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Are We The Only Lesbians In The World?

I wish we had a nickel every time someone made a dismissive, derisive, and untrue comment implying that Dirt, myself, and/or a specific friend of oursthink that we are the only Lesbians in the world” because of our outspokenness about Straightbians. We could all retire in comfort if only someone would pay us for even a small portion of the utter nonsense spread about us.

So, I thought I would do a post addressing this specific, nonsensical, and completely irrational (yet shockingly common!) comment.

Question: Do we think we are the only Lesbians in the world?

Answer: No.

Let’s all just take a minute to really think about this claim: If we actually did think that we were the only Lesbians, there would be absolutely no need to write to/for/about Lesbians. We would just talk amongst ourselves and save ourselves a bunch of time and trouble, now wouldn’t we? (Duh!).

This message has been brought to you on behalf of my ongoing “Just Say No To Saying Ignorant Crap on Twitter” campaign. You’re welcome.

Twitter Is A Cesspool and I Am Tired Of Swimming In Excrement

No, this isn’t one of those “I’m leaving Twitter!” posts that are springing up everywhere lately.

I am not leaving Twitter (at least not at this point), but I am dramatically changing my own feelings about, behavior on, and relationship with Twitter.

A well-known (but infrequently followed) principle is that “You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself.” (After a brief search, I could not find the original source of this idea easily, but it’s darn good advice anyway).

Well, the same principle applies to myself and Twitter: I can’t change Twitter (nor the people on Twitter), but I can certainly change my relationship with Twitter (and the people on Twitter).

The main reason I am changing my interactions on Twitter is because I realized that I was letting all of the stress and drama suck up too much of my time, to the point of derailing me from my primary purpose, which is: to write to other Lesbians and about being a Lesbian.

I don’t need, nor even want, the approval of all of the Straightbians who are personally invested in the nonsensical and lesbophobic rhetoric that “any woman can become a Lesbian” nor the hetsplaining gender critical types who call us insulting terms like “gender non-conforming” while pretending to be supportive.

Also, as I have written about before, I truly think that Twitter somehow often brings out the very worst in people, myself included. The fast-paced, free-for-all Twitter environment, in combination with tons of strangers attempting to discuss complex, usually emotionally-charged, topics using limited characters and disjointed threads, frequently results in a frenzy of anger, insults, incoherence, rudeness, misunderstandings, etc.

That sad situation has always been the case, and has made me very wary of Twitter…but that’s not entirely what has precipitated my decision to change my relationship with Twitter.

Recently, I have become increasingly aware of a much more sinister trend on Twitter; one that Twitter is apparently quite fine with, by the way:

Someone (anyone!) can get angry at you, but instead of confronting you directly and dealing with that anger in a straight-forward, rational fashion, that person instead blocks you so you cannot see what they are saying (well, at least theoretically, anyway); then makes up and spreads utter defamatory lies about you, knowing you cannot reply to defend yourself; while encouraging/supporting others to do the same.

Of course, this behavior is certainly NOT limited to Twitter or even to social media in general. Stereotypical “mean girls”, in particular, have used lies, defamation, and exclusion as a tactic, probably since the dawn of humankind. But the advent of social media, particularly in a public situation such as Twitter, has magnified the damage that such sorry behavior can cause.

As you can probably guess, the reason I am writing this post is because this sordid scenario recently happened to myself and my wife, Dirt.

These lies include, but are not limited to:

  • One or both of us are purportedly actually males/trans — and that they reportedly have proof “on good authority”. (A+ for creativity, folks; but that’s a big fat F for basic research skills, truth, intelligence, reasoning, and logic).
  • We have allegedly stalked, harassed, and/or bullied the lying accuser on Twitter (and purportedly her wife too, who, ironically, we did not even know existed until she decided to back up her wife’s lies with lies of her own), “despite being blocked.” (Not only did this never happen, but anyone saying this clearly doesn’t know how Twitter works and sadly isn’t even smart enough to find out before outright lying).
  • A “mob” of us (a couple is a “mob” now?) reportedly “targeted” one of the copycat liars on “both Twitter and Facebook” “12 months ago”. (I’ve never even interacted with this particular lying accuser at all; furthermore, both of our Facebook accounts are private for family and friends only; and we very rarely even comment outside our own circle on FB. In other words…complete and utter bullshit.

