Mutiny On Lesbo Island

Note: This post is my long-overdue (sorry! ugh!) response to joannadeadwinter in our on-going conversation  about bisexuality. Specifically, this post is in response to her post, “Shipwreck on Lesbo Island.”

Joannadeadwinter made so many excellent points in her most recent post in our discussion of bisexuality that I found myself nodding so vigorously at my computer screen that it counted as a neck workout.

In her latest response, with her typical intelligence and insight, joannadeadwinter quickly hones into the actual crux of the matter, cutting efficiently through the layers of outrage, denial, argumentativeness, and occasional downright hostility that discussing this topic causes:

The real question is: What purpose does it serve to have the B lumped in with the LG? How does it add to, or undermine, gay activism and culture?

This is an excellent question, and, upon reading it, I realized that we had be focusing on the wrong question all along.

It became clear to me upon reading this question that my so-called “issue with bisexuality” isn’t really an actual “issue with bisexuality” per se, but rather, that my on-going consternation caused by seeing lesbians get hurt; lesbian space being invaded; lesbian resources being diverted; and lesbians being misrepresented because of people who are not lesbian.

My actual attitude, which probably surprises many who have completely misunderstood the Straightbian posts, is that I honestly don’t care what people do nor who they do it with! All Dirt and I are saying is that people should be honest with themselves, and with their potential partners, before embarking on romantic and/or sexual relationships.

For example: I don’t have a problem with a woman who states up-front that she is bisexual; but I do have a problem with a woman who says she is a lesbian when she isn’t.

Joannadeadwinter goes on to say:

On a superficial level, it makes sense. Unlike gender, bisexuality is about sexual minority status, or being not-straight in a straight-and-narrow world. Anyone and everyone, whether they are really homosexual or not, needs legal protection and cultural acceptance in the event that a) they are caught engaging in same-sex relations and/or b) are perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be homosexual. Laws that prevent discrimination don’t just protect oppressed classes, but also those perceived to be associated with oppressed classes.

Agreed.  Everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, deserves legal rights and protections.

Initially, it likely made much sense to include everyone possible in the ever-increasing LGBTQQIAAP2S acronym (how much more are they going to add…??!!). The idea being: Power in numbers; protection for all.

At the beginning, on the surface, it likely indeed seemed to be a good idea to lump all of us, despite our obvious differences and conflicting interests, into a Crockpot and leave us there to simmer, our disparate groups remaining entangled politically, seemingly blended, for years, until some of us eventually started to reach a boiling point and started trying to climb out of the curdled stew.

Joannadeadwinter goes on to state:

Furthermore, I think the concept of bisexuality may have been helpful once upon a time when homosexual was scary, deviant, and criminal. The idea that even people straight as an arrow can and do have homoerotic desires and have same-sex encounters perhaps assisted society in seeing themselves in the gay/lesbian community and hence normalized same-sex attraction. Having more members of a minority in society, and having those minorities in the ranks of “normal” people, tends to have that effect.

Yes, I agree that the concept of bisexuality may have helped to “normalize” homosexual desire/activity to some extent back in the times when same-sex activity was illegal and downright scary, by making such desires more visible/understandable to the general public, and that is a good thing.

The unfortunate backlash, however, has been the ever-popular but false notion that being a lesbian is a choice available to all women, and the related (and equally dangerous) idea that sexuality is “fluid” which leads people to incorrectly believe that lesbians could be with men if we would just choose to.

Joannadeadwinter goes on to distinguish between “homosexual leaning bisexuals” (“Violets”) versus “hetero-leaning bisexuals” (“Lavenders”).  Her discussion, and my reply, are both focused mainly on the “Lavenders” because of this issue which is described perfectly by joannadeadwinter:

Rather it’s hetero-leaning bisexuals (lavenders) who have a habit of crashing onto the shores of Lesbo Island, then leaving when the next male rescuer comes along, but leaving the remains of the shipwreck behind. In other words, they dominate lesbian time and space, marginalize lesbians, and yet don’t contribute to the movement or culture or accept the risks of being publicly visible as lesbian

Every time a lavender joins the lesbian community, then leaves it for a male partner, a marriage, children, and straight ambitions (aka the flat with the white picket fence and apple tree), she creates the impression that this is the proper trajectory for a lesbian. Lesbianism is a phase. Lesbians really want men, eventually, once they heal from whatever trauma or brainwashing they supposedly endured. Lesbians should aspire to get married, have children, or otherwise blend into the straight lifestyle. It normalizes straight culture and straight expectations in the ONE place it shouldn’t be happening

I have also heard, more than once, about so-and-so who was convinced she was a lesbian…until she met this amazing guy! When people who call themselves lesbians or bisexuals do this in large numbers, it leaves the rest of us in the dust, coerced, not believed.

I won’t argue here whether these women are actually Straightbians all along, although that argument certainly would be made by Dirt, LOL!

Instead, let’s assume, for the sake of our discussion, that these women (“lavenders”) are indeed truly bisexual, but since, being “hetero-leaning bisexuals” who are predominantly attracted to males, they have ended up with a male and all the accroutrements of straight culture.

One of the main problems that Dirt and I are trying to address is the problem when non-lesbians purport to be “lesbian experts; and make alleged “contributions” to “lesbian herstory” which are both inaccurate and detrimental to Lesbians.

It should be understandable to all how “lavenders” defecting to Straightville are devastating to Lesbian lives.

These “lavenders” suddenly crashed upon our Isle of Lesbos, were welcomed with open arms and open hearts, seemingly integrated into our world for a time, but then suddenly were swept away by the tidal wave of hetero-privilege; leaving broken hearts, confusion, sadness, misery, anger, and miscellaneous debris for the Lesbians to clean up.

