"Femme" seeks to redress the ways that femme identities have been elided, idealized, or not fully historicized in a productive reconsideration of lesbian and butch-femme history, of feminism, and of queer thought. As femme sexual politics provide a liberatory model, "Femme" as a feminist project offers an alliance between many communities of women previously passed over by feminism. This collection argues that femmes have been causal to shifts within feminism, the creation of queer theory, and the shaping of butch-femme and lesbian history. At this time, it is imperative to listen to femme voices as they speak to the intersections between--and push the envelope of--queer, feminist, and lesbian thought.
"Femme" is divided into three sections, --Histories, Generations, and Futures. Contributors write about femme in terms of: sexuality, gender, race and ethnic communities, class experience, national borders, bisexuality, body image, incest survival, aging, bar culture, heterosexuality, activism, transgender and transsexual desire, and feminism. The book portrays femmes as contestatory lesbian identities, radical feminist positions, and subversive queer models. As the authors focus on femme, they discuss the ways that they use femme for strategic passing across, translating, connecting, and complicating various boundaries of identity. "Femme" offers writing that is both personal and theoretical; provides histories of femmes in 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s as well as contemporary representations of femme; and contains a diversity of femme identities and practices.
Contributors: Leah Lilith Albrecht-Samarasinha, Barbara Cruikshank, Madeline Davis, Heather Findlay, Jewelle Gomez, Kelly Hankin, Leslie Henson, Amber Hollibaugh, Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, Mabel Maney, Katherine Millersdaughter, Joan Nestle, Lisa Ortiz, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Rebecca Ann Rugg, Gaby Sandoval, Marcy Sheiner, Alex Robertson Textor.