Actually, such ridiculousness is probably still happening, but I am attempting to ignore it and to systematically block anyone who likes, retweets, comments, supports, follows, etc. the main perpetrator and her mean-girl posse.

The “old” me would have done a post about it, complete with screencaps of the actual lies with my (usually snarky) responses to refute the lies. I am keeping all of the screencaps, in case I need them in the future, but (at this point) I don’t plan on doing a post about it, nor do I plan to continue trying to defend myself here, on Twitter, or elsewhere.

Why?

The answer is simple: Because the lies being told about us are so ludicrous that anyone with an internet connection, rudimentary research skills, basic reading comprehension skills, a sufficient IQ, and even a modicum of logic/fairness could very quickly ascertain that what is being said about me and Dirt is completely untrue. Ergo, the liars and their sycophants are ALL revealing that their meanness and pettiness FAR outweigh their intelligence and common human decency.

Dirt’s and my true (Lesbian/female) identities have been revealed (long ago!), and both of our blogs plus our Twitter accounts are public, so everyone is welcome to do their own research to determine the veracity of the allegations.

In other words, anyone who is jumping on the BS bandwagon (either by simply blindly believing outright lies, or, even worse, contributing with additional lies) is not someone who I would want in my life anyway, even tangentially.

And everyone who continues to follow/support anyone who has said clearly mean-spirited, untrue, defamatory, insulting, hideous, and/or lesbophobic garbage about myself, Dirt, any of our friends, and/or Lesbians in general will be promptly blocked whenever I come across them.

Ditto for people who stand silently by and watch such debacles happen, while pretending to be supportive of us in private.

This is not a simple case of a “misunderstanding”; this is not even a case of an “argument” gone wrong.

No, this is a situation that involves outright lies of a defamatory nature; it’s a targeted attack designed to harass, insult, ostracize, discredit, defame, and harm myself and my wife.

And that is not okay by any stretch of the imagination, in any circumstance. Anyone with even the slightest iota of common decency would realize that, regardless of what you think about myself and/or Dirt…even if you HATE us:

It’s not okay to lie. It’s not okay to encourage others to attack; block; report; harass; defame; lie about (etc.) us (or anyone else, for that matter) based on such garbage.

And it’s also certainly not okay to insult our (or others’) physical appearances either. It’s not witty, it’s not decent, it’s not mature, it’s not smart, it’s not kind, and it’s most certainly NOT feminist. 

Do better. 

Even kindergarten students know that behavior is wrong.

You know that behavior is wrong.

Karma knows that behavior is wrong.

Both Dirt and I are resilient adults, and we are secure enough with ourselves to withstand such insults/lies (although, admittedly, it is certainly not pleasant to have to do so).

But: What if we weren’t resilient? What if we were young Lesbians, peer-pressured into believing the lies that we, as Lesbians, are “really male”? What if we were insecure, isolated, depressed, lonely, confused, and/or rejected by our families/communities for being Lesbians (as many Lesbians are)? What then? How would such a young Lesbian respond to the kind of bitter, venomous meanness and vile lies that we have been subjected to on Twitter?

Think about it. Just think about it. Please.

Here’s the (very obvious, already proven) thing: If anyone has an actual problem with either of us, or a question/concern they would like to approach us about, it is really easy to find us to reach out. When either of us is approached in a respectful manner, we always respond in a respectful manner. There are numerous examples of this fact, both public and private.

While both of us can admittedly be snarky, sarcastic, and/or even rude when we are treated with rudeness or disrespect, we have also both demonstrated repeatedly that we are willing to have respectful conversations about any of the topics we write/tweet about when we are approached directly and politely.

If you don’t believe me, look back at our tweets and replies to comments on our blog, which are all public. Or: Simply try it yourself to see how we respond.

