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Butches, Stripping, and Straightbians…Oh My

For a couple of days now, I have been in a series of heated debates regarding the question of whether Butches would ever be strippers. (Answer: Not just no, but HELL NO).

In response to my statement that the probability of a Butch stripping would be approximately a snowball’s chance in Hell, I received this flippant tweet, presumably to “prove” that Butches do strip:

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Problem is: The woman depicted here is most certainly NOT Butch, and most likely, she’s not even ANY sort of Lesbian either. This tweeter, along with a plethora of others, incorrectly assume that if any woman cuts her hair short and dons a suit (or any other so-called “male attire”) and simply makes the claim she is Butch, she is magically (POOF!) suddenly Butch.

But it doesn’t work that way. Not even close. Butches are born, not made.  Butch is NOT a performance, a costume, a political stance, or an act, and it is majorly offensive when people appropriate and misrepresent Lesbian lives.

A true Butch would NEVER strip. She would literally die first, and that is NOT an exaggeration.

What gives me the right to make such a broad claim, you ask? Because I am a Femme Lesbian. Because I am married to a Butch, and have known other Butches. Because I have been in the Lesbian community for many, many years now, and have seen so many dykes & Straightbians call themselves Butch when they clearly weren’t. Because I happen to have a lot more knowledge about this topic that most people.

(Yes, I said it, I mean it, and I don’t care if you mistakenly think that is arrogant, because, yes, I do, in fact, know more about this topic than most people).

Anyway, I won’t bore you with giving you a play-by-play of every argumentative hetsplaining tweet or every Straightbian arguing with Lesbians about OUR OWN LIVES. It would take a dissertation to just explain the last couple of days.

But let’s examine one striking example of the sort of ignorance and attitude real Lesbians have to put up with:

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Let’s examine this snippet. Seemingly out-of-the-blue, a relatively new “feminist” account with 14 followers at the time and a handful of tweets crawls out of some hole to randomly bust my chops?

Hmmmm…it seems likely that this is a familiar troll in a new disguise, but regardless of this person’s true identity, automatically jumping to a racial connotation when race was not even mentioned is an incredibly transparent attempt to derail the actual point (“Butches don’t strip…period.”) by implying I am somehow inexplicably being racist by talking about a Lesbian issue.

Obviously, that idiotic crap doesn’t work with me. “Stick to the topic or shut up” is my motto.

(And, no, there are not any Butches of any race stripping for a living, now or ever).

Moving on to the next ridiculous assertion from our wannabe know-it-all:

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Okay, so calling me a racist didn’t work, so what does this buffoon do now? Hmmm…Oh, I know, let’s bring RAPE into it! THAT always derails the discussion!

This “rape culture” statement is completely off-topic and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, so, again, this is an obvious attempt to discredit what we are saying by twisting what we are actually saying to try to make it mean something completely unrecognizable.

This is actually a very common Straightbianfeministploy:

If you have no argument and/or simply don’t understand the topic, it’s time to bring up any of the following to try to derail the conversation:

  • Rape or Rape Culture
  • The Patriarchy
  • The “Trans Cult”
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Any other “ism”
  • Discrimination
  • Violence Against Women
  • MRAs
  • Men in dresses “forcing”/”coercing” Lesbians to have sex with them (Not happening)

Well, those tactics may work with some people, but they are certainly not going to work with me or Dirt.

Again, the topic at hand was simple: Butch Lesbians and stripping. This topic has nothing to do with racism, rape, etc.

Back to the point: Do Butches strip?

And the final answer is: Butch Lesbians would never strip, regardless of race, age, audience, era, or circumstance.

The end.

“Straight” To The Point

Over the last several days, Dirt and I have been arguing with straight female “allies” on Twitter over the premise that Lesbians are different.

