Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Adorable ‘Butches & Babies’ Tumblr seeks to challenge gender stereotypes

leopard.JPG

The internet has brought us our fair share of adorableness. We all remember obsessing over Hot Guys and Baby Animals (don’t pretend you didn’t bookmark it) and now, in true cuteness overload, we have Butches & Babies.

It has taken the internet by storm.

Launched by Meaghan O’Malley in 2011, Butches & Babies describes itself as “the cutest place in the whole wide world”.

But the real drive behind the site is to provide a safe space on the internet where those who identify as butch can share images with children they love, free from judgement.

butch

Shannon with her nephew, Clark

The site features photographs of people who identify as butch, holding their own babies or the babies of their friends or family; playing with them, laughing with them, and generally spreading love all around. 

“B+B is full of incredible people, adults and minors, with a variety of gender identities (and sexualities, which are wholly irrelevant to this blog) all under the umbrella of butch,” says O’Malley.

butch

Ceewit with Milo

O’Malley is keen to assert that the blog is not about lesbian identity or motherhood, because these terms focus on fixed gender binaries constructed by a patriarchal society. Instead it is about celebrating an often overlooked identity and way of life.

On her the blog, O'Malley states she is hesitant to define the term ‘butch’, saying that, like gender, ‘butch’ lies on a spectrum and it is up to people how they wish to identify themselves.

Beth + Sophia (daughter)

Beth + Sophia (daughter)

This week, B+B issued a statement on the site saying that articles on the photoblog after the initial Buzzfeed coverage had missed the point of what it was about. 

“Not once ever in the history of B+B or in my interviews have I called this a “mommy” blog, an example of lesbian motherhood, or even a lesbian blog in general. Tumblr lists us as one of their Top Parenting Blogs, but that was a designation made without my involvement. I don’t use pronouns to describe the people featured on this blog, either. I specifically asked the journalists I spoke with to not couch their coverage in terms of “lesbian”, or only in terms of woman-identified genders, because I don’t feel that is an accurate reflection of the entire constituency, for lack of a better word, here at B+B. I was summarily ignored.”

The statement goes on to say:

“This is lazy journalism catering to a fixed binary gender-and-sexuality-focused, patriarchal media system, and I don’t like it.”

butch

“Jay and their nephew, “Juicy Bear” Jalen”

The blog does not seek and select images of butch people with babies, instead it is 100% submission-based, "so that people could tell me who they were, versus scanning the internet in order to find photos that related, and potentially misidentifying or misconstruing a person’s gender identity/expression, ” says O'Malley.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, O'Malley said: 

“Gender is complex, sometimes confusing, and people feel a lot of ownership over how it is manifested in themselves, and thus how the community they belong to presents as well.”

“While the number of celebrities embracing butch identities has increased dramatically over the past ten to fifteen years, the reality is that we don’t see those people building families publicly.”

butch

“Got caught snoozing at breakfast with Brooklyn the other day, you can’t blame us though - the beach is exhausting!”

The site also hopes to reach those who do not identify as butch or queer or trans – to normalise the idea of non-traditional family dynamics, and to reveal the beauty behind it.

“It’s also been an educational tool for people in my life, at least, who don’t often get to see butches and gender-nonconforming folks interact with children,” O'Malley states.

Butch and babies

“My partner Natalie and our niece Lily”

“When a butch holds a small child, relatively unaffected by gender (in a cognitive/behavioral sense), it is a simultaneous exchange of healing and freedom. Maybe I think about this too much, but that’s what I see. Every single time. I see hope and a new world.”

“But yes, it’s also about the “aww” factor,” she adds. 

You can submit your own photos by emailing meaghan@butchesandbabies.com.

Images: Butches & Babies

Words: Harriet Hall

Related

rexfeatures_4885225v.jpg

More women than ever before identify as “bisexual” or “no label”

rexfeatures_4889873w.jpg

Caitlyn Jenner makes emotional plea for Transgender acceptance

rexfeatures_1634740a.jpg

The five female superheroes who deserve their own movies

colour.JPG

There’s a feminist colouring book and it’s awesome

rexfeatures_4842917ab.jpg

OITNB star Ruby Rose opens up about deciding not to transition

mother.jpg

Slovenia vs Britain; maternity rights and the gender pay gap

Comments

More

Bill Cosby will give talks on how to avoid sexual assault allegations

“They need to know... when they are doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing.”

by Amy Swales
23 Jun 2017

Everything we know about the Downton Abbey film so far

Next year, people. NEXT YEAR.

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

White House responds to claims the Queen “snubbed” President Trump

But did the Queen really do this on purpose?

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Ellen DeGeneres catches audience member stealing, publicly shames her

Top tip? Don’t steal from Ellen DeGeneres

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick lined up for new thriller

"A feverish and expertly plotted tale of psychological suspense"

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

We bloody love Kate Beckinsale’s hilarious Manspreading Action Plan

She knows exactly what to do when a man spreads his legs

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

This is what Amanda Knox’s Instagram account looks like

The Seattle native has made her feed public

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Prince Harry is still haunted by memories of Princess Diana’s funeral

‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do what I did’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

Courteney Cox thanks friends for helping her embrace “natural” face

‘I finally look like myself’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Father's Day celebrations to Lena Dunham's new crop

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jun 2017