28, 2011.
International Women's Day is a global celebration of the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. However, activity has not always been on the increase. Australian entrepreneur and women's campaigner Glenda Stone, who founded the http://www.internationalwomensday.com website, a global hub of events and information, said:
"A decade ago International Women's Day was disappearing. Activity in Europe, where International Women's Day actually began, was very low. Providing a global online platform helped sustain and accelerate momentum for this important day. Holding only a handful of events ten years ago, the United Kingdom has now become the global leader for International Women's Day activity, followed sharply by Canada, United States and Australia. 2011 will see thousands of events globally for the first time."
More recently, social networking websites like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have also helped fuel International Women's Day activity. Generally the day has moved away from its socialist Suffragette beginnings to become more mainstream in celebrating women's achievements. Women's rights campaigners, however, continue to remind that vigilance rather than complacency is essential in striving for women's equality.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia Grange will lead a delegation to the service which begins at 8:30.
In addressing this year’s theme, Minister Grange says although statistics show that there are more women with degrees and that women graduate from tertiary institutions at higher rates than men, women still struggle to get decent work.
Noting that a stop needs to be put to this practice, Minister Grange indicated that this year’s observance of International Women’s Day will address the issue in a big way.
Gabriel said he's a self-taught hairstylist who has been working on Princess Street for the past three years.
Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II
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Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.
Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
- To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus
- Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives
- To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony
- Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions
- To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term
- Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere
- Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public
- Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner
- Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise
- Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Information & Disclaimer
Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.
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If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)
Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.
Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmanoeuvring the attacker is impossible, do not try it.
Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.
This may have a psychological effect on the individual.
The police 119
Crime Stop 311
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it