Minor Musings on Butch/Femme/Andro Dynamics in MLP:FIM

I was chatting with a friend on Facebook about butch and femme, particularly about traits often ascribed to those genders. Butches, we said, often refer to themselves as honest and loyal.

Which of course led me to think about the queerness of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, in which the pegasus Rainbow Dash, a competitive jock type, is often considered the butch. It's partially just due to her rainbow hair, though her spiritedness, sportiness, and rashness add to the tomboy impression. What's her element? Oh yeah- loyalty. Funny, that.

But then, thinking further on this, the most high femme MLP would be Rarity, a fashion designer pony with immaculate curls who loves sparkly things. She's a little vain, sure, but she's also self employed, hardworking, and fabulous. She's the element of generosity- which I found even more interesting, as femmes are often characterized as caregivers.

And yet, Rainbow Dash and Rarity infrequently seem to spend much time with each other- there's only one episode in which they interact, and it's mostly Rarity being an attention whore instead of supporting Dash... until Rarity needs rescuing with the help of Dash's superspeediness. Which creates a sonic rainboom. It's all rather beautiful really.

Rainbow Dash is mostly paired off with Pinkie Pie, as far as I can tell. Pinkie is the element of laughter, and they do practical jokes together. I see Pinkie as femme, too, but she's the casual femme who enjoys a little roughhousing and baking. She's not afraid to get dirty. This is likely why I identify with her so much.

Applejack, meanwhile, might also be a bit butch, but the soft butch to Dash's harder butchness. She is, amusingly, the element of honesty... the other most often mentioned trait for butches on dating sites and such. She and Rarity sometime struggle to get on, as their ideas of fun and cleanliness are pretty much on opposite sides of the scale.

Fluttershy is the element of kindness, and she seems like a pretty shy pegasus. I would picture her in the queer world as being the kind who's happiest to stay home and help bake cookies for fundraisers, but won't go to protests. She'd also probably be involved with animal shelter work or something equally not attention-seeking but giving to the community.

Finally, the unicorn Twilight Sparkle. This is so obviously the academic activist pony, the one who debates on panels and blogs about how all -isms are entwined but separate threads. She's in her head all the time, the one you call when you're at a protest and everyone's about to get arrested. Twi would just know what to do. I kind of picture her as somewhat androgynous, personally- the slightly awkward hipster nerd girl.

I am so obviously tired. I don't know why I'm thinking about this. Here is a piece that is incredibly well put together about why MLP: FIM is show with some mad feminist props. Or just go watch the show.

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