Announcement

I hereby declare that I am going to attempt to stop my part in promoting anger, hostility, and hatred on Twitter…not because I am wimping out, nor because I have changed my mind on anything, nor because I want to make up/get along with anyone…but instead, the reason is quite simple: it’s because I believe the old adage “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.

Yes, I/we have been unfairly attacked, but I know that counterattacking certainly does not make things better…in fact, it only makes everything worse.

I have always known, but had apparently temporarily forgotten, the rule that I cannot change other people, but I can always change my response to them.

For some time now, I have been allowing my own anger, hurt, and frustration to bubble over to the point that I (shockingly!) found myself acting like someone I am not…someone who said outright mean/rude things…someone who kept fights going long after I should have just walked away.

I cannot promise that I will never lose my temper again, of course, nor can I promise that I will always refrain from smarting off when hurt or angry.

This announcement also certainly does not mean that I will stop speaking out when I see homophobia/lesbophobia or any injustice, and it also does not mean that I in any way agree with, nor do I want to have anything to do with, anybody who has attacked me, Dirt, any of our Lesbian friends/allies, or Lesbians in general.

I don’t plan to go back and remove any of my angry posts/tweets at this point though, because it would be a LOT to try to find ~ plus, I think that it would be a bit disingenuous to do so.

But rather, from this moment forward, I plan to continue speaking my truth and to defend myself, Dirt, and fellow Lesbians, but to try to do so without being mean to others…even when they say horrid things.

I will continue to speak up, to speak out, and to stand in solidarity with other Lesbians & with gay men, but I plan to try to do so in a way that doesn’t tear others down and create unnecessary angst/division.

In other words, I will strive to be myself from this moment forward…my real self, that is…the self that has been buried for a while now under multiple layers of anger, hurt, and frustration.

It’s worth a try, don’t you think?

Wish me luck… 

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8 thoughts on “Announcement

  1. Hi Saye,

    For your own emotional well being, you’ve made the right choice 🙂

    But I’m commenting now because I’ve had some thoughts about why you & Dirt (possibly) have been misread & misinterpreted with what you’ve been trying to say on both your blogs over time.

    Could it possibly be semantic limitations that have posed the problem here?

    Bear with me please while I try to elaborate. For example, when I first read Dirt’s post regarding Lesbian biology and that the term women (or girls when we were younger) doesn’t apply to us, that we exist separately from that expression, I frowned. I struggled to grasp that. Because I am an adult female human, commonly known as a ‘woman’. BUT, semantic limitation doesn’t allow for what that means outside of the context of heterosexuality. Does that make sense?

    My interpretation is that when Dirt is referring to our biology, she’s referring to our experience of how we relate to the world & ourselves, which as we know is very different… we do relate to our bodies and our partners bodies differently on an erotic & emotional level, we don’t view the world through that heteronormative lens, for those of us who knew we were homosexual from a young age (even those of us who struggled to exit the closet because of fear & internalised homophobia for a long time), we engaged with life in an entirely different way.

    So no, the heteronormative concept of what it means to be a ‘girl’ or a ‘woman’ in this world fails to fully encapsulate who we actually are.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Do you think that semantic limitations posed a problem for Dirt to communicate clearly on this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tracy, and thanks (as always) for your insight. I think I understand what you are saying, yes. And I agree.

      Yes, I think a HUGE part of the misunderstandings is indeed a lack of language to describe what we are trying to say. We are having to rely on common language which was invented by heterosexuals who are the majority to describe their experiences of the world. We are so severely outnumbered that our voices are not heard/understood, which is compounded by the fact that most of the “Lesbian experts” who have always spoken FOR us are not actually Lesbian…

      What Dirt means when she says that “Lesbians are not women” is most closely translated to “Lesbians are different from STRAIGHT girls/women”.

      We think, act, process, feel, and love differently (etc.). Most of us knew we were “different” from a very young age, even long before we had either the language to try to describe the difference OR sexual feelings.

      Also, I believe a lot of straight women seem to think we are saying that we are better; but different does not mean better (or worse)…just different.