To make a long story short, not 1, not 2, not 3, but a whole coterie of straight females have tag-teamed us, alternating between telling us to “be nice to our allies“; completely dismissing us; twisting whatever we say; bringing up unrelated topics/issues to try to derail/confuse the discussion; making analogies that make absolutely no sense whatsoever; acting like we are saying something we are not, then being offended by their own incorrect assumptions; trying to make us seem mean/bad/rude/etc.; name-calling; subtweeting; and usually, finally blocking us. Just when one wave disappears into the horizon, a new wave appears. Rinse and repeat.

Here’s the thing: It takes an astonishing amount of straight privilege to argue with Lesbians about OUR OWN LIVES.

These straight women do not know what it is like to be a Lesbian; but much more importantly, their actions of arguing with us ad nauseum proves that they don’t CARE.

I don’t know what it is like to be a man, or a Black person, but you don’t see me telling men or Black people how they “should” feel or denying or arguing with what they say about THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES.

Yet, that is precisely what these straight women are doing. Instead of listening to what we are actually saying about our own Lesbian experience/lives, they are actively attempting to silence us, shame us, twist our words, deny our experiences, and discredit us.

Why? There are likely a number of reasons, depending on the person, including, but not limited to: ignorance, arrogance, straight privilege, fear, reacting with emotion instead of logic, faulty preconceived notions, wanting to keep the incorrect notion alive that “any woman can be a Lesbian”, comprehension difficulties, not wanting to listen, misdirected anger, etc.

Whatever the reason(s), their behavior is completely unacceptable. 

Whether or not people agree with us, Lesbians deserve the same respect and courtesy straight people expect (and routinely get).

People, especially those who purport to be “Lesbian allies, should actually BE allies by listening rather than talking; caring rather than dismissing; remaining open rather than blocking.

And if you fruitcakes cannot do that, you are NOT an ally.

AND you can kindly fuck off.

(Please also read Dirt’s post on the same topic, here).

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Image: Pixabay: varintorn: CC0 Public Domain

Lesbians Need A New Symbol

Note:  Please also read: Dirt’s companion piece, “Double Female Symbol-Not Lesbian-Then or Now” for additional information/explanation.

Dirt and I have been talking and writing for a while now about how Lesbian has been consistently misrepresented, used, and abused…twisted in a whirlwind of hetsplanations, pornifications, and outright lies.

Even the universally recognized symbol for Lesbian (intertwined female symbols) is NOT LESBIAN.

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“Lesbian” Symbol (NOT!)

Why?

Well, there are many reasons; Dirt’s companion piece, “Double Female Symbol-Not Lesbian-Then or Now” for more reasons/explanation.

The piece of the puzzle that I am focusing on today is: this symbol does NOT accurately represent Lesbian because 2 females kissing, holding hands, or even making love does not mean either/both are actually Lesbian. Any 2 females can do any of those things, of course, but it is NOT “Lesbian” unless the individuals involved are BOTH Lesbians.

Here’s the truth: If something doesn’t involve actual LESBIANS, it is NOT LESBIAN.

In TV shows and movies, if there is even the slightest whiff of flirtation between 2 female characters (even if either of the characters was f**cking a man 5 minutes earlier and/or goes on to f**k a man 5 minutes later)…BOOM…people will immediately start talking about a “Lesbian scene” or “Lesbian subplot” or “Lesbian subtext” or “Lesbian kiss” etc. etc. etc., ad nauseum.

The following is but a very small sample of the NON-lesbian characters/scenarios in TV and movies that have been incorrectly called “Lesbian“:  (Note that I am not talking about whether or not the actors themselves are straight; I am talking about the characters/scenarios):

1). Roseanne Barr’s famous “Lesbian” kiss with Mariel Hemingway in the episode “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. While addressing homophobia, an admirable goal, was the reason given by Barr for including this scene, unfortunately, calling kissing a married straight woman a “Lesbian” (or “gay” as some  people, including Barr, incorrectly insist on saying) scene undermines real Lesbians by implying that we are defined solely by physical contact or action. Lesbian is lesbian, and straight is straight, regardless of physical/sexual activity.

