Somebody actually said this…

“The over-emphasis on sexual activity as an essential part of the lesbian experience is concerning. Most heterosexual women have experienced pressure to be sexually active. We have all been conditioned to believe that sexuality is a major part of intimate relationships or else the relationship is not ‘real’. Few very old people, generally, have an active sex life. They have other challenges to deal with. Lesbians are no different but they don’t stop being lesbians. Celibate older people do not get constantly questioned on their sexuality; it is assumed they are heterosexual. Whether sexual attraction is current or not, should not be the definition of what it is to be lesbian. Being a lesbian is a social construction of intimacy, community and cultures. Usually, initially, it takes a sexual expression but it does not always for all time for many lesbians.”

75 thoughts on “Somebody actually said this…

  1. “I beg to differ, having had sexual relationships with a few born-this-way non-feminist lesbians. They were as woman-hating and self-hating as anyone else – with the added burden of believing they had no choice but to be lesbians. ”
    Hahahahaha! Omg. lolololololololol! Feminism!

  2. If I’d been involved in a group of radical lesbian feminists during college I’d probably have thought I’d become lesbian through choice. I’ve always been attracted to men and women who don’t care to do much performing of gender, though I didn’t recognize that for what it was.
    Maybe it’s more fair to say that I’ve generally found extremes of gender performance rather repellent and disingenuous.I realize that to some people they seem very real.

  3. Holy shit, they just won’t stop with this poli lez bullshit!
    Fetishizing the lesbian identity while simultaneously draining it of all sexual meaning is wildly offensive.
    Critique heterosexuality as a social institution? Abso-fucking-lutely. Pun intended. THAT is feminist anlaysis!
    But appropriating the lived experiences of lesbians by claiming the word to describe your political awakening? Disgusting! And totally hypocritical when, out of the other side of your mouth, you protest male use of the word “woman.” Feminism and lesbian are NOT synonyms, y’all. This is very basic semantics.
    But you know what? Thank you for posting this, Gallus. Let the games begin! Let *those* women represent the superficial veneer of identity politics. Let them represent patronizing lifestylism and self-help-as-liberation-from-structural-oppression. I’d laugh if they weren’t so serious.
    Political lesbianism– whatever they finally decide that means– is NOT what class-based feminist analysis is about. Poli lez is NOT radical feminism* no matter how many books Sheila Jeffreys has written about it. Poli lez is identity libertarianism. And it’s waaaaay off the mark.
    *…many of the same women seem to fetishize the “radical feminist” identity too. At least they’re consistent there. 😛

  4. This is some seriously ageist bullshit:
    “Few very old people, generally, have an active sex life. They have other challenges to deal with.”
    How old is “old” anyway? And what kind of arrogance is required to make someone think it is OK to trivialize lesbian sex? My goodness!

    1. “Few very old people, generally, have an active sex life. They have other challenges to deal with.”
      yeah, thats why viagra was such a bitter disappointment for big pharma

  5. This article seems to suggest that somehow it is lesbians who are overemphasizing the role of sex in their lives. How can the author write this with a straight face when pretty much ALL of heterosexual existence, as defined in the media and by most heterosexuals is focused on sexual activity and has always been so? Why should something that is the norm for heterosexuals somehow be bad when it comes to lesbians? And what’s wrong with old people having sex?
    Please realize that not all of us heterosexuals are idiots. Maybe like 99.99999%, but not all of us. That doesn’t help much though, does it?

    1. Because sexual attraction and activity is what’s involved with heterosexuality and homosexuality- that’s what those words mean. I think the author missed that somehow.
      I find it sort of insulting, too, that celibacy is seen as some sort of protest or political statement. The suffering martyrs of the feminist movement, no doubt. I’m not celibate out of a desire to smash the patriarchy or whatever else- and not arrogant enough to believe my choice would mean a blip to women’s actual suffering- but because I don’t want sex. Whatever the other motivations behind it, that’s ultimately the only reason to be celibate. Just like the only reason to call oneself a lesbian… is sexual attraction. Really quite simple.

      1. Hear hear.
        I’ve long thought of sexuality as a vector – there’s the direction (who is your preferred partner, if any) and then there’s the length (how much sex you want, when, etc).
        Regardless of whether you are attracted to the opposite sex or the same sex, it should be okay to NOT want a lot of sex. But at least in the heterosexual world, there is definitely a lot of pressure to be “sex positive” (because men want sexual access to women, case closed) and supposedly the “natural” “better” way to be is to want sex all of the time. If you don’t, well, you’re broken and you should see someone about this “issue” you have.
        I am not a fan of PIV sex. I’m happy to have other sexual activities with men, but not really that, the PIV is not pleasant for me at all, I don’t feel that I’m missing anything (heaven forbid) by not having it, so… yeah. But I am tired of people trying to say something is wrong with me. I am what I am, *I* am happy, so leave me alone. (If someone wants to do some mutual sexual playing not involving that, then hey, I might be interested.)
        I guess you might say in some ways I’m a “sex negative feminist” if defined in opposition to this “sex positive feminism.” It should be okay for me to not want sex at all, if that’s what I want (not politically either), it should be okay to be frumpy, I resent this pressure to “oh if you’re healthy then you should want to have sex all the time and you should want to expose your body all the time because hey you can no one makes you wear a burka!” well, let me know if men ever are told hey, no one makes you wear certain clothes so you should always be half naked and (important!) be judged on your looks 24/7 and people thinking only if you can sexually satisfy them.
        100% agreed, the reason to be celibate (if you are) is because hey, just don’t feel like having sex. And that’s a valid choice.

