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    This article focuses on the lived experiences of femme identity. I use the history of femme, growing out of a specifically lesbian context wherein femininity is queered through its refusal of heterosexual consumption to approach the broader messiness between femme-ininity and normative femininity. I draw on feminist and queer analytics, femme theory, and autotheory to argue that femme-ininity is always liminal and may be better understood not as a stable gendered practice reliant upon queerness for legitimation but as a non-fixed gendered practice that is femme on its own terms. Through an examination of my firsthand experiences of femme-ininity I demonstrate the ways that dominant conceptions of femme-ininity do not necessarily reflect my own experiences as a femme, particularly due to the legitimating force others (e.g. romantic partners) play in achieving femme-ininity. I advance a revised definition of femme-ininity that focuses primarily on intentional enjoyment of feminine embodiment rather than strictly sexuality in order to re-center femme practitioners themselves. Using athletic case studies to test this definition, I demonstrate that the juxtaposition between heteropatriarchal resistance and heteropatriarchal compliance used to frame comparisons between femme-ininity and normative femininity is less representative of femme experience than the recognition that femme gender transgressions coexist alongside internalized oppressions.


    Jocelyne Bartram Scott. What do glitter, pointe shoes, & plastic drumsticks have in common? Using femme theory to consider the reclamation of disciplinary beauty/body practices. Journal of lesbian studies. 2021;25(1):36-52

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    PMID: 31724484

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