The Butch-Femme Ridicule
Olivia Benson stood at the head of the conference room table and surveyed her motley group of femmes. It wasn't the largest of groups, at least since the reclassification Alex had insisted upon, but for the first time in a long while, Olivia didn't feel the need to hide her painted nails and pink shirts.
"Good morning, ladies, it's good to see so many new faces joining us today." A smile of encouragement from Natalia Rivera was the only response, but it was enough to bolster Olivia's confidence. "I've convened this meeting to discuss a very real threat to our positions as femslash characters," she waited a moment for the tension to build and people to stop playing with their Blackberrys and iPhones long enough to realise the meeting had started, "and that is the persecution and ridicule of femmes."
The heated murmurs of agreement and calls for blood she'd expected did not materialise, and for a fleeting moment, Olivia missed her girlfriend's usual rabble rousing and megalomania, before she remembered that it was Alex's ridicule that had forced her to call the meeting.
At the back of the room, an excited Rachel Berry rose to her feet, "I know the perfect song to highlight our struggle as independent and strong female chara..." A collective groan drowned out the rest of Rachel's speech, and she was quickly pulled back into her seat by an embarrassed Quinn Fabray.
"Sorry," Quinn murmured, as she turned to give Rachel her equivalent of the Janeway force ten glare. "Shut it, Berry!"
Marissa Tasker leaned over and whispered in her girlfriend's ear, "I thought Benson was butch?"
Bianca shrugged. "I thought so, too." Although a somewhat reserved member of the F.A.G., Bianca Montgomery had been around since before the days of Alex Cabot's attempts to usurp Gabrielle's control, and she secretly blamed the lawyer for the pathetic creature her girlfriend had turned into. "Either way, she's no femme."
"It's classic post-butch behaviour," JJ butted in. "A character loses her swagger and is made to cry on camera too often and, suddenly, she's lost all sense of self-worth and is scrabbling around for a new identity." She checked the time on her extra-chunky watch. "She's been identified as butch for so long that femme is the only alternative she can see, when in reality she is neither, and both."
By this point, every head in the room, barring Olivia's, had turned to stare at JJ and, more importantly, the gun on her hip.
"Oh." Red tinged JJ's cheeks. "I just came to pick up my mug." She held aloft the mug in question before scrambling to her feet. "Emily's saving me a seat for the butch characters meeting," she informed Garcia, "but we were thinking of going out for drinks later, if you want to join us?"
Garcia nodded; she'd enjoyed getting to spend time with JJ in the femme meetings, even though she never did get much femslash action, but since her friend's reinvention as a butchier, more confident Agent Jareau, this really wasn't the place for her. "Can I bring some of the others?" She looked around at the beleaguered group. "I have a feeling they'll need something alcoholic after this."
With a smile, JJ nodded, before quickly exiting the room to a symphony of well wishes and contact details.
Olivia banged her hand against the conference room table in a manner that was very reminiscent of her blonde lover and thus rather scary. "Quiet!" Silence descended, and for a split second, Olivia felt as if her old swagger had returned. "We need to discuss..."
"I don't feel persecuted," cut in Arizona Robbins. "I mean, I'm not sure I'm a femme, either, so maybe I don't count, but everyone's always been super-nice to me." Her dimpled smile was mirrored by Natalia and several others. "Even the people who wanted to see my Calliope with Erica have always treated me with respect." She'd found Erica Hahn a little scary at first, but they'd soon developed a strong friendship, with nary a sign of ridicule or persecution, even when Callie did join them for drinks.
Olivia muttered something about blondes under her breath, but Arizona wasn't the only one to question the veracity of Olivia's statement.
"Jane wouldn't like it if someone ridiculed me," Maura Isles pointed out, "and when Jane doesn't like something, it usually ends up getting shot."
Olivia fondly remembered the days when she'd shoot anything and anyone that made Alex cry. "That's hardly the point." Olivia didn't want to be defended by some gun-toting Abbie Carmichael look-alike, she wanted to be respected in her own right, even if she did wear pink and cry at Oxfam commercials.
"Who's been persecuting you?" Natalia asked gently.
"It's not about me," Olivia rebuffed, but two heartbeats later, Natalia's gentle smile had done its work and Olivia began to blubber, "It's Alex. She doesn't respect me anymore and I think she's having an affair with Rollins."
"There, there," Natalia soothed, taking Olivia into her arms and carefully wiping the tears from her cheeks. "Why don't you tell me all about it?" She motioned over Olivia's head for the others to leave, and at the same time, sent a silent prayer to Saint Jude that her Olivia wouldn't get mad when she brought home a formerly-butch, currently sobbing woman who just so happened to share her name.
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