i’ve been getting a lot of asks recently about what my definitions of “femme” and “hard femme” are, so i’m gonna try and answer ya’ll the best i can in one post instead of a million asks.
femme is a many-headed, many-tittied, many-armed beast that knows no bounds.
for me, femme is about reclaiming our identities from a society that has sought to tell us what to do and who we are and can be for centuries. femme is femininity and masculinity reimagined, deconstructed and recreated. femme is on purpose. femme defies, questions, and shatters the structures and institutions that tell us how we’re supposed to identify. i am femme because i choose to be, because it is what feels right and solid for me - not because society says “female = feminine.” i am femme because i like how i look this way, not because anyone else does. femme is our own interpretation and application of what we’ve been taught, what we’ve had to figure out ourselves, what we’ve never been told, what the world throws at us. femme is self care. femme is strength. femme is a rejection of prescribed gender roles and an embrace of individual gender identity. femme fucks with gender. femme is intelligent, clever, and creative. femme shits on the patriarchy and tells it to clean up the mess its damn self.
femme is where i found my way back to after years of rejecting anything remotely “feminine” because of internalized misogyny, because of an abusive relationship in my past, because of how i am treated differently by strangers depending on my level of overt femininity.
hard femme is how i knew i’d found my home.
i’d say hard femme is femme’s iron-pumpin, boot-wearin, always sneerin cousin. hard femme is tough, diy, takin care of business, down n dirty and no-bullshit. hard femme draws elements from both traditionally masculine and feminine traits and creates an intimidating, hard edged, boundless identity that a lot of folks find they’ve identified with for a long time without ever having a name for it. hard femme talks shit on The Man purely by existing. hard femme is studs, boots, leather, glitter, and a big ass middle finger.
here’s the thing though, and this is important: femme and hard femme are whatever the fuck they mean to you. yes they are outlined, existing identities, but their power lies in the freely chosen identity of those who embrace them and their potential for never ending growth and mutation.
i’m sure i’ll come back to this later with a list of shit i forgot to include, but i hope this works for those of ya’ll who’ve been asking.
Adding: femme means to me doing “traditional” femininity in untraditional (not just nontraditional) ways. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha says it’s “any way of being a girl that doesn’t hurt.” Being a girl’s not part of it for me, but finding ways of doing femininity in ways that don’t just not hurt, but are empowering, strong, sexy, about feeling good in my skin. Feeling pretty as a weapon against the patriarchy. It’s taking what society taught me came standard-issue with my vagina and stripping away the bullshite
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