23 thoughts on “A few thoughts on lesbian fiction

  1. It’s interesting to mention “women whose sexuality excludes men.” In both alt-right MRAs and in transgender natal males calling themselves “lesbians” screaming out their hatred for “TERFs” you see the same theme: men who are completely outraged that women will not have sex with them. These groups are supposed to be vastly different, yet both have the same rage over the fact that women’s sexuality excludes them. It’s amazing i never noticed this until I read gendertrender.

    1. There are lots of interesting parallels between the MRAs and the trans movement. Both have had a very strong interest in either
      “integrating” shelters for battered women or shutting them down through harassment with lawsuits and the like. While both feign to be concerned with defending their supposedly oppressed constituency, both are obsessed with attacking women and feminism as some vague cause of their misery rather than address real issues, like male violence directed towards other men or trans people. Both have a tendency to equate “verbal” or “emotional violence” (which women are accused of committing against them) with actual physical violence, and defending the latter as justified by the former. I really find that both represent a basic variation on the same theme, which is further retrenchment or defense of male supremacy.

      1. “There are lots of interesting parallels between the MRAs and the trans movement. ”
        They are often one and the same. It’s not unusual to see a straight line from MRA to “transwomanhood”.
        For example, Liam “lily” Madigan, the young man who harassed a lesbian Labour Party MP out of her position as woman’s officer:
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5087503/All-Labour-officials-local-committee-resign.html
        When Liam was 15 he was a Men’s Rights Activist who protested women’s charity events as discriminatory against men, comparing excluded men to Rosa Parks of the Civil Rights Movement:
        https://gendertrender.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/lily-madigan-mra.jpg
        Within a few years he latched on to transgenderism and found a pro-bono attorney willing to threaten his high school with a lawsuit if they didn’t allow him to access female changing rooms:
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3846466/Transgender-pupil-18-wins-right-wear-girls-clothes-school.html
        Now he is hounding actual women out of their positions and replacing them as a male proxy. He just applied for one of 57 “Women’s Leadership Training” scholarships under the Jo Cox foundation:
        https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trans-teenager-lily-madigan-applies-for-jo-cox-women-s-leadership-scheme-78vs7r2pj
        So you can see the straight line bonding MRA/trans. Liam is not that unusual in this respect. Seems to be a fairly common trajectory.

      2. Yes, I read something that someone else said who I think said it best: “The trouble with men’s rights activism and trans activism is that instead of advocating for rights for men and for trans people, they are fixated on tearing down the rights of women.”
        This is so true. Men’s rights activists, were they not thinly-disguised misogynists, COULD be great allies with feminists. A group of men doing activism about men’s issues under patriarchy–working on issues of male violence against men, on the stereotypes that cause men to be presumed to be the lesser parent (or on the socialization that causes men to actually be the lesser parent), combating attitudes that say that men need to suck it up or man up, or that men should go to war, or do dangerous physical labor and not complain about their conditions, rather than receive laborers’ rights, safe working conditions, increased automation to increase safety, as well as integrating women into traditionally male jobs (this doesn’t happen because women are presumed to be not strong enough or mechanically minded enough and because they are horribly harassed by men if they DO get those jobs, not because “society discriminates against men in favor of women”)–then they would be our allies, also fighting the patriarchy, just looking at the ways in which it hurts men, too. I would argue that men fighting against male violence against women would help men as well, as studies show that sexism causes ill health and low self-esteem in men. Being sexist and violent toward women isn’t good for men, either (who would have thought)?
        Similarly, if trans people simply fought for the right for males to be gender non-conforming and wear traditionally female garb/act in traditionally female-assigned manners without fear of violence, harassment or discrimination, if they fought for the right to be homosexual and for heterosexuality not to be all about owning and dominating women, if they fought for recognition as woman-aligned, gender-nonconforming males, they would be our allies against patriarchy, too.
        Instead, the first group believes women receive positive discrimination and that men are discriminated against in favor of women, that women ought to know their roles and that’s the problem, that there’s a “gynocracy” and feminism threatens men’s natural superiority; the second group believes that it is more downtrodden than women (and, in the case of women lobbying for our rights and identities to be respected, also that men are discriminated against in favor of women, only in this case masculine gender non-conforming men); they believe they have the right to usurp women’s positions, scholarships, sports, spaces, to violate women’s boundaries and disrespect women’s wishes, because they believe they are being oppressed by said boundaries and wishes.
        This is so clearly reflective of their masculine orientation and male privilege that it’s a bit mind-boggling they don’t realize it. I mean, they were ALMOST THERE–MRA’s correctly note that masculine/feminine gender roles also give men, especially men lower on the run in the masculine hierarchy, an unfair shake (unfortunately they just believe they should ALL get a fair shake at lording it over women, not just the elite among them whom they call the “alphas;” getting rid of masculinity altogether would solve all the problems they complain about, and feminists, in that regard, are their allies, not their enemies, but they fail to recognize this or else flat-out don’t want it); trans people correctly note that gender-nonconforming people are at risk for violence and are bullied and picked on by gender-normative male people; instead of addressing THAT, they are deciding it’s women being gatekeepers of the female that is the problem (you know, because there are MEN and there are NON-MEN), and they must bully woman to try to get us to stop caring about our rights, humanity, and liberation from the patriarchy.
        I find it very saddening.

