It seems Femme Economics is here these days to serve a new purpose: keep things light, fun and personal while national economics take keep on diving.

When I started to write for my upcoming E-book, Beauty for Feminists, I was so concerned with all of the products and fashion sold to feminine women that I started to pay very close attention to my own beauty spending and that of other women round me. So, do you think the girly-girls are the part of the butch-femme couple that spends too much on looking good? A fairly androgynous friend told me yesterday, in jest, that femmes are the reason for the credit crisis. I was not amused. My butch lady lover calls me “HM” for High Maintenance, but I have come to realize that she’s either kidding herself or just talking about my emotional life.

My butch works very hard long hours in an office building downtown. She winds up spending more on clothing than I do because she doesn’t have the time to go thrift and consignment shopping, nor does she have the inclination. Her job requires a business look and certain status labels are sadly seen as professional at the office. If you add in her leisure need for camping/inclement weather clothes/fancy biking socks and excellent hiking boots- it’s no contest. I spend at least $70 less per month on used clothing though we are equal in how many new items we bring home; I’m not as outdoorsy; yoga/dance wear is easy to find second hand. And even with my lingerie addiction and one new pair of shoes a season (spit into $40/month), I can’t match her $70 per month clothing spending!

And then, there is always butch hair. Let’s just say that the local company which sponsors my partner’s lesbian soccer team is called VAIN Hair Salon. This is where I am definitely not high femme in that I can’t match her spending on hair products or services. Femmes who have long hair like me are likely to wash it less, put fewer products in it and wait longer between hair appointments. I don’t put anything special in my hair (she has three usual products) and I won’t spend top dollar on a hair-cut when I know that I can get a great one for less and I would never go blond because her foils are too expensive and too high maintenance even for my blood. I’ve been told that shorter hair is just harder to keep looking nice, but having had short femme hair before, I find this an excuse. My butch spends more on hair ($50 or more/month), looks at it in the mirror more before we go out and this is why I sometimes call her Stud.

But Butches and Femmes aren’t so easy to equalize when it comes to cosmetics. I spend up to $70/month on cosmetics, shower goodies and make-up which, if you’ve been counting, puts me at a total of just ten dollars per month less than my partner in primping costs. As you might have read, I buy natural products which are spendy, but not as much as some of the department store brands many femmes use and I am quite sure they could eat up that extra ten equalizing dollars in some trendy purchase like lip plumping gel.

So, at least for my household, I am barely, but technically, the lower-maintenance gender-performer when it comes to the economics of looking good. When it comes to butch-femme, looks can be deceiving. I don’t actually know any low-maintenence butches.

I’d love to hear form the more butch-femme boy/boy couples! Also, are queer women who are passable as straight women more likely to make more money in the corporate world, or are more butch women taken more seriously? What do you think?

Photo credit: stock.xchng.