A lot of butches and women in general have internalized misogyny which leads to them viewing themselves how others have viewed and stereotyped them and acting out behaviours in accordance with that. This can look like gender preformaty. For example if you dont fit the definition of femininity and are refusing to adjust yourself o the male gaze, and have selected a menswear style that matches your active lifestyle as an alternative to wearing sports gear all the time, or caring about the ever changing fashions and less functional clothing offered to women. You may decide you dont want to bother with long hair or hair fashions either and have a short cut. Through your life others will start off my trying to get you to wear female clothes more, just add a few bits of jewelry some make up etc, this will give you the impression they want you to add a few of the things women are expected to use to mark themselves out. You may not stop to ask why it is your female body cant act as the marker to say your female, and why clothes and behaviours are more important in saying one is a woman then the very female body they are born with. The reason for this is because an unbreakable sense of personal power comes from the concept of popping out the wombs complete as a woman, and knowing that no matter what you do in life you wont make yourself anymore or less of a woman(excluding actual medical transition). So what happens is girls are taught a woman is something that they become by learning certain ways to act and present, and those ways are defined by men as a class and are inline with what men as a class want from females.
The things men as a class want from females are: Sex and reproduction, sometimes together other times just sex. Labour in the home and in lower paid jobs. To tone down any abilities outside of these things, and to not take up to much space allowing men to use this world in whatever way they want and to make all the decisions. They dont want women to act from original thought, unless they are feminists leaving the pack or they are acting against the will of a woman who is not conforming. They say women are stupid and emotional, but at the same time they dont want women to be anything other, and if she is they will attempt to reduce her to an emotional state with abuse.
Not everyone wants to admit this hidden factor to themselves or their children, so gender gets dressed up in pink and blue, in instrumental or expressive guise. Its said this is how boys and girls are, toys are made and the reality is covered up with things that can be fun for some. Those who positively embrace the right set of things may not notice anything is wrong, because they make it look like the things in each box are equally of value by pricing high many of the things for females. This offsets the fact the boy is getting a toy that will help expand his mind, while the girl is getting something colourful and fun but it stops there. The pink clothing and all the colours makes it look like the girl gets something, but really the boys shoes are much more sturdy and when he runs around he gets a greater sense of ability then the girl wearing shoes that are less equipped. At that age she won’t think, oh its my shoes showing me down and making it hurt to dump and kick a ball, she just won’t do it. She will also be told her shoes look nice, keep them clean etc, whereas the boys are told they look too new break them in and crease them up. So instead of seeing the dark side (“To tone down any abilities outside of these things, and to not take up to much space allowing men to use this world in whatever way they want and to make all the decisions. “) people just see it as how little girls are to be. Instead of being rewarded for not getting in the boys games and taking up too much space, she will be rewarded for arriving home from school with her shoes looking as good as when she left.
Gender non conformity is nothing more than playing around with the stuff there to dress gender up. Be it experimenting with the things, copying the dressed up things in the blue box(games, manners, postures etc) or refusing to accept any of the things in the pink box. When you mess around with the things put there to avoid one seeing the harsh reality, you risk uncovering something is not right, and you receive negative feedback hoping to get you to move over. If you wont move over i.e into the pink zone, you will get allocated the trimmings of the blue zone and end up viewing yourself as masculine, tomboy or any number of things. They will let you be this, but something is missing and for years you dont get it, no matter how much of these gender dressings you take up you feel like you cant acess something. You constantly are pushing against something too. You may become convinced that the missing thing from your life is the stuff in the pink box, so you embrace a bit from each box and you get a bit of positive feedback for doing so and you decide thats maybe it. This is why some get out the gender spectrum (which is only a stretched out version of the gender dressing) point to the middle and decide they are there and then become an isolated unit with “except me” written on. Its worked out if you embrace some from the correct box, you can get away with using more things from the other box and no one notices. From this you can come up with the idea there is a gender binary, and it won’t tolerate someone moving too far from the box assigned to them. You will start to view others by where you think they are on this gender spectrum, to a point where biological sex just becomes a irrelevant collection of organs. History does not matter as much as now, you have all the power you need in yourself and just simply by expressing yourself and doing all these gender transgressive behaviours you are changing the world, breaking down the gender binary. You may not even get as far as gender politics, you may just be someone outside the definition of femininity, identifying as butch and using the gender trimmings coded as masculine. Others will still gender you, based on how they see gender.
The gender trimmings will lead nowhere, you can be a female who embraces all the gender trimmings in the blue box, but it wont get you in the fast lane like it will males. This world has an assembly line for men, and the gender trimmings allocated to them are tools to ensure they progress along it. The simple suits, haircuts and shoes that are gonna be universally stylish around the world, fit on all the machines for cheap dry cleaning, fit in any office or job. The toys that will prime the brain for whats up and coming. A woman can own all the mens suits and boys toys in the world and she wont get on that assembly line. But she will make many others question why it is that she is in their view lacking the things that others tell them are the reason why they cant do certain things, but still not able to get on the assembly line. They have watched her do many of the male gender trimmings well, but she cant get the recognition. What happens here is she is either told to stop acting like a man, or she is to embrace her gender fluidity and try and get on the assembly line as a gender minority. It wont ever happen, because getting on that assembly line has little to do with how well any man performed at his gender trimmings, its the road to true gender and requires an extra ingredient.