The Isle of Lesbos isn’t some temporary vacation destination to visit on the way to Heteroville, like some kind of Sapphic Bachelorette party.

But, all-too-often, lesbians are used when it is convenient and/or popular to do so, then unceremoniously tossed away like last Tuesday’s tofu when the Wienermobile pulls into town. And that is not right.


Joannadeadwinter goes on to say:

The more time we spend focusing on the ways lesbians are Just Like Everyone Else, especially in family life and motherhood (a STRAIGHT priority, c’mon!), that is precious time and energy not spent on supporting lesbians who don’t fit the mold-childless lesbians, unmarried or domestically partnered lesbians, lesbians adopting or fostering, single lesbians, lesbians who want and NEED a safe, validating, and SEPARATE space to be lesbian their way…the way most lesbians were throughout most of history, both out of necessity and out of desire….

When you fail to honor lesbian and woman-centered culture, when you abandon us, leave your shipwreck on our island…you destroy lesbian culture and thus lesbian lives. When you leave us for straight culture, you drag us with you without our consent or leave us to get figuratively beat up by the dominant culture. And I just won’t go, and I won’t take the blows.

A recent commenter here bemoaned her observation of what she believes is the tendency of many lesbians lately to be “trying to fit into heterocentric culture”.  I understand this point, because I have seen this trend too, and I do agree with the concerns voiced by both joannadeadwinter and the recent commenter.

However, I do want to point out that, looking at this trend from an overall perspective, I feel that this tendency is at least somewhat understandable because — FINALLY, woo-hoo!! — lesbians are allowed to marry in the US; allowed to believe that we have the same opportunities in the world as do our straight peers.

Lesbians have forever been treated as different, less-than, denied the legitimacy and everyday acceptance of our heterosexual counterparts.

It is predictable that when suddenly offered the opportunity to participate in the rituals and privileges of society, that some will instinctively grab for what is perceived to be the apex of existence: marriage, family, the white picket fence.

Like starving wanderers in the desert, some will rush toward the perceived sustenance of “legitimacy” without fully comprehending their own underlying reasons.

Another point I would like to make is that most lesbians, including myself and Dirt, are just (so-called; I hate the word) “normal” people living “normal” lives.  What I mean is that we typically are not exotic, exciting creatures living a life of wild sex, drama, and debauchery. Lesbian is not a “lifestyle”. We do the same things that everyone else does: we work, we grocery shop, we watch TV, we floss our teeth, we pay taxes, we argue on Twitter, we feed our beloved furry family members.

So for some observers, seeing most of us living our “normal” lives, it may seem like we are trying to assimilate, when, in reality, we are simply being ourselves.

As I said to the recent commenter, I feel that lesbians have the right to create whatever lives we want for ourselves (of course, I mean as long as we are not harming others in doing so!).

So if we want to buy a house in the suburbs and put up a white picket fence, that is our right to do so.

Similarly, it is our right NOT to do so too: we don’t have to accept society’s ideals of a “perfect life”.

Lesbians have the right to carve out our own lives in whatever ways work best for us: whether single or partnered, whether urban or rural, whether mind-numbingly boring or chockful of thrills, whether “traditional” or “non-traditional”.

Nobody, even another lesbian, has the right to tell us that there is a right or a wrong way to live our own lives.

However, I do think it is always in everyone’s best interests to analyze our reasoning and attempt to uncover our subconscious  motivations.

And I believe this is true for everyone, regardless of orientation.

If you feel that the fancy-white-wedding-and-white-picket-fence is your dream, it pays to look at why (literally, because these things are expensive!).  Is it truly YOUR dream, or are you trying to live up to someone else’s expectations? If you feel that it is your dream, why?  What are your life goals and what do you hope to accomplish with your life?  Would that $32,641 (the typical cost of a wedding now) be better spent on savings, investment, and/or charity?

Similarly, if you feel the need to have children, it is useful to consider your reasons and expectations. Again, is this your dream or are you buying into society’s dream?  If you do decide to have a baby, does the baby need to be your biological child or is adoption a possibility?  What are the issues and drawbacks of artificial reproduction? Etc. Joannadeadwinter gives a detailed analysis of reproductive issues…please refer to her post for details.

Circling back around the the earlier question that is at the crux of our discussion:

The real question is: What purpose does it serve to have the B lumped in with the LG? How does it add to, or undermine, gay activism and culture?

There have been recent unsuccessful attempts to separate our the never-ending LGBTQQIAAP2S acronym (such as the “Drop The T” petition, which was universally ignored and derided by the organizations purporting to stand up for ALL of our rights).

My thoughts on this are: Lesbians need to stop asking permission. We need to take what is ours. We don’t need the Human Rights Campaign’s  nor Lambda Legal’s permission to state that Lesbian is a discrete category with specific issues and needs.

What we do need to do is stop giving these organizations our money, attention, support, and time. We may have to create our own new, unspoiled organization.

Bottom line, I feel that there may have been initial practical reasons for all of the myriad groups in the acronym to have banded together at one time, but: at this point, our issues and needs are quite disparate and very frequently at odds with each other.

As a Lesbian, I have different issues and needs than an asexual, a bisexual, a transgender person, a gay man, a questioning adolescent, an intersex individual, a 2-spirit person, a pansexual, etc. And I am most certainly NOT queer either.