      2. The “sex” part of the term really does refer to a person’s biological sex. Homosexuality = being attracted to those of the same sex. Of course, for the vast majority of people this includes sexual activity but it’s not a necessary part of being “homosexual” in the sense that you cease to exist as lesbian or gay if you fail to fuck. The fuck is supposed to be the outcome of attraction, not vice versa. The reason why some do not realize that they’re gay, lesbian or even bi lies precisely here: you become attracted to someone of the same sex but resist or surpress these emotions successfully pretending they never happened because you did not actually have sex. Hence: as straight as ever.
        I get the reliance on sex because for the vast majority of people it simply belongs to a fulfilling love relationship. But making it the definitory characteristic of being gay, lesbian or straight? Well, I think that’s risky. It also serves straight men quite well because it enables them to pretend that the huge bromance many, many of them have going on with each other is not love while they continue to use women as fetish objects all the while pretending that this objectification IS love. And why is that? Because they fuck women. And usually not each other. Some of them manage to “outsource” sexual activity to a male “friend”, often when they’re older but not necessarily so. I once saw a gay guy brag about having a straight friend who went to get fucked by him every time he had a huge row with this wife. There are guys complaining about wives not giving head anymore and eventually ending up having monthly “visits” by a trusted mate. There are GAY men hitting on women for sex when they look butch enough.
        Those men would never call themselves bi because they do not have relationships with men or women respectively. Granted, most straight men seem to form relationships out of status concerns but that’s still different from pure sex. Nothing of this applies to lesbians, I know that. But as long as we’re talking about homosexuality in general…

      3. I can’t like your comment enough, Adrian. The whole concept of sex-positive “feminism” is nonsensical(and some of the most passionate defenders of it I’ve met are- surprise- men), and I’ve had far too many conversations/borderline sexual harassment with the supporters of it who believe a lack of sex is the worst sort of oppression… even if freely chosen. It’s an attitude that(among heterosexuals) benefits men quite well, but does very little for women who want to be seen as more than sex toys.
        My problem with sex-positivism is that they identify the wrong solutions to gender disparity. No, there’s nothing wrong with women wanting to dress in traditionally “feminine” ways- but no one’s stopping them from doing it either(unless it’s the mean real feminists?), so it’s hardly a show of power. And nothing wrong with women wanting to have sex, but choosing to doesn’t magically give women more power- women need to have power first in order to make a truly equal choice of sex with men. Also, if sex-positivism was really about reclaiming our sexuality, then it should be acceptable to abstain, too. Ultimately, it’s about reclaiming MALE sexuality, and they’re the ones who see the gain. Women’s choices are only above question by the sex-positivists when men find them acceptable.
        (But I’ve been called whorephobic for pointing this out, so what do I know?)

      4. Trying to reply to ibleedpurple who said: ” There are GAY men hitting on women for sex when they look butch enough.” Please provide actual citations for this ridiculous statement. As a 56 year old gay man out since 1976 who has had sex with 1000s of men, I have never met ONE gay man who your statement applies. No gay man fucks a woman because she is butch! No gay man fucks a bearded person with a vagina either. You should watch your statements for hyperbole.

      5. David,
        I’m not relying on any citations in any of the examples I used. Those are all anecdotes, hearsay. I don’t know how many men do engage in the activities I described.
        Re: Gay men who sometimes have sex with women. I actually have this from a blog post Dirt once did! I don’t remember the exact date but I might be able to find it. From what I can remember Dirt said she was hit on by gay men because they liked her look. And she’s butch – they didn’t seem to have mistaken her for male.

      1. Oh my, thank you both! I’m glad my rage-filled post wasn’t incoherent. I always know I’m doing a decent job when I get linked here. 🙂
        I’ve read your blog for a long time, Gallus, and I love your work. Thanks for doing what you do, and for the linkbacks!

    1. WTF, AVE? You doing a Cathy Brennan on me, by attacking my blog and politics without having read it? My response to this Lesbian-hating crap below….

  6. The only time I would give a little room to women who say they are political lesbians is because women who haven’t come out yet, might need to just hang until they figure out what to do. They can be actual closeted lesbians. Then later they come out.
    But really, old women not having sex? Or old people… Women who aren’t sexually attracted to other women SEXUALLY are calling themselves lesbians? I find this sheer idiocy.

  7. There is no politics to sexual attraction, despite what the trans idiots are throwing in. Men saying they are lesbians to get access to lesbians sexually… yeah, they’d do anything. Rapists is what we used to call them or potential rapists, or they are having sex with bisexual women.
    I’d say the political element of lesbian life is about the horrifying oppression we face worldwide, and the fact that men believe we don’t have a right to a sex life that has nothing to do with them. Men get touchy about independent women.
    The article is complete trash. When lesbians come out in mass, and organize on this level, then it becomes a social justice movement. Sometimes lesbians do this when feminism is on the rise, sometimes they just fall in love and stay beneath the radar, but all lesbians are SEXUALLY attracted to women, not emotionally, not platonically, not celibately, but SEXUALLY. What’s so hard about this concept?