The extra ingredient is the invisibilized ugliness of gender itself, while boys and girls are messing around with their gender trimmings gender acts on them to shape them in ways irelevent to these trimmings and ways that cant be changed no matter what one does with these trimmings, non conformity will lead to more shaping from gender. Gender itself is domination, its where no matter what a girl says she gets interupted more and listened to less. It does not matter if she is talking about blue trimmings or pink ones. Its where no matter what activity a girl does, skips in the pink box or runs in the blue box her body is still made fun of. Its where a girl gets focused on for what she looks like rather than what she does, so if she dresses butch or dressed femme she is still reduced down to a look and categorized based on it. If cargo pants are made for her, they may have the pockets sewn shut. As she grows and becomes a woman she will find she can hang with the lads, but is there trying to fit in with them while they deny something to her, and its the thing they give to each other. They will talk down a little to her, only difference to them between a gender trimmings aligned woman and her is fuckability and she will have to listen to them talk about the fuckable women. If she is a lesbian who has ended up defining herself as butch, and knows nothing of feminism she will end up identifying with this misogyny and separating herself from her own femaleness to stop it hitting her. How she does this is by seeing her as one of the lads, and women who embraced the pink box gender trimmings as the women. These are the ones to be talked about, fucked etc. This is how a misogynistic butch is made, and how a dysphoric butch is made too because all this talk will eventually cause her to not like her female body. If she hung with boys who talked like this all her teens, she will have internalized lots of misogyny, and may want rid of her breasts and periods. Its not performing the blue box gender trimmings that got her here, it was the lack of real political knowledge that allowed the gender trimmings to obscure the ugliness of gender. In this obscured state she may worship men, think they are great, or she may hate them and notice they get everything she wants and this largely depends on what she wants. Sometimes men dont bother gender non conforming women, because some are so tied up in knots by gender non conformity they have stopped getting in mens way of dominating women. For example, when men get past a certain age they dont care if a woman has more menswear then them, is playing with blue box gender trimmings because they are on that assembly line, they have male power and can see her as no threat to it because she is not politically aware and by then has internalized so much stuff she is as misogynistic as them so wont help other women. She may have grown to believe she is less of a woman then the pink trimming box women, who by now are getting feedback for performing their expected role and they may view her as the men view her, less of a woman and treat her accordingly. This will mean less talking about certain subjects, out of risk she will side with men or because they see her as wanting to be a man.
She is not immune to male violence, she probably has the same chance of facing it if you look at the violence faced in the home for most women, hers may be more likely to happen on the street as homophobia. If she hangs with men, a day may come when they rape her, at a point when they show her they never saw her as one of the lads. None of the blue box gender trimmings or any label applied to them will save her from gender. Giving up the blue box trimmings or the labels attached to them will not make any difference to male dominance either.
Getting rid of the pink and blue box trimmings would take away the covering and make it easy to see how females are treated different, how men are talking over them, staring at them. The staring is part of domination, it does not go away when one stops giving the men things to look at to sweeten the stare. The dominant ones watch those they dominate and this is what the male gaze is. The fact is women are looked at and assessed all the time, because they are women and this is gender. So to hide this factor girls are taught to dress up, all the time so they will think its all their fault and the attention is based on how they’re dressed. When they are not dressed up, they still get looks so they think they look bad and thats what everyones looking at. All this looking leads to women assessing themselves constantly, watching themselves and not the world.
So what happens to men as they progress along that assembly line?
They are socialized into masculinity, the blue box trimmings are just primers. While playing football he is taught to compete, taught by default he runs correctly and not like a girl and that its good and natural for him to be this way. A girl playing football would not get this added extra. If he is good he is picked out along that line, encouraged as opposed to being told to try something new now. It appears when girls get moderately good at something, they are pushed away to something else and told to not get obsessed with it! This is how gender makes things possible.
Out of the trimmings of gender a girl can grow up thinking she is a tomboy, butch, masculine or trans.
Out of real gender a girl or woman learns she is too serious(got his head together, focused if male), obsessive ( read committed and motivated if male), emotional (in touch with is feelings, a humanist if male), cold (rational if male), hard (though) , changeable (if male, dynamic, flexible, reasonable) , selfish (successful if male), stupid ( not interested in that subject, lacking background if male).
She is then to change these things. If she acts less from emotion, she is told she is too serious or hard/cold, if she tones down what she knows she is then stupid and if she varies the subject to include many things she know little of to look like she knows stuff and avoid getting told she is too serious she is then changeable and still stupid. Its not possible to identify out of any of these things. Over time though people will pick out a dominant trait she has and mark her around it, they dont do that to men in the same way. Sometimes taking on a gender trimming identity can lead to focus on that instead, in time though all the rest of the stuff will come with it. For a man to have a trait pointed out, he would have to have clinical levels of it, a man would have to be doing something every working hour and not getting anywhere (like scrubbing a floor everyday) to be seen obsessive. A woman could get it at the point she excels at anything.