And now, in the postmodern reign of The Queer, the femme reappears, signifier of another kind of gender trouble. Not a performer of legible gender transgression, like the butch and his sister the drag queen, but a betrayer of legibility itself. Seemingly “normal,” she responds to “normal” expectations with a sucker punch - she occupies normality abnormally. Though femmes occupy the shifting borders of lesbian identities, they are never heterosexual. Though they may traffic in men, they do not, cannot, will not take up a position within a heteronormative framework. -A Fem(me)inist Manifesto
i am theorizing the [cis-gendered] femme. i am taking her out of the butch/femme dichotomy. the femme is autonomous, and in her stilettos she struts her agency. I am taking her out of the political idioms embodied in manifestas, out of her making claims of the world. and in that naked form, i am revealing the awesome potential of the femme in herself to fuck the gender-binary, the patriarchy, heteronormativity. the femme’s body and performance is scripted with patriarchal type. but the femme is queer. the femme has class. she rearranges the text written upon her. she performs a parody of heteronormativity and subverts it with her neo-burlesque moves. she becomes empowered by being an object of desire and turns that power against the male-gaze. rape culture collapses under the weight of her femininity. the femme is thought to conform to the gender norms. so she is excluded from discourses around the gender-binary and genderqueerness. but the femme is a gender-fucker. she works from within the system, choosing her femininity, and in the finale of her act reveals her identity to be not normal, not static, but FIERCE.
(rebelboi are you a student of Lauren Berlant’s in Chicago? Grad/Undergrad? Just Curious.)