Photos of the Day: “A celebration of those who choose to exist outside of the binary”

butch photo 1

I’m loving this portrait series by photographer Meg Allen exploring “the butch aesthetic, identity and presentation of female masculinity” today. The project began with photos of her friends in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, and Allen describes her motivation like this:

It is a celebration of those who choose to exist and identify outside of the binary; who still get he’d and she’d differently throughout the day; who get called-out in bathrooms and eyed suspiciously at the airport; who have invented names for themselves as parents because “Mom” nor “Dad” feels quite right; and who will generally expect that stare from the gender police trying to figure out if they are “a boy or a girl”. It is an homage to the bull-daggers and female husbands before me, and to the young studs, gender queers, and bois who continue to bloom into the present.

See more after the jump and the full series here.

butch photo 2, woman with dog

butch photo 3, woman in hat and glass

butch photo 4, woman in suit with glass of wine

butch photo 5, firefighter

(h/t Buzzfeed)

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

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One Comment

  1. Posted April 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    The idea of ‘masculine’ women or ‘feminine’ men is ridiculous. Anything any woman thinks, says, or does is something a woman would think, say, or do, and is therefore ‘feminine.’ The same for ‘masculinity’ and men’s actions/thoughts. Being non-traditionally ‘feminine’ makes me no less of a woman, just as the women photographed are no less women because they aren’t wearing traditional women’s garb. Using the terms ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ is just a way of putting narrow definitions of acceptable behaviour on people. A woman who feels most comfortable wearing short hair, collared shirts, and slacks may still like flowers or pretty cookies or quilting, and to assign her a ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ label potentially negates half her personality. The most mentally healthy place to be is in the middle, where you can accept yourself as you are. Calling a woman ‘masculine’ is a way of saying, ‘you’re not a real woman because you don’t act the way we expect women to act.’ I have gone my whole life being called ‘masculine,’ but I am a woman, and I feel like a woman, and I don’t want to be a man. The things I have done and said are the actions and words of a non-traditional woman, but a woman nonetheless. I have never been masculine, I am non-traditionally feminine.

    Aside from my disagreement with using the word ‘masculine,’ I do like the photo series.

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