Lesbians have a right to demand that our unique needs are met. Lesbians need to ignore all attempts to guilt us into “being nice” and “getting along” with other members of the never-ending acronym.  Just because Lesbians are an oppressed minority ourselves doesn’t mean that we have to be sympathetic to, nor respond to the needs of, any other oppressed minorities. We don’t have to share our space and resources unless we choose to.

I feel that it is time for Lesbians to file for an amicable divorce from the “GBTQQIAAP2S” under the grounds of “irreconcilable differences”. It’s time for the L to focus on ourselves. We can wish the others of the acronym well on their journeys as we wave from the shore, and we may even provide assistance, support, and friendship to our former acronym-mates on our own terms, but it’s time to throw a coup and retake Lesbos Island for ourselves.

Unstraightening Lesbian: Removing The Heterosexual Lens: Part 3

This post, originally posted here, introduces the last 4 offenders of the “Dirty Dozen” in our Unstraightening Lesbian series to expose 12 of the numerous purported “Lesbian Experts” who are neither lesbian nor expert. Each of our “Dirty Dozen” has done immeasurable damage to actual lesbians by propagating false and harmful information to, for, and about lesbians.


Image: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

Without further ado, here is the latest (and last; at least for the moment) list of current culprits, along with a brief “teaser” to lead into our future more detailed posts on each:

1).  Dorothy Allison:

Dorothy Allison is an author who is probably best known for her semi-autobiographical work Bastard Out Of Carolina. Less well-known, but most crucial to our current discussion is her promotion of BDSM (along with previous offenders Gayle Rubin and Pat/rick Califia) and Allison’s perverted Straightbian version of lesbian sexuality.

According to an article entitled “Dorothy Allison: Queering Autobiography, DiscussingSexuality, Reshaping Feminism” by Mélanie Grué, published in the The Appolonian: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, Grué notes the following regarding Allison:

She (Dorothy Allison) does not shy from connecting incest with lesbian sexuality or breaking the link between victimization and innocence, when she tells about how her sexual identity developed on the base of violence.”

Childhood sexual abuse is not related to lesbian sexual orientation, but it often seems to be found along with Straightbians like Dorothy Allison.

In Allison’s work “A Question of Class” from her book Skin: Talking About Sex, Class and Literature, Allison states that her

sexual promiscuity, butch/femme orientation, and exploration of sadomasochistic sex became part of what was driving [Allison] out of [her] community of choice”

Allison goes on in this essay to define herself as:

a transgressive lesbianfemme, masochistic, [sexually] aggressive . . . and as pornographic in  imagination and sexual activities as the heterosexual hegemony has ever believed

Like our other offenders in this series, Allison’s inaccurate and oversexualized conceptualization of lesbian as well as her incorrect portrayal of Butch/Femme are examples of how damaged Straightbian assertions have twisted lesbian into something unrecognizable to actual Lesbians.

2).  Loree Cook-Daniels:

Loree Cook-Daniels has been mentioned previously in the post “Straightbians You May Know“.  Loree is the epitome of the most dangerous Straightbians of all. Unhappy with hetero-domesticity, Loree hitched a ride on the radical feminist bandwagon where she made the choice to call herself a lesbian.

She partnered with an insecure dyke whom she pressured/supported right into transitioning. Her partner, Marcelle, could not adjust to transition and later committed suicide.

Loree’s work continues to focus on transgender people and issues, and she lies to herself and others by saying falsehoods such as:

many (lesbian) partners discover they actually have a preference for FTMs“.

Sorry Loree, you’re confusing actual Lesbians with Straightbians.

3). Minnie Bruce Pratt:

Pratt is probably known as much for her disjointed thinking/writing as for whom she was partnered/married (Leslie Feinberg). Self described per her Twitter account as:

“Lesbian writer poet, anti-racist anti-imperialist activist, teacher mother grandmother, life-partnered with beloved Leslie Feinberg for 22 fabulous LGBTQ years.”

Before discovering Women’s Lib Pratt was married with children, after Women’s Lib she leaped joyfully into free love with other straight women pretending to be lesbians.

“…we would take other lovers, and we did, and there were quite a bunch of different complications, including, you know, just this sort of daisy chain of lovers stretching all the way to Tennessee at one point, all the way to Tennessee at one end and to Washington at the other end, you know. And we would make jokes about that.

Her depth of lesbian ran as deep as:

“As I say somewhere, one definition of a lesbian is a woman who has a job.”

Rather than by-products of birth, through Women’s Lib Pratt came to believe her heterosexuality, like her femininity could simply be unlearned. Were that true, even in the slightest, Pratt’s heterocentric behaviour/lens werent unlearned enough. Pratt co-opted Femme in the same way she co-opted Lesbian, in the same way she heterosexualized her relationships with lesbian lovers. Pratt climbed lesbians like ladder rungs, with each step up hoping to create the perfect man.

I mentally juggle your female birth sex, male gender expression…”

In the end, Pratt got neither, man nor perfection.

4). Sarah Schulman:

Schulman is an “acclaimed novelist” who is also purportedly a lesbian activist. But when her work is examined, much of it is decidedly UN-lesbian.

Let’s take her X-Rated writing for the film “Mommy Is Coming”:  (Yes, you read that right, but read it again if you like getting grossed out: MOMMY. IS. COMING. Ewwww.). The following is an excerpt from Julia Bryan-Wilson’s review:

Mommy Is Coming (2012), which was cowritten with novelist Sarah Schulman and premiered in Berlin this February, Dunye looks again at queer sexuality, presenting it in its most flamboyant registers. An international cast drawn from loosely defined queer and gender-deviant creative communities is here conscripted into a meditation on the tropes and cliches of pornography. The film involves many explicit sex scenes, strung together with only the thinnest of narrative tissue: Within the first few minutes, a woman gets fucked with a pistol in the back of a cab in broad daylight.