  2. Thank you for posting this here. Shame on them for twisting her words in such a repulsive, anti-female, lesbian-hating/erasing way. And shame on anyone who presumes to speak for or stand up for the disenfranchised and oppressed yet has the gall to ask a woman “why didn’t you come forward earlier?”

  3. I read both links and then some click-bait content from the “writer” or ahem, “sex expert” who also writes for Teen Vogue.
    Not only is this “sexpert” very invested in convincing young women that penises can be attached to women, (and repeat repeat repeat this, because how will females get the message if the edgy “sexpert” doesn’t repeat repeat repeat), but that sex from said penis is actually queer sex, because, you know, queer, so it’s much more…edgy.
    I recognize this type of person, maybe not from a sexual boundary point of view, but from a straight woman’s point of view.
    Her antipathy toward female boundaries and lesbians puts her in the same camp as conservative evangelicals.
    While these types of women are kind of dumb, they also manage to climb up faster or finagle money, because they instinctively know where the bread is buttered and it isn’t with lesbian women.

    1. Very insightful thisismeandonlyme. There will be no great reward for standing by lesbians, which is why it is so very rare for straight women to ever risk anything on our behalf. The best they can be is in solidarity with women, and there are groups of all women, but lesbians usually found these women only groups, and do the lion’s share of the work. But still now hetero women are bringing the genderqueer crap into the groups, I’d say they are very anti-lesbians but pretend not to be. I can’t recall a single time a group of straight women got together to put together an event honoring lesbians or even doing a fundraiser to help lesbians in financial need, as in never seen this. Speaks volumes.

      1. I don’t really want to position this as a straight woman versus lesbians as that wasn’t really my intention. The writer in question identifies herself as the illiterate pseudoword with-so-little-meaning-they-can’t-define-it “queer” and if I gather through her writings, has sex with females. Maybe males also, so maybe lesbian, maybe bi, but not straight, don’t know and don’t care.
        My point was more along the lines of her echo chamber (literally, as she repeats Penises can be on Women like she is stuck in a canyon) and knowing that that her paycheck and maybe social structure depend on it, so she conforms. This is exactly how conservative women jam themselves into their boxes and she is no different. They both want male support (they wouldn’t admit it, they need to present everything as their own choice) and they want to conform. Her “queering” of the interviewee shows how deeply conformist she is, like an evangelical who cannot think in terms of who is saved and who isn’t, and how many “souls” she is going to save by queering them for the cause of her economic stability. It doesn’t need to be conscious or thought out.

  4. “You are only one of the letters LGB, not all of them! Now, I do think you could argue that it’s possible to be either an L, G, or B while also being a T. Fair enough, but you can’t possibly be all four of these letters. When someone calls a person ‘an LGBT author’ or ‘an LGBT activist,’ this makes no sense—you’re calling one person several people.”
    I really love this section. It makes me think about what a cuckoo’s egg the T has become. Everyone and everything has to be included in LGBT∞, even at the expense of their own community and identity.