      I think there are a variety of other reasons for the turmoil also, but yes, I agree that the semantic limitations is likely the primary factor that makes it difficult to convey when is meant…

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      • I can’t think of any other reason for the misunderstanding…

        Well that and the fact that Dirt is passionate about what she holds to be true & chooses not to mince words in the process. And yes, that can come across as combative and abrasive for some at times.

        And no, I’m judging on her on that and I find it ironic that so many Rad Fems who criticise her on Twitter for that behaviour impose that very same behaviour upon all of those Trans/Tran activists… and they justify it with passion for the cause too.

        Pot, kettle and all that stuff!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, you’re right — Dirt has a “take no prisoners” style that often leaves people offended, LOL!

          I think another reason for all of the brouhaha is that many straight women do seem to believe the trope that “any woman can be a lesbian” and even if they never think that they would act on it, they seem to like the idea that they have that OPTION available to them. By saying that lesbians are different than them, we are making the distinction that they cannot magically “become a lesbian” in the future if they run out of luck with men. (One of the reasons that the “Straightbian” issue upsets them too).

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        • I think the semantics issue here is just window dressing. People can usually accept different uses for the same word if the word is not loaded with social meaning. For example the word “bat” can be a weapon or an animal, and it’s easy to deduce from the sentence which meaning is being implied. You can also have a term which IS loaded with social meaning, but that meaning is so widely accepted that the ambiguous usage isn’t questioned. The word “mankind” can refer both to males specifically and to humans generally, and it’s taken for granted that men can be a default/generic standard. I would argue that a similar thing is happening with “lesbian”.
          Because it has been straightbians and bisexuals who have defined “lesbian” over the course of history, their meaning is the defualt/broad meaning – of which actual lesbians are just a subcategory.
          If the culture we live in sees lesbians as straight women who have sex with other women (“straight” meaning their fundamental desires, mentality, and worldview are heterosexual), then actual lesbians can only be understood/explained as extreme man haters or wannabe-men. And this is in fact what we hear all the time from straight people, male and female. Feminists are clearly not exempt from this worldview.
          So while it is technically accurate to call this a misunderstanding, the underlying issue is who holds the right, the power, and the authority to define words (and, by extension, to define our reality).

          Liked by 1 person

        • Great points, as usual! I love these discussions. I agree that straight people seem to have a huge amount of difficulty viewing us (really, anything) outside their own heterocentric world view; and that heterosexuals hold the power in society (and they certainly do not want to give it up!).

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  2. Mintleaf, that’s an extremely interesting comment.

    ‘So while it is technically accurate to call this a misunderstanding, the underlying issue is who holds the right, the power, and the authority to define words (and, by extension, to define our reality)’

    This part, well it resonates, I couldn’t have articulated it any better as to why I chose to distance myself from the Radical Feminists.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it was Monique Wittig, in 1980(ish) who first came out with the bald statement “Les lesbiennes ne sont pas des femmes” [Lesbians are not women], and it goes to the heart of Tracy’s and MintLeaf’s (and indeed Dirt’s) comments about (among other things) the “innocently” biological understanding of the words “woman”, “man”, or indeed “homosexual”, and how that is inextricably muddled up with, or in conflict with, the sociological implications of those same words.

    When we visit our gynecologists or urologists, of course we are women or men, respectively, and it would be childishly trivial (or trivially childish) to insist on any other designation. But in a wider context, I have always found it problematic to be described as a “man”, especially in those kind of sentences that begin “You, as a man, …”.

    When I was younger, I tried using the word “gayman”, all as one word, in which “-man” is just a suffix to “gay”, as in “wo-man”; or “male gay”, until I fell out with the mainstream gay’n’lesbian movement in much the same way as many of you seem to have fallen out with feminism. If I don’t care so much about it now, that’s just because I’m old, and have given up caring about loads of things that I once thought important.

    I love my (heterosexual) stepson quite extravagantly (as his real Dad will point out, claiming that I “spoil” him). But I will go to my deathbed with the deep-rooted conviction that lesbians as well as gay men are “my people”, despite my current conflicts with many of them. I know not all lesbians or gaymen feel that way, and why should you? I’m just throwing it out there.

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