How to Be a Butch… Not!

Harrison has a great blog called ‘How to Be Butch’ but that’s not what I’m going to talk about in this post.  Instead I’m going to point and laugh, and even cry a little, at an article on WikiHow called ‘How to be a Butch‘. Yes, that’s right.. Now, anyone can be a butch if you just follow these easy to understand directions!  I bet you never knew it could be this easy!!

Argggg…. TheButchCaucus tweeted the link on twitter last night and we had a good time mocking the article, and it is very mock-worthy.  It’s also kind of sad, in a ‘it’s pathetic that anyone would think there’s actually an instruction set for how to be butch’ kind of way.

This article doesn’t strike me as something written from a butch perspective.  It sounds more like something written by a woman attracted to butch-ish women of a certain type.  Not too aggressive, has to be fashionable, have to have money for shopping.. yeah, really.  Here are some ‘highlights’:

On developing masculine mannerisms:

  • Walk with more confidence and stride. Don’t slouch or sit with your legs together. Watch the way men move and move like them. Try to only copy more of the popular guys, when observing them think, is this guy cool?  [Ok.. so are we in high school?  The ‘popular guys’ line is kind of a give away]

There’s quite a lot of advice about fashion, in fact there is a major emphasis on the supposed butch look:

  • Shoes. You really only need 3 pairs: comfy shoes, dress shoes and boots. [totally disagree on that limitation]
  • Accessories. Get a few belts and a nice watch (go for a neutral color). A chain to wear around your neck can look handsome.  [snerk.. ok, really?  that’s all for butch-cessories?]

What about the habits of a true butch?

  • Be active. Try to get into a sport or just work out. Be proud of your body and its strengths. Looking attractive and gaining muscle can also be a benefit.  [sorry all you non-athletic types, you don’t get to be butch, sorry… without the muscles, you just won’t be attractive enough]

The tips are priceless, among them:

  • Don’t hate men or straight people. This makes you sink to the level of homophobes. In fact, don’t hate anyone at all.  [wow, butches aren’t haters.. at all!  Ever!]
  • Be nice. “Angry lesbians” do not attract friends, get good jobs or get girlfriends. Friendly lesbians, on the other hand, do all of these things very well. [I dunno, I’m starting to hate the people who wrote and edited this article]
  • If you are trying to be gentleman-like, do be courteous to men within reason. [hmmm.. but what if they don’t like it?  Would it be OK to hate them then?]

See the pattern?  Be nice!  No one wants to be around an angry, mean butch.. it just wouldn’t be attractive or fashionable.   And judging by the picture used to illustrate this article, you should also not be older, unattractive, or in any way not a pretty boi (no disrespect intended to pretty bois, y’all are luscious) .

It’s ludicrous, of course, to think that a list of bullet points is going to capture the essence of being butch in all it’s multi-faceted, diverse glory.  Those of us who are butch know it’s an identity formed within that, in a lot of cases, shows up on the outside eventually.  This may sound harsh, but I think if someone is reading an article like that thinking they can be butch by following a set of instructions, they aren’t.  The final section of the article is “Things you’ll need”,  with one, laughable bullet point:  some money for shopping.  I think the final item should be, “Sense enough to know that this is not how to be a butch”.

I think Harrison sums it up butch reality very nicely

“How to Be Butch … Hint:  there’s more than one way”

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.

This entry was posted in butches and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to How to Be a Butch… Not!