The Association for the Freedom of Femme Women

26 09 2010

Article I

Name

The name of this association is the Association for the Freedom of Femme Women (AFFW) which is designated an unincorporated nonprofit association created under the laws of the Worldwide Commonwealth of Homosexual Women.

Article II

Intent and Purpose

It is the intent of the AFFW to achieve Total Freedom as defined by our membership, which definition may be subject to change according to additional requirements and needs raised by membership from time to time.

The primary purpose of the AFFW shall be to secure full and total freedom as defined by our membership, (specifics of which are set out below), chief of which is to free ourselves in every way from, and cease to be subject to, the general supervision and control of men, butch women, and other authoritarian individuals and organizations that may seek to prevent us from exploring and expressing our thoughts, our emotions, our will and most of all our sexuality, in any way we see fit.

The AFFW shall consist of Femme Women joined by mutual consent for the common, nonprofit purposes of educating and rendering assistance to fellow Femme Women and providing an accessible source of information pertaining to Femme Women and the public whenever possible.

While the AFFW does not discriminate against others on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious affiliation, ableness, national origin or other personal factors, membership shall be open only to those women identifying as ‘femme’, who are of the opinion that we are an unseen and oppressed minority whose needs are not being addressed and whose rights and freedoms are gravely compromised today.

Article III

The Definitions of Total Freedom

1. We shall be free to walk anywhere at any time without being subject to comments, jeers and other offensive remarks about our hair, clothing, breast size or any other personal characteristic from any man or woman.

2. We shall not be made to feel guilty in public or in private for our choices of sexual partners, by any man or woman.

3. We shall not be expected or obliged to be consistent about our choices of male and/or female sexual partners. It shall be understood that an FW shall enjoy perfect freedom to choose and discard partners as she thinks fit and shall not be mentally or physically penalized or punished for such actions by anyone.

4. We shall not be expected or obliged to regularly cook for our partners and/or families unless we voluntarily choose to perform such activity.

5. We shall not be expected or obliged to indulge in any domestic activity including all general housework, child care, pet care, car care, garden maintenance, marketing or any other household activity, unless we voluntarily choose to perform such tasks.

6. We shall not be expected to desire children or to bear children unless we voluntarily choose to do so.

7. We shall not be expected or obliged to manage household accounts, bill payments, bank matters or the organizing of fund-raising or other events or any other secretarial activity unless we voluntarily choose to perform such tasks.

8. We shall not be expected or obliged to host social gatherings, dinner/lunch parties or any other activities unless we voluntarily choose to perform such tasks.

9. We shall have the right to refuse to perform any such voluntarily undertaken tasks at any time we wish.

10. We shall have the right to dress as we choose at all times. This clause shall include all related matters pertaining to length of hair, length of hemline, showing of skin and all fashion choices regarding dress, shoes and accessories.

11. We shall reserve the right to colour and maintain our hair as short or as long as we wish, at any time.

12. We shall have the right to go to work or not, as we wish. We shall have absolute freedom in our choice of profession. We shall not be expected or obliged to share finances unless we choose to do so.

13. We shall have the right to absolute privacy including our mail, email, mobile phone and all other personal communications.

14. We shall enjoy the right to maintain as many friendships as we wish. This shall include anyone we choose, regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious affiliation, ableness or national origin.

15. We shall not be interrogated or subjected to bullying or mental or physical harassment of any sort whatsoever, by anyone, including our partner/s.

16. We shall not be expected or obliged for any reason to stay in any relationship that we have chosen to abandon.

17. We shall have the right to demand sex as often as we require it.

18. We shall not be expected or obliged to offer sex unless we wish to.

19. We shall not be judged for any choices we make. Instead we shall at all times expect the love and support of all those around us that we deem our friends and family, this organisation included.

20. These articles shall be subject to change as and when the membership sees fit.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned have executed these Articles of Association

on this__________ day of ______________, 20__.

