Personal (and Dirt-Related) FAQs

I have already done a Lesbian FAQs post, but then I soon realized I needed to do a Personal FAQs post also, because I find that I am being asked the same general questions over and over.

Recently, people have seemed to be curious about me because I am happily married to the controversial blogger Dirt.

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Also, people have always been curious about me because I don’t look like their (incorrect) stereotypical notions of what a lesbian “should” look like.

So, here are my current Top 5 Personal & Dirt-Related FAQs:

FAQ #1: “Are you sure you are a lesbian?  You don’t look like one.”

Answer: Yes. Being lesbian is not about what I wear, what I do, etc. It is who I am.

FAQ #2:  “Why do you and Dirt have to talk about Straightbians all the time?  Why not just live and let live?  Why do you have to label people? Why are you trying to make people fit into a box?”  (etc., etc., etc.)

Answer: Because lesbian lives matter.  Because not every woman can become a lesbian. Because straight women who are not honest with themselves and not honest with their lesbian partners about their true orientation mess up lesbian lives in a variety of ways, ranging from mild to horrific.  Because language matters.  Because lesbian is not just a word, it is who we are. Because we are incredibly sick of the appropriation of lesbian lives and lesbian culture by straight women with their straight privilege.

FAQ #3:  “Why can’t Dirt just be nice? Why does she have to be so blunt/rude/etc.?  Why does she ‘bully’ people? Why does she have to hurt people’s feelings?” (etc., etc., etc.)

Answer: Dirt has an imperative message to convey.  Lesbian lives are being ruined or even lost, so she does not have the time ~ nor the desire ~ to mollycoddle everyone’s feelings. She says what she means, and she means what she says.  She makes people uncomfortable with her message.  And we should be uncomfortable.

FAQ #4: (Related to FAQ #3):  “Why don’t you talk to Dirt about her style?  Doesn’t she know you can ‘catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’?  You’re Dirt’s wife, why don’t you make her be nice?”  (etc., etc., etc.)

Answer:  I am not Dirt’s keeper ~ I am her wife, her partner, and her best friend. I love her and support her exactly the way she is. Love is not about trying to change someone.

Also, I don’t buy into the BS that women should have to “be nice” in our communication style. (Unfortunately, so many women have subconsciously bought into the “be nice” message, and these are the women who are asking this question).

Furthermore, and most importantly, I agree with Dirt.  We have very different  communication styles and very different ways of saying the same thing, but…bottom line, make no mistake: we are saying the same thing.

FAQ #5: “Why is Dirt against trans people?  Why is Dirt so ‘transphobic’? Why not just live and let live?  People are prejudiced against lesbians, so shouldn’t lesbians support the trans community the way lesbians want to be supported?  Why does Dirt care about trans issues; why doesn’t she mind her own business?”  (etc., etc., etc.)

Answer:  Sigh. This is going to be a long answer…

First of all, neither Dirt nor I are “against trans people”.  Neither of us would ever advocate for anybody to be bullied, harmed, or denied basic civil rights (housing, employment, etc.) for any reason.

Dirt does not wish trans people harm ~ it’s quite the opposite, in fact.

Dirt is concerned about the trans trend for a number of reasons, and one of the main reasons for her concern is the use of dangerous hormones and surgeries on (previously) healthy bodies.

Dirt is concerned that people are so gung-ho to jump on the trans bandwagon that they are skipping over the fine print on those ubiquitous “informed consent” forms; you know, the ones where the doctors are telling them that basically the long-term effects are unknown and that they are taking their lives in their own hands and that the doctor will not be responsible when the crap hits the proverbial fan.

Dirt is also specifically concerned about the transitioning of lesbians and about the harmful and flawed message that the trans trend is sending to girls/women everywhere, but particularly to lesbians: that there is a “right” way to be female, and if a girl/woman doesn’t fit into that narrow definition, then, by golly, she must be trans!

Nonsense. There is no “right” way to be a female. As Dirt says, “Change your world, not your body.”

Moving on to the next point, the term “transphobic” is both nonsensical and inaccurate. A true phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”.

Dirt and I are not extremely afraid of trans people (well, unless they were to show up at our place wielding machetes as some have threatened to do).