Bottom line: Nobody needs to stoop to spreading lies and hatred…ever, for any reason. To do so says much more about the lying person’s (lack of) character than it says about any of her targets. I don’t want toxic people in my life and I don’t want any of their followers in my life either. So this is it for me. I would say “It’s been nice”, but I’d be lying, so I will just say “Goodbye” instead: Goodbye to meanness, goodbye to liars, goodbye to Straightbians, goodbye to hetsplainers, goodbye to hypocrites, goodbye to cowards, and goodbye to anyone who supports any of these in any way.

Lesbians Are Different

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#PicsArt #FreeToEdit

Ever since my partner, spouse, and all-around sweetie-pie, Dirt, wrote a post entitled “Lesbian Children Are Not Girls: How Hetero-Society Ignores Lesbians“, she has received lots of feedback both publicly and privately: positive feedback from Lesbians and argumentative comments from hetsplainers.

One hetsplaining commenter in particular persists in insisting that any differences between the sexes, and/or differences between Lesbians and heterosexual females, is simply a matter of “socialization” and “gender stereotyping”.

While socialization and stereotyping are indeed real, they are not solely responsible for, nor do they sufficiently explain, the differences between Lesbians and heterosexual females that Dirt is writing about.

The other tactic the hetsplainers like to use is the “exception to the rule” argument. They will completely ignore most the information presented and go straight to the argument that they and/or someone they know don’t fit into what Dirt is saying in one way or another.

It should go without saying (but it obviously has to be said anyway!), that, when speaking in generalities about any topic, of course, there will always be “exceptions to the rule”. These expected exceptions to the rule, however, do not disprove the rule, and using this tactic as an argument is simply a way to try to minimize or deny what someone is saying.

My point is that (as usual!) heterosexuals are responding  to Lesbians by arguing, minimizing, and denying what we are saying (in this case, about our own existence!), rather than realizing that they do not know what the heck they are talking about, and therefore shutting up long enough to listen and learn.

Another common misconception (either legitimate or “intentionally misunderstanding” in order to argue) is that Dirt and I are saying the Lesbians are not biologically female. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT IS BEING SAID, PEOPLE. Sigh. For the love of all that is holy, I implore everyone to please learn how to read, to learn how to COMPREHEND what is read, and to learn how to process what is read BEFORE knee-jerking into an emotionally-charged response based on your own incorrect assumptions rather than what is actually being said.

Dirt’s posts (a 3-part series, here is part 2) will cover the topic of how Lesbians and straight females differ in depth, but I also wanted to write briefly about it.

When I wrote the guest post entitled “A Lesbian Psychologist Speaks Out“, I touched very briefly on this division between Lesbians and heterosexual females:

“Even though I am a so-called ‘feminine-presenting’ lesbian myself, there are still significant differences in how I process and approach the world in comparison to my heterosexual cohorts…

Because lesbians often don’t see others like ourselves in the world around us, we often feel we are different than other females.”

This difference is something that is difficult to fully understand, much less articulate clearly. However, despite struggling to put it into words, feeling “different” from an early age is something that every Lesbian I have ever spoken to (or read about) consistently reports.

I wanted to give a brief summary of a just a few of the ways in which I personally have perceived myself as “different” from my straight friends, acquaintances, and coworkers:

