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.

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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

31 thoughts on “Unstraightening Lesbian: Removing The Heterosexual Lens: Part 3

  1. “many (lesbian) partners discover they actually have a preference for FTMs”
    Nope. Lesbians want their partners to be lesbians.
    “a woman gets fucked with a pistol in the back of a cab in broad daylight”
    This is violence against women and has absolutely nothing to do with lesbian sex.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hang on, how can she be masochistic and sexually aggressive? I though being a masochist was the opposite.

    At any rate, this is really a horror show. I’m glad I was exposed to little more that and now I remember and understand the odd feeling I got reading magazines like On Our Backs and Curves. It never really felt authentic.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That film sounds absolutely horrible! I’m sad that there are people that buy into that bullshit. That maybe their perception of being a lesbian when in fact it is nothing of the sort. It’s really just two woman in a relationship like any other relationship. I laugh sometimes because I feel my wife and I have such a “Leave it to Beaver” marital situation. I stay home with our children and bake while she is the bread winner and is very involved in her career. It’s a very traditional situation it just involves more profanity than “Leave it to Beaver” …and that isn’t meant to be a lesbian joke. We aren’t and haven’t been sexually traumatized in anyway. We are just two women who fell in love and created a family together.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, and for a very long time I just shrugged it off when I would encounter blatant falsehoods (like the ones Dirt and I are writing about in this series), but now I am totally sick of lesbians being misrepresented.

      We do all the normal things that everybody else does (laundry, cooking, shopping, work, watch TV, etc.), yet these people make it sound like we are all bizarre, sex-crazed, and promiscuous.

      No wonder the word “lesbian” has such negative connotations….😕

      Liked by 2 people

    • Forgive me for speaking out of turn, but I feel like this has to be pointed out. This “straightbian” series is about the damage women with hetero values/mindsets/privilege do to lesbian communities. I know the blogger has been focusing a lot on people promoting queer theory and bizarre pornographic sexual shit, but in my opinion lesbians imitating 50s straight gender roles is another manifestation of the same thing. So, if nothing else, your comment strikes me as very ironic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi MintLeaf,

        Thanks for your comment…and I appreciate your thoughts…although I must respectfully disagree with your analysis.

        As the commenter (angelamanderson88) who you are addressing clearly said about herself and her partner: “We are just two women who fell in love and created a family together.”

        And since I can’t tell if you are addressing her and/or me, my reply is clearly also about my lesbian life with my lesbian partner.

        Each lesbian has the right to create a life with our own partner in any way we want, and how we choose to do that is our own business (as long as what we are doing is legal and between consenting adults, of course).

        Just because a lesbian couple creates a more (so-called) “traditional” sort of life does NOT mean that they are “imitating 50s straight gender roles”.

        The commenter to whom you are referring isn’t calling her partner “husband”, nor is she pretending that her lesbian partner is a man. And ditto with myself and Dirt.

        There is nothing to indicate that there is “straight mimicry” going on. Who makes the money and how we divide it is irrelevant and does NOT connote “gender roles” (and is none of anyone’s business).

        There is nothing in her comment to suggest a power imbalance nor does her comment in any way imply that anyone is being “held down” by rigid patriarchal rules or roles. Instead, it sounds like they have made the decisions that work best for them to create the life they choose; which is the epitome of empowerment. It doesn’t matter if it is a life YOU approve of.

        And there is definitely NOT a power imbalance or role-playing BS in my relationship with Dirt either.

        How normal, true lesbians choose to conduct our own lives is in no way related (nor equivalent) to these alleged “Lesbian Experts” who have harmed real lesbians with their lies and who have profited from it. These women we are writing about in this series have made very public names for themselves at the expense of real lesbians, and that is reprehensible. How real lesbians conduct our lives in private is unrelated to the issue at hand.

        Therefore, I find nothing ironic (nor inappropriate) about angelamanderson88’s comment nor my reply. I fully support the rights of all lesbians to define ourselves and our own lives, regardless of who approves (or disapproves) of our choices.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for your thoughtful explanation of your position. I absolutely do support the right of lesbians (and people in general) to live the lives that they feel are right for them. You are correct that my comment is quite judgemental of angelamanderson88 and her choices, and that was not my intention, and I apologize if I have offended either of you. I don’t know her or you, and am in no position to tell anyone what they are doing in the privacy of their own relationship.

          That said, I would like to reiterate that I see an ideological continuity between trying to formulate one’s lesbian relationship as being “normal”, “traditional” “average”, “we’re just like everybody else, except we just happen to be women” (the norm here being the straight norm) and the attempts by the “lesbian experts” to gain mainstream legitimacy by distorting our lives and sexuality into forms that mimic gay men and straight women.

          You mention power dynamics, and I agree that relationships between lesbians cannot truly ever imitate hetero roles because they don’t have an inherent patriarchal power imbalance. I also agree that the public forums of the people you profile in your series puts a greater weight of accountability on them (compared to the average woman/lesbian). However I don’t think there is as clear a distinction between “real lesbian” and “straightbian” as one would like, given that all we have to go on is people’s self-definition and behavior. I am concerned by what I see as a growing trend by lesbians to try and fit in to middle-class married PTA suburbia. That is not an apolitical phenomenon. It’s a movement into non-threatening conformity, kind of like the one “lesbian experts” are trying to facilitate by inserting us into pornographic male narratives.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Thanks for your thoughtful reply! I agree that it is often difficult to distinguish (I mean with private people when we are looking in from the outside) who is a “straightbian” versus a “later-in-life lesbians” as many “later-in-life lesbians” have previously partnered with males.

