In which I read Female Chauvinist Pigs and then turn into an old curmudgeon

I just read Chapter 4 of Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy, available here, and I have now turned into an old geezer who shouts, “Hey you kids, get off my lawn!”

I’m kind of hoping that this is exaggerated and that things aren’t really this bad. Maybe she just took the worst examples to make her point about raunch culture? But this is pretty bad. And I’m betting some of this is true.

Levy describes the “boi” lesbian scene in New York and San Francisco in the 2000s and it’s full of misogyny and immaturity.

“Boihood has nothing to do with goddesses or sister­hood or herbal tea, and everything to do with being young, hip, sex positive, a little masculine, and ready to rock. Even in an entirely female universe, there are plenty of women who want to be like a man.

But bois want to be like a very young man. It’s no coincidence that the word is “boi” and not some version of “man.” Men have to deal with responsibili­ties, wives, careers, car insurance. Bois just get to have fun and, if they’re lucky, sex. “I never really wanted to grow up, which is what a lot of the boi identity is about,” said Lissa Doty, who is thirty-seven but looked more like twenty-four when we met for a beer in San Francisco at the Lexington Club, which everyone calls the Lex. She wore a baggy T-shirt and jeans and had gelled her bleached hair into a stiff fin, like the raised spine of a Komodo dragon. “I want to go out and have a good time! I want to be able to go out to the bar at night and go to parties and go to the amusement park and play. That sense of play-that’s a big difference from being a butch. To me, butch is like adult. If you’re a butch, you’re a grown-up: You’re the man of the house.”

There are definitely lesbians who “feel like” teenage boys. I’ve run into a few of them on the Internet. I’ve met a few “frat boy” type lesbians before, who walk with a swagger and see women as conquests. The ones I’ve met in real life are charming, not misogynist like the ones that Levy describes here.

“At a lesbian bar called Meow Mix, a girl in a newsboy cap and a white T-shirt with rolled-up sleeves said to her friend, “Some femme … just some fucking femme. I met her at a party three weeks ago and I fucked her and that was cool. But now she’s like, e-mailing me and I’m just like, chill out, bitch!” Her chest was smooth and flat: She’d either had top surgery-a double mas­tectomy-or, more likely, she bound her breasts down to achieve the look. She thrust her forearm in front of her face as if she were rapping as she spoke: “Some of these chicks, it’s like you top them once and then they’re all up in your face. It’s like, did I get you off? Yes. Am I your new best friend? No. You know what I’m saying, bro?”

.  .  .

“There is another camp of bois who date femmes exclusively and follow a locker­room code of ethics referenced by the phrase “bros before hos” or “bros before bitches,” which means they put the similarly masculine-identified women they hang out with in a different, higher category than the feminine women they have sex with. This school of bois tends to adhere to almost comically unreconstructed fifties gender roles. They just reposi­tion themselves as the ones who wear the pants-they take Female Chauvinist Piggery to a whole different level.”

.  .  .

“During an interview, Sarah, a twenty-eight-year­ old market analyst, showed me an e-mail she’d re­ceived from an Internet acquaintance named Kelli regarding a femme they both knew from the scene. It read: “I hope she’s not a big deal, that you’re just rid­ing her or whatever. Do you want me to keep an eye on her? Bros up bitches down.” Kelli’s peroration was a play on a catchphrase borrowed from sex traffick­ers: pimps up, hos down.”

What the fuck is this bullshit? Why are lesbians acting like the worst kind of straight men? Masculine lesbians in the 1950s opened doors and lit cigarettes for women, but these masculine lesbians want to be actual pimps. They are taking their cues about masculinity from rap videos and porn. They are more male-identified than I’ve ever seen women before, and it’s no surprise that they aren’t identifying as women. They’re either bois, genderqueers, FtMs, or anything else, as long as it’s not female. Females are just the pretty things they like to fuck, and are quite beneath them. Two bois in a relationship are called “faggots.” What is it with gay men calling themselves lesbians and lesbians calling themselves gay men?? Words have no meaning anymore.

