what does stone even mean, anyway

After having seen this:

…and now this:

…I have to wonder what’s going through people’s heads, that they’d position “stone butch” and “soft butch” at spectral poles, as if stone butch is just the extreme end of butch expression and doesn’t mean anything else beside that.  It would almost make me doubt my sense of the term was grounded in anything after all, if I hadn’t managed to read what little I did of Stone Butch Blues.  Has the meaning shifted, since then?  I hope it hasn’t.

Cuz, look.  Out of the unintelligible soup of gendersense in my mug, I’ve picked out a kind of loose connection with butchness — that I feel hesitant naming that way, because I feel like I don’t have the skill set or hardness or the qualifications to claim it.  So the concept of partial/medium butchness, or soft butch, is appealing for that reason.  Meanwhile, I feel kind of stone, too. Not stone as in sexually giving or whatever, but stone as in “don’t touch me, gtfo.”

And so, seeing them positioned as mutually exclusive like this?  Is… confusing.  Like apparently I must be reading myself wrong, one way or the other, or both.

But you know what, forget that, suck it.  Softstone is a viable combination and I’m not ready to let anyone take it from me.


11 responses to “what does stone even mean, anyway

  • code16

    I – what? ?! Who made these diagrams? Like, my best guess is that someone was thinking of like, stonehardness associations and also had heard both ‘stone butch’ and ‘soft butch’? But still like. Huh?

    (And the first one is *even weirder* – it feels like the leftmost thing should be hard femme then, which instead seems missing entirely. And I feel like there’s something… well, that I wouldn’t know enough to speak to, but still, at putting ‘soft butch’ in the parallel to ‘butchy femme’. Also, and I guess at like, a meta-er level – why on earth is this being drawn is a binary continuum to begin with. ?!)

    (And, based on my own readings, I don’t think the meaning has shifted? Anyway, very yes for not mutually exclusive and not letting things be taken from you).

  • R.

    Yeah, that…that top one is weird. Like I never got the impression that “stone” and “femme” are opposites. It seems like this heteronormative crap is creeping in, like conventionally feminine-appearing = sexually passive / conventionally masculine-appearing = sexually aggressive. Which I reject completely.

    “Stone Femme” had better be a thing, because I’m sure it is.

  • Elizabeth

    How restrictive and poorly thought out. You can definitely be softstone or stone femme. And like… I don’t see why you can’t be BOTH high femme AND butchy femme at the same time. I do both, usually on different days but sometimes simultaneously. You can be theatrically feminine, and still perform gender in such a way that you could also call it butch. Conceptualizing it so linearly is weird to me.

  • queenieofaces

    Is it a new thing to posit stone and soft as opposites? Because, at least when I first started looking into butch-femme terminology, it was much more common to put “soft” and “hard” as opposites (ala “hard femme” and “soft butch”). Stone was a completely separate spectrum.

  • Calum P Cameron

    I know virtually nothing about the terminology involved, but since it’s portrayed as a spectrum, could this just be people not familiar with “stone” as an indicator of touch preferences, who are using “stone” in the colloquial sense of “as much as possible”? (ie “dead” vs “stone dead”, “cold” vs “stone cold”, “nothing” vs “stone nothing” etc)

  • Libris

    I am just here to suggest ‘sandstone’ for ‘soft stone’ >_>

    • Coyote


      “If you put your ear up to the sandstone, and pay veeeeeery close attention, you can listen to the soft rock.”

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