          However, there are ways to tell the difference, if you do get to know the person or have adequate information, based on her own thoughts, reports, etc.

          I can’t speak for anyone else about this topic, but I can say that Dirt and I are not trying to assimilate nor trying to fit in with straight culture.

          I have noticed the trend you are referring to, and I think it is probably likely that it is lesbians trying to “fit in” and to be non-threatening, as you said.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Though I can be reasonably sure we are not the audience she was seeking to reach, I find much to agree with in what in what MintLeaf writes. My partner and are are generally regarded as “two femme men together”, but as far as the internal dynamics of that works, I suppose it’s still the old 1970’s so-called “androgyny”, long may it last. We’re lucky in that we have different skills, and different ways of avoiding that awful poke in the ribs that tells you “it’s yout turn to be butch now”, most of the time.

        Supportive, MintLeaf, but without really adding much to what you already said.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm…
    I’m not a lesbian, so maybe I don’t have the proper credentials to speak specifically, but I couldn’t help but take notice of Allison’s concern (I’m using the word tongue-in-cheek) that sexual violence can form a sexual preference. I can tell you, I had a very difficult time deciphering my own sexuality, because of the sexual abuse I received as a young boy. I was horribly confused about the times I had sexual encounters with guys and some felt very….hmmm….uncomfortable, while other times it felt comfortable. I spent a lot of time assuming that my infatuation with the penis was due to the molestation I received, so it became a worry of mine for a time too. Growing up “catholic” and hearing how same-sex attractions were wrong, I naturally assumed that my sexual attractions, although wrong, were imposed upon me from someone not of my choosing. I felt like my sexuality was, in fact, formed by my victimization – somewhat similar to young girls that were victimized becoming hypersexual as adults. Granted, after therapy, and looking at the times I felt “okay” and the times I felt “bad”, it became obvious that there were times I felt pressured into sex and times I did not. At that point, it became obvious to me, that I was a bisexual. But my point, as much as Allison is connected to the victimization dictating sexuality, it isn’t a waranteless manner and brings about serious implications.

    Of course, I realize that isn’t your point here, but it was thought provoking, nonetheless.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “Straightbian” that’s an interesting term. If I may be “ignorant”, I guess you can say, I did believe at one point that being sexually abused as little girl by a man could possibly lead to becoming a lesbian. But keep in mind I’m 44 now, so back then how would I not been proven wrong. My friend, a lesbian, was abused by her step dad for many years (his ass is in prison now) and after that, I’d assumed she’d became a lesbian…She was my bestie. I did hang around with…more lesbians than I’d thought as a matter of fact. But that’s beside the point. I was abused at an early age as well and I was totally turned off by boys and men STILL. I can’t even look at what the average woman would go crazy for on a naked man’s muscular ab area (leading to his junk), without getting disgusted and wrinkling up my nose. I know and believe that I have some sort of sexual aversion. The only reason I had sex as frequently back in 1998 was to have a child. But unfortunately that asshole wanted more of it, and I wouldn’t go it, so now he’s pissed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting and sharing! I can certainly understand how sexual abuse could lead to a strong aversion and confusion (etc.) toward having sexual relationships with males.

      I think many of these women who we are discussing (any of those who have been sexually abused) have mistakenly thought those confused feelings are “lesbian”.

      Also, they feel power and freedom amd comfort in woman/woman relationships that they don’t with males. They don’t understand that choosing to partner with women does not make them actual lesbians.

      Like

  6. tarnishedsoul: “I’m not a lesbian, so maybe I don’t have the proper credentials to speak specifically.”
    I’m not a lesbian either, but you don’t need any special credentials to say whether anyone is speaking sense or nonsense. Saye talks a lot of sense, and when I think she’s wrong, I tell her. No special ‘credentials’ are required.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “…when I think she’s wrong, I tell her”….

      And vice versa, because I actually disagree with your statement above, at least to some extent.

      Although anyone is welcome to speak and offer thoughts/opinions, and I WANT to hear different perspectives, I don’t feel that it is right to speak FOR another group.

      That is why I always specifically say that I don’t want to speak FOR gay men (or straight people, or people of another race, etc. etc. etc.).

      I can offer my observations and thoughts, but I cannot say what other groups’ experiences are and I shouldn’t officially “speak for” them because I am not a part of that group and therefore, I don’t have their perspective.

      Same thing with lesbians. People who aren’t lesbians can offer their outside observations, but they shouldn’t assume that they know our experiences/needs/thoughts/etc. and they certainly shouldn’t speak FOR us.

      So I felt tarnishedsoul’s original sentiment was very respectful and much appreciated. 🙂

      Like

  7. My treasured Saye, I agree with you 99%, which as you know is statistician-speak for 100%. I don’t claim or pretend to represent any ‘group’, I just meant you and I as individuals might disagree about something, and be inclined to give each other the benefit of the doubt, if either of us thought there were any.

    Something which you neither say nor imply in your comment (so it falls to me to say it) is that women’s opinions are more useful than men’s in this context. Zero (go on, force me to it: 1%) disagreement there.

    “tarnishedsoul”, the original originator, is probably having a good laugh about both of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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