    1. This was a very good point. L, G, B and Straight are pretty much zero sum games, unless….L and G really are rather discretionary. “Queer” just appropriates all of them in a big “ME TOO!”. “Trans” isn’t even about sexual orientation (in theory, although probably not in reality).
      I hope lesbians speak up more and more and “unqueer” their own word, appropriated by needy conservatives in progressive clothing, just like women need to take back “woman” from needy men.

      1. I have often wondered if the reason “queer” and LGBTetc. replaces single letters/words (L/lesbian in this case) is because most of the alphabet soup fuck females particially or exclusively (the G stands alone). So it profit all of them if they stand as a front to define sexuality so that females suck and fuck whatever is put in their faces (be inclusive!)
        And no, L’s don’t stand to gain anything because they are to be gotten. Which is why they changed lesbian to queer.
        I think straight women should absolutely do something to celebrate, honor, and support lesbian women. We just dont know wtf to do. I have been dying to rip this entire male-sexual-dominated shit on behalf of lesbians but no lesbian/queer woman I know (which isn’t a lot) is willing to even discuss it with me.
        I just assume they don’t want to alienate anyone in the alphabet soup, have drank too much koolaid, or think I should stfu cause it doesn’t impact het women. It does, but that’s a whole other topic.
        There are plenty of us straight women and girls ENRAGED about how lesbians are being done by the T specifically. And how the hell they just take the word “lesbian” outta her mouth?!
        We are talking about it though. In secret, two at a time, or in small groups when we hear about shit (like Cotton ceiling). Not on facebook, etc.
        We talk dirt bad about them because to us, all the male BTQP+, etc., ect. are just men demanding everyone suck their dicks. And we know something about that. And they know we know. Hence speech codes and censorship.

  5. I am still shocked that the word “queer” went from being a hateful slur (when I was a kid, it was a synonym for “faggot”) to the accepted politically correct term for anyone who doesn’t have heterosexual sex in the missionary position.
    I’m only 33. But I still cringe when I hear the word “queer” because I grew up being told it was a slur and a VERY impolite thing to call another person.

    1. Also in my 30s here and “queer” had that same meaning where I grew up. It wasn’t kinky and it certainly wasn’t cute. It was what you heard when some poor kid was getting his face smashed into a school bus window.

    2. I remember reading years ago that every generation thinks they invented sex. The latest are truly doozies.
      But back to queer, it also means anyone who doesn’t dress gender sterotypically conforming or doesn’t “fee” like a woman, like there is some mystical gender-angle that blesses you with “cisnormativity”. That means a flannel shirt and jeans and boots. By that measure, I and half the women in my family are also sometimes, queer. Add in short hair and you are BUTCH queer, just without the whole lesbian part. Maybe we are Bi-Queer.

