The Femme Show Hits Brooklyn! Playing Dress-Up and Other Girly Fun

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The Femme Show Hits Brooklyn! Playing Dress-Up and Other Girly Fun

For those who missed out, Saturday night saw Brooklyn’s first-ever performance of the Boston-based Femme Show at our beloved neighborhood plus-size queer-friendly vintage clothing store, Re/Dress NYC.

Now, as some of y’all know, I have a somewhat complicated relationship with the word “femme,” starting from the time I arrived at Smith College as a dewy-eyed first-year, ecstatic to be in lezzie mecca where labels would no longer matter, and immediately got invited to join the newly-forming “femme support group” on campus. Looking down at my ripped Indian-print skirt and paint-spattered WOZQ t-shirt, I thought: really? Even here at Smith College, people look at me and think, femme?

I’m certainly no butch, but I’m just not sure I put enough effort into overall girliness to be called “femme,” either — I mean, just yesterday I was standing on my radiator with a power drill, taking down the window grate and installing my air condition for the summer. Though I was wearing a pink Brooklyn tank top and a pair of very short shorts at the time, along with steel-toed work-boots. Moving on.

No matter how much I overanalyze the meaning of femme, one thing I do know for sure: it’s hot. And when done right — tongue-in-cheek, playful, not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously — it can be extremely liberating for the girly-girl inside me. The Femme Show definitely had all these elements.

There was burlesque (silly — one girl shaved her legs on stage; but also hot — there were pasties!) as well as drag, geeky-goofy Latin exposition around the word trans, performance art with a big cement block, spoken word, and a hula-hoop act by Bitches with Barrettes, reminiscent of Sufjan Steven’s fabulous Ode to the BQE at BAM a few years back. But I think my favorite part of the show was the interludes from SSPPSM (pronounced spuh-possum): The Society for the Preservation and Promotion of Sapphic Social Mores.

They busted in on various scenarios wherein good manners for the sapphist were in jeopardy, froze the scene, and explained in perfect Emily Post style (and dress) how crisis could be averted. It was at this point that I began to get the very strong feeling that I was at queer summer camp, and this was just a really cool evening program (they brought along a cooler of PBR, and everything).

I also liked their use of the word “sapphist” as a general demarcation for all who are lovers of the femmey-girls, no matter what gender expression they may embody themselves (they also made good use of the radical gender-neutral pronoun hir — pronounced “here” — which I find laudable for the inclusive queer audience). A fine romp, The Femme Show reminded my overly-analytical ass that I don’t have to choose just one way to relate to, enjoy, and embrace my deep-seated girliness. Hooray! 

Comments [3]

Not2Taem's picture

Sorry I missed it.

<3 the vid!

Prof C's picture

Thanks for the write-up!! and

Thanks for the write-up!! and PS everyone should watch this video hahaha

geek4grammar's picture

barbie make-out time...THAT I would've played as a kid ;)

I know, isn't the video fan-tizzle-tastic?? I found it on their youtube channel. I might've actually played w/ barbies as a kid if I'd known this was an option... ;p

We're all born naked. The rest is drag.
--RuPaul (appropriating Judith Butler for the masses...)