Femme Theory: Refocusing the Intersectional Lens
Keywords:Femme Theory, Intersectional Analysis, Femmephobia, Femininities, Femininity, Femme, Gender, Gender Identity
AbstractThis paper seeks to develop a theory of subversive femininities or femme theory. It argues for the inclusion of femmephobia in intersectional analyses and provides the theoretical groundwork necessary for feminist theorists and researchers to incorporate an analysis of femmephobia into their studies of oppression. Résumé Cet article cherche à élaborer une théorie des féminités subversives ou « femme theory ». Il plaide en faveur de l’inclusion de la phobie « femme » dans les analyses intersectionnelles et fournit les bases théoriques nécessaires pour que les théoriciennes et les chercheuses féministes incorporent une analyse de la phobie « femme » dans leurs études de l’oppression.
Aggarwal, Sanjay, and Rene Gerrets. 2014. “Exploring a Dutch Paradox: An Ethnographic Investigation of Gay Men’s Mental Health.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 16 (2): 105-119.
Attwood, Feona. 2007. “Sluts and Riot Grrrls: Female Identity and Sexual Agency.” Journal of Gender Studies 16 (3): 233-247.
Bailey, J. Michael. 1996. “Gender Identity.” In The Lives of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals: Children to Adults, edited by Ritch C. Savin-Williams and Kenneth M. Cohen, 71–93. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace.
Beauvoir, Simone de. 1989 . The Second Sex. Translated by H. M. Parshley. New York, NY: Vintage Books/Random House.
Bender, Kristin J., Harry Harris, and David Debolt. 2013. “16-Year-Old Boy Suspected of Setting Man on Fire on Oakland Bus.” Oakland Tribute, June 11. http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_24457005/16yearold--boy-suspected-of-setting.
Bishop, C. J., Mark Kiss, Todd G. Morrison, Damien M. Rushe, and Jacqueline Specht. 2014. “The Association between Gay Men’s Stereotypic Beliefs about Drag Queens and their Endorsement of Hypermasculinity.” Journal of Homosexuality 61 (4): 554-567.
Blair, Karen L., and Rhea Ashley Hoskin. 2014. “Experiences of Femme Identity: Coming Out, Invisibility and Femmephobia.” Psychology and Sexuality 6 (3): 229-244.
____. 2015. “Contemporary Understandings of Femme Identities and Related Experiences of Discrimination.” Psychology and Sexuality 7 (2): 101-115.
Brodsky, Alexandra. 2013. “Rehtaeh Parsons is Dead.” Feministing, July 14. http://feministing.com/2013/04/10/rehteah-parsons-is-dead/.
Brushwood Rose, Chloë, and Anne Camilleri. 2002. Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity. Vancouver, BC: Arsenal Pulp.
Carbado, Devon W., Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Vickie M. Mays, and Barbara Tomlinson. 2013. “Intersectionality: Mapping the Movements of a Theory.” Du Bois Review 10 (2): 303-312.
Coyote, Ivan E., and Zena Sharman. 2011. Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme. Vancouver, BC: Arsenal Pulp.
Dahl, Ulrika. 2011. “Femme on Femme: Reflections on Collaborative Methods and Queer Femme-inist Ethnography.” QueerScope: Journal of Queer Studies 5 (1): 1-22. http://journal.fi/sqs/article/view/50871/0.
____. 2014. “White Globes, Feminist Fists: Race, Nation and the Feeling of ‘Vintage’ in Femme Movements.” Gender, Place and Culture 21 (5): 604-621.
Davies, Michelle, Jennifer Gilston, and Paul Rogers. 2012. “Examining the Relationship between Male Rape Myth Acceptance, Female Rape Myth Acceptance, Victim Blame, Homophobia, Gender Roles, and Ambivalent Sexism.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 27 (14): 2807-2823.
Davis, Rebecca. 2013. “Raymond Buys: 15 Years Old, Dead for Not Being Manly.” Daily Maverick, April 29. http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-04-29-raymond-buys-15-years-old-dead-for-not-being-manly/#.Vc88LXhL4So.
Deliovsky, Kathy. 2008. “Normative White Femininity: Race, Gender and the Politics of Beauty.” Atlantis 33 (1): 49-59.
Eguchi, Shinsuke. 2011. “Negotiating Sissyphobia: A Critical/Interpretive Analysis of One “Femme” Gay Asian Body in the Heteronormative World.” Journal of Men’s Studies 19 (1): 37-56.
Erickson, Loree. 2007. “Revealing Femmegimp: A Sex-Positive Reflection on Sites of Shame as Sites of Resistance for People with Disabilities.” Atlantis 31 (2): 42-52.