  8. Sexual attraction is not the same as emotional attractions. I deeply love some of my straight women friends, feel very close to them…but I am not sexually attracted to them at all. Not even close. Sheesh

  9. We already have a word for people who like to do non-sexual intimate things with people of the same sex — homosociality. That’s contrastive with homosexuality, which kind of definitionally involves sex. Homosociality is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t make you a gay person of any stripe.

    1. Back in the day people did use the term homosexual for what they know call homosocial, e.g. they called men only promoting other men homosexual reproduction. I seem to remember that homosocial was specifically invented to address men’s preference to mingle with other men as in all-male, usually misogynistic political groups and the like. The term puts the focus on gender instead of sex as a social marker. Basically, you call someone homosocial if he (usually he) does everything a homosexual would do except actually having sex. Personally, I call it a good strategy to gloss over latent homosexuality between straight men by making it visible without being able to call it homosexual.

  10. Thank you, Gallus and others (except Ave’s bizarre trolly misrepresentation of my blog and politics) for your brilliant comments.
    I was going to ignore the crap, but seeing the posts here got me to respond. This is what I’m posting (or attempting to) there:
    How patronizing of longtime Lesbian Radical Feminists: “Whenever this subject comes up, some older lesbians also get on their soap boxes.” I’m not seeing younger Lesbians similarly patronized in this ageist, Lesbian-hating article.
    I wish we knew who the writer was, and who she’s talking about, because I don’t see anyone I know represented by her paraphrasing of their or our politics.
    “The over-emphasis on sexual activity as an essential part of the lesbian experience is concerning.” I’m an “older Lesbian” who is one of the only Radical Feminists I see writing over and over that being a Lesbian is about love and not sex. But that doesn’t count?
    “Few very old people, generally, have an active sex life. They have other challenges to deal with. Lesbians are no different but they don’t stop being lesbians.” How did this writer get into the homes and lives, minds and hearts of my people? Again, WHO is this writer to pompously tell us how we are living? I’m guessing not “old” or she wouldn’t be so othering and marginalizing of us in such an offensive way. What world is she living in to say this? Not mine, because I see LOTS of old Lesbians having wonderfully passionate ongoing love-making.
    No, “sexuality” is not “a social construction.” It’s a CHOICE. We are forbidden to say that with all the “born this way” and “sexual orientation” propaganda told us by the psychologists and GBT. But it’s a fact. Gay men conned too many Lesbians into joining them in their plea for pity because why would hets condescend to give us equal rights if we could just choose to be het? But most Lesbians did once choose to be het and that was a point of pride for the women coming out in droves as Lesbian Feminists in the Seventies. And certainly women going back to men for privilege is further proof that it’s all a choice.
    And no, I do not agree that women who chose to love women instead of men are as “as woman-hating and self-hating as anyone else.” That’s simply Lesbian-hating. I doubt the author knows as many Never-het Lesbians as I’ve known in my long life (though it’s been a struggle getting around, being old and up on a soapbox), so what is the point of repeating the classic heterosexist line that newly out het feminists used to say to divert attention from how very male-identified many of them still were? We repeated some of that in our book in the chapter about Lesbian-hating among Lesbians. The most male-identified of these recently out women used male sexual terms that we found more than repulsive. They brought sado-masochism they learned from their men into our communities. They told us how real women wanted dildos used on them if they weren’t with men. And too many were so brutal and cold in their lovemaking than they literally hurt the Lesbians they were touching. It took me years to finally realize I’d been subjected to sexual assault by the very male “love-making” of an ex-het Radical Lesbian Feminist. (As one who inflicted damage on a number of Lesbians said, “It really is different with women than with men, isn’t it?)
    And don’t forget the effect on our Lesbian communities of the ex-het Lesbian Feminist sexologists like Joann Loulan, Pat Califia, and Susie Bright who wrote books telling us how to imitate men to better please ex-het Lesbians.
    Of course all girls and women raised in patriarchy learn self-hatred and female-hating, but the more women have chosen to be intimate with men, the more they learn male ways. I have certainly not seen or experienced Lifelong Lesbians compare with ex-het Lesbians in term of female-hating. At least women who loved their own kind from girlhood will be less hateful to females than women who went against their nature (because all girls and women ARE born with the capacity to love our own kind — it just that most fight it in their effort to be accepted as “normal” and to get privilege.)
    This entire post is rooted in terms of thinking of “sex,” rather than love. Saying, in regards to women who have always loved women rather than men, as having a “sexual experience,” rather than a lifetime of love and commitment to other women is incredibly dismissing and trivializing of what it means to suffer hatred from girlhood because of loving our own kind as well as saying no to males. It’s not about valuing “sexual experience as being more authentic than political thought.” It’s about recognizing what that choice of love means. No, Political Lesbians may not be more likely to go back to men than other women who have chosen men over women, but they and other ex-het Lesbians certainly are more likely to go back to men than Lesbians who have said no to men our entire lives.
    It’s not about straying off “the golden path.” It’s about who we love, ally with….or betray. It’s not about “pure” anything, or “born-like-it desires.” It’s about recognizing that choosing the enemy in the patriarchy bent on destroying females and in which all girls and women are sexually harassed and most are sexually assaulted by boys and men means something. It means choosing them over our own kind, valuing girls and women less. The Lesbian-hating in these comments reflects the Lesbian-hating that Lifelong Lesbians have experienced from girlhood. There is no reverse oppression. We did not feel “pure” or on a “golden path.” We were despised as freaks by some of the same women who are upset now that we can’t fully trust them. And when we see the women we welcomed into our hard fought for Lesbians communities returning to full het privilege on the arms of their men, it means nothing? We are not to notice this or comment on it?
    I support Political Lesbians. I just don’t appreciate the misrepresentation and distortions of my and other Radical Lesbian Feminists’ politics in this Lesbian-hating article.