Um…Queer. Flamboyant. Gender-Deviant. Fucked with a pistol? Yuck. Schulman’s vision of lesbian life depicted here is quite a bit different than actual Lesbian life.

We hope it is already obvious why these 4 have been included in our “Dirty Dozen” list. The above information is just a fraction of the flapdoodle that these 4 have perpetrated over the years. The reasons they each are included in the “Dirty Dozen” will become increasingly clear when we elaborate on each in our upcoming posts.

Dirt and Mrs. Dirt

Unstraightening Lesbian: Removing The Heterosexual Lens: Gayle Rubin

This post is the latest in our series of posts regarding so-called “Lesbian Experts” who are neither, and is also published on Dirt’s blog, here.

Next on our Unstraightening Lesbian series is the academic pornified Straightbian Gayle Rubin.

From the U of M‘s website:


In this post we will show readers how Gayle Rubin has made a career out of defining, narrowing, and uglying “Lesbian” by filtering “Lesbian” through a warped, demented, and perverse heterosexual lens; falsely painting Lesbians everywhere as creatures who feed off of gay male pornography, sexual predators of underage youths, and misogynistic sadists of the female population at large.

Rubin’s pedo-inspired, porn-filled pedantics prove problematic for lesbians on a multitude of fronts, beginning in the late 1960’s when Rubin got her first whiff of feminism. Rubin quickly became an active feminist member on the U of M campus, including in 1970 when she helped to found a “Radical Lesbian Feminist” group. This marked the starting point for Rubin’s long career in defiling “Lesbian” for her own warped hetero-privileged sexual self-interests.

But it wasn’t until 1975 when Rubin’s essay “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex” did Rubin garner herself a larger (radical feminist) academic audience and where Rubin (like many heterosexual Radical Feminists)  divided sex and gender in a pedestrian effort to distinguish the unequal power structures between men and women. And whereby she personally helped to usher in Identity Politics (robbing females of being female) with the twisted idea that by placing gender over sex believed(s) that if gender were king, there would be no kings!

Rubin’s Fag Haggian (lusts) fascination, led her to San Fran in 1978. It was during this time that Rubin met/team up with fellow Fag Hag Pat Califia. “I have benefited immensely from innumerable conversations about sex, politics, and s/M with Pat Califia.” Together they started Samois-a Lesbian Sadomasochistic group which ran from 1978 to 1983. Despite neither being lesbians themselves, both Rubin/Califia confused/shared a deep love of harming women/girls.


The depraved duo’s beliefs were:

“…that S/M must be consensual, mutual, and safe. S/M can exist as part of a healthy and positive lifestyle. We believe that sadomasochists are an oppressed sexual minority. Our struggle deserves the recognition and support of other sexual minorities and oppressed groups. We believe that S/M can and should be consistent with the principles of feminism. As feminists, we oppose all forms of social hierarchy based on gender. As radical perverts, we oppose all social hierarchies based on sexual preference. (Samois, 1979, p.2)”

Rubin and Califia outline clearly here that neither believe in Lesbianism beyond some kind of (consensual…???) sexual violence that involves two or more females. In doing so, they (with hetero-privilege) attached their personal sexual depravities to “Lesbian” as the Lesbian Community (in their minds) consisted of an oppressed sexual minority. Neither woman, nor the women who joined their small group, could see past their own perverted pathology to see Lesbian is neither a lifestyle nor a preference, but simply a birth right uninformed by child sexual abuse or the fear of challenging male authority figures.

If effort to further ugly/muddy “Lesbian”, Rubin involved herself with other Straightbians such as Amber Hollibaugh to define/document and archive various “Lesbian” History projects beginning as early as 1978. Rubin stoops so low in her effort to rip off Lesbian Culture/History she employs plagiarizes  George Santayana  “queer life is full of examples of fabulous explosions that left little or no detectable trace … those who fail to secure the transmission of their histories are doomed to forget them“! Honey, you wouldn’t know the first thing about OUR histories!

Rubin is allegedly documenting Lesbian History/Lesbian Lives in this picture, below:


Pain, torture, sex, and men….yep…pretty much sums of every lesbian’s life! NOT!!!!

Let’s check out a little of what Rubin has to say on Butch/Femme:

“I approach butch from the perspective of gender in order to discuss, clarify, and challenge some prevalent lesbian cultural assumptions about what is butch.”

“These roles had two dimensions: First, they constituted a code of personal behavior, particularly in the areas of image and sexuality. Butches affected a masculine style, while fems appeared characteristically female. Butch and fem also complemented one another in an erotic system in which the butch was expected to be both the doer and the giver; the fem’s passion was the butch’s fulfillment. Second, butch-fem roles were what we call a social imperative. They were the organizing principle for this community’s relation to the outside world and for its members’ relationships to one another.”

Among lesbian and bisexual women, as in the general population, there are individuals who strongly identify as masculine or feminine as well as individuals whose gender preferences are more flexible or fluid. Femmes identify predominantly as feminine or prefer behaviors and signals defined as feminine within the larger culture; butches identify primarily as masculine or prefer masculine signals, personal appearance, and styles.”

Many butches have partially male gender identities.

