Helen Boyd is the author of My Husband Betty (Thunder’s Mouth, 2004) and She's Not the Man I Married (Seal Press, 2007). She lives in Brooklyn with her partner Betty and their three cats. Her blog (en)gender can be found at www.myhusbandbetty.com
gender, transgender, feminism, buster keaton, adam ant, rufus wainwright, coal mining, joan of arc, grassroots politics, LGBT, neil gaiman, margaret atwood, relationships, monogamy, sexuality.
So far this is turning out to be one of my favorite books of 2007, mostly because the writer's voice comes across so strongly. The short pieces are something like meditations on various aspects of butch life, masculinity, femmes, chivalry even.
Butch is a Noun has a thoughtful quality that is simultaneously political which I think is an ideal combination for a book about living in the world as a misunderstood gender.
The impression I got from the description of the book on the book - which I picked up at a bookstore without having read any reviews - was that it would be more about culture. I was expecting stuff about Bollywood films and the way the West does or doesn't influence them, etc.
But mostly it's a book about (South Asian) politics and (Western) journalism, getting into very detailed info about anti-Muslim sentiments in India, etc.
A good book, but not what I thought it was going to be.
Written when Patrick Califia was still Pat Califia, this book is a good overview of both what it means to live in the gender binary and a discussion of transgender politics of the last 50 or so years. I especially love it for two things: 1) a feminist eye, and 2) accessible writing. S/he doesn't get bogged down in jargon, and his extensive background as a feminist sex radical informs a lot of the opinions expressed.