Pink stinks!!


In the old days, lesbians just didn’t wear dresses… Julie Bindel wonders why we’re all going femme.


Back in 1977, when I first started going to lesbian bars, most of the women – aside from the feminists – presented as either butch or femme. Many dykes I met at the time were pigeonholed into a butch role because of their build or height or chosen profession. How ironic that those women, simply because they did not dress to please men and were plumbers not air hostesses, were accused of ‘being like men’ rather than women rejecting femininity.  


At the time, Rock Follies, an overtly feminist musical drama about a female rock band, was on TV and as a result, lots of straight girls – inspired by the fabulous characters on screen – dared to adopt an androgynous look. In the meantime, we dykes were looking increasingly like extras on the set of the iconic lesbian film: The Killing of Sister George


Today, butches are afforded more status than girly lezzers on the scene, perhaps because they are on the frontline. Whilst femmes often pass as straight, the more lezzer-looking among us are vulnerable to queer-bashing. More and more women on the scene seem to be buying into the ultra-feminine look. Is this a step back into the closet or a response to the mainstream fashion industry’s obsession with heels and frocks? Have we lost our lesbian identity and are now simply ‘women who sleep with women’?


One of the many things I love about being a lesbian is not to have to tailor my appearance to that of a Barbie doll. How do you do it, girls? The make up, hair, shopping for shoes and clothes, getting your roots done, painting your nails, and, of course, plucking and shaving, not to mention the clouds of perfume.


Is anyone else concerned that lesbians are moving more towards the bad old days? Before lesbianism became chic many women tried to emulate heterosexual couples for the simple reason that we had no other blueprint to follow or public role models who led the way.  


Even today, after four decades of feminism, scientists are trying to suggest that the reason we are butch or femme is due to biological factors. S. Marc Breedlove, a professor of neuroscience at Michigan State University published a study a few years back entitled Differences in Finger-length Ratios Between Self-Identified “Butch” and “Femme” Lesbians. His findings are summed up in this sentence: “We surveyed individuals from a gay pride street fair and found that lesbians who identified themselves as ‘butch’ had a significantly smaller 2D:4D [ratio of index finger to ring finger] than did those who identified themselves as ‘femme’.”


Straight men tend not to like us lezzers but when it comes to fantasy they are willing to cut us some slack. There exists an entire genre of porn based on ultra-femme pseudo lesbians getting it on with each other in order to titillate men. I can’t imagine porn featuring short-haired bulldykes in sensible shoes but anything’s possible. Lesbians these days seem to be so man-friendly is it any wonder a progressive number seem to be crossing over to the other side?



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