“The erotic dynamics of butch-butch sex sometimes resemble those of gay men, who have developed many patterns for sexual relations between different kinds of men. Gay men also have role models for men who are passive or subordinate in sexual encounters yet retain their masculinity. Many butch-butch couples think of themselves as women doing male homosexual sex with one another. There are ‘catamites’ who are the submissive or passive partners of active ‘sodomites.’ There are ‘daddies’ and ‘daddy’s boys.’ There are bodybuilders who worship one another’s musculature and lick each other’s sweat. There are leather dudes who cruise together for ‘victims‘ to pleasure.

Rubin has obviously never encountered an actual Butch, Femme, or Butch/Femme couple. Her notions of both denote her ignorance, her blatant heterosexuality, and the heterosexual lens with which she filters ALL lesbians through.

Rubin on the Lesbian Community at Large:

“Despite theoretically embracing diversity, contemporary lesbian culture has a deep streak of xenophobia. When confronted with phenomena that do not neatly fit our categories,lesbians have been known to respond with hysteriabigotry, and a desire to stamp out the offending messy realities. A “country club syndrome” sometimes prevails in which the lesbian community is treated as an exclusive enclave from which the riffraff must be systematically expunged. Everyone has a right to emotional responses. But it is imperative to distinguish between emotions and principles.”

Rubin on Lesbians and Trans Females:

A sex change is a transition. A woman does not immediately become physically male as soon as she begins to take hormones. During the initial states of changing sex, many ftMs will not be ready to leave the world of women. There is no good reason to harass them through a transitional period during which they will not quite fit as women or men. Most ftMs who undergo sex reassignment identify as men and are anxious to live as men as soon as possible. They will leave lesbian contexts on their own, when they can, when they are ready, and when those environments are no longer comfortable. It is not necessary for gender vigilantes to drive them out. Some ftMs will experiment with sex change and elect to abandon the effort. They should not be deprived of their lesbian credentials for having explored the option.

Rubin on Lesbians and sex with children (!!!!!?????):

Recently NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association, has had the dubious honor of becoming the first gay-civil-rights organization directly attacked by the government in the current wave of repression against dissenting sexuality. Sadly, this community has been treated by the Left and the women’s movement in much the same way that homosexuals were treated by so-called progressives in the 1950s. The gay movement has been repeatedly baited on this issue. When homosexuals are all accused of being “child molesters,” it is legitimate to deny that all, or even a large percentage of, gay people engage in cross-generational sex. But it is crucial to add that not all adults who do have sex with minors are harming them. All too often, homosexuals have defended themselves against the accusation of child stealing by joining with the general condemnation of all adult-youth sex and by perpetuating the myths about it. Many lesbians have been doubly baited, disassociating themselves from the practice but accepting stereotypes not only that all lovers of youth are rapists, but also that gay men tend to be lovers of youth.”

And what lesbians would that be Rubin? “Lesbians” like yourself? Warped pervos who ignorantly/callously use “Lesbian” as their own personal vehicle to mow down the entire population of real lesbians???

The amount of debauched douchery that fills Gayle Rubin’s lesbian lexicon is heterocentric, fallacious, inaccurate, and unsound, but it has not stopped Rubin spreading Lesbian Lies throughout the halls of academia and entering the ears and minds on Lesbian students. Disease that leads to lesbian shame, true lesbian invisibility, lesbian self-hatred and lesbian transition. Gayle Rubin is a dangerous Straightbian whose own sick self-interest dominates her warped sexuality, her bastardized work, and her depraved life.

Dirt and Mrs. Dirt

Unstraightening Lesbian: Removing the Heterosexual Lens: Shar Rednour

This is another in our series of posts exposing some of the numerous offenders who have posed as “Lesbian Experts” but who are neither lesbian nor expert; originally posted here on Dirt’s blog.

Today’s subject is Shar Rednour. While outward indications seem to indicate that Shar is a lesbian (for instance, she has been in a long-term relationship with a woman for a long time now), her heterosexually-charged writings/interests/films are detrimental and antithetical to actual lesbians in many ways.


Image: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

Shar Rednour is yet another person who is widely viewed as a “lesbian sexpert“.  The following is from her Amazon bio:

“Shar wrote the empowering, hilarious whole-life anthem for Femmes of most ages and all genders: The Femme’s Guide to the Universe, nominated for a Lambda Literary Award…Shar Rednour worked at the original On Our Backs Magazine/Fatale Media both as an editor/writer and in video production. In 1998 she co-founded her own production company with her wife Jackie. Their explicit sex education films were best-selling and critically acclaimed and include the cult classic Bend Over Boyfriend.”

A couple of important notes on the above quote from her bio:

A).  A true Femme is a lesbian and therefore a female; thus the words “for Femmes of most ages and all genders” is a whole truckload of poppycock baloney bullshit malarkey.

B).  All of our offenders are intricately interconnected; our readers will recall Susie Bright‘s involvement with On Our Backs.

C).  Shar’s wife, Jackie, has now apparently been sucked into the quicksand of Straightbian‘s partners everywhere: the trans trend. Jack, as she now calls herself, currently describes herself as follows on her website: “They are a Trans-Butch singer/songwriter.”

D). Shar and Jackie’s “cult classic” sex education porn video, Bend Over Boyfriend, covered “the practice of a woman penetrating a man’s anus with a strap-on dildo (known as pegging)“; because…well, apparently, as (allegedly) lesbian filmmakers, they must have engaged in the following thought process: “Hmmm...Since we are lesbian filmmakers, what should we focus our energies on?? Oh!  I know!  Let’s make videos of how to bang males in the booty!

So, why, exactly, is Shar Rednour’s writing and her message harmful to lesbians?