  • I am/was neither flattered by, nor bothered by, males. (Note that I am not talking about stalkers, perverts, rapists, or otherwise abusive males…everybody should be bothered by them! Rather, I am referring to “regular” males encountered on an everyday basis ~ fellow students, coworkers, neighbors, etc.).
  • I didn’t “lose myself” when adolescence hit, unlike my straight friends and fellow students (and many heterosexual adolescent girls!), who were suddenly (and overwhelmingly!) more interested in boys than in anything else. Grades, hobbies, interests, friends, family, pets, etc. are suddenly yesterday’s news for many straight female adolescents.
  • Even though I was already aware that I was a Lesbian as an adolescent, I didn’t go “girl crazy” like my cohorts went “boy crazy”. Even when I met my first partner at age 17, I still made A’s in college, worked 2 jobs, volunteered, worked out, and still maintained my friendships and family relationships. My world didn’t simply stop to revolve around my romantic relationship; yet, time and time again, I have seen (otherwise intelligent) straight females seemingly sucked straight into a black hole
  • As Dirt said in her post, “Lesbian children are not culturally groomed to have our bodies change (develop) for the purpose of pleasing other (teen/adult) Lesbians as/when we mature.” Most heterosexual parents are not even aware they are doing it, but girls are groomed and reinforced from a young age to welcome sexual maturity and the heterosexual assumption/privilege that goes along with it. Girls are reinforced for physically attractiveness (“You’re such a pretty girl! You’re going to break lots of boys’ hearts one day!” and similar comments). Therefore heterosexual girls are often proud of the new curves that appear in adolescence. In contrast, I was extremely uncomfortable about the changes in my body at adolescence, and made every effort to cover up (still do!). Instead of welcoming the sudden attention I got for my looks, I dreaded it. (Although I did not have full-blown dysphoria myself, I do believe that ALL Lesbians have some degree of dysphoria).
  • Because I am not straight (therefore, I am an outsider), I could/can usually see clearly what’s going on (including what is going to happen) in my straight friends’ love lives, to the point where many have said I am “psychic”. Being on the outside allows me to view heterosexual relationships/culture/behavior with detachment, and makes me typically able to observe and understand male behavior more clearly than my straight female friends.
  • I didn’t/don’t understand the hints, innuendos, and vague language often used by my straight female cohorts. I didn’t/don’t understand the desire to speak indirectly rather than simply stating what is wanted or needed. For example, if you want something specific for your birthday, why not just say so, rather than assuming your partner “should” magically know (and then being disappointed when you don’t get what you want)?  I don’t understand it; I never will. But my straight friends say they find such directness “inappropriate” (or even “unimaginable”!). (Note that I am not referring to “good/bad manners” here, but rather simply directness versus indirectness of communication).
  • It wouldn’t have occurred to me to break plans with a friend because I suddenly got a date, yet doing so seems to be often both accepted and expected amongst straight female friends.
  • As a child, adolescent, and adult, I have never completely “fit in” with straight people, male or female, although I get along well with both. I have personality characteristics that are considered to be “stereotypically female” as well as personality characteristics that are considered to be “stereotypically male”. It’s like I live in a middle world, which is separate from both, but also like both, in various ways. Thus, Dirt’s assertion that “Lesbians are not girls”. (Again, please note that Dirt is NOT saying that we are not biologically female. Dirt is saying that Lesbians are different from straight females. Duh.).
  • When I comment online, either anonymously or using a gender-neutral username, I am often accused of “mansplaining”. Straight females often seem to mistake my directness for male behavior. No, it’s Lesbian behavior!

These are just a few examples. Of course, every Lesbian’s experience is unique, and I am not speaking for all Lesbians (nor do I want to).  (Similarly, every straight woman’s experience is unique as well, and, as I said above, of course, there are always exceptions to every rule).

I will say, though, that I have heard of numerous similar experiences in the stories of Lesbians. Enough to ascertain that there is indeed a definite pattern of difference between Lesbians and straight females.

And all the hetsplainers in the universe cannot explain away this truth.

Lesbian Truth

Since Dirt and I first started writing about the havoc that has been wreaked upon the lesbian community by Straightbians of all varieties and speaking out about the multitude of alleged “lesbian experts” who are neither lesbian nor expert, the resistance (and sometimes outright hostility) to what we are saying has been appalling.

We have both been unfollowed/blocked by numerous lesbians/feminists (or, I should say: allegedlesbians“/”feminists“) on Twitter, which has prompted me to rethink my own previous position about blocking. We have both received numerous nasty comments and emails (most of which were deleted promptly). We have been subtweeted about relentlessly, because, apparently, some people want to gripe about us, but don’t have the nerve, or the courtesy, to address us directly.

We expected some disagreement, of course. After all, everyone has been spoon-fed lies about lesbianism for decades, and suddenly Dirt and I come along and call it out for what it is: complete and utter horse manure. So we naturally expected some disgruntlement, perhaps even some anger, but the histrionic reaction we have received is as over-the-top emotional that it is as if we told a bunch of preschoolers that Santa had been killed in a tragic mishap at the toy factory.

