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'''Femme''' (or '''fem''') is a term that refers to a queer person that has a [[gender expression]] considered to be feminine. It was originally used to distinguish feminine lesbian and bisexual women from [[butch]] women, and it is still one of the main uses of the term. It's common for trans and non-binary individuals to use the term to refer to their identity or expression even if they don't identify as lesbian or bisexual women.<ref name="bustler">[https://www.bustle.com/articles/166081-what-does-femme-mean-the-difference-between-being-femme-being-feminine What Does Femme Mean? The Difference Between Being Femme & Being Feminine] on Bustler (bustler.com)</ref> However, this last usage is a bit controversial.<ref name=":0">[http://lesbiansovereverything.com/on-the-appropriation-of-femme/ On the appropriation of femme] on Lesbians over everything (lesbiansovereverything.com)</ref>
== Difference between ''femme'' and ''feminine'' ==
The word ''femme'' can only be used to describe people in the LGBTQ+ spectrum. That means that [[cisgender]] straight women should use the term to describe themselves.<ref group="note">Note that, in French, ''femme'' means ''woman.''This articles is about the English usage of this word.</ref> Because there are many stereotypes surrounding femininity, the term ''femme'' is often used to subvert cultural expectations about how a woman should look like. For this reason, many (but not all) people that identify as ''femme'' do not try to adhere to these stereotypes.<ref name="bustler" /> This is similar to how the word ''queer'' was reclaimed by the LGBTQ community.
== UseUsage within the nonbinary community ==
Although originally the term ''femme'' was used to describe women only, its usage has been expanded to the nonbinary community. It is rarely used as a standalone identity, as it normally describes nonbinary people that have a feminine gender expression. This might lead to difficulties caused by the false assumption that all nonbinary people have an [[Androgyny|androgynous]] expression.<ref>[http://meloukhia.net/2015/04/beyond_the_binary_yes_nonbinary_femmes_exist/ Beyond the binary: Yes, nonbinary femmes exist] on ''this ain't livin''' (meloukhia.net)</ref>
=== Controversy ===
The usage of this term by people who do not identify as women is a bit controversial. Some people claim that in the same way that nobody uses the words ''bear'' or ''twink'' unless they are gay men, nobody should use words such as ''femme'' or ''butch'' unless they are women. Therefore, they consider it appropriation.<ref name=":0" />
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