Tag Archives: lesbian

Cottagecore

An informant explains a growing online lesbian subculture.

Text:

Informant: Cottagecore is this, typically lesbian, ideal aesthetic where you want to live like in cottage in the woods. It’s very fairy-esque. You bake bread and wear paisley skirts. There’s a lot of gardening, living off the land, being off the grid for the good of your soul and the planet. It’s very “I want a fairy wife” kind of belief. There’s a lot of mushrooms and forest animals. It’s this lesbian fantasy that you’ll run away and leave the world behind and live this perfect story-book life with your wife.

Context: A friend was explaining to another friend what Cottagecore is. The informant is a member of the wlw community.

Thoughts:

Cottagecore is very popular subgroup/theme on TikTok. I’ve seen it a lot, and it has recently begun to spread to other social media apps like Twitter. I feel as though it is growing in popularity, in both the lesbian culture and more mainstream internet users, because it rejects the stressful aspects of modern society such as capitalism and the nine-to-five work day.

Softball Apparel Signs and Sexuality

Informant: “In high school playing softball there was this secret code to show if you were lesbian. I know how ridiculous that is now, but if you wore ribbons in your hair, it meant you weren’t. Every girl on the team would put ribbons in their hair because they didn’t want people thinking they were lesbian.”

Context: This collection of folklore was done while the informant was home from Boston. We spoke with the intent to collect this piece of folklore when prompted with what are the sorts of folklore found in softball. The informant played softball for 4 years in high school, but does not play in college currently.

Informant Analysis Transcript:

Collector: “Where did you first learn this, or from who?”

Informant: “I think I first heard about the whole ‘lesbians play softball’ in middle school. My mom would always tell me that. The whole ribbons thing I only heard in high school. I think people on the softball team told me and I just assumed that I might as well join in.”

Collector: “Why do you think this folklore is used in high school softball, or like, your analysis of it?

Informant: “Uhm, I don’t know. I guess in high school you care a lot about what other people think of you, especially if you are female. The idea of someone thinking you are lesbian when you are not if you play softball was just a fear that many girls had. The whole ribbon thing kind of gives a little piece of mind, like, ‘ok! I’m ready to play now, put me in coach’ *laughs*

Collector Analysis: I believe that there is a fear in high school in girls of being perceived wrongly by their classmates. The use of ribbons is integral to the analysis of this folk sign. Ribbons seem closely tied with femininity in American culture, where as most people assume lesbian culture to be more masculine. This is a generalization of course, but the stereotype that cisgendered girls would are more likely to wear ribbons in their hair as apposed to their gay counterparts allows for people to assume the sexual orientation of another without having to ask. Especially at a time in life where many people are still figuring out their sexual identity, the whole topic of gender is painted with strict contrast.