Lesbian-card, femme-card, or butch-card. Or even man-card, if you prefer. When it comes to the world of labels and how we identify and express ourselves, there’s always that one person wielding the iron rod, poking and prodding us into our places, keeping one eye on us at all times to see if we mess up and do something outside of our label.
Maybe it’s not one person. Maybe it’s ten, or thirty, or a whole clubhouse of people keeping watch, waiting for their opportunity to point and shout, “Haha, looks like somebody lost their man-card!”
Or butch-card, or lesbian-card, etc etc.
If you ever spend time around a group of men from their late-twenties into middle aged adult, you’ll hear and witness the usual banter and teasing that goes on. Boys will be boys, right? Maybe one of the men ordered a Sex on the Beach when he actually wanted a Coors. The group will exchange a knowing look and one man will exclaim, “Looks like Sanders over here won’t need his American Express. He’s paying with his man-card!”
All fun and games, but imagine if a young butch was seated with their friend, who was looking at clothing magazines. The young butch leans in and offhandedly murmurs, “Those shoes would look good on you, Tanya.” The friend giggles and says, “You were looking at these shoes? What, did you lose your butch-card?”
Didn’t wear flannel for the seventeenth time this week? Must have lost your lesbian-card. Wait, you didn’t shave your legs today? Gimme that femme-card! Scared of that snake you found in the garden? Better feed it your man-card, because it looks like you won’t be needing it. Those people scrutinizing you every step of the way, waiting, seeing if you’ll run out of your masculine deodorant and dare to grab a swipe of your girlfriend’s before you’re late for work. Please dispense your card at the front of the line.
Now, so-and-so cards aren’t bad by any means. It’s just another type of label that helps someone come to terms with who they are, inside and out. But…man, some people I’ve been around or situations I’ve witnessed from afar just blow my mind sometimes. Ordered a tea instead of your usual coffee? Hand over your coffe-drinker card; you’re finished in this town! You like rock AND hip hop? Oh no, you can only pick one, so decide which one you like more! Did your old, natural Southern drawl just slip into your voice? Turn in your Northerner-card, ASAP. I’ve even had the displeasure of hearing someone tell another person that had recently dyed their brown hair blond that they should throw away their “Brainy-card” now that her hair had changed.
Sheesh, people. Where will it end?
I, too, have had my share of threats to my lesbian-card. I complimented a male friend on his fall sweater and what do I hear? I’m losing my lesbian-card? Oh, honey…Or when my voice cracked during a phone call, and suddenly I was in the red zone for losing my butch-card? Because of my voice? What does that even have to do with anything?! Sometimes I think these people just have a dartboard covered with labels, and for whatever one they hit, they hunt down those that aren’t following the mantra.
People apparently just want this perfect little oasis full of people that know their place. Everyone is handed a card and divided into a certain section. Step out of place and they’ll put you somewhere else, for no reason in particular other than you disrupting the balance of the world for half of a second.