2). The entire hideously offensive “Lesbian” movie “The Kids are All Right“, in which Julianne Moore’s allegedly “Lesbian” character f**ked a male like a minx throughout the whole debacle, only to claim at the end of the movie that such straight behavior didn’t mean she wasn’t a “Lesbian“.  Um…yeah, it does, in fact, mean just that.

3). Almost every “Lesbian” storyline in Orange is the New Black, starting, but sadly not ending, with Straightbian Piper’s on-again, off-again affair with Alex. This decidedly NON-Lesbian storyline is foreshadowed in the Season 1 official trailer, in which at approximately .36-.37 seconds, Piper’s mom asks “You were a lesbian?” and Piper (sitting with her MALE fiance) replies “At the time”. No, no, no, no, no! You either are, or you’re not, a Lesbian, Piper. To make matters even worse, the OITNB Lesbian characters who are REAL Lesbians are portrayed as sexual predators (Big Boo) or killed off (Poussey).  Boo, Hiss.

4). Thelma and Louise has been applauded as an excellent example of “Lesbian” subtext. Bullshit. Both Thelma and Louise were straight women who needlessly got themselves into a difficult situation, making progressively worse and worse decisions…including Geena Davis’s character first willingly making out with a guy in the parking lot (who turned out to be a wannabe rapist) which resulted in the very reason they became outlaws, then later f**king a male thief’s brains out. The whole sad nonsense culminated in them driving themselves off a freaking cliff.  Thelma and Louise are not heroic feminist icons, and they are definitely NOT Lesbians.

5). Xena: Okay, this last example actually pains me to discuss, because I was a Xena fan. I realize now that I was so starved for Lesbian representation that I was willing to scarf up the “subtext” scraps the writers and actors threw us. I was willing to overlook the “maintext” plots involving male romantic entanglements. I was willing to deny my own discomfort when the show could not be trusted to even acknowledge us, much less actually care about us, despite the fan base being heavily Lesbian. Now it’s time to admit that the  so-called Xena “Lesbian subtext” was only a pitiful broken bone thrown to the hungry Lesbian audience, all the while maintaining the true heterosexuality of the 2 main characters to keep their ratings, and their straight privilege, intact.

The examples of such NON-Lesbian scenarios go on and on and on and ON.

It is time to stop this foolishness. We need to stop calling any female/female innuendo “Lesbian”. I know I said it before, but I will say it again and again and again:

If something doesn’t involve actual LESBIANS, it is NOT LESBIAN.

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The On-Going Bastardization Of The Meaning Of Lesbian

Not a day goes by that at least one perverted male on Twitter follows me, tweets to me, and/or sends me a personal message, often including a dick pic (ugh!!), because I have the word “Lesbian” in my profile.

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A smart and logical person will immediately see the paradox:  I state clearly that I am a LESBIAN in my profile (and a happily married one!), but yet, the use of the word “Lesbian” prompts MEN to follow, tweet to, and/or message me.

Huh??

Yes, this phenomenon is but a small part of the current sad state of affairs for Lesbians who dare to continue to call ourselves Lesbians.

Unfortunately, Lesbians are misrepresented in so many ways, by so many people, that one post alone could not possibly even scratch the surface of the multiple bastardizations of our name, so this post will focus on the issue of the pornification of  the word”Lesbian”.

A quick search of #lesbian on Twitter revealed the following (and this is just the first 3 results, note that the pornified trend continues ad nauseum below where I screencapped):

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Just from the incredibly small sample above, you will see that the word “Lesbian” is somehow FALSELY associated with MALE: porn, fetish, variations of “cum”, MILF, FUTA (which I had to look up because I had NO CLUE what it meant, and it means “f**cked up the a$$”), and cuckolded, amongst other incorrect and unsavory references.

I have one main word to describe my feelings about this, and that word is EWWWWWW.

Let me be clear:

Lesbians do NOT want men.

Lesbians do NOT date men.

Lesbians do NOT fantasize about men.

Lesbians do NOT have sex with men.

