My wonderful girlfriend of three years hates makeup, high heels, dresses, and manicures- instead she prefers sports, dancing bachata and video games. Though we couldn’t be more different, I still get asked questions like “Who is the man in the relationship?” and, even worse, “If you are dating a woman who dresses like/acts like a man why don’t you date a man?”. Though these questions may seem idiotic to me, whoever I’m talking to usually doesn’t intend harm by asking me these silly questions.
After all, questions need answers. So here they are.
First, in response to the question “Who is the man in the relationship?”. Short answer: There is no man. That’s the point. Case closed. Long answer: Imposing heterosexual gender norms onto a queer relationship is neither healthy or applicable.
Moving on to a discussion that requires a little more brain power, the butch conundrum. While butch women do present themselves as a more masculine women, many still do identify as women. Dating a woman with masculine traits is vastly different than dating a man. Cosmopolitan author and LGBT activist put it best when she responded to the question by asking “But if you like girls that look like boys… why don’t you want to date boys?”.
Moreover, the question assumes that gender and sex are virtually the same thing. News flash: they aren’t. Masculinity doesn’t “belong” to males exclusively, and neither does femininity belong to women only. Just because my girlfriend prefers to wear a suit jacket and not a dress does not change that fact that she chooses to identify as a woman. I for one don’t mind a bit.