The Butch (organization) of my dreams

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 I said last time that the next post would be about sex. Yeah, that’s not happening. Not yet. It’s not you, it’s me. As I started to write it, I realized there were several components that I wanted to introduce first, but I don’t want it to get too rambling and far-flung. So I need some time to work on it and kick around a little. In the meantime, I’m going to post on some other things. Maybe I even throw some vacation photos on here when I get back.

I am going to post one more thing that is tangentially related to the Butch Voices stuff, and then move on to other things. But I was having a conversation last evening about the BV stuff and the formation of Butch Nation, and I said that I hoped Butch Voices can find balance and that Butch Nation doesn’t emerge as reactionary, which would be a pretty typical thing to happen given the circumstances of its birth. I’m not sure how things are going to shake out with the two organizations, but it got me thinking about what I would like to see.

I hope for a butch organization that:

  • Has core feminist, anti-oppression, social justice values. These values should guide how the organization does its business.
  • Has a mission or vision statement that explicitly rejects a binary gender system.
  • Includes the landscape of butch identities not just in word but within the power structure. There has to be balanced power sharing as part of the organizational structure.
  • Has a regional powerbase. I would like to see something like regional chapters that have representation on the organization’s board/steering committee and that put on annual regional conferences. A structure like this allows broad participation in organizing, presenting at, and attending conferences.
  • Holds a bi-annual national conference. A bi-annual national conference is less financially draining than an annual one, and it allows the regional conferences to have the spotlight during the off years.
  • Has a few clearly articulated goals that are updated biannually as a follow-up to the national conference. These goals should inform the next biennial’s activities. For instance, perhaps at one of the national conferences a theme emerges from the discussions that centers on the need for more cross-generational dialog. The organization might adopt that as a goal and make a point of developing some activities through the 2-year period with that goal in mind.
  • Leverages technology to make some of its activities accessible without travel costs. Explore web-based panels and discussions. Hold regular web-based meetings between regional chapters, etc.
  • Recognizes that although female-identified butches and male-identified butches have many common issues and experiences, there is enough variation of experiences to justify undertaking smaller-scope activities that are focused on one portion of the butch landscape. They key would be to make sure resources are allocated fairly among different areas of the landscape. And certainly the regional and national conferences would need to address the organization’s entire constituency.
  • Partners with similar allied organizations (e.g. the Femme Collective) for resource sharing (shared expenses for web conferencing account, domain hosting, possibly some shared/coordinated fundraising activities, etc) where such sharing is beneficial to all parties.

That’s my wish-list at the moment.

  1. feistyamazon says:

    IF it supports Female Proud Butches in particular, and it is open and transparent and allows many opportunities for feedback and input and participation, is at least basically Feminist oriented, since as Dykes, Butches and women we endure Lesbophobia, Butchphobia and SEXISM in the world, and on the job and in our lives, then, I’m all in support of Butch Nation. I also hope it supports those of us Butches who are Butch on Butch as well, and Female Proud, as well as honoring of our rich DykeAmazon herstory.

    Also, it was very brave of you and the other 3 to take a stance for us BUTCH FEMALES and to fight to EXPLICITLY have us in Butch Voices language, and to leave when that was not going to be honored. Thanks for doing that for the rest of us. I live in the East Bay, and as all these things developed, and I saw the smokescreen Joe and others were doing, I wanted to go to Butch Voices less and less and less. Now I will be glad to attend the Butch Nation workshops. “Masculine of Center” means to me what I just worked with as the ONLY female on the entire worksite: macho heterosexual bio-men! THAT is ‘masculine of center’, and I have NO INTEREST in being at ANY conference with bio males as working with them on a daily basis is enough, especially for a conference that should be supporting me as a Butch Dyke FEMALE in my daily life!

    I liked how you mentioned the ranking and hierarchy I so often see these days, as well as the pressures for young butch/masculine women to conform/genderqueer or consider transition, because Butch Female/Dyke/Womon is not seen as ‘butch enough’! We don’t need to be on that hierarchy, we just need to be who we are as we are…and I hear all too often “this isn’t really ‘butch’, that isn’t really ‘butch’, ” to put down any softer womonly sides we have within us which is PRECISELY what makes us so special and NOT dudes/men! You write clearly and concisely, and like anything, I take what I like and leave the rest….
    -In Butch Dyke Sisterhood,

  2. feistyamazon says:

    Ok, so you are not Jeanne Cordova? As I thought this was also her blog(from her original blogsite on blogger, I was referred here). Nonetheless you do write very well, and I agree with much of what you have to say. It WAS brave for Jeanne and the other three to step down and take a stance for us Female Identified/Female Proud Butches, and it about time! If you are at the workshop, I look forward to hearing you speak! Hope you mention your blog so I can put a face to the blog!
    -In Butch Dyke Sisterhood,

  3. Angel says:

    As the partner of a butch person who doesn’t identify within the binary, I wish your eighth point above was not so binary. Otherwise, I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts on this stuff.

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