      1. I also hate when people say “queer.”
        The entire “queer movement” appropriates so much it’s insane, yet they scream “appropriation” at everybody else over every little thing. They have appropriate AAVE (“woke,” etc.), they have appropriated Native Americans (“two-spirit”), Indians (the hijra), the intersex experience, and, of course, they have appropriated homosexuality itself and womanhood itself (and manhood, although that’s less “problematic” for men than for women, to use their favorite term), but they love to scream about other people’s racism and appropriation and microaggressions at every single turn, it seems.
        I read a really interesting article about the origins of the “two spirit” people in some Native cultures recently, including Native American feminists talking about why this particular appropriation is both ridiculous and offensive.
        Apparently, from what I remember of the article, the only Native cultures with the “two spirit” phenomenon were highly patriarchal, with rigid gender roles and women segregated from men in a women’s camp. Only men could be “two spirit” (JUST LIKE THE HIJRA!–only ONE “third gender,” notice; allowing women to identify as men in traditional patriarchal cultures is a no-no), and men who were “two spirit” were masculine gender-nonconforming males who did not quite fit into the “man” box, and were sent to live in the women’s camp.
        Matrilineal and sexually politically egalitarian tribes like the Iroquois, in which women were respected and not segregated, had no concept of “two spirit” people, and found it a bit odd when trading with these other tribes, although they respected the “two spirit” people and used their preferred language (sound familiar)?
        The hijra of India are seen as a disposable sex class “third gender,” to be used sexually by unmarried masculine males. They are not accorded the rights or status of males. There is no “fourth gender” for gender-nonconforming females. How is this not patriarchal, again?
        Similarly, there is a tradition in Afghanistan (I can’t remember what it’s called now, I am just going by memory), in which, in families without boys, one of the daughters can be elected a boy. This is because boys receive property from their fathers, and boys run public errands freely; without a boy to carry out these tasks, the family cannot function. These “boys” keep their hair short, wear masculine garb, grow up and retain the role of male, yet they are not allowed to marry and otherwise do not have the same rights as natal males. Again, this is not about “equality for gender non-conforming people” or respecting them or acknowledging them at all, it’s about patriarchal roles and practices. Just look at how gays are forcibly transitioned in countries like Iran.
        It’s not only offensive but laughable that trans people appropriate the identities of these people to show that “trans people and other genders exist and have existed in all cultures.” In highly gendered, rigid patriarchal cultures, with rigid binary gender roles, in which women (and gays, in most cultures) are hugely discriminated against, as an answer to the gender non-conforming or the homosexual some “third gender” options are allowed, though they are treated, like women, as second-class citizens, often used, exploited, or discriminated against, with limited political power. These societies do NOT allow women to “transition to” and be accepted by men, with the full status and privilege of men. I suspect this is why some girls and women, in our newly gender-crazed, highly sexist society, sense opportunity in the fact that they ARE allowed to transition and experience male privilege and power, if they take hormones and “pass.” This is so enticing to so many gender non-conforming women and women just so sick of this shit they are willing to do anything to get away that they leap at the opportunity, in spite of the health risks. I think this accounts for the rise in FtM transitioners, even though there are more MtF’s usually for sexual-fetish-related reasons.
        It’s crazy the extent to which culture dictates behavior and how rigidly inscribed it becomes, through mythology. For example, I remember reading about two tribes in Africa, one one of the most equal societies in the world and the other the most equal currently existing.
        In the first (trigger warning), women are kept separate from the men, and once a month the men raid the women’s camp and rape them, to produce offspring. At age seven, the male offspring are taken from their mothers. They are trained by adult males to perform oral sex, as it is believed that semen causes boys to grow into men. You cannot tell me the elder who founded this tribe wasn’t a pedophile, or that the tribe wasn’t founded by a group of woman-hating pedophiles who split off from another tribe way back and created their own group and mythology, and passed this down to subsequent generations.
        In the second culture, men spend more time with their children than fathers in any other human culture in the world. The childcare split is nearly 50/50, with a slight difference due to the women nursing in the early months of the child’s life. Even then, the father helps; women hunt with men, and men and women who have an infant will trade the infant back and forth on the hunt, in terms of sharing the load; when the infant cries if the mother is not around the father will offer his nipple as a pacifier. The politics of this tribe are egalitarian, and women are equally involved in tribal decisions and are treated with respect. I don’t remember reading about the treatment of homosexuals in the tribe, but I imagine that they are treated well (I can’t imagine such a culture would not tolerate homosexuality), and I imagine the instance of gender dysphoria would be rather low in a culture in which duties and behaviors are not gendered.
        This goes to show that, regardless of biology, culture shapes humanity to such an extent that men and women do NOT have to be shackled to these regressive notions of gender. I think this whole movement (and the MRA movement) is a backlash because of an enormous shift going on in the entire “civilized” world’s collective unconscious.
        It was a while back–when I studied anthropology–that I read about these tribes, but I could probably find the names, if anyone is interested (and the article about the perspective of Native American feminists on “two spirit” people).