Lesbians do NOT want to be a part of men’s creepy porno fantasies.

Etc.

Lesbians are females who are solely romantically/sexually oriented toward other females. End of story. It’s not complicated, folks.

I am reminded of Saturday nights in Lesbian bars. Almost every Saturday night, about 10:00 p.m., the door would swing open and in would walk a heterosexual couple, dressed up and eagerly scanning the bar for a target for their threesome, seemingly sure that we Lesbians would be THRILLED to be chosen for their evening shenanigans. Their hopeful faces would become increasingly LESS hopeful as they scanned the sea of dykes who did not meet their pornified fantasy. You could see the confusion on their faces. Where were all the scantily-clad nubile nymphets eager to put a smile on their faces? Who were these Lesbians and why were we ignoring them?  Occasionally, the woman of the couple would sashay onto the dance floor and attempt to dance seductively with a series of puzzled, drunk dykes who regarded this activity with a mixture of suspicion, derision, and horror. Needless to say, the straight couple would leave; puzzled, disappointed, and undoubtedly frustrated. Good riddance.

Moral of the story: Lesbians are not your bitches, hets.

Some people have asked me why I don’t simply remove Lesbian from my profile to avoid these unwanted perverts. I won’t remove Lesbian from my profile because I am stubborn. I AM a Lesbian, and I am proud to be a Lesbian. If I remove the word from my profile, I am giving up and allowing ignorance to win.

Lesbian visibility is important. Lesbian is normal and we need to stand together and stand up. The more we counteract the harmful messages, the better.

Lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, lesbian is normal, LESBIAN IS NORMAL. And our lives matter.

“It’s Nothing Personal, It’s Just Business”(Written By Dirt)

NOTE: My partner, spouse, and all-around sweetiepie, Dirt, wrote this today & it is originally posted here on her blog.  I agree 2,987,674,342+++ percent…:

I had worked for Corporate America for 20 years. Throughout these two decades I witnessed from time to time (time to time being whenever 3rd quarter rolled around and it was apparent that projected/promised stockholder numbers weren’t going to be met by years end) people (workers) being let go.

Not let go because they were not doing their jobs well. Not let go because they frequently called in sick. Not let go because they were just plain assholes.

Let go because the company was accountable to stockholders and the company needed to show those stockholders a certain profit. In business, particularly Big Business, in order to excuse and mitigate PERSONAL responsibility for firing people (workers), businesses have enacted a get-out-of-guilt/responsibility-free mantra.

A mantra so eerily similar to the Nazi lyrics of the Nuremberg Trials (we were merely following orders/we did as we were told)-It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

Corporate America is notorious for lining the pockets of their favoured presidential candidate. Business as usual we could say. But a few days ago something insane and unprecedented happened, for the FIRST time in US history, Corporate America was elected President of the United States of America!

Elected from a contemptible campaign of female hatred, racial hatred, homosexual hatred and religious hatred; all melting into a cancerous ball of hatred against the very foundation that America was built upon-a multi cultural, multi national melting pot!

No sooner did this happen when those of us who are of a certain sexual orientation, a certain color/race, certain origins, certain religions and a certain sex were quickly squelched for verbalizing what the win for President Corporate America means to us now, will mean more to us in the immediate future and may mean for us in a now not so unforeseeable future! And squelched by people we once believed truly knew us and cared about us, our closest friends AND family. We’re being reminded all over social media sites:

  • just calm down
  • it’s not that bad
  • that can’t really happen
  • he can’t do that
  • you’re being dramatic
  • stop acting like someone kicked your dog
  • stop acting like your mother just died
  • it’s time to unify
  • time to find common ground
  • stop name calling
  • grow up
  • we’ve lived through Reagan and Bush (no, many of us did not!)
  • we are all still Americans
  • let’s just pray on it
  • let’s pledge our allegiance to the flag

As a Lesbian and only speaking as a Lesbian, President Corporate America not only has the power to change my family’s life, it has promised to do as soon as it took office. My marriage will likely legally end in a few months. Not because my wife and I are having problems. Not because I or my wife cheated. Not because my wife and I have irreconcilable differences.

