Misogyny and the Masc/Femme Dynamic
My masculine presenting wife is always seen as my superior
I love my wife, she’s funny, smart, kind, gorgeous, and just generally brilliant. She’s masculine-presenting, and after a brief foray into the “butchy femme” arena, she’s decided that she’s the former.
And that’s cool, however, you identify or present yourself is cool with me.
A lot of lesbian couples still get asked the age-old question, “Which one of you is the man?” I can only assume that when people ask that, they’re asking which one of you is the more “dominant” person in the relationship.
The answer in our case is neither, we both have our strengths and weaknesses and use them appropriately. But people never ask us that question because they assume that she’s the more dominant one in our marriage.
They take one look at her and think “she’s the man.” This is because society is so centred on male involvement in a relationship that when people see a relationship with no men in it, they assign one of them the role.
And there are so many ways this misogyny creeps into our daily lives, and probably the lives of a lot of femme/masc couples.
They Assume She’s The Practical One
She is, but the assumptions go further than that. People always think that she must have learned all these things from her dad when he’s as useless as a $5 apple gift card. She learned all of her DIY skills from her mother, she was a badass woman who taught her everything from woodworking to wallpapering.
They also assume that I let her do all of it alone because I don’t want to chip my nail polish. First of all, nobody wants to chip their nail polish but I frequently do when I’m helping her do stuff around the house. I live there too you know, it’s only right that I help. I used to do house clearances for a living, I’m stronger than I look.
They Assume She’s the Confrontational One
My wife hates confrontation, any kind of conflict stresses her out so much. She comes from an essentially peaceful family and a loving home. Me, not so much, my mum’s style of parenting was more kind of “fight it out amongst yourselves.” A slogan she said so often that I think she should have made it our family motto. She should have created a crest and have it written in Latin at the bottom (Inter vos pugnare if you’re interested)
This Thunderdome style of parenting meant I was raised on a diet of conflict and confrontation, so that’s where I step in. And if I can’t argue with someone for her, I’ll just be there to support her and try to keep her calm and relaxed.
If we experience any kind of homophobia, they’re always so shocked when it’s me that starts to mouth off and not her. Do they think I’m gonna let her do the fighting? Fuck that! As a wise man once said “you wanna get nuts? Come on, let’s get nuts!”
Plus you should see her when there’s a wasp anywhere near her, every butch or tough inclinations fly out of the window.
Not only will people ask her what we’re having every single time, but they’ll also always give us the wrong drinks. She likes beer, I like the taste but the bubbles make my reflux act up so I avoid it. I mainly drink whisky, it’s the only thing that doesn’t give me heartburn. But they always place the whisky down in front of her and the beer in front of me. I know it’s not a big deal but it annoys me.
People will always ask her any questions relating to the order, even if it’s my order. They’ll always hand her the bill, even if I’m the one who asks for it. And in posh places, they don’t pull her chair out, but they do mine and that’s just disrespectful towards her.
It's Not Just Men Who Do This
Men aren’t the only ones guilty of this, middle-aged women are just as bad. And again, I know none of these are huge deals, but they irritate me. They’re signs that even where there are no men involved, masculinity is still the most important thing in society. Femininity is seen as inferior unless it’s sexualised.