It’s Monday and that means fiction in my book – pardon the very bad pun. Today’s fiction review is a bit different. We’re going to focus on the butch lesbian as depicted in author Leslie Fienberg’s book, Stone Butch Blues: A Novel.
Stone Butch Blues is a novel, a work of fiction, to be sure but it’s quite a bit deeper than that. I picked up the book a few months ago on the recommendation of a friend. I’m glad I did. I read this book with more of an interest in learning what makes a butch, or more specifically a stone butch, tick than to enjoy it as a novel. You’re free to read it either way. It stands as a great novel on it’s own but, if you have a butch in your life that you’re struggling to understand at times, Fienberg’s book will give you some amazing insight.
I’ve always enjoyed the company of women. I love looking at a beautiful woman as I, personally, define beautiful. When I first began to date women, I leaned toward more femme women. Now, in previous posts I’ve discussed that I walk a pretty middle line myself. I’m typically described as a tomboy but I often present as femme. Femme women were not as drawn to me but butch women very much were.
My first, long-term relationship with a woman was with one who was trying to walk a similar line to the one that I do but, as time went on, she leaned more and more butch. She still had a more feminine habit or two but, overall butch was the term that fit her best if we insist on giving things a name. I struggled at times with the way she did things and reacted to things and so forth but I didn’t attribute this to anything other than to her specifically.
Two and a half years ago I met my wife. Now, I’ve already covered my her in this blog. It’s safe to say that she is the definition of a stone butch, if we’re defining the term. I love and adore my wife to no end and yet, there are also times I’m completely exasperated by her. Sometimes I just don’t get her at all. Often, when we’re struggling with an issue, I see in her what I saw in the man I was married to for 16 years (she hates the comparison by the way so don’t tell her I said that!). She uses the same lines of reasoning and invokes the same sort of macho swagger that my ex-husband did. She internalizes things and refuses to discuss her true feelings or validate mine. She just doesn’t deal with things the way the “average” woman typically would. This is what I struggled with and the reason that my friend recommended this book.
Stone Butch Blues is a “story”. It seems that it’s got a very autobiographical quality to it. If you’re familiar with the work of author Leslie Feinberg and her life story, then you know why it does. If you love a butch, or if you’re interested in learning how a butch “ticks” (for lack of a better term), you’ll like this book.