  • But because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all, believes heterosexual love TRUMPS Lesbian love.
  • Because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all does not value the love, the respect, the bonding, the beauty and the honesty between two Lesbians is worthy of legal marriage.
  • And because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all want to obliterate all traces or reminders that Lesbians exist in the first place.

This election yanked the thin diaphanous veil of liberalistic pretense from this country and scarier from the people we once called family and friend. What true family member or friend is going to tell you to calm down or grow up when you have just been told your legal marriage to your wife is going to be revoked? The very word WIFE is being ripped from our Lesbian mouths as I type!

And before President Corporate America even realised it had won, the words DYKE and LESBIAN were being violently turned back in Lezbophobic slurs. Our vehicles being vandalized, our homes spray painted with repugnant graffiti, our jobs threatened, our housing possibilities shrinking and our Lesbian nature and Lesbian love desecrated!

But hey, it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America ends our marriages and bans all future marriage between homosexuals!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America declares an open season for vandalizing homosexual possessions!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America declares an open season for homophobes to vandalize homosexual lives!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to visit the love of our life in hospital because we’re not married or related!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to receive our partners health benefits!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to inherit from our partner even though we’ve been together 40 years!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes the intangible legitimacy of committed homosexual couples!

You tell me dear reader, HOW THE FUCK IS ANY OF THIS NOT PERSONAL?!

I grew up in Flint Michigan and was a teen in the 1980s. I know FIRST hand what happens when Corporate America needs to please its stockholders. When Corporate America is ran by an idiot so far removed from the working class that laying off 35,000 people in one town means nothing outside of dollar $igns and number$. I personally watched my hometown fold it on itself as factories closed, then businesses who sold parts to the factories closed and all the businesses that relied on factory worker consumerism closed.

I personally helped foreclosed and evicted family members move to trailer parks when their money ran out and no new jobs were created. I personally saw my hometown reach such a miserable low that the horrific increase of crime and violence reached such a high, that people celebrated Flint being the most violent and worst city to live in in the country, simply to have something to celebrate!

And what did Corporate America aka Roger Smith have to say? It’s nothing personal, it’s just business. When you’re getting shot at because you were lucky enough to scrap $20 bucks together to buy yourself a winter coat so you wouldn’t freeze to death when you slept in your car and those less fortunate are willing to kill you for it?

That’s fucking personal!

Just as personal as Corporate America becoming President of the entire country! If you want to know what America is going to look like in a year or so, watch Michael Moore’s documentary of Flint Michigan Roger and Me. If you want to know what America might look like in four years?

It may look just like this:

or this:

or this:

 

We ARE personal. We are ALWAYS personal. And when humans becomes big business, we have been stripped naked of all humanity. America as we used to know it was founded on a “government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE“! And that, dear readers, is NOT business, it is PERSONAL!

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Homophobia Is In The Smiling Faces Of Friends

NOTE: Please also see my sweetie’s companion piece: “Lesbian: No One Is With Her”.

A while back, I “unfriended” one of my dearest cousins.  I didn’t do it in a fit of anger. Instead, I purposefully walked away and thoroughly considered the situation before making the decision to symbolically “unfriend” her on Facebook and to break off contact in real life.

Before I get into the specifics of the situation and the reasons for my decision, allow me to explain why this decision was such a huge deal to me, since, after all, people are constantly “unfriending” each other on Facebook over various personal or political disagreements.

This cousin (let’s call her “Emma”, since her real name is rather distinctive) was my earliest friend. As soon as we both could walk and talk, we were inseparable whenever we would see each other.

This friendship was a REALLY big deal to me, because I have always been (and still am) an outsider. I am not the life of the party…not by a long shot. Nope, I am the one in the corner, away from the group, checking out the host’s book collection or petting the dog.