______________________________

President (or alternate title)

ATTEST:

______________________________

Secretary-Treasurer (or alternate title)





Of becoming the femme

15 09 2010

Memories are placed in time in relation to events in my life. Before I left the country and after I came back. Before I went to university and after. When I was straight and when I started loving women. Life sliced into two with that.

When I was straight I was thin. Dark. Long hair down to my waist. I laughed loud, talked loud and put my feet up.  I hung out with lots of male friends and a few close female friends. I was constantly told that I had been born with a male horoscope – that which makes you fight with the men and behave arrogantly.

Now that I am lesbian I am thin. Dark. The long hair has become shorter. I laugh loud, talk loud and put my feet up. My life is full of women. Queer women, lesbians, straight women. And I am constantly told how I am a femme – that which makes me laugh loud and act proud.

When my life sliced into two, I became the Femme.





And everything in between

8 03 2010

“Butches are known by their appearance, femmes by their choices.” Joan Nestle

I like girls. The experts around me sometimes tell me I am a butch dyke. I intensely dislike being told who I am and what my own little personal definition is going to be. I am extremely wary of being defined at all but writing this forces me to look at this matter of identity.

I am not very keen on anything that categorises people although I know it is inevitable. (Virtually every choice in life puts one into some demographic or the other after all). But I don’t think that the relief of conformity that comes with embracing these groupings is worth the blocking of other information that goes with that decision…like evangelical christians and gay people, who often seem to have so much in common – we tend to interact with our own groups almost exclusively and so continuously reinforce what we already choose to believe and feel. I do not choose the titles of butch or femme or any other for myself. But I do see that people very consciously choose and need religion and other groupings to belong to and that they may also need the reassurance of clear definitions of identity in their lives.

Years ago, I have to admit to doing my share of clomping around in Doc Martens, jeans and shirts in the fiery heat of Colombo, simply to broadcast the point that I was a dyke and I would dress as I pleased. But now I really don’t care about any of the accessories, for myself or for others. I like girls…femme, butch, whatever they choose to call themselves. But I like them for their characters, their humor, their strength and their tenderness to me. I am attracted to butch girls’ androgyny and the huge energy they have, which I do not possess myself. I am also attracted to femme girls’ knowledge of their own power, their lack of need to explain themselves and their desire for butch girls. It is these things that I love, not their definitions of themselves.

Here are some generalizations of my very own. Butch girls are sometimes thorny, controlling and insecure. They are also competent, logical and sometimes dearly loved in the mainstream world where they could have close male friends. They are resilient, having spent lots of time trying to lure girls into bed and have a good sense of humor from learning to handle rejection since they were ten.

Butch girls are usually strong and are frequently into competitive sports. They are ferociously attached to their personal fashion choices and wear their pants and shoes and hair like weapons against a hostile world. Since they are visibly different, they have to fight harder.

Femme girls are delightful. They are quite aware of their massive power which they are capable of using quite ruthlessly when necessary. They also possess the softest hearts and can be persuaded into the wildest activities, sexual and otherwise, by smart butches. Since they do not have to deal with the battle against the mainstream world as much as butch girls do, femme girls are often more relaxed about themselves and their choices. But this also means they are not always forced to think too deeply about these choices and what they imply. Femme girls are usually gorgeous and funny and in many ways are quite like straight girls, except that they are fatally attractive to butch girls and they know it.

Femmes are perhaps best described as lesbian, bisexual, and queer women whose manner and style falls along the lines of what is traditionally considered feminine. Whereas butches are sometimes accused of trying to be men, femmes are sometimes accused -by other lesbians -of donning accoutrements of traditional femininity to pass as straight in the mainstream world. Actually, however, femme lesbians subvert prescribed sexual and gender roles by co-opting conventional ‘womanly’ traits to indicate their attraction to other women.

(http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/butch_femme_ssh.html)

This may not always be true in real life but it is a revolutionary idea so I like it.

And then there’s all that lies between…the soft butch girls sexy in short skirts, the strong femme girls in charge of their lives – and all the physical and emotional characteristics that we lesbians exchange and share. And in the end I don’t think there is any final definition of femme or butch that covers it all anyway. How could there be?