Blame It On The Henney

I was at a fundraising party tonight for Lambda Legal (a fantastic organization for those of you who don’t know them, and I had an interesting interaction with an older straight male attorney there. I’d been there a while and was comfortable. I chatted up a few different folks and was doing the proper business card exchange when up walks this old guy. A well-dressed man with tiny spectacles and a cognac in hand introduces himself to me, and then he says: “You have the best look of anyone here. Seriously.” I was flattered and thanked him. Right on!

Now, I’m feeling pretty awesome about my look and smiling both inside and out. Butch has got it! We talk a minute or two more and then he compliments me again. This time, he says I’m a “wise man.”

Scratch the record, stop the music. What the hell! I’m a wise man? Really? This guy has no idea I’m a woman? After several minutes of conversation? Wise? I’d like to think so. But, man? It’s not like I was at a Tea Party pep rally. Remember that this was a fundraiser for a group that fights for the rights of gays and big ol’ dykes. I was among my people! He should have been prepared. Maybe I should have corrected him, but I was really too shocked to do so. Can I blame it on the Henney? I don’t think so. He seemed like a seasoned drinker. Bully!

So, void the cool compliment. Obviously, this dude has no power of observation whatsoever. There could have been three other people at the party with cooler style than Butch, and he would have had no idea.

For those of you who are interested, the “look” was as follows:

  • Orange and blue french cuff dress shirt, Thomas PinkImage
  • Orange bow tie, Nordstrom
  • Black plain front cotton dress pants, Dockers (yes, black with blue, it works sometimes)
  • White belt, silver buckle, Adidas
  • All white Stan Smith’s tennis shoes, Adidas
  • Silver square cuff links, vintage – my grandfather’s
  • Silver screw head earrings (they look like Phillips head screws), Uncommon Goods

Oh, and cognac-holding old guy! I’ve got a big rack under this men’s dress shirt and no Adam’s apple above my bow tie. Pay attention, Jackass!

Butches, what do you do when someone refers to you as a man?

It’s butch to have style, even when old straight white guys think you’re a dude. Be Butch.

10 thoughts on “Blame It On The Henney

  1. Ah yes, my Dear wife gets this a lot, but before you get to upset consider the following:

    We have a convenience store near us that we frequent. Enough so that we a recognised, greated and often asked how our boys are doing. The one lady always asks how my husband is and how the boys daddy is. Dear Wife is butch. The wearing men’s suits and Italian leather shoes type (Grrrr I do love her sense of style).

    The lady at the shops isn’t being dense, difficult or ignoring the fact that DW is a woman, but rather she just doesn’t have the language to describe what she is seeing. She doesn’t know how to differentiate between butch and male, not because she can’t see the difference but because she has no idea of how to express the difference.

    Her default to to use male language as DW is obviously not a lady.

    How would you have reacted if the gentleman had called you a wise lady instead? Prehaps it wasn’t misunderstanding on his part but rather an attempt to acknowledge your butchness without having the language to do so.

    Just a thought.

    • Fabulous Mommy,

      I really appreciate your thoughtful comment. It would be great if that was true in this instance and I did think about that. Sadly, I think he just didn’t get it.

      I like thinking about that though, because it points out the inadequacy of our gender polarized language. We need some new nouns and pronouns! Thanks.

      By the way, I love your blog. Enjoy your boys!

      Be Butch! =:o)

  2. It may be more about the overwhelming qantity of data that assaults our brains daily. One hundred years ago you might pause at the end of your day in the fields, at the tiller, or mill and read a few pages of a book (with no pictures) before hitting the sack at 8PM (very little electricity). Everything was familiar and SLOW. Now you see more images before breakfast than they did in a year!
    You cannot get five minutes of quiet time without your phone buzzing that someone in the world has something you need to read/view/listen to. As a result of the tsunami of images and data, we tend to go to the easiest tags: male, female, old guy, kid. We are constantly searching for ways to filter, file, and then IGNORE input. You put your butchness on the front burner and we admire that, but maybe acknowledge that it could just be sensory overload. That very cool look could have been all the input he could handle at the moment. Or he could just be myopic and a dullard! :o)

  3. I gotta say, and I’m just being way honest here, that I LOVE when that happens. And I don’t mean to me, not that I’m a silly little femme or anything, not by a long shot. I love when someone, anyone, anywhere looks at my honey and says: May I help you SIR?

    I don’t know about any of the rest of you out there but this just rings my bell like nothing else.

    Now Butch, I don’t want you to think I’ve missed the point of your post. Yes, a good ole boy with a Henny in hand might not be the most open minded barrister in the bunch. But there’s a part of me that just wants to say, “Celebrate the moment, my dear. There’s a good woman behind you just lapping it up.”

    By the way, is it WAY inappropriate to ask for a photo of you in that fabu ‘fit? : )

    • Donna,

      You mentioned this in your show and I’m so happy for the elaboration. Thanks for explaining how you experience it. I don’t think the gorgeous fiancé experiences it in the same way, but maybe over time, we will evolve.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I hope you’ll pipe in with your perspective again. =:o)

  4. When this happens to me, I stick my boobs out for them to see. Not litterally out, but you know.
    Just wanted to say, I’m new to this site and enjoy reading everthing you write! Really cheers a butch up when I’m in a bad mood. Thank you so much. ~Jess J Woodard.

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