Butch cooks with a little butch truck

From Jeff Shaumeyer on Facebook on 11/3, this cookbook find — the butch cook book, by Lee Lynch, Nel Ward, & Sue Hardesty (Perfect Paperback, 2008) — at his favorite local thrift store, which moved him to wonder whether anyone still uses butch as a noun:

(#1) Adventures in cooking and in the language of sexuality: the title is intended to be read as ‘cook book for butches’ (rather than ‘cook book which is butch’) (JS’s phoro)

From NOAD on butch, reporting on a cleavage between adjective and noun uses:

adjective: having an appearance or other qualities of a type traditionally seen as masculine: a butch woman in a baseball cap | butch men and feisty women | there might be some butch firefighters on their way over!

noun: a lesbian whose appearance and behavior are seen as traditionally masculine [that is, a butch lesbian]. Compare with femme.

The book cover in #1 plays on the stereotype of butches as devoted to trucks — in this case, just a toy truck, but still a butch truck. Meanwhile, against the stereotype that butches cook like (regular) guys, that is, rarely and not well at all, the book offers tempting recipes (the toy truck is hauling chocolate morsels for sweets). From the publicity:

Recipes contributed by butches from around the world and from all walks of life are mixed with butch musings, life and lore, history, and quotes. Irresistible offerings include quick meals for a night on your own, lucious potluck recipes, holiday indulgences, sweet treats, a special time for two, and even goodies for furry friends. Check out the website, thebutchcookbook.com, for photos and information about the contributors and excerpts from the book. The best of the butch, a feast for palate and heart.

Butch/femme. There’s an immense literature on butch and femme lesbians, either celebrating or problematizing the re-inscription, in the lesbian world, of gender relations in the straight world and their transformation in the lesbian world. (Separately, there’s literature on butch and fem(me) presentations of self in the world of gay men.) The contrast in gender roles can be strikingly satisfying, as in this romantic photograph by Eva Weiss, The Kiss / Butch-Femme:

(#2) About Weiss, from her site: Eva has been photographing the Gay and Lesbian community for 30 years, creating a body of work of performance artists on the Lower East Side of Manhattan including Split Britches, Holly Hughes, Lisa Kron, David Cale, Carmelita Tropicana and many others. This work has appeared on three bookcovers – Butch/Femme (1995), Intimate Acts (1997), and Must (2008).

There are, of course, also pairings of butches and pairings of lipstick lesbians, and nothing stipulates how any of these couples will structure their daily lives. In particular, Butches Can Cook.

Note on little butch truck. A deliberate play on “Little Deuce Coupe”. From Wikipedia:


Little Deuce Coupe is the fourth album by American rock band the Beach Boys, and their third album release in 1963. … It is considered to be one of the earliest examples of a rock concept album.

… A Deuce Coupe is a 1932 Ford Coupe (deuce being for the year). This was considered by many to be the definitive “hot rod”. The Model B had four cylinders and the Model 18 featured the Ford flathead V8 engine when the car was introduced. A pink slip (mentioned in the lyrics) was the title to the car, named for the color of the paper then used in California.

The lyrics cry out for re-writing in Little Butch Truck terms. The chorus:

She’s my little deuce coupe
You don’t know what I got

Two of the verses:

Just a little deuce coupe with a flathead mill
But she’ll walk a Thunderbird like she’s standing still
She’s ported and relieved and she’s stroked and bored
She’ll do a hundred and forty with the top end floored

She’s got a competition clutch with the four on the floor
And she purrs like a kitten till the lake pipes roar
And if that ain’t enough to make you flip your lid
There’s one more thing, I got the pink slip, daddy

One Response to “Butch cooks with a little butch truck”

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