    1. I agree. I’m not well versed in queer theory or any of the stuff that comes out of the humanities departments at universities so I am completely baffled by where this bullshit comes from.
      Not having sex with men does not make you a lesbian. Hating men (or not having relationships with them) does not make you a lesbian. I actually can’t think of any lesbians I’ve met that didn’t have male friends (of the homo and heterosexual variety). Some lesbians may not have male friends, but that’s not the crucial factor to being a lesbian. Just like how “brain sex” doesn’t make a female.
      If that were the case, would that mean all men who don’t have sex with women are gay? Nope. I’d say they were celibate or abstinent or asexual.
      It’s similar to trans crap. M2T always whinge that lesbians don’t see them as sexual partners, completely neglecting the SEX part of homosexual. Lesbians=female homosexual. So sexual attraction to other females.
      Rejecting relationships with males doesn’t make you a lesbian, rejecting gender boxes does not make you the other sex.

    2. Nooo you can’t say that. You mean old lesbians are ruining it for straight girls who want to be special~!

  11. “A Lesbian is a woman whose primary erotic, psychological, emotional and social interest is in a member of her own sex, even though that interest may not be overtly expressed.” – Ms. Magazine 1972
    Notice the first thing mentioned in the list of interests? Erotic. Meaning sexual attraction.
    I’ve always liked this definition. Less we forget, homosexuality is taboo in many parts of the world – in some parts, under the penalty of death. Heck, it even has dire consequences right here in the U.S. I know I’ve been before a judge who condoned the rape and murder of Lesbians and advocated it as a “cure.” But mostly I think of all those unfortunate child brides or women living under the Taliban. We know damn well there are Lesbians living among them. But altho they may love women, they may not be willing to be stoned to death or murdered for it. (Has anyone seen Deepa Mehta’s film “Fire?” Excellent film). So this definition covers Lesbians who may not be free to overtly express their love for each other for whatever reason.
    In a compulsive heterosexual and rape society, I suppose there will always be folks who will appropriate who and what we are and will twist whatever words we use. That’s a given. Oppressors and colonizers aren’t in the habit of respecting those they oppress and colonize. But sometimes words aren’t necessary. In the end, we know who and what we are. We can spot each other from across the room. Piss on compulsive heterosexuality and its homophobia, Lesbians will always be able to find each other,

  12. Not sure how to email you this story but here is the link at Xtra web site, a Queer site from Toronto that worships Trans everything. This story is how an F2T did an art show comparing a real woman who had cancer so had masectomy and hysterectomy to save her life — this woman was compared with the F2T who chose to have the same operations as a form of gender play. I find this concept vile and insane and said so in the comments (where I use the online name coelacanth because I got death threats from trans people in the past under my real name).
    You may also be interested in a side note but the once gay and now so called LBGT blog which has also gone trans worshipping in its comments, has another trans article where trans of both types whip gay men with how much worse trans suffering is than that of homosexuals. An F2T goes hysterical while a M2T named SFGina, who has been very nasty in the past, beats down gay males as he does for sport there and formerly on bilerico.
    I love your blog!
    David, a 56 year old gay male in Toronto who tries to educate other older gay men to the tyranny and lies of Queer and Trans

    1. SFGina, who calls himself a ‘straight woman’ (he’s not even pretending to be a lesbian, which is novel!), also hangs out on Autostraddle for the sole purpose of harassing young lesbians into accepting transgenderism. The unbelievable amount of TIME that trans activists are able to put into policing the comment sections of ‘LGBT’ and feminist websites (and increasingly more mainstream sites; HuffPo is a notable example) leaves me wondering what they do for a living.

      1. They’re in IT — lots of male-to-trans spend their days managing web services, servers, and networks; gives them lots of access and opportunity.

