On “lesbians as villains”

Hey. Remember when straight males gave up their spaces to lesbians? Remember when males, en masse, worked really tirelessly to end rape culture? Remember when straight males cared for their gay brothers during the height of the AIDS crisis? Or remember when males listened to the concerns of females without shouting “NOT ALL MEN”? Remember when males, even those who felt like women, respected women’s boundaries? Remember that? Of course you don’t remember any of this, because it never fucking happened.

Among the myriad of things males haven’t done (or haven’t had to do, owing to their privilege), males haven’t had to relinquish space to females, much less lesbians. Males haven’t had their boundaries crossed repeatedly only to be called “hysterical” or “unreasonable.” And yet, at every turn, women – lesbians in particular – are being asked to step-aside, to eat our fears, to cow tow to the precious feelings of males who believe they are entitled to women’s space, to lesbian space.

And this post, dear readers, is going to focus pretty damn squarely on lesbians and the trans agenda.

One of the frequent complaints from the MtT community, in particular, is that the GLBT community doesn’t prioritize the “T” enough.  As a lesbian, I can understand that sentiment. Lesbians have been consistently marginalized by the community we allegedly belong to – within the big rainbow homo community, gay men’s interests have always taken center stage. (Because gay men are males.) Furthermore, given our status as women who are more interested in women than men, the larger culture has always dismissed and ignored lesbians’ concerns and, at times, our very existence.

Recognizing this, lesbians have worked hard to create community, our own safe spaces – MichFest, though not exclusively lesbian, being one. (We used to have dyke marches, and that was really cool, but those have now been destroyed by bullshit queer-polyamorous-unicorn bullshit rhetoric and co-opted by straight males who think they are lesbians.)

As lesbians, we need time away from dicks and maleness and mansplaining and transplaining. We need time away from po-mo hypothesizing about “what makes a woman.” We need time away from fear. We need time away from lesbophobia. We are fucking sick to the back teeth of it. We are exhausted and we need a fucking break. Trans/queer concerns are NOT lesbians’ concerns. Trans/queer politics are NOT helpful, or even good, for lesbians. (Far be it for me to stop anyone from waxing poetic on whether or not penis is female, but for the love of the fucking gods, let women have a minute away from this incessant noise that in no way serves our – women’s/lesbians’ –best interest.)

But back to the GLBT thing. Yeah, I get it. Trans folk feel like outsiders in the GLBT community. (Again, as a lesbian I completely understand that feeling.) Trans folk feel like the GLBT community doesn’t take all of their variances into careful account when discussing matters impacting the GLBT community – though, to be perfectly honest, what IS the GLBT community anymore? We take on everyone. We have no vision anymore, much less cohesion – straight? Asexual? GenderQueer Libertarian trans-martian? Everyone’s welcome! – but I digress.

Trans folk are upset that “the community” (quotes are deliberate) doesn’t prioritize their needs. So who do they get angry with? Gay men? Bi-sexual women? The straight people who have overrun Pride Events? Nope. They get mad at the mean ol’ lesbians. I mean, consistently. Lesbians are pretty much held solely responsible for harming trans people – MtT’s in particular.

For example, this from a trans-activist’s blog about a Midwestern Pride Event:

There is a segment of the crowd that isn’t just forgetting there’s a T in LGBT. They are opposed to trans inclusion. They want to attend a cis lesbian-gay-and-maybe-bisexual festival. In particular, there are cis lesbians present who don’t want to let trans women into “their” spaces – like the women’s bathrooms or the “Wom!n’s Lounge and Café.” (Costello, “If We Can’t Get it Right”)

Okay. So first off, fuck your “cis.” There is no such thing as a “cis lesbian.” Secondly, lesbians don’t own women’s bathrooms. Lesbians are not the only women who are concerned about males occupying that space. What’s ironic is that MtT’s don’t want to use the men’s bathroom because they are frightened of male aggression. Women don’t want MtT’s in their bathrooms because MtT’s are male and women are frightened of male aggression. Whose fault is this? Lesbians fault, of course! Makes sense, right?

Well guess what, fellas? Lesbians didn’t invent male aggression. Lesbians don’t systemically rape and abuse women – MALES do that. Males who have been socialized to feel entitled to women’s bodies and women’s spaces (and yes, even the most tenderhearted male with the most ladylike brain has been socialized thusly).

And if anyone thinks “being raped in the bathroom” isn’t a legitimate concern, here is a small sampling of articles that even the most cursory Google search will bring up on instances of women, in one case a child, being raped in bathrooms:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/17/10-year-old-ok-girl-allegedly-raped-by-brother-and-sister-duo-in-elementary-school-bathroom/

http://www.wbtw.com/story/21723152/girl-raped-in-bathroom-at-fayetteville-mall

http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2011/10/04/columbus-state-community-college-rape-victim.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/man-sentenced-bathroom-rape-disabled-woman.html

What do all the perpetrators have in common? They are MALE. They have penises. This is a legitimate concern, even if it hurts the feelings of males who think they are women. This is NOT a lesbian issue, this is a women’s issue, this is a MALE AGGRESSION issue even if it’s most convenient for MtT’s to blame lesbians.  If the MtT movement wasn’t so fueled by male socialization, male ego and entitlement, MtT’s might be able to recognize that women, justifiably, sometimes don’t feel safe around male bodies and penises.