Why?  I have been thinking about it a lot, and I think there are multiple reasons for this backlash. In fact, there are likely even more reasons I have not even thought of yet. But after much consideration, I think that there are 3 primary reasons that we have received so much hatred and anger:

1). People are highly invested in the erroneous myth that “any woman can become a lesbian”.

For straight women, this myth is a back-up plan if things go wrong with men.  The myth is a way to feel special by asserting their straight privilege upon lesbians. This myth is an all-purpose fantasy of a sort of all-female Amazonian utopia, (purportedly) free from the damaging effects of patriarchy.

Re: Lesbians, this myth allows lesbians to falsely believe that the Straightbian we have fallen in love with (or the one we have a crush on) could truly fall in love with us. It increases our dating pool. The myth allows lesbians to feel inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of our straight sisters. Lesbians get approval and attention from straight women for buying into this myth; by perpetuating the falsehood that we all can live in an all-inclusive “lesbian“-lala-land.  Lesbians therefore often choose to ignore the obvious fact that sexual orientation is fixed in order to bolster straight women’s egos and fantasies.

Straight men love the thought of sexuality being “fluid”, because…HELLO!  Hopes of a threesome!  And although I don’t give a flying f**k about what straight men think, I mention this factor to illustrate one of the many reasons that this myth is so harmful to lesbians…because it implies that orientation is simply a choice. To incorrectly imply straight women can magically become lesbians also implies that being a lesbian is a choice, when the truth is that orientation is not changeable. Period.

2). Plenty of Straightbians have become famous and made fortunes/names for themselves by appropriating “lesbian” with their straight-privileged nonsense. Many others, who have perhaps not become as famous/rich as those profiled in our Unstraightening Lesbian series, have nevertheless carved out “lesbian” niches for themselves, particularly on the internet, and they don’t want us spoiling their fun-and-games with simple facts.

3).  Finally, and related to the points above, I think a major reason that the myth that “any woman can be a lesbian” has flourished is simple: straight privilege and lesbians not being privileged enough to see it happening nor to stop it from happening.

Real lesbians everywhere have been too busy living our own lives to see ~ or understand ~ the travesties perpetuated by Straightbians unfolding around us: we were too busy coming out, dealing with the fallout of coming out, working, going to school, falling in love, breaking up, having potluck dinners, going to the movies, marching in dyke marches, playing Scrabble, buying houses, selling houses, living, dying.

Sure, lesbians saw our friends, and sometimes even ourselves, getting hurt by Straightbians on an individual level, but we didn’t fully understand that  lesbians as a whole were systematically being bulldozed by harmful myths and “queer” (ugh!!) theory while we were busy barbecuing on the back porch on sultry summer nights.

When Straightbians, with their straight privilege, barged into our lesbian movie nights, we didn’t feel comfortable telling them that almost every movie ever made has been for straight people and that they needed to get their own damn movie night.

When Straightbians took over our women’s groups and tried to tell us what “Lesbian” means, we felt we had to be polite and listen to our feminist sisters.

While Straightbians of differing camps engaged in inappropriately-named “lesbian sex wars”, fighting over what lesbians “should”, or “shouldn’t”, do in bed, real lesbians were too busy actually having sex.

In other words, while non-lesbians have been hard at work defining us, lesbians have been busy…well, being lesbians.

As I have said many times before, the definition of lesbian is actually very simple: Lesbians are female homosexuals. Be very wary of anybody who tries to make Lesbian theoretical or otherwise complicated. Lesbians don’t need a handbook. Lesbians don’t need academics with their complicated and long-winded jargon defining us. Lesbian don’t need Straightbians, or anybody else, telling us how to have sex nor how to live our lives.

What lesbians need is to stand up against all the horseshit about us that has been spread all around like fertilizer, which has allowed Straightbians to flourish. Lesbians need to start calling non-lesbians out for speaking for and about us. Lesbians need to speak out for and about ourselves.  Lesbians need to keep asserting, and demonstrating, that lesbian is normal.

In short, after decades of lies about us, lesbians need truth. Bottom line: if you’re not completely with us in that quest, you’re against us.