  13. Thanks, Mary!
    Yes, Lesbians are everywhere. I believe that all girls and women would choose to be Lesbians if not for the severe punishments plus the rewards of choosing men. Most girls fall in love with other girls, but are taught to despise themselves for it. I certainly saw my high school friends training themselves to be interested in boys. It wasn’t easy and many later regretted it. Then when it became easier, women came out in droves. I’m still meeting Lesbians who just came out in their fifties and sixties, and are thrilled to finally be Lesbians. The price was too high earlier in their lives. (Though they have benefits in terms of homes and careers and security that few Lifelong Lesbians I know have.)
    But some women have been so traumatized by men that they can’t handle passion and lovemaking. They love Lesbians, love our communities, identify with us, and do not want to be mistaken for het women. Some have identified as Lesbians, but made it clear they want to stay celibate. As long as they are clear, I don’t mind if they say they are Political Lesbians. (Just don’t start appropriating our politics and identity and write Lesbian-hating articles.)
    I would rather this clear definition than the women who want a lover with all the attention and devotion and love and committment that Lesbians can give, but who torture their lover by refusing to make love ever past the very beginning — or who only want to be made love to and won’t reciprocate. The het feminist line that no woman should be pressured to “have sex” was about being with men. It’s cruel to pretend you want a full lover Lesbian relationship when you really don’t. I’ve seen Lesbians suicidal for decades writing about how they are waiting forever for their lover to get over childhood trauma, even though their lover managed to be with men previously, and even though they also have childhood trauma equally or more severe but which would never stop them from wanting to fully love their lover. Those who want all the benefits of a lover but not equality never pick women like themselves. They would rather make a Lesbian suffer and take whatever they can from her. Lesbian-hating is behind a lot of it. If you hear women saying they want to be loved, rather than to love, that’s a clue. We should want and should get both. So really, more women should admit they are “Political Lesbians” and keep their lesbophobia to themselves, and let the rest of us be full, wildly passioned, complete Lesbians

  14. I think the woman who married the future mayor of NYC was once a lesbian. Would a lesbian have ever been elected mayor of that city? I doubt, much less a straight woman. It’s all about the privilege.
    Formerly het women go back to men all the time. They also bring in bad male learned sexual practices into lesbian worlds, and use very vulgar female objectifying words. Every time I hear a woman use one of those “key” words, I know she is formerly het. She just gives the game away.
    Lesbian lives are chosen. Girls naturally love each other, and if you have massive forces out there denying lesbian existence or criminalizing it, obviously, they are trying to prevent large numbers of girls choosing lesbianism itself.
    Men buy women with money, they call it marriage, but it is social power and privilege. Those of us who never chose that way of life, paid a high price for the choice. This whole “golden path” “gold star” “aren’t you lucky” stupidity coming out of the mouths of former het women is annoying at best and colonizing and dismissing at worst.
    Just look at all the garbage women dump on pioneers like Bev Jo. Had she been a gay man, she’d be getting awards at “Gay Inc” fancy dinners, but no, because she chose her way of life, she gets to be attacked all the time on the Internet, and if we can’t fully honor our own, that says something about hatred of lesbians, hatred of the never het, hatred of our choices.
    And thanks for reminding us that we love women, that sex and love go together, that there are a lot of us who don’t use male sex toys, that we deeply and sensuouly love women.

    1. Lesbians are female homosexuals. Not feminists. Lots of lesbians are sexist as hell. Lots of lesbians inject “Vitamin T” so they can be more “manly”. Lots of Lesbians “buy women with money”. All this bullshit lesbian superiority woo-woo is just that: bullshit. No wonder some hetero women are confused.
      Some lesbians are completely awful human beings. Being homosexual has no bearing on one’s character or politics whatsoever.

      1. “Some lesbians are completely awful human beings. Being homosexual has no bearing on one’s character or politics whatsoever.”
        NO BEARING — sorry but that is just nonsense.
        “Lots of Lesbians “buy women with money”.” Yeah, but the essential difference here is that they’re just piggy-backing in a system that was instituted for the purposes of MEN owning women, and a lesbian can’t own a woman in the same way, even if she is confused enough to try and become a straight man via trans.
        Realising the possibilty of homosexuality, or realising your own homosexuality or however you want to phrase it IS a radical step, it is potentially and literally saying no the the menz. Realising and rejecting as best you can the system of heterosexuality that men have set up to try and keep women in their place.
        “All this bullshit lesbian superiority woo-woo is just that: bullshit.”
        I admit, I now do feel a little differently about some of the rather naive political lesbianism stuff that came out years back. The whole ‘identity’ side of it now doesn’t seem a good idea, given the abuse that trans have ladled on to the ‘identity’ of woman, and we have the danger of straight women doing the same with the claimed ‘identity’ of lesbian.
        But that DOESN’T mean that we can’t even say anymore that lesbianiam IS superior to heterosexuality. Damn, and not just in the current patriarchal structure of society. I ALWAYS thought that two people of the same sex had a greater potential for real spiritual and physical intimacy that two people of different sexes, and still do.
        So, YES lesbianism is superior to heterosexuality, and I’m not ashamed to say that!
        “Being homosexual has no bearing on one’s character or politics whatsoever.” From my experience, and from every lesbian I have met, this is just wrong. Sometimes the effect is counterintuitive (like lesbians who mistakenly try to become more patriarchal than the patriarchs, with T and all that entails) but it is just plain silly to claim that it has NO bearing. And in terms of feminist politics, I find that it is more often than not the lesbians who are MORE radical, precisely because they AREN’T sleeping with the enemy, and don’t have that close investment in actual males.