The same was true when I was a child. I wasn’t the one hanging upside down on the monkey bars screaming like a banshee; I was the socially awkward one sitting on the bench by herself on the sidelines with a book…and a thesaurus. Think: Brick in the TV show The Middle as a girl.

Emma was my complete opposite. She was extroverted, reckless, popular, funny, friendly, uncomplicated, constantly laughing…inexplicably happy. She talked to strangers. She ran with scissors. She didn’t contemplate the myriad horrors of the world in an endless mental loop as I did; in fact, she seemed blissfully unaware of the existence of a dark side. She was sunshine.

We lived a couple of hours away from each other, but her family visited often and stayed at Emma’s grandmother’s house for long holidays and extended portions of the summer.  It was just an accepted fact that I would be staying there for as long as they did.

Even as we grew into teenagers and young adults, we remained very close.  Back in the days before email and Facebook and texting, we wrote letters, almost every day.  Hers about her social life; mine about the books I read or random thoughts I had.

But then things changed. To make a long story short, without giving away any personally identifiable details of people/events, at some point, Emma and her husband became very religiously and politically conservative.

Somehow we managed to remain (at least superficially) friendly, even as we gradually grew further apart in every way imaginable.  At family reunions and holidays, we would still greet each other with enthusiasm and genuine affection. Occasionally, despite time and circumstances, I would still catch a fleeting glimpse of the girl I once knew.

Although I knew that their ever-growing religious beliefs and conservative politics were 100% against everything I am and all that I believe in, I willfully swallowed my worry and growing anger. I chose to be in denial, because, after all, she was my most beloved cousin.

As I discussed in a previous post, following a health scare, I had started an ongoing process of shedding the parts of my life that no longer fit. My long-term friendship with Emma turned out to be, sadly, a casualty of that process.

One day, I logged onto Facebook to see a post on Emma’s wall (note that I am paraphrasing here because I did not have the foresight to screencap it before I blocked her):

“I will never support gay marriage. If you choose to live that lifestyle, I will be your friend, and I still love you, but know that I will never support your gay lifestyle.  God made marriage to be a holy bond between a man and a woman…blah blah blah…yada yada yada…”

I won’t belabor the point of how painful this was to read, or the obvious problems with her “logic”, because I trust that my readers are smart enough to see why someone who doesn’t recognize, understand, or support me or my relationship is not, and can never be, my true friend.

My point of this post is: homophobia appears in many forms, and it appears not only in the angry faces of protesters or in the hateful rhetoric of a right-wing sermon.

Sometimes, homophobia shows up in the smiling faces of your lifelong friends. Sometimes, it shows up in the words of someone proclaiming to love you. Sometimes, it appears in the off-hand comment of a coworker. Sometimes, it shows up in the misguided words and retweets/likes of our so-called “allies”. Sometimes, it even stares back at us from the mirror on the bathroom wall.

As for Emma, I will always remember and cherish the pure and simple friendship we shared before it was tainted. I hope to meet her one day in Rumi’s field:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there” ~ Rumi

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Image: SuzaZoom (Used under license with Shutterstock.com)

Unstraightening Lesbian: Removing The Heterosexual Lens: Dorothy Allison

Note: This post is the latest in the series that Dirt and I are writing to expose some of the biggest offenders of the so-called “lesbian experts” who are neither lesbian nor expert; this post was originally published here.

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Image: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

Today’s feature is Dorothy Allison.

Most would know Dorothy Allison for her semi-autobiographical novel and later made-for-TV movie Bastard out of Carolina. The novel depicts portions of the extreme physical/sexual and emotional abuse Allison suffered at the hands (and other male appendages) of her stepfather. And given the graphic nature Allison has written of her intimate past, not to mention her fiction, there is absolutely no speculation on where (sex/violence) figures in Allison’s life/work. And based on how sex figures (regardless of where [with women]) Dorothy Allison sits squarely in the middle of Straightbian, rather then the self-identifying lesbian femme that she claims to be:

When I was five, Mama married the man she lived with until she died. Within the first year of their marriage Mama miscarried, and while we waited out in the hospital parking lot, my stepfather molested me for the first time, something he continued to do until I was past thirteen. When I was eight or so, Mama took us away to a motel after my stepfather beat me so badly it caused a family scandal, but we returned after two weeks. Mama told me that she really had no choice: she could not support us alone. When I was eleven I told one of my cousins that my stepfather was molesting me. Mama packed up my sisters and me and took us away for a few days, but again, my stepfather swore be would stop, and again we went back after a few weeks.”