As to the music festivals, organizations, “dyke marches” (again, quotes deliberate) – those were all spaces and events created by lesbians for women. Those were places that were sacred and necessary. Those were places where we could talk without having to cater to the male ego, where we could commiserate with others who had shared experiences, where we could feel safe, where we could be center stage for a few precious fucking moments. No one seems to notice (or care) that in the MtT agenda it is lesbians who are being imposed upon the most – not gay men, not straight women, and certainly not straight men. It is lesbian space that is being co-opted and disrespected. No one wants to acknowledge that it is becoming increasingly acceptable to call lesbians “bigots” for knowing that penis is male, for acknowledging  that males are male – even if they’re wearing earrings and calling themselves “dykes.”

In fact, in trans ideology, lesbians are seen as the ultimate villain – because we tend to believe in the authenticity of womanhood, because we tend to prioritize females, because we tend to understand that our biology is real and important (and not just a conceit), because we tend to reject outmoded, harmful notions like “ladybrain,” and we tend to reject gender norms. And worst of all, many of us tend not to give a fuck whether or not we earn male approval – in a patriarchal society, this will always be seen as a threat.

So for the trans folk, particularly MtT’s (who are, in fact, the ones encroaching upon female space ), I am sorry our culture has sold you a bill of goods about gender. I am sorry that, as males, you have been conditioned to believe that women are “mean” when they refuse to put your feelings ahead of their own safety. I am sorry that you despise women, like myself, who recognize reality (i.e. penis is not female, straight men are not lesbians). I am sorry that the medical community has played you, has made you believe that any amount of surgery, any amount of synthetic hormone will ever make your biological reality different from what it is and always will be. But trans folk need to remember that, while radical feminists and lesbians may hurt their feelings, while radical feminists and lesbians may fundamentally disagree with trans ideology,  those who actually harm, who actually abuse trans people are the same who actually harm and abuse women: males.

So in that one, tragic, regard it seems we have something in common.

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10 thoughts on “On “lesbians as villains”

  1. I am not a lesbian but I agree, the existence of lesbians should be acknowledged and it’s not ok to take your space away from you. In fact we should be fighting for more space for you. That said I kind of dislike the idea that I see put forth that polyamorous or bisexual women are the problem. Let’s be honest here, whenever there is fight against women’s boundaries it’s men who are behind it, and the token women are only allowed to speak insofar as they behave like good tokens. That said being a polyamorous woman somewhat confused about my own sexuality, I approve this message because there is NOTHING progressive about pushing other people’s boundaries and asking women in particular to immolate our bodies to the current trendy lifestyle. Respect all women and respect our own decisions about our body and space.

    1. Occasionally bisexual women are the problem, when they feign ignorance of homosexuality being same-sex exclusive or cheerfully remind those around us, “Sexuality is fluid! Sexuality is a spectrum!” Or when bisexuality is described in terms of gender-attraction and bisexual women remain silent, or agree, and gay people scratch their heads knowing a personal and subjective gender expression doesn’t overcome human sexual dimorphism. I don’t waste time blaming bisexual women as a group, but I wouldn’t call bisexuals innocence in the dissolution of lesbian sexual boundaries.

  2. I’m not a lesbian, but a radical feminist and I’m absolutely sorry that this “feminism 2.0” has become such a sad excuse for real feminism. We hetero women should stand with our lesbian sisters, because transactivism hurts us too. Someone said the transgender agenda is just patriarchy repackaged and this is totally correct. We should start to concentrate on our rights, womens’ rights, again and not let us being used by males who want to dictate again what we can say, how we should live, etc. We’re not “cis”, we’re women, real women and males should get the fuck out of our lives if we say so!

    I’ve always tried to be helpful of the lesbian/gay and also trans community, because I thought we all had the same goals. That’s fucking over! Trans”women” (aka men) and a lot of the gay community are nothing but misogynists. I’m solely going to support womens’ causes, and especially lesbians’ causes from now on. Men can take care of themselves. Not my problem anymore.

  3. I love to read intelligent articles about these issues. I am so sick of pretending the emperor has clothes on when we can see a dick. Lesbians and all women need to realize that we are being silenced. Wake up.

  4. Absolutely not. This lesbian is not willing to throw our trans sisters out of the toilets or anywhere else women are welcome. Lesbians are not villains. Lesbians are people, and, like people, are capable of being wrong, being unwelcoming, being xenophobic, and being unfair. We are also capable of being right, welcoming, tolerant, and just. I’m queuing up on the latter side. Clearly, you made a different decision.

    1. Not sure how xenophobia relates to the post, but okay. I, and many other women, will always maintain that women (even lesbians) are entitled to time away from male persons, regardless of how they “identify.” Women are under no obligation to be “welcoming,” or to ascribe to some patriarchal/capitalist notion of “fairness” when it comes to our space, our sexuality, our bodies.

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