  15. In all my years in the lesbian communities of several major cities in the US and a few cities abroad, never once I have come across lesbian prostitutes, not once, not ever. But I have seen thousands of hetero women prostitutes GM, thousands worldwide, so this tells me something, it tells me that while it is not impossible, it is so rare as to be non-existent.
    We need to end the straw women categories, I’ve never met lesbians who inject T to be more manly, I’ve come across Female to trans who do this but not lesbians. I’ve never come across lesbians who have beat me up, threatened rape or who have been as horrifying as men, just doesn’t happen. I’ve never had an experience where I have been underpaid by a lesbian or cheated out of something….
    I have met some lesbians that I like more than others, as is life, but really, I feel very at home in most lesbian worlds, rather worry free, and I can say that I NEVER feel worry free in a straight bar, or in dominant hetero social situations. So I don’t know where all this lesbian evil is supposed to be coming from, or the selling bodies to other women… I’ve seen a few dumb lesbian movies lately with this theme, but nothing IRL.
    On what street corner in what major city can you find prostitutes who want female customers? Has a woman ever propositioned you? Never has happened to me. Lots of women wanted to spend the night with me, but not with economic motives. We need hard numbers, common data, not the anecdotal “well some women are mean too” tropes. Calling it as I see it.
    Lesbian communities are far more loving than anything I’ve found in the hetero world. Just saying…. maybe I’m just lucky with the women who’ve been in my life.

    1. Did you just equate lesbians with “women” and heterosexual women with “men”? Yeah you did. Remarkable.
      “maybe I’m just lucky with the women who’ve been in my life.”
      Yeahhh… I guess. maybe you just don’t get out much. I have seen lesbians do all the things you have listed. Yes, I have been propositioned by a lesbian stranger on the street trying to pay me for sex. I also know several lesbians who prostitute themselves to both men and women. Violent lesbians, yes, certainly. Lesbian murderers of women, yes. Those who economically exploit other women, certainly. Seriously I can’t imagine what fantasy world you are living in.
      As for your manipulative reframing of the bullshit trope of lesbians as saintly feminist persons – by contrasting rates of female criminality and violence with MALES (instead of non-lesbian women, which is what we are discussing)- I call bullshit on that as well.
      In short, lesbians are no more feminist than heterosexual women.
      Oh, and this disingenuous nugget: “We need to end the straw women categories, I’ve never met lesbians who inject T to be more manly, I’ve come across Female to trans who do this but not lesbians.”
      Durr, so you think female homosexuals that inject T somehow undergo miraculous transubstantiation into “non-female non-homosexual” by the will of their self-identitay? Hmm, where have I hear that before *cough *trans *cough. Lets get real- lesbians have been a huge driving force in the female hating self-hating male-identified transgender movement.

  16. I’m a lesbian complete with physical attraction to women (and not to men), but I totally disidentify with the word “homosexual”. To me it’s a male word and can’t come close to expressing who I am. I also do not “fuck” anybody and nobody “fucks” me either. Those words strike me as gross, limited, limiting and inaccurate when applied to me and women whom I love. I understand the lesbian desire not to be denied sexuality, which we have in abundance, but just don’t identify with the pitiful and pathetic male words for it, nor the reality of their exploitative and objectifying “sexuality”. I guess males are the only people who have been allowed to have a sexuality in this male run world, so women have no model for a full and free sexuality except theirs, however it’s still a lousy and inadequate “model”. I have been a lesbian all my life and have never been heterosexual. I came of age and fully accepted my lesbianism at the time of the Second Wave, so I am a feminist and my own lesbianism is virtually inextricable from my feminism, though I see (to my sadness) that not all lesbians are feminists.

  17. Branjor, you wrote a very lovely ode to lesbian sexuality. I’ve never identified with most of the gross words straight out of male sexual practices… f—- women or women f—–, and I too was happy to be in lesbian feminist communities, and really the most out there lesbians back in the day were feminists, and the backbone of that movement spanning over 100 years.
    Nope never had women ask me to pay for sex, never came across this ever and I live in BIG cities, and I’ve met thousands of lesbians from all over the world. Don’t know about the worlds you live in GM, but that ain’t a my world. Maybe too many gay male worlds which are not good influences on lesbians and certainly no great assets to lesbian feminism. It’s a pretty odd world out there. Don’t hang out with lesbians who do drugs or smoke pot either. Never had a lesbian try to sell me any of that stuff either….
    Fantasy world, nope just the world of hard working radical lesbian feminists everywhere, the ones who built the lesbian places and maintain them, the ones who wrote all those wonderful books, opened the bookstores, created the first lesbian magazine. Yup, they’re still around, still doing great work, and I love them all.
    They gather still, large groups of old lesbians now, old lesbians organizing for change, making films, supporting youth. So nope we don’t have time for prostitution. What kind of world is this, a long time long committed radical lesbian feminist world, you know, the ones who did not sell out to male anything. I feel sorry for lesbians who have not had enough of this. Once upon a time, I never even knew lesbians who weren’t proud feminists, so it might be all this third wave stuff or goddess knows what’s out there now. But we were all united in radical feminism and found it inspiring, productive, powerful and effective.
    It was this early group of lesbian feminists who founded the collectives, and we had a surprising amount of IRL unity. Sure we had political battles and huge disagreements on strategy, but when I see what exists now, compared to what was there in say 1975, I know who created that world. So let’s look at numbers…. and really, you may have some women who prostitute themselves to other lesbians, but as I said before, I have never seen them. This has never happened to me, so I think they are few and far between. I think a lot of garbage went on with lesbians who were very involved with gay male political stuff, and that now is seen as the great danger and a huge drain on a lot of lesbian resources. But hey, we told them so.
    I don’t know what my reality as a long time lesbian feminist is so baffling, happiness, sense of accomplishment, IRL solidarity, not just internet but the real world. The bookstores, the coffee houses, the bars, the community gatherings, the workshops, the fantastic magazines and newsletters and celebrations, the goddess spiritual lesbian groups, the authors, the poets, heck we even had a women’s community orchestra and played music by women composers like Sylvia Beach, Ethyl Smyth–lesbian violinists and cellists, opera singers… the woman’s building in Los Angeles, the whole feminist art movement. So we were so busy, I guess we just didn’t have time for the male vices of buying women. But we sure had and are having fun today. That’s the lesbian feminist movement I know and love. I suppose a younger group enjoys all this freedom, so they don’t want the label feminist, but that’s ok, I’ve always proudly worn that label. Nope, didn’t know lesbian who injected T, just not my world, but hey I’m an old dyke from an old world, and I’m damn proud of it. Thanks Branjor for telling it true as well. We need the gang of the old to keep writing, to keep telling what community is. It is consistent, it is day after day, it is not romantic and is sure as hell is not celebrated by the wider world, but we ourselves are proud and that’s what counts. I am sorry GM that you’ve had such bad experiences with lesbian worlds, doesn’t sound that great, maybe you need to look for the groups of lesbians that are doing good, and being feminists. They are all over the place, but …. more for another time.

