Femmephobia exists in the LGBT community. I think it’s not exclusive to the LGBT community though, but wait, before anything else, what does femmephobia mean even?
Femmephobia or femmemisia, according to this article, is defined as “hatred of all people who are perceived as femme, feminine, effeminate, and/or twink regardless of their gender. A direct result of femmephobia is the oppression of anybody whose gender presentation is in any way classified as being on the female-end of the gender binary due to their fashion sense, behavior, or mannerisms.”
In short, a person is femmephobic when he or she or they are mocking and bullying people regardless of their gender for liking or doing things that are deemed as “feminine.” Liking the color pink for example, painting nails, and they are also “made to feel lesser for expressing specific emotions, especially crying” which means the phrase “real men don’t cry” is actually femmephobic.
Anyway, we’re bringing this up because there’s a debate raging over femmephobia in the LGBT community on Reddit. A user named doesgayshit on askgaybros brought this up, he said that he stumbled upon a comment that reads, “Fem/flamboyancy: I want a man. I am not attracted to guys who paint their nails, dye their hair weird colors, or go out of their way to act girly/effeminate.”
The original poster of the thread then implored readers to “talk about this in a different way.” He said:
Feminine men are men. They are not masculine, but they are men, and suggesting otherwise is kind of fucked up. Just because someone doesn’t adhere to your particular definition of masculinity doesn’t make them not a man. It’s okay to not be attracted to them, I’m certainly not whatsoever. We are allowed to be attracted to whoever we want. They aren’t less of a man because of that. They’re being themselves whether people like it or not. What could be more manly than that?
A reader named EarthQuest commented, “I like feminine guys, but where exactly is the line between feminine and masculine? I’m sure most guys have a mix of traits unless they are arbitrarily holding themselves back.”
User desiringmachine93 on the other hand, said, “Honestly most fem guys I know also talk like that about other fem guys. 🙃 They always complain about masc guys not wanting to date them and then when I ask why they don’t want to date femme guys they say things like ‘I am looking for a man.’ Lol.”
In addition to the comments above, user LordCrinoline said:
It really goes further than that by using bottom as an insult, and I hate it. I do believe in this too, that he’s still a man, whether he adheres to your stale gender roles or not. Men could also still be masculine if they enjoy some conventionally feminine things on the side, but not on Candace Owens’ watch apparently.
But it was user Themaleslayer’s comment that really says it all. Whether he shows his feminine side or his masculine side, people find a problem either way so I guess the moral of the story is for us to just be ourselves at all times. He explained, “Yep, you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. I’ve been told I’m ‘too gay’ and ‘too straight’ before. It’s a whole thing.”
Meanwhile, a postdoctoral researcher named Rhea Ashley Hoskin explained that it is important to talk about femmephobia. Knowing more about it helps us to “get past it,” she said, and hopefully during the process we learn to revalue femininity as this can “catalyze systemic change.”
Further, Hoskin said that femmephobia causes harm, that devaluing and regulating femininity can “fuel other forms of prejudice.” She added, “Ultimately, I think that re-valuing femininity offers a useful strategy to combat issues like misogyny, sexism, homophobia, transmisogyny, and rape culture (to name a few).”
Having said all that, what about you, guys? What’s your story? Have you ever experienced femmephobia? Did you ever have to act more feminine or more masculine to suit other people’s fancy? Share with us your thoughts and stories in the comments section below!