Levy interviews a woman named Kim who is dating a boi named Clara. Kim says, “Clara’s biggest fear when we started dating was that I was going to try and fuck her.” So now we’ve gone back to the 1950s where butches had to make sure they were not “flipped“? I can’t imagine how it could make sense to be “afraid” your girlfriend is going to “try and fuck you.” First of all, if you are in a sexual relationship, wouldn’t you want your partner to pleasure you? Secondly, if you are afraid that your partner will do something to you that you don’t want, that is definitely an abusive relationship. But I don’t think Kim is actually abusive, I think Clara just has this male persona and fears being emasculated.

“Clara’s got this intense thing, her and her friends have a really strong distaste for this whole trans trendy explosion that’s going on,” said Kim. “But the more I hang out with her the more I’m com­pletely convinced she’s a closet trans case: She’s ob­sessed with operating sexually as a male. Completely obsessed. She doesn’t make any reference to being queer or lesbian at all. And she sees all of her lesbian traits-either emotional or physical-as completely negative. I’ve never met anyone who wishes that she was a guy so much.” Kim thought about it for a minute and concluded, “Whereas a butch is some­body who is, I guess, a little more comfortable with the fact that she actually is female.”

Why the fuck would a lesbian want to “operate sexually as a male?” I used to date men, and I switched to women for a reason. Women are way better. I don’t want my partner to “operate sexually as a male,” I want her to operate sexually as a female. To me, “operate sexually as a male” means be a fucking asshole who is selfish in bed and only wants to fuck and doesn’t give a shit about me getting anything out of it. These women would please their partners way better as butch women than as pseudo-“men.” Is their goal during sex to please their partners, or is it to confirm their “identities?”

“This all ties into their kind of approach to women in general-they are so very predatory about it. Clara won’t just touch on it like That girl’s hot. She will talk and talk and talk about how she wants to get them home and fuck them.” She looked at Diana. “I’m nervous to see her now because I’m not dressed up. And then all of a sudden it’s like I’m trying to please a guy. It’s like I’ve come full circle.”

This woman Clara sounds like she wants to be exactly like a male porn star. (And you know, there actually is a lesbian who turned into a male porn star—Buck Angel. What a role model!)

By the way, if you want to be an asshole in bed, that’s not sex-positive, that’s sex-negative.

I don’t want anything to do with this lesbian-porn-star community. Give me a group of herbal tea drinking, politically correct lesbian separatists any day over this I Wanna Be A Teenage Boy Pimp nonsense. A butch woman should be a handsome, dapper woman who knows how to treat her girlfriend right, and if she likes to be on top, that’s great, but that doesn’t mean she has to be a misogynist dickhead with a fear of being emasculated. It’s entirely possible to be a top and also a good person at the same time.

These fucking kids need to get the fuck off my lawn!


23 thoughts on “In which I read Female Chauvinist Pigs and then turn into an old curmudgeon

  1. Your post reminds me of something I heard years ago on the radio.

    It was about lesbians in the 1950s. A young lesbian woman had fallen in love with a beautiful butch lesbian. This butch was a gorgeous Asian woman.

    She was also very violent. She beat her lesbian lover. Because I guess that being the “domme” in the relationship meant acting like an abusive man?

    Anyway, I found that story to be really depressing, because you would think that at least, with a woman, one would not be a victim of abuse. But the butch was playing out the “man” role and treating her lover like a second class citizen.

    Very sad.


  2. “Give me a group of herbal tea drinking, politically correct lesbian separatists any day over this I Wanna Be A Teenage Boy Pimp nonsense.”
    Hahahaha! Fuck, yeah. I tried on this persona for a little bit–it’s so gross. I’m of the opinion that you have to feel pretty shitty about yourself to treat other people so shitty…unless you’re one of those people who has no empathy, in which case, you feel nothing. But to try so hard to achieve a certain image suggests deep insecurity. Belittling and debasing others is evidence of deep self-loathing and perhaps an indication of abuse, if not by one’s own parents, by the culture. That’s why I try, whenever I can, to kill ’em with kindness. If I encounter an insecure asshole out in the world, I smile and try to let ’em know everything is going to be okay. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As an old school Butch Dyke Top and Leatherdyke, codes of conduct were expected. There were well asvroles. fantasy, omagination, negotiation and discussion BEFORE anything occurred..the code of SSC…Boi meant Butch Female Submissive…not necessarily genderqueer teenage full of hormones wanna be male.