‘Transphobia’ is just another misused term used to twist language until it begs for mercy, to confuse people, and mostly, to silence any questioning or dissension.

Regarding the question of “Why not just live and let live?”: The trans trend can never be a “live and let live” sort of situation because lesbians are being misled and harmed.

If this were truly a “live and let live” world, the opposite of the trans trend would be true: girls/women would be free to express femaleness in whatever way is natural and right for us ~ free from the ridiculous stereotypical notions of the so-called “right” or “wrong” way to be a girl/woman.  We should be free to wear blue…or pink…or any damn color we want.  We should be free to be ourselves, without any judgments or idiotic assumptions that we must really be male if we like the “wrong” color, or play with the “wrong” toy, or have the “wrong” interests/hobbies.

So for those of you who want Dirt to just “live and let live”, how about you turning it around and start advocating for letting lesbians live in peace, free from the antiquated and preposterous notions of what females “should” be/like/do/etc.?

Regarding the argument that lesbians “should” blindly and wholeheartedly accept the trans trend because we have faced difficulties ourselves: this argument is a lame but often surprisingly effective attempt to guilt lesbians into accepting the unacceptable. This argument is designed to tell lesbians to keep our mouths shut.

But it won’t work; well, at least not with Dirt or myself, and it shouldn’t work with any reasonably intelligent person…well, at least not once she realizes the purpose of the question is pure manipulation.

We are not obligated to believe in or to accept anything.  We don’t have to “be nice”.  We don’t have to be politically correct.

The struggles lesbians face are our own, and just because we face struggles in life doesn’t mean we are responsible for taking care of everyone else’s struggles too. We have a right to focus our energies on ourselves.

This “lesbians-be-nice” argument is a variation of the same old overused tired argument that tells women in general that we have to be caretakers to everyone else but ourselves.

F**k that and f**k everyone who tries to play on women’s natural tendencies to be kind in order to get their way.

Before this turns into a dissertation, I will close for now.  These are the main questions I have been asked lately, but if you have any more, as always, please feel free to comment here or email me at sayebennett@gmail.com.

12 thoughts on “Personal (and Dirt-Related) FAQs

  1. Dr. Bennett connects the dots once again. She breaks down complex issues so anyone over 10 years old really can get it. She and Dirt are friends to all women, they care profoundly and deeply for our well-being, our safety. If you harbor spite or hate towards these two women, take a breath and look inside yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree that “lesbian” is not an identity one can adopt, that it is the reality of your life. I also think that people who behave as sexual dilettantes are capable of doing a lot of harm. One person falls in love, the other’s attachment is more superficial, the first person gets hurt.

    But no class of human is immune to that.

    I can’t imagine being in a serious relationship with one person while still being primarily interested in others. That seems to me dishonest and reprehensible.

    However, it’s not unknown for women with unsatisactory heterosexual pasts to form lasting partnerships with other women that are much more fulfilling. To paint such women as somehow tainted and inherently untrustworthy seems cruel to me. When does the statute of limitations expire, or does it ever?

    I appreciate how deeply offensive and infuriating it must be to you to see a woman claim to be a lesbian and then dump her girlfriend for a man. But you run the risk here of painting with too broad a brush.

    As for Dirt, Dirt’s gonna be Dirt, expecting people to change is a futile activity. I don’t think women should tell each other to be nice, either. I’m not too long on telling women to do anything. But we can try to understand points of view outside our comfort zones without ripping each other’s lips off. We can also choose not to.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Miep, and thanks for commenting!

      I am not sure if you read everything I have ever written on the subject of “Straightbians” (the links are in the post, above), but I have said repeatedly that all Dirt & I are saying is for straight women to be honest with potential lesbian partners.

      That’s it. We aren’t saying that they are bad people, or that they are necessarily mean, or that they shouldn’t partner with women if they are honest with themselves and their partners.

      It is not too much to ask of any potential sexual/romantic partner for them to be honest about their true orientation/intentions.

      We have also said that yes, heterosexual women can indeed have long-term partnerships with other women, but that doesn’t make them lesbians. Just as a lesbian marrying a man when she is young didn’t make her straight. Again, those are behaviors, and we are talking about orientation.