Fagot, Beverly J. 1977. “Consequences of Moderate Cross-Gender Behaviour in Preschool Children.” Child Development 48 (3): 902-907.
Fields, Errol L., Laura M. Bogart, Katherine C. Smith, David J. Malebranche, Jonathan Ellen, and Mark A. Schuster. 2012. “HIV Risk and Perceptions of Masculinity among Young Black Men Who Have Sex with Men.” Journal of Adolescent Health 50: 296-303.
Glick, Peter, Candice Gangl, Samantha Gibb, Susan Klimpner, and Emily Weinberg. 2007. “Defensive Reactions to Masculinity Threat: More Negative Affect toward Effeminate (but not Masculine) Gay Men.” Sex Roles 57: 55-59.
Greer, Germaine. 1970. The Female Eunuch. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Grossman, Arnold H., Anthony R. D’Augeli, Nicholas P. Salter, and Steven M. Hubbard. 2006. “Comparing Gender Expression, Gender Nonconformity, and Parents’ Responses to Female-to-Male and Male-to-Female Transgender Youth.” Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling 1 (1): 41-59.
Hackett, Michael. 2013. “Vladamir Putin, Properly Made-Up.” Borderless News and Views, August 10. http://borderlessnewsandviews.com/2013/08/ask-mrs-vera-shouldnt-we-boycott-the-winter-olympics-in-sochi-russia/.
Han, Chong-suk. 2008. “No Fats, Femmes, or Asians: The Utility of Critical Race Theory in Examining the Role of Gay Stock Stories in the Marginalization of Gay Asian Men.” Contemporary Justice Review 11 (1): 11-22.
Harris, Laura, and Elizabeth Crocker. 1997. Femme: Feminists, Lesbians and Bad Girls. New York, NY: Routledge.
Harry, Joseph. 1983. “Parasuicide, Gender and Gender Deviance.” Journal of Health and Social Behaviour 24 (4): 350-361.
Hirschmann, Nancy J. 2013. “Queer/Fear: Disability, Sexuality, and The Other.” Journal of Medical Humanities 34: 139-147.
Hodge, Jarrah. 2012. “Systemic Sexism and the Death of Amanda Todd.” Rabble.ca: News for the Rest of Us, July 14. http://rabble.ca/news/2012/10/systemic- sexism-key-understanding-what-happened-amanda-todd.
Hooberman, Robert E. 1979. “Psychological Androgyny, Feminine Gender Identity and Self-Esteem in Homosexual and Heterosexual Males.” The Journal of Sex Research 15 (4): 306-315.
Hoskin, Rhea Ashley. 2013. “Femme Theory: Femininity’s Challenge to Western Feminist Pedagogies.” Master’s Thesis, Queen’s University.
____. 2017 [In Press]. “Passing and Failing: Autoethnography of a Queer Crip Femme of Jewish Descent.” In Gender in Transnational Societies: Feminist Scholarship and Personal Narratives: An Anthology, edited by Rujuta Mandelia and Moiyattu Banya. San Diego, CA: Cognella.
Hoskin, Rhea Ashley, and Karen L. Blair. 2016. “(Un)Willingness to Date Gender Diverse Individuals.” Paper presented at the Sexuality Studies Association, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, May 29.
Jauk, Daniela. 2013. “Gender Violence Revisited: Lessons from Violent Victimization of Transgender Identified Individuals.” Sexualities 17 (7): 807-825.
Jewell, Lisa Margaret, and Melanie Ann Morrison. 2012. “Making Sense of Homonegativity: Heterosexual Men and Women’s Understanding of Their Own Prejudice and Discrimination toward Gay Men.” Qualitative Research in Psychology 9 (4): 351-370.
Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky, and Madeline D. Davis. 1993. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community. New York, NY: Routledge/Penguin.
Kilianski, Stephen E. 2003. “Explaining Heterosexual Men’s Attitudes toward Women and Gay Men: The Theory of Exclusively Masculine Identity.” Psychology of Men & Masculinity 4 (1): 37-56.
Lehavot, Keren, Yamile Molina, and Jane M. Simoni. 2012. “Childhood Trauma, Adult Sexual Assault, and Adult Gender Expression among Lesbian and Bisexual Women.” Sex Roles 67: 272-284.
Levitt, Heidi M., Elizabeth A. Gerrish, and Katherine R. Hiestand. 2003. “The Misunderstood Gender: A Model of Modern Femme Identity.” Sex Roles 48 (3): 99-113.
McCall, Leslie. 2005. “The Complexity of Intersectionality.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 30 (3): 1771-1800.