    There was a time Butches were shamed for being submissive or forcdesiring other Butches..whuch is WHY the unimaginative types SEE themselves as “faggots” for desiring another Butch. It was and still IS in many Lesbian circles taboo to be Butch on Butch. It certaimly was when I came out on 1981…

    But I preferred other Butches because they were like myself, handsome. Amazonian, rough and tumble, but still FEMALE. The fierce protective Amazon Warriors of the Dyke and LeatherDyke communities.

    So to me a Butch boi was AND IS QUITE desirable and warms my heart. The ones that are polite, intelligent, sexy, and inhabiting fully their sexy hot Amazonian Female bodies at all sizes!!!
    I love their handsome faces, short hair. muscles, shapely Amazonian breasts, their strong legs and sacred Yonis.

    I love their fierce Amazon Spirit, their herstory like mine where she UNDERSTANDS INTIMATELY the trials I have been through as a Butch, and have been with one for 14 years.

    We fit like a ball in a glove and I am.her protector. She too, is protective of me.
    And NEITHER of us want to be men or even associate with these young women who do, and who have cut off their beautiful breasts and on testosterone act angry, hostile, hypersexual and emotionally closed down BECAUSE OF TESTOSTERONE and the male culture and expectations they are adopting.

    Sadly they have left their femaleness behind…no thanks.


    Liked by 4 people

    • I would also like “the ones that are polite, intelligent, sexy, and inhabiting fully their sexy hot Amazonian Female bodies at all sizes.” It’s just the misogynist male-identified ones I can’t stand.


  4. “To me, “operate sexually as a male” means be a fucking asshole who is selfish in bed and only wants to fuck and doesn’t give a shit about me getting anything out of it. ”

    Yeah … why do lesbians put up with this kind of shit?

    As a het woman, one can be under the impression that that’s all you get, that it’s either that shit or nothing (I have always preferred nothing over it) but as a lesbian?

    If you can be with a woman who loves women, why be with a woman who hates women?

    Maybe it’s just that lesbians are not immune to the psychological mechanisms that cause het women to end up with abusers, but … it’s so sad.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Its because they hate the woman WITHIN THEMSELVES…which is WHY so many of them breast bind, want to be on Testosterone, or have their breasts chopped off. Cuz in the world women are “less than” so its easier to identify with the oppressor than the oppressed….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I thought Female Chauvinist Pigs was a pretty good read. 🙂 It vocalised a lot of things I’ve been seeing around me, but couldn’t logically make sense of. After all: weren’t men the oppressors? Why is so much of the misogyny actively perpetrated by other women? This book made a good case for why that is and how an analysis of culture does a better job than identity politics ever could.

    Liked by 2 people

      • For sure! It’s a very accessable book, in fact: it was one of the first feminist books I’ve read. Usually I’m not fond of Levy (she absolutely slaughters Andrea Dworkin’s work, which I find so damn strange), but this book did a great job in criticising the mainstream/liberal feminist narrative of self-empowerment, sex positivism and leaning in.

        If you have a library near by: perhaps check if they got a copy? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I started reading it. And at first I thought this is great it’s really honest and blunt. But as it kept going on and on with the Girls Gone Wild young women doing all that disgusting stuff for the camera I had to stop reading it. It was just too friggin depressing. Might give it another go.

          What that horrible Clara sounds like to me is an emotionally abusive high school boyfriend. Everything is about her and she’s all about this persona that she obsesses over. 😣

          As for Buck Angel. What a name! I am BUCK, hypermasculine! But I’m also an 💫✨angel✨💫 😇. He was in a relationship or whatever porn people have, with a dominatrix prostitute who then married one of the brothers who directed the awful Matrix movies and who went trans this year. Just in case you want to know but you gross shit. 😳 Learned all that on Gender Trender.


  7. That sounds so accurate to my experiences in the 00s, when I was trying to find a female significant other, and was so put off by all the aggression and hostility and disrespect towards me that I gave up.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Haven’t read Levy’s book, but I’ve heard it mentioned a few times. I really cannot see the appeal of acting like some asshole teenage boy. I think lesbians especially have more potential to form equal relationships, but it won’t work if you act like some macho douchebag.

    Liked by 1 person

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