Allison has stated outright that sexual abuse that informed her ideas/experience of so-called lesbianism. We suspect equally responsible for her ignorant privileged notions of her masochistic sexual tendencies with women was her deep involvement in the early 70’s with a small feminist collective of similar Straightbians: women who chose to romantically/sexually entangle themselves with women/lesbians because they  too were sexually abused or because they were temporarily caught up in the Women’s (“we hate men right this minute”) Liberation movement.

“Writing Bastard Out of Carolina became, ultimately, the way to claim my family’s pride and tragedy, and the embattled sexuality I had fashioned on a base of violence and abuse.

“I became sexually and politically active, joining the Women’s Center support staff and falling in love with a series of middle-class women who thought my accent and stories thoroughly charming.”

“…I am not only a lesbian but a transgressive lesbian-femme, masochistic, as sexually aggressive as the women I seek out, and…pornographic in my imagination and sexual activities…”

In the same essay Allison goes on to say:

“The compartmentalized life I had created burst open in the late 1970s after I began to write what I really thought about my family. I lost patience with my fear of what the women I worked with, mostly lesbians, thought of who I slept with and what we did together. When schisms developed within my community; when I was no longer able to hide within the regular dyke network; when I could not continue to justify my life by constant political activism or distract myself by sleeping around; when my sexual promiscuity, butch/femme orientation, and exploration of sadomasochistic sex became part of what was driving me out of my community of choice—I went home again.”

As Allison’s sexual proclivities became better known to the lesbian feminist collective and other feminist activists, a rift developed between so-called “kinky” lesbians and lesbian feminists.

This split is as complicated as it is warped, regardless of which side women took. While the later “Sex Wars” that sprang out of this rift seem innocuous today, the irony involved in this scenario bears explaining.

We’ll call Allison’s “kinky” team Camp Allison and the uptight feminist team Camp Barnard.

Both camps were predominantly straight, and both camps predominantly co-opted and claimed a wrongful stake in Lesbian history.

Both camps hungrily devoured John Money‘s infamous and failed Gender Identity Theory, denying biology in favor of constructed sex roles where biology magically becomes meaningless, and where male and female bodies possess unsexed/non-sexually-oriented brains (it’s as if they think that the brain is not an organ — that the brain is somehow mysteriously disconnected from the body in which it resides).

Where Camp Allison and Camp Barnard differ is sex: Camp Allison, whose heterosexuality was heavily shaped by sexual abuse/violence, and Camp Barnard, whose heterosexuality was shaped by feminist theory.

Camp Allison were promiscuous, deviant, sexually aggressive, and sexually violent toward themselves and other women, and some Camp Allison members, specifically Pat/rick Califia and Gayle Rubin, even writing and speaking out in favor of legally lowering the Age of Consent laws which would make sex with minors legal.

Camp Barnard, on the other hand, arrogantly attempted to dictate to women/lesbians how to have lesbian sex and what consisted of lesbian sex, particularly a no-vaginal-penetration mandate. Some even went so far as to insist that lesbians do not have sex at all, and that lesbian attraction itself objectified women.

Sadly, the Lesbian Feminist Sex Wars were fought by sexually abused straight women in Camp Allison versus uptight, prudish straight women in Camp Barnard — while actual Lesbian input was both unwelcome and undocumented.

Backtracking, as a result of the Lesbian Sex Wars, Allison and her cohorts helped to organize the (also inappropriately-named) Lesbian Sex Mafia, described by Allison in her book