    1. “we don’t have time for prostitution.” UGH. Is that what you think it is? What in the ever loving fuck. You are truly out of touch with any lesbian -or any other- reality that I know. God bless. Also re ‘The gang of the old”: I know some old-ass daggers who are completely in touch with reality. So please don’t front. Many old dykes (unlike yourself) are completely in touch with the reality of the last 60 years, and the present. You are in your own little world and that is cool, but please don’t frame all old lesbians like that ’cause that shit simply don’t fly.

    2. Sheila you have never done anything for the lesbian community. Yes you are female and lesbian but you have never done anything besides leave these weird delusional fantasy lesbian-land comments on blogs.

    3. @ Sheila G
      In the original comment, it was just “Lesbians don’t do X” now it’s “Lesbian *feminists* I’ve met don’t do x”. I’m certain Gallus’ comment was that the two are not mutually exclusive and you just proved it.
      I honestly hate shit like this. Lesbians are not angels, not this other class of human that is to be sanctified or demonised. We are human and prone to errors like everyone else. I find this “othering” that you’re doing of the lesbian community to be really hateful. We’re human, we can fuck up and be nasty like everyone else.
      I’ve known lesbians to sell drugs. Some sold drugs for their employer (at pubs/clubs) to keep their jobs and some sold drugs just to fucking survive on the streets.
      “I’ve never come across lesbians who have beat me up, threatened rape or who have been as horrifying as men, just doesn’t happen”
      One of my ex-girlfriends (M) had a psychotic ex (T), who killed her dog (poisoned it) and abused her sexually, physically and mentally for years. M eventually went to court and got an AVO (apprehended violent order) against T.
      T also threatened me and my family for beginning a relationship with M in the first place. M moved houses five times and lost her job because T would show up at her workplace and go apeshit.
      It may not be as widespread as male violence, but don’t pretend it doesn’t happen
      Don’t spew this bullshit that all lesbians are lovely and wonderful just because you have never met any shitty ones.
      It sounds as delusional as the trans line of “I don’t know any trans that have ever attacked a woman”. Your experience is not the only experience…and your experience seems to be contained within this tiny circle of people.

