Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity


176 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations
ISBN 1-55152-126-1
DDC C810.8'035206643





Edited by Chloë Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri
Reviewed by Britta Santowski

Britta Santowski is a freelance writer in Victoria.


Once upon a time, the term “femme” was confined to the simplistic
“femme-butch” lesbian marriage. The femme was the feminine, wily,
and sexually insatiable partner. She (and it was always a she) was the
one who could easily benefit from heterosexual privilege while dabbling
in homoerotic exploits.

The 34 works that make up this eclectic collection obliterate
traditional definitions of “femme.” In the “Introduction: A Brazen
Posture,” femme is necessarily wrenched apart from femininity. This
deconstruction of the ultimate objectification is severed from butch and
reconstructed as “the trappings of femininity gone awry, gone to town,
gone to the dogs.” Femme is strong women and sassy men. Each
additional piece adds something to the mess, reorders it, or takes
something away.

The collection comprises essays, poetry, short fiction, cartoons,
paintings, photography, and personal commentaries. Contributors include
Anurima Bannerji, Daniel Collins, Lisa Duggan, Camilla Gibb, Sky
Gilbert, Tara Hardy, Kathryn Payne, Sandi Rapini, Trish Salah, Abi
Slone, Michelle Tea, Zoe Whittall, and Karin Wolf.

Brazen Femme truly is a manifesto for the unrepentant bitch.


“Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 13, 2024,