Most importantly, by promoting herself as a “lesbian sexpert“, Rednour has a responsibility to the lesbian community to provide accurate information about lesbian lives and practices. But, instead, her bizarre portrayal of “lesbian” is vapid, highly sexualized, promiscuous, shallow, manipulative, dramatic, and often just plain incorrect.

For example: How does Rednour define a Femme Lesbian in her book The Femme’s Guide To The Universe? By dragging out the overused, incorrect, ridiculous, over-the-top stereotype that has led to much misunderstanding and trouble for REAL Femmes:

“…a heel-slinking’, lipstick-printin’, chickie-vampin’, nail-rippin’, lust-purrin’, divaluscious, high as in ozone-piercing-high femme…When a high femme glides through a space, everything halts as the experience is absorbed. Traffic stops, breaths are held, conversations falter.”

Mark our words: If you see a woman calling herself a “High Femme” or a “Queer Femme”, you can rest assured that you are dealing with a drama-queen Straightbian.

Let’s move on to Rednour’s tales in her book of being a “Femme Lesbian” (and  Rednour states that she was taught the ropes by previous offender Susie Bright):

“As the assistant editor at OOB (On Our Backs), I became close friends with photographer Phyllis Christopher and filmmaker Karen Everett. Their cameras documented our experiences in the gay ’90s. We fucked for the lens during the first days of women’s sex clubs…I could always make an extra buck there go-go dancing. Handsome, older butches were good for a free meal and experienced loving. As people came and went, lines between friends and lovers blurred into one big, lubed-up, experiment

Sorry, Shar, but orgies, exchanging sex for meals, go-go dancing, “fucking for the lens”, and partying at “sex clubs” are NOT the typical lesbian experience. While everybody certainly has a right to do these activities, when a person purports to be a “lesbian expert” and even writes a “guide to the universe”, it is bizarre when that person’s own report of “lesbian” life is diametrically opposed to actual lived experience of real Femme lesbians.

Moving on more erroneous and inaccurate assertions that Rednour makes in her book:

A lot of femme dykes are bisexual.”

Some femmes lust after self-identified transwomen, some more and some less femme in their presentation. I know many femmes lust after self-identified transmen.”

Our answer to that: Bullshit!

Again, Rednour purports to speak about/for Femme lesbians, but who she is actually speaking about/for is Straightbians.  Femme lesbians are LESBIANS. No men involved.  No men desired. No men, PERIOD.

Lesbians (no matter whether Femme, Butch, or any type of lesbian) are females who are oriented to females and attracted to females. It’s not mysterious or complicated and be wary of anyone who tries to make it complicated.

So, now that we know that Rednour misrepresents Femmes in a variety of ways (way too many to list in this post), let’s see what she has to say about Butches, starting with the title of her chapter on Butches:

“The Organically Bigendered Creature”

Hmmm.  Rednour is already shoveling the manure before the chapter even starts.  Butches are not “bigendered”.  Butches are female. Butches are lesbians.  (This is not rocket science).

Other BS about Butches and Butch/Femme relationships from Rednour:

“If she (Butch) has a femme on her arm, then she becomes a stud. It proves she has sex with pretty women.”

Good butches will treat you like a lady, which always helps to make you feel like a Queen.”

“Some of my methods can be applied to eliminate bad habits that otherwise great butches have picked up…For example, my ultra-suave wife had this annoying habit of handing me my ticket at the theater. Finally, I just let her drop it into thin air. She had to scramble around for the fallen ticket, and we backed up the line, thus embarrassing her, but she definitely got it that it was not for me to hold the tickets. Stud wife is to hand over both tickets while I smile politely at the ticket ripper. That’s my job.”

“Oh, bother! You’ve looked up and down and sideways and you can’t find a good butch, or not even a butch, to save your life, much less ego and libido. What’s a girl to do? Well, fret no more. It’s simple! If you can’t find a good butch woman, then you’ll have to train one.”

There are many things wrong with Rednour’s interpretation of Butch and Butch/Femme relationships (as with other topics, there are too many things wrong to address in a single post), but to begin with, Butch/Femme relationships are not ridiculous approximations of male/female relationships.

Femmes are perfectly capable of giving their own ticket at the movies (or pumping gas or carrying packages, etc.), and real Femmes take care of themselves and don’t play ridiculous mind-games like described here.

Also, Butches do not treat their partners as Stepford-Wife showpiece arm-candy either, and Femmes would be insulted if they did.

Finally, Butches are born, not made, so you cannot just find a random woman and “turn her into a Butch” as Rednour suggests.

Rednour goes on to give advice regarding relationships with lesbians who are transitioning:

“Many femmes date and/or mate guys who once identified as women or dykes or lesbian or butch or anything else they called themselves.”

“…you have to realize they’re” (meaning: your needs are) “going to be secondary for a while, and that you really must be open to all of his communication when he is ready to communicate.”

“Besides body changes, there are mood swings with adjusting hormones. A successful relationship depends on patience, openness and forgiveness.”

This advice for lesbians to support their lesbian partners in transitioning is a sad, misguided, damaging variation of “stand by your man“.

Since this post is already getting too long, although we have barely scratched the surface, we will conclude with Rednour’s propaganda regarding “Stone Butches”. Here are a few quotes:

“‘stone butch’ refers to a butch whose gender presentation includes the most traditional characteristics of butch, including the one most talked about: the privates. They do not get touched. Most likely neither do their breasts.”

My sex with stone butches consisted of them doing me and that’s it. Some had orgasms while fucking me, but if not, they came on their own time.”

“(Femmes should) stop feeling guilty or worried about the top’s pleasure. A good time and orgasms abound all because of you, my puddin’ pie.”

