- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press; 2 edition (August 31, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1551523698
- ISBN-13: 978-1551523699
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Butch is a Noun 2nd Edition
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"Butch is a Noun" is a book that a) should be required reading in any gender studies curriculum;b) femmes should read whenever they're feeling unloved, lonely, or misunderstood; c) butches should read; d) all of the above. The answer, of course, is d. Thank you, dear Bear.
―Kate Bornstein, author of "Gender Outlaw"--Kate Bornstein "Kate Bornstein "
Bear's poetry of butchness lets us see into facets of gender that usually aren't so transparent. And made me fall in love with butches all over again.
―Carol Queen, author of "Real Live Nude Girl"--Carol Queen "Carol Queen "
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Those reviewers referring to "lesbians" and "gay women" are missing the point of this book and might want to consider re-reading it. This book isn't about women or lesbians; it is about BUTCHES, whose gender identity might be woman, man, genderqueer, BUTCH, or some other designation, and whose sexual identity might be gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, or any other orientation.
Butch is a noun and an identity all its own, in many cases a gender identity. When butches partner with femmes, there are often aspects of heteronormativity to their relationships, because they arise out of the identities and inclinations of the partners, but this does not in any way validate heterocentrism or misogyny in the culture at large, invalidate the experiences and preferences of those who do not identify as butch or femme, or say anything at all about lesbians or women or what they should do or say or be.
If you do not identify as butch (or possibly masculine genderqueer), this book is not about you. Do not expect it to showcase your experiences or resonate with your identity or validate your feelings. Expect it to tell you about the identity, experiences, and feelings of Bear and many (not all) others who do identify as butch. Expect it to give you the opportunity to explore a world beyond binary gender, where not everyone identifies as man or woman, boy or girl, heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.
Highly recommended reading if:
- You are working out/building your gender identity
- You are studying gender identity or sexuality, either academically or personally
- You have a loved one (or are attracted to someone) who identifies as butch and you want to understand better or just read essays and vignettes that reflect a butch perspective
Each of the essays focuses on a different aspect of butches beginning with "what/who" butches are, which she is unable to define. Hir writing ranges from reflections on the special friendships that butches have with each other to the complexities of using genered bathrooms and just about everything in between. Of course this means that there are some essays on sex, but they are far from graphic. While some reviewers think that this book is for butches and "those who love them", I would say that this collection is a must read for everyone in today's society for it touches on the larger issue of identity and its constructs. At times funny, but always insightful, Bergman educates the reader in a way that feels like we are not being educated. Perhaps this is because Bergman is a professional lecturer on the topic and has excelled at teaching important gender issues to everyone from college students to convicts.
Overall, this is an incredibly important read and one that people should not shy away from.
Butch is a Noun is a collection of essays that comprise that framework. At times, I felt that the essays were too short, that a certain amount of narrative depth was lost by the almost journal-style of the essays and that a couple of them could have been combined to provide more variance in style and form.
However, I think Butch is a Noun found it's best footing as a gender critique. Butch is a Noun is an often loving experience of genderqueerness and transgressiveness, but Bear never stops asking questions like "How can we do better?" I was particularly appreciative of the essay addressing misogyny in butches and of the essays shining a loving light on butch-butch love. Bear doesn't simply tell hir stories, zie provides a range of experiences as a framework to start to ask questions and (maybe) explore some answers.
Most recent customer reviews
It's an interesting perspective on what it means to be butch