No, "Fuckfemmes" Are Not a Thing
Written by: Kay Martinez
No, Fuckfemmes are not a thing.
Yes, a Fuckboi is a thing. No, a Fuckfemme is not a thing. Hear me out. When I wrote, “A message for the Fuckbois,” folks asked me, “What about the Fuckfemmes?” I had never heard the term “Fuckfemme” or seen it before. I was at a loss. Is there such a thing as a fuckfemme? I wasn’t sure about this concept, so I asked my brilliant community for their opinions via my Instagram story. I was not ready for the varied responses. Folks from across the country weighed in and I was in several deep DM conversations which felt like dissertations on gender. Here’s where I’m at:
To start, the word “Fuckfemmes” feels wrong when I hear it and when I see it. The combination of these words together— Fuck Femmes— as a declarative statement is not okay because it’s misogynistic and literally perpetuates hatred of Femmes and Women. If we want to end the oppression of Femmes and Women we can’t use words like this which keep it going. We have to use words and engage in behaviors to liberate Women and Femmes and we have to be reflective of it at all times. That alone is reason enough for me why fuckfemmes isn’t a word we should be making a thing. But wait, there’s more!
Fuck (boi) ≠ Fuck (femme)
Folks also said to me in various ways, “but there has to be a Femme equivalent to the Fuckboi, right?” We need to deconstruct and address this equation. We can’t just substitute “Boi” and replace it with “Femme” in this “Fuck person” Historically, bois and femmes have held different levels of power, so switching them out is a false equivalency (see also: “reverse racism”). Some things, like racism, do not work in the reverse because they are not reflexive and saying so is devoid of a hegemonic power analysis.
The concept of Fuckbois and bois is satirical. The play on words subverts cisgendered or “cis” masculinity and makes fun of patriarchy while calling out harmful toxic masculine behaviors. Satire is a way for those on the bottom to punch up and make light of their oppression, but satire doesn’t work from the top down. It’s not funny for those in power to make light of or ridicule those they oppress. Cis Men have always been on top and in power by keeping Women down. Being masculine or “masc” meant learning these behaviors and practices to feel proximal to cis male privilege. This leads to harming and oppressing others, particularly learning the practice of harming Women and Femmes.
Have you ever heard of the “bro code”? It’s an oath to patriarchy Men and Masc folks are taught which means, “bros before hoes,” or, masc folks stick together to keep each other on top at the expense of Women and Femmes. This is why Men and Masc people have to identify their “toxic masculinity” and Fuckboi behaviors. They should unlearn these behaviors because they are taught and encouraged at a systemic level and they are harmful. Fuckbois replicate the behaviors of the system of patriarchy to maintain it but there is no feminine equivalent. Femmes can be misogynistic and uphold patriarchy too, but femininity does not come with inherent lessons or expectations to oppress others and certainly not to harm men or masculine folks. Femininity does not teach misandry and even if it did, it does not have the same systemic impact as misogyny.
There is no systemic advantage to being a Woman and/or Feminine person and there never has been. In my Afro-Latinx household, the early messages on binary gender roles I got were: “women cook and clean. Girls wear dresses. Try make-up. Sports are for men. Be softer and nicer and ultimately, be quiet.” Being a Woman, I learned, meant being feminine and subservient to Men and masculinity. So I said, fuck all that and I went with my affinity to masculinity. Masculinity was presented to me as: dominance, being powerful, being hard, aggressive, physical, vocal, and a leader.
I was never taught about a “Womens’ Code”. I got messages about competing with other Women for Men and doing whatever necessary to be well-liked and considered nice. When I was taught to be Feminine, I was not taught to oppress or harm men or masculine folk, rather I was taught to serve them and cater to them. Femininity is not inherently harmful in the ways masculinity is.
However, Women and Femmes can harm people. I think this is what people wanted out of the word “Fuckfemme”. They want a word to acknowledge that harmful Femme people exist and Femmes can do harm to Masculine people. I have been emotionally harmed by Femme partners, so I hear you. Yes, if you’ve been harmed by a Femme person it fucking hurts— but no, the person who harmed you isn’t a “Fuckfemme” because their femininity didn’t teach them these behaviors.
In my case, I’ve been ghosted on, kept in the closet, lied to, gaslit, and left totally confused by Femme partners who gave me contradicting messages. I specifically name the harmful behaviors of the femme folks who have harmed me rather than chalking it up to femininity altogether.
There is an idea that Women and Femmes can use their Femininity or “Feminine Wiles” to get what they want. This idea perpetuates a trope of Women and Femmes as sexual objects and commodities. Femininity cannot be weaponized. Folks who think this way say things like, “Yeah, these femmes, they know I’m defenseless when they wear those high heels, lipstick, and tight short skirts! They just bat their eyelashes and cast a spell on me to get what they want— those brujas!” What’s really going on here is some desire to own and possess a femme. You are sexually attracted to this person’s feminine appearance, you want to engage with this person sexually and you would do anything to “have” them.
The Femme person you think used their “feminine wiles” on you to harm you, may have really hurt you, but their femininity did not teach them to be manipulative or harmful and they are not harmful just because they’re Femme. They exploited your desire and objectification of them, sure. They may have misled or manipulated you, but name those attributes and separate it from femininity. Also ask yourself, why did you want to “have” or “own” them in the first place? It’s a possessive and misogynistic attribute and part of the anger comes from a belief of entitlement to a femme.
This “feminine wiles” trope reminds me of the Bible’s Adam and Eve story. The Bible says Eve, the first Woman on Earth, was deceived by a serpent to eat a forbidden fruit and then manipulated Adam to eat the fruit as well. This story has been used for eons to reinforce many forces of oppression, especially the ideas that Men are superior to Women and Women are manipulative and not to be trusted because they can use their femininity to bring about your downfall.
I hope these Fuckboi and Fuckfemme articles contribute to our ongoing conversations and help highlight harmful behaviors happening in our Queer community so we can stop them and stop hurting each other. I wrote these pieces so we can not be Fuckpeople and work towards a society where we love, care, and take care of each other. Hurting others is inevitable, but I am dedicating time to work on my apologizing skills. I’ve been referring to the “How to Apologize Well Guide” from Out in the Open (pictured above). I keep trying to learn how to be a more caring and considerate person. It is a lot of work and I appreciate everyone who is on this journey.
Fuck (boi) ≠ Fuck (femme)
- Kay Martinez
For more from Kay Martinez follow them on Instagram @k_pmz