“…here are some ideas for keeping the masculine lingo orbiting during the most intimate sex acts: Refer to breasts as pecs. Call their dildo dick or cock, as in: ‘Can I touch your cock?’… Ask, ‘Do you want me to check under the hood?‘ I personally add ‘Sargent, or Big Boy or President‘.”

If you really want to know the truth about “Stone Butch”, read this post. Twisting language until it screams for mercy by referring to Butch (which is female!!) sexuality in masculine terms and by telling sexual partners to not care whether the Butch is touched/satisfied is harmful to Butches in many ways, as well as being detrimental to Butch/Femme intimacy.

Once again, Rednour’s thinking harms real lesbians.

To be fair, Rednour does also offer some GOOD nonlesbian-related advice in her book, including recipes, cleaning tips, skincare tips, and self-defense tips.  The best tip of all is to never get in the car with an assailant:

“Usually, if someone puts a gun to your gut and tells you to get in a car, he wants to do much worse things to you than simply shoot you or assault you. Your best odds of survival are to make a stink right then and there even if you get shot or hurt.”

If Rednour would stick to this sort of general all-purpose advice, all would be well, but when she markets her “lesbian“-related advice as an official guide, that’s where we run into issues.

Sadly, Shar Rednour, like our other offenders in this series, promotes and disseminates incorrect and harmful information to, for, and about lesbians which furthers true lesbians’ invisibility and fosters misconceptions both within the Lesbian community and with the public at large. And that is why she makes an appearance as one of the “Dirty Dozen”.

Dirt and Mrs. Dirt

09/09/2016:  Updated to add:  Thanks to a commenter (Bartek), I realized that the exact meaning wasn’t clear regarding this quote by Shar: “If you can’t find a good butch woman, then you’ll have to train one.”  To clarify, that particular quote was part of a chapter about how to “turn a woman into a Butch” through manipulative behavioral shaping methods (which is an impossible feat because Butches are born, not made).

Lesbian Lifestyles of the Not so Rich and Not so Famous

Since we are sick of people referring to being a Lesbian as a “Lifestyle”, Dirt & I decided to have some fun and illustrate our “Lifestyle”. (Hint: It’s pretty much like everybody else’s).

Lesbian isn’t a “Lifestyle”, it’s who we are.

The dirt from dirt

In lieu of Mrs Dirt and I repeatedly seeing it written that being a Lesbian is a “lifestyle”, we choose to highlight some of the “Lesbian Lifestyle”.

Brushing our Lesbian teeth when we get up:Image 56

Having our morning Lesbian tea:2016-04-9--16-24-12

Trying to make our Lesbian bed with one of our Lesbian cats in the way:2016-04-9--16-22-00

Doing some Lesbian laundry:Image 51

Trying to find my Lesbian chapstick in THIS-UGH:2016-04-9--16-25-14

Taking Lesbian Meds for my Lesbian Respiratory Infection:2016-04-9--16-27-11

Checking to see what our other Lesbian cat is doing:2016-04-9--16-23-09

Lesbians out having some Lesbian dinner:2016-04-9--16-20-57

Lesbians checking out their Lesbian Twitters on their Lesbian Laptops:2016-04-9--16-19-42

Watching some Lesbian tv in our Lesbian living room:2016-04-9--16-26-14

Lesbians living the lesbian lifestyle-Dirt and Mrs Dirt

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Unstraightening Lesbian: Removing the Heterosexual Lens: Joan Nestle

This is another joint post with Dirt originally published here: another in our series dismantling some of the baffling array of “Lesbian Experts” who are neither lesbian nor expert.

Today’s charlatan is Joan Nestle. There is so much to say about Nestle that it is difficult to know where to start, so we will start with the lead-in from our teaser post.

Nestle is one of the most dangerous of our offenders, because of the widespread recognition she has received (and continues to receive) as a “Lesbian Expert“, and perhaps even worse, a Lesbian Archivist.


Image: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

Let’s start with the fact that Nestle was the editor of the hideous lesbian anthology, The Persistent Desire, in which so much misinformation was crammed into one book that if you open it randomly to any page, cover your eyes, and point, there is a 99.526746538% chance that the paragraph your finger falls upon is complete and utter foolishness.

Let’s also note that Nestle has a voluminous resume of lesbian publications and speaking engagements and is widely regarded as a “lesbian expert” who “is an award-winning author oflesbian literature, both fiction and nonfiction. She is the cofounder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

Despite being highly lauded by multitudes as a “lesbian expert“, let’s examine a few Joan Nestle quotes, all taken from The Persistent Desire:

The first adult person I loved and lusted after was a gay man” (pg. 256)

“in graduate school, I even had a man as a mistress. I never let him fuck me, but I jerked him off, I went down on him, I did everything to play with this thing called a penis” (pg. 257)

I was dating a tough guy, Denny…Denny felt me up in the movies and gave me huge hickeys…It was so clear to me that there was a way to be sexual and I had to find it. All this has to do with how I came to my femmeness.” (pg. 260) 

The first time I slept with a man, he masturbated me and I came.” (pg. 260)

I was more attracted to men who were smooth operators.  They excited me.” (pg. 260) 

What is obvious from these quotes is that Nestle is physically attracted to males, and, by her own admission, actively sought out and enjoyed sexual contact with males. This is NOT LESBIAN. (Even though later-in-life lesbians often have had previous relationships with men, they universally report that they were never truly attracted to them).

Furthermore: why, oh why, OH WHY, when Nestle was supposed to be discussing her alleged “lesbianism“, does she choose to incessantly talk about her sexual experiences with MEN and attraction for MEN??