Miller, Brandon. 2015. “Dude, Where’s Your Face?” Self-Presentation, Self-Description, and Partner Preference on Social Networking Application for Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Content Analysis.” Sexuality & Culture 19 (4): 637-658. doi: 10.1007/s12119-015-9283-4.
Millett, Kate. 1977. Sexual Politics. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Mishali, Yael. 2014. “Feminine Trouble: The Removal of Femininity from Feminist/Lesbian/Queer Esthetics, Imagery, and Conceptualization.” Women’s Studies International Forum 44: 55-68.
Munt, Sally R., and Cherry Smith. 1997. Butch/Femme: Inside Lesbian Gender. London, UK: Cassell.
Namaste, Viviane. 2005. Sex Change. Social Change: Reflections on Identity, Institutions and Imperialism. Toronto, ON: Women’s Press.
Nestle, Joan. 1987. A Restricted Country. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books.
Nnawulezi, Nikiru A., Shani Robin, and Abigail A. Sewell. 2015. “Femme-inism: In Daily Pursuit of Personal Liberation.” Feminism & Psychology 25 (1): 67-72.
Norton, Jody. 1997. “Brain Says You’re a Girl, But I Think You’re a Sissy Boy: Cultural Origins of Transphobia.” International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies 2 (2): 139-164.
Pietsch, Nicole. 2010. “I’m Not That Kind of Girl: White Femininity, the Other, and the Legal/Social Sanctioning of Sexual Violence Against Racialized Women.” Canadian Woman Studies 28 (1): 136-140.
Ringrose, Jessica, and Emma Renold. 2012. “Slut-shaming, Girl Power and ‘Sexualisation’: Thinking Through the Politics of International SlutWalks with Teen Girls.” Gender and Education 24 (3): 333-343.
Rondeaux, Candace. 2005. “Mom Testifies Dad Beat Their 3-Year-Old Son.” Tampa Bay Times, July 13. http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/13/Hillsborough/Mom_testifies_dad_bea.shtml.
Sanchez, Francisco J., and Eric Vilain. 2012. “‘Straight-Acting Gays’: The Relationship Between Masculine Consciousness, Anti-Effeminacy, and Negative Gay Identity.” Archives of Sexual Behaviour 41: 111-119.
Schatzberg, Alan F., Michael P. Westfall, Anthony B. Blumetti, and C. Lee Birk. 1975. “Effeminacy. I. A Quantitative Rating Scale.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 4 (1): 31-41.
Serano, Julia. 2007. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press.
____. 2013. “Chapter 6: Reclaiming Femininity.” Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, by Julia Serano, 48-69. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.
Stafford, Anika. 2010. “Uncompromising Positions: Reiterations of Misogyny Embedded in Lesbian Feminist Communities’ Framing of Lesbian Femme Identities.” Atlantis 35 (1): 81-91.
Stern, Katherine. 1997. “What is Femme? The Phenomenology of the Powder Room.” Women: A Cultural Review 8 (2): 183-196.
Synovitz, Linda B., and Jean Byrne. 1998. “Antecedents of Sexual Victimization: Factors Discriminating Victims from Nonvictims.” College Health 46: 151-158.
Tanenbaum, Leora. 2015. I Am Not A Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.
Taywaditep, Kittiwut Jod. 2001. “Marginalization Among the Marginalized: Gay Men’s Anti-Effeminacy Attitudes.” Journal of Homosexuality 42 (1): 1-28.
VanNewkirk, Robbin. 2006. “‘Gee, I Didn’t Get That Vibe from You’: Articulating My Own Version of a Femme Lesbian Existence.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 10 (1/2): 73-85.
Volcano, Del LaGrace, and Ulrika Dahl. 2008. Femmes of Power: Exploding Queer Femininities. London, UK: Serpent’s Tail.
Weinrich, James D., J. Hampton Atkinson, Jr., J. Allen McCutchan, Igore Grant, and the HNRC Group. 1995. “Is Gender Dysphoria Dysphoric? Elevated Depression and Anxiety in Gender Dysphoric and Nondysphoric Homosexual and Bisexual Men in an HIV Sample.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 24 (1): 55-72.
Yamato, Gloria. 1990. “Something About the Subject Makes It Hard to Name.” In Making Face Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists of Colour, edited by Gloria Anzaldúa, 20-24. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Foundation.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors are aware that articles published in Atlantis are indexed and made available through various scholarly and professional search tools, including but not limited to Erudit.
3. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
4. Authors are permitted and encouraged to preprint their work, that is, post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process. This can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Read more on preprints here.