A Facebook friend of mine posted this picture a couple days ago. It’s just bathroom graffiti, but it’s very telling of a phenomena we’re seeing all across this website - and outside it too. The writing in pink says “August 29th - Lesbian Visibility Day”. The writing in black says “and bissexual too, erase it now, dear”, with a condescending little heart. Notice also that the word “lesbian” has been partially erased, probably by the bisexual woman who wrote the text in black.
This illustrates well the widespread trend that is lesbians not being allowed to have anything for themselves. Non-lesbians constantly feel entitled to our spaces, our discussions, even our bodies, and every time we try to assert some semblance of boundaries, we’re criticized harshly for it. Want to express your sexuality, your desire for women? You’re a predator, mannish, objecifying. Want a separate space to discuss your specific issue or heal among other lesbians? No, you’re exclusionary, and you’ll hear this from the same women who fight for female-only spaces. Everything we have must be open for consumption, and our needs are always shoved aside.
Sometimes I have this impression that non-lesbians don’t really see us as a “real” oppressed group? They see being a lesbian as an inconvenience at most. Or even worse, they see it as a luxury, as if we “don’t have to deal with men”, as if we’re not as vulnerable to their abuse for not having sex with them. They ignore the whole layer of vile lesbophobia and hatred that we get from men specifically for being lesbians, on top of what we get for being women.
If they even see us as women at all.
Being a butch dyke, I’ve noticed that straight (and a lot of bisexual) women either treat you like a dangerous predator that’s out to abuse them, or they treat you as some sort of cute pet. Because since we don’t perform femininity, we’re considered “immature”, “childlike”, “not like a fully grown women”, and I’ve heard this kind of idea coming out of straight women a lot. They treat us as rebellious kids, who didn’t “settle down” yet, because performing femininity is regarded as a sign a girl reached adulthood. And then, of course, they get shocked and appaled when the little lesbian pets affirm that our relationships with other women are more than “special friendships”, or when we want to have our own spaces where we don’t have to justify our existence all the time.
It’s like they feel we owe them, somehow. We owe them our time and energy because we are not “real women” with “real problems” like dealing with Nigel’s bullshit, and holy shit, I’ve seen so many bisexual women coming to cry on a lesbian’s shoulder because Nigel was an asshole, to get a hug, a kiss, maybe some actual decent oral, and when they’re all healed up and happy, they go back to their cozy hetero relationships, the ones that their families approve and that doesn’t get them dirty looks in the street. We’re not even pets them, we’re service dogs. We’re resources to be used when it’s convenient.
And y’know what, I’m so tired of this. This week I was in a lesbian-only discussion about gynecological care and the discriminations we suffer there, and a bi woman decided to butt in and whine that we were not catering to women who like dick. It’s fucking outrageous, because every gyno ever caters primarily to women who fuck dick. But no, we can’t have a group of lesbians talking about their lesbian stuff, right? We get accusations of being “biphobic”, but I don’t see lesbians invading bi women’s spaces. Hell, all I see is lesbians saying “leave us alone”, “let us have our own thing”, “respect out boundaries”, and this is apparently too much? We can’t have our terminology, our stories, our culture, without someone else wanting to get their appropriating little mitts on them. Is respect too much to ask?
This is why, every day that passes, separatism sounds like a better idea. Because no one fucking takes us seriously. They all love our shit, our spaces, our style, our terms, our story, but when it comes to respecting our boundaries or actually acknowledging that we are an oppressed minority that contains women of all races, all ages, all backgrounds, then it’s too much. Because there’s this ridiculous idea going around that we’re some kind of special elite within Feminism, because we are completely woman-identified and woman-focused, as if this wasn’t the very root of all the hatred we get. And it’s just so exhausting, it makes me want to not even talk to anyone who’s not a lesbian.
This has been the pissed-off lesbian rant of the day, and I’m 100% sure some non-lesbian will take offense and come whining in my inbox.