  6. @Unabashed:
    Totally agree with you on the appropriation point. And it’s even worse when they compare their struggles to the Civil Rights struggles faced by Black Americans (specifically, the fight to end segregated restrooms) and the Nazi genocide that wiped out 50% of the Jewish race.
    Anyone with half a brain knows that keeping Black women out of women’s restrooms is NOT the same as keeping entitled White men out of women’s restrooms. But we’re now being gas-lit into believing that we’re bigoted monsters for not allowing men in dresses to hide behind our skirts in order to avoid being harassed by other men.
    I’m Jewish. And I have noticed a disturbing amount of trans people (both Jewish and non-Jewish) insisting that we ought to change our traditions to comply with trendy trans dogma. They want to force Orthodox groups to allow MtTs into woman only events (which is an issue because Orthodox Jews are big on wanting to have spaces and events where women can get together and relax without any men around).
    And, most infuriatingly, they’re trying to mess with the tradition that anyone born to a Jewish mother is automatically Jewish. Judiasm is passed down from mother to child (and not through the father) for a very specific reason. Throughout history, rape was a common weapon used by groups and governments who oppressed the Jews. So Jewish women who got pregnant during those times couldn’t be sure if their baby was fathered by their husband or their rapist. So Jewish law made Judaism matrilineal so that these women wouldn’t have to endure the additional shame and heartache of their children’s identity being invalidated due to a crime that was committed against them (and also for the practical reason that its easier to determine a baby’s biological mother than their biological father).
    But to heck with all that history and logic!! We need to change that because it might trigger a deluded Jewish FtT if she gives birth and her community recognizes her baby as a Jew because it emerged from a Jewish vagina!! Or a MtT might get butthurt if he isn’t recognized as the “mother” of the baby just because he’s the sperm donor.
    I think it’s telling that the trans lobby cannot advocate for their cause without piggybacking on other marginalized groups and appropriating their language and experiences

  7. The policing is horrific and endless. So many agree with us but are too afraid to lose privilege and friends if they speak out. But we do and have been since the Seventies about the trans cult.
    A lot of us are fighting it and are in Radical Feminist groups with Lesbians and het and celibate women allies. gchild, I appreciate our het women friends, as long as they aren’t oppressing us or trying to get us to focus our political work on making it easier for them to be with men. So don’t give up on making coalitions with Lesbians. Actually, the way privilege and oppression works, sadly, many Lesbians will listen to and value the opinion of het women about the trans cult than other Lesbians, like me, who they can just ignore, shout at, threaten, etc. on behalf of men.

  8. One thing I keep doing to fight the erasure, is to just keep trying to keep it simple and start with the basics, and say “I do not believe it. I will not call men “women” or “she” or “her,” and I will not call women “men” of any kind.”
    Also, I’m asking those who are terrified to think if they really believe the men we see in our community posing as Lesbians are Lesbians? I try to get them over feeling sorry for them, genuflecting to them, etc. and get to basics. None of them believe these men are women. But they will not usually say it. A few do though.
    And then other issues come in, where the more oppressed women I know are much more clear and courageous about naming men as men. The increasing power of privilege among some women benefits the men.

  9. You. Are. Joking?
    So: gentile female/Jewish male couples have been trying to change the ‘matrilineal rule’ since … well at least since Philip Roth has been writing novels … and all the contemporary trans have to do is cry “waaahhhh” and the hierarchy listens in sympathy????
    Holy shit, pardon expression.

    1. @DaisyDeadhead:
      On the bright side, the trans cult hasn’t managed to officially change the “Jewish identity is passed down via the mother” rule by throwing their little tantrums. Some of the more liberal/reform congregations (who are so far left and desperate to fit in with trendy gentiles that they are just “Jewish” in name only) might indulge them; but the majority of Jews don’t even know the argument exists.
      That’s not to say I wouldn’t be okay with the matrilineal rule being changed to fit with the times. I recognize that it’s unfair for people with Jewish fathers to be required to jump through more hoops to prove their Jewish identity than I did as someone with a Jewish mother and gentile father. It would just bother me if the main reason that changed was because society lost it’s mind and decided that it was possible for a father to give birth and a mother to be a sperm donor. And, as I said before, it bothers me when the people advocating to change that rule callously disregard the reason it exists in the first place

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