      Orientation cannot be changed. Behavior is not the same as orientation. And language matters, which is why we keep pressing the point.

      So, I don’t agree that we are painting with too broad of a brush. The point is not about a statute of limitations, time spent in a relationship, etc.

      The point is solely and simply about orientation, which will never change no matter what.

      Again, thanks for commenting! Even though we don’t fully agree, I really do appreciate your feedback! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Orientation is not something one can decide in one direction or another, I agree. But women can be dissociated about orientation. It can be masked. And it is stronger in some people, more obvious up front.

        I agree completely that a woman with any history of even thinking she was attracted to a man, even if she later determined that these were not feelings she now considers genuine attraction, should make this very clear to any potential lesbian partner. The lesbian partner has the right to make her own assessments of what these feelings might have been, she has the right to draw her own conclusions. If she does not feel comfortable with a woman she thinks has any lingering heterosexual feelings, she has the right to know and opt out if she so chooses. Trying to pretend away such feelings, out of feelings of rage and betrayal, would be selfish on the other woman’s part. Lesbians are not people to be used on the rebound to soothe hurt from a heterosexual relationship gone bad.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I think we do agree on what you are saying. I wrote one post about lesbians who come out later in life and discussed how there could be a number of reasons why a lesbian might initially partner with a man (for instance, pressure from society, family, friends, church, etc.).

          In such a case, she really is a lesbian the whole time, but denies it and tries to act straight. Some lesbians sadly never come out at all.

          So yes, I do agree that lesbians come to terms with our sexuality at varying rates for varying reasons, but the orientation is always there regardless of behavior.

          This is obviously often a very confusing (and stressful!) topic, but the answer (orientation versus behavior) is actually quite simple.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. What the actual fuck? No, really. Running to you because they disagree with Dirt, as opposed to, maybe, talking to her about it, asking questions, or just ignoring it? That would be my approach.

    As for “being nice,” I feel that there is a place for anger, passion, bluntness and yes, sometimes offensiveness. However, my personal style is to balance all that with logic, evidence, with balance and a certain degree of detachment. I feel that inviting questions, offering explanations, and making an attempt to be charitable and see the other side works for me, and it’s the right thing to do as far as I am concerned.

    But here’s the thing…all change starts with you. If you don’t think Dirt is “nice,” why not try being “nice” yourself, seeing her point of view and where it stems from, giving her the space to be an uncensored version of herself on her own blog? If you want to “live and let live,” why not let Dirt conduct her online affairs as she pleases and just ignore it if you don’t like it? And if you really want to encourage a “live and let live” mentality…why not target the hard core of transactivists that harass and threaten lesbian bloggers? Why focus just on the mean ol’ lesbians? I think we all know why.

    Besides, looking at how both Dirt and Mrs. Dirt are treated, and based on my own experience, it doesn’t always matter how you say something. People are going to target you because they don’t like what’s being said, they feel insulted that you had the nerve to say it and their excuse will be that you weren’t nice enough. In reality, even when you are nice, it’s not enough because what they’re really saying is that they wish you were nice enough *not to say it to begin with.* I have written a number of “nice” blog posts over the years, politely, gently, but firmly and unequivocally encouraging women to take responsibility for their lives rather than blame men for everything. I was shot down, cursed out, and dogpiled each time. I have also written a number of blog posts about the topic of rape, pedophilia, paraphilias and sex abuse that were dogpiled because they were TOO nice. In other words, I wasn’t “angry” enough about men who engage in these things, I didn’t include enough swearing or graphic depictions of torture for these men, therefore I supported them and hated victims (despite being a survivor myself and being a lifelong advocate against abuse and exploitation). They didn’t like the implications, real or perceived, of what I was saying and had no leg to stand on, so they attacked me instead. I don’t think Dirt, right or wrong, just being blunt or just plain rude, is going to change that by being “nicer.” She is saying things and drawing lines in the sand that others don’t approve of, and she must, therefore, pay. And so has Mrs. Dirt. So have I. So has anyone that had the nerve to open their mouths about anything.

    Liked by 2 people

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