  18. I also have never related to the word “homosexual.” The few Lesbians I know who have (and I don’t know any in person now, among the hundreds of Lesbians I see) were deeply connected to gay men and the gay male movement. I don’t understand trying to re-define us in a way that connects us to gay men, when historically we have been our own separate people.
    The word I’ve seen most of us using from 1970 is “Lesbian” (often combined with “Feminist), and Dyke” which was used by the more Radical Feminist and Separatist. Yes, we saw “homosexual” occasionally applied to Lesbians, but that was in psychology books or het people observing us (and usually they again meant men and ignored Lesbians.)
    The Lesbian community I came into was mostly feminist and wanted nothing to do with gay men. They had tried hard to work with gay men and also het feminists and were fed up with the Lesbian-hating from both. (The first meetings I went to were “Gay Women’s Liberation,” started by Judy Grahn, Wendy Cadden, Alice Malloy, and Carol Vorvolakos in San Francisco and Berkeley. Events in our community were almost always women only). “Gay” quickly began to be dropped because it became associated with newer Lesbians who hadn’t been introduced to feminism yet. But no one I knew ever used “homosexual.”
    I DO get out a lot. I sometimes go to three Lesbian events in one day. I see Lesbians regularly from at least nine different counties. I probably know thousands of Lesbians, if I count all who I’ve met and talked with over 50 years (including the first I knew who identified as a Lesbian when I was 13). Add to that the many who I have read over the years. And I have to agree with Sheila that I do not feel unsafe with Lesbians, have never felt threatened or in danger, and, even though I’ve know some who were cruel, I have never seen anything like what I and almost everyone I know has experienced with men. Most women I know have been sexually assaulted and all have been sexually harassed during their lives by men and boys. Very few experienced that from women. In my experience, it’s almost impossible to have a few conversations with a man that doesn’t soon turn prurient and creepy. I generally avoid them.
    The women I’ve known who are the most like sexist men in terms of oppressive comments and jokes are usually bisexuals and not Lesbians. They certainly are the most male-identified (and no, I am not talking about Butches — I’m talking about women who have closely bonded with and learned from men.) The few like that who do identify as Lesbians often have a sado-masochist, porn, and genderqueer connection.
    I don’t agree “lesbians have been a huge driving force in the female hating self-hating male-identified transgender movement” — that driving force I’ve seen are the bisexuals who sometimes have posed as Lesbians (like Pat Califia) because they were making money off Lesbians. Ironically, it’s been more the women identified as feminist (including het and bisexual) who I’ve seen vehemently support the trans cult. My non-feminist Lesbian friends are more disturbed and upset by it but haven’t had the support or words to explain why. One said that men calling themselves Lesbians was “just plain creepy.”
    I prefer being with Radical Feminist Lesbians, but the hundreds of Lesbians I know now and most who I spend time with in our community are not remotely feminist (since my radical friends are not the partying/music/dancing types). Yet the majority are not offensive in any way and are kind, caring, and loving. Even without the old Lesbian Feminist community I miss from years ago, there is still a strong sense of Lesbian community and love. I don’t see my het friends having anything remotely like that.
    I think Lesbians as a people are more likely to be instinctually feminism even if not exposed to the politics because feminism is about supporting women, and Lesbians love women. Het and bisexual women have divided loyalties.
    Tearing down Lesbians is what the trans cult does. We know how they carry on about how much more oppressed they are than anyone and are quick to say how oppressed they are by Lesbians. When not being completely ignored, Lesbians are the scapegoats for almost everyone who oppresses us.
    I agree also with branjor about never using “fucking.” “Sex” also feels male and both reflect the mind/body/spirit disconnect that women learn from men. It’s been clear to me from when I was a girl and first looked up “Lesbian” that patriarchy tries to define us in terms of male thinking, as being a primarily “sexual” classification, including their insisting on calling our choices of who we love “sexual orientation,” while the heterosexuality they present as the norm is never called an “orientation.”
    What they do not want us to think or say, because that would get all women thinking about it, is that our choice is based on “love.” That really is the forbidden thought and word. And when Lesbians love deeply and intensely, the passion and lovemaking that follows is indescribable.
    Women usually want love, which is why so many het women feel unloved. Almost every het woman I know who became a Lesbian said she had no idea how loved she could feel until she was with women.

    1. Denying that lesbians inject testosterone and try to become male because they hate themselves so much, and trying to frame these homos as “other” only feeds the trans trend among homo females. Time to get real folks! Ending bullshit now.

      1. Of course some of the women who inject testosterone are self-hating Lesbians, but a lot are also fag hags who want access to gay men or are bisexuals. Who I’ve seen be the most public about it in terms of writers who have influence on other women, like “Patrick Califia” and Loren Cameron (who did one of the first F2T books, “Body Alchemy,” said they were Lesbians but now identify as gay men. No actual Lesbian wants to be sexual with gay men.
        At the large conference I went to in 1997, theoretically for Butches and F2Ts, many of the F2Ts talked about being gay men. Bisexuals are not Lesbians, but those who made money off Lesbians, like the “sexologist” writers who did so much damage to Lesbian communities claimed to be to make money off Lesbians. (Joann Loulan kept her boyfriend hidden for years while she went to Michigan to teach Lesbians about “Lesbian sex.”)

      2. The “thank you” was to your comment, GM: “Denying that lesbians inject testosterone and try to become male because they hate themselves so much, and trying to frame these homos as “other” only feeds the trans trend among homo females. Time to get real folks! Ending bullshit now.”

    2. “I think Lesbians as a people are more likely to be instinctually feminism even if not exposed to the politics because feminism is about supporting women, and Lesbians love women. Het and bisexual women have divided loyalties.”
      Okay, NOT saying that all lesbians are wonderful, so let’s get that one out of the way before we start.
      But I am still bemused by the virulence that there seems to be on here for any statements that LESBIANISM (as an institution, which is not the same as ANY or ALL lesbians) is better for women. Or just plain better………….
      “Don’t spew this bullshit that all lesbians are lovely and wonderful…” Potentially more lovely and wonderful. Why is there so much resistance to talking about lesbians as a group, when decrying the male sex (and also being positive about the female sex) is okay?
      At the moment, this discussion just doesn’t feel like a nice place to be, and that makes me sad as well given the sense that you can usually find here (and no where else!).

  19. I’m beginning to think the greatest sin on internet lesbian sites is happiness. That is not allowed, not believed but it is. Thank the goddess for all the radical lesbian feminists I knew back then and now! They are great and I celebrate them every day!!!

  20. When I was ‘coming up’ in the early 90’s as a gay girl my view of lesbianism was formed more by the romantic 1910’s-20’s kind of stuff and I never really touched ‘feminism’ as a mindset or community even though I adore women (well, just the women I adore) and I certainly am aware of the wickedness of patriarchy; I’m not especially political, just a flaky artist-type who got deeply upset after seeing so many young females getting duped into ‘trans’ & found the only critical places online to be lesbian and radical-feminist which surprised me somehow. I also smoke pot, like girls in heels, and other bad stuff. And totally ‘gold star’ all the way.

  21. I guess what I mean is that lesbianism didn’t begin in the 1970’s & that one needn’t be radical to call out the absurdities of trans & queer theories.

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