We’ll tell you why: She’s not a lesbian, that’s why!

Delving further into Nestle’s bizarre and offensive book, The Persistent Desire, it is not difficult to uncover even more “lesbian” misinformation and downright nonsense.

In fact, let’s start with the Introduction written by Nestle, which describes Femmes and Butches , respectively, as “Flamboyance and Fortitude“.  While this may sound catchy, it is incorrect, and more importantly, it reinforces the tired, erroneous stereotypes about Butch/Femme that continue to plague us now.

Let’s get one thing straight: True Femmes are NOT “High Femmes” or “Queer Femmes” and most are NOT “flamboyant”. In fact, if anyone describes herself with those or similar dramatic attributes, you can be quite certain that you are dealing with a Straightbian.

Femmes are not helpless little shrinking violets. Femmes do not exist to show off and seduce and preen and simper. Femmes do not exist in fear of smearing lipstick or breaking a nail.  Femmes have just as much fortitude as Butches or any other kind of Lesbian, and sometimes have to demonstrate even more fortitude in our everyday lives, because Femmes also have to deal with unwanted sexual attention from males.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Joan Nestle.

As more proof that Nestle doesn’t have a clue about what being a Femme means, here’s another quote from her infamous book The Persistent Desire, which was published when Nestle was 52:

“I am a femme and have been for over 25 years.” (pg. 138)

Femme lesbians are Femme lesbians from birth to death..  Women do NOT just “magically become” a Femme lesbian (or ANY kind of lesbian!) as an adult.  The fact that Nestle thinks this is possible, and promotes this idiotic idea in her book, is even more proof that she is not a Femme lesbian, and not a lesbian of any sort…period!

In this chapter, entitled “The Femme Question”, Nestle goes on to discuss many of the problems and misconceptions about Femmes both within the lesbian community and in general society.

While we agree that there are numerous inaccurate and widespread fallacies about Femmes, we assert that Nestle herself and Amber Hollibaugh and Shar Rednour and the numerous other Straightbians who have falsely portrayed Femme have all personally and directly contributed to the very same phenomenon of Femme Invisibility and misinterpretations of Femme that is being discussed by Nestle in this chapter.

Moving on to our next point, Nestle wistfully writes of a sexual interlude with former female lover, Esther at the end of the Introduction section of The Persistent Desire.

Nestle also wrote a detailed story entitled “Esther’s Story” about her sexual encounter with Esther (Esther obviously made QUITE the impression) in her book, A Restricted Country.

Esther makes yet another reappearance in Nestle’s writing in a lecture/essay entitled On Rereading Esther’s Story.  This time, Nestle isn’t envisioning Esther as the woman she actually was; instead, without input/permission from Esther herself, Nestle decided to “reimagine” Esther as transgender; to cast her as a wanna-be-male rather than the lesbian she was. This also suggests that Nestle, in typical Straightbian fashion, fantasized and viewed her lesbian lovers as male/wanna-be-male.

Noteworthy to this “reimagining” is that Nestle had been invited to speak to a transgender group by a transgender male working in her lesbian archive project who called himself a lesbian, and this is the warped trans-slanted revisionist garbage that Nestle vomited up in her foolish quest to appease the trans politic.

We would say Nestle sold out, but the sad truth is she wasn’t ever genuine enough to begin with to sell out.

Let’s examine a quote from this lecture/essay in which Nestle recasts her female lover, Esther, as transgender:

“But when I reread the story keeping in mind what I had and had not allowed myself to say about Esther’s sense of self and gender, I saw clearly (and indeed, I knew this at the time I wrote the story) that I was being simplistic in my description of Esther’s desires. I was trying to serve two histories at once. I knew that if I had written ‘Esther wanted to be a man’, the story would have been dismissed and so would Esther and all I wanted for her in the new world of the 1980s. This balancing act led me to cast Esther’s ‘maleness’ in a more womanly way.”

Several issues jump out at this passage:

1). It should go without saying that Nestle has no right to speak for Esther.  To “reimagine” someone else’s identity is reprehensible. Esther, and only Esther, should speak for her own sense of self, and based on Nestle’s own previous stories about Esther, Esther considered herself a lesbian. This is a pathetic attempt to trans-wash history!

2). Esther was not a man, and it is very Straightbian of Nestle to “recast” her as such.

Real lesbians, unlike Nestle, love our lovers’ femaleness. Females loving females is the very definition of LESBIAN, in case it has become unclear with all the bullshit being shoveled by Nestle and her cohorts.

Real lesbians do NOT want to, nor do we need to, “recast” our lovers as “male”. 

3). The invitation to give this lecture came about due to Nestle allowing a transgender “womanman (“MtF”) to work with her on the Lesbian Herstory Archives.  The fact that Nestle refers to this person as a “woman” in her essay shows that Nestle has drunk the trans KoolAid and has the reasoning skills of mayonnaise.

4). It’s obvious that Nestle, being an opportunist, sensed the change in the social and political climate following the dreaded and dreadful Queer Theory: Lesbian became increasingly unfashionable while the transgender trend gained steam.  Nestle knew her future meal ticket lay in metaphorically sucking the dicks of the dickless.

In summary, Joan Nestle, like all of our “Dirty Dozen” in this series, is NOT A LESBIAN, and she is certainly NOT AN EXPERT on lesbian lives, lesbian history, or lesbian desire.

Nestle’s deluded imaginings of “lesbian” have seeped into the public’s consciousness like hazardous waste into groundwater, and the effects on real lesbians is just as insiduous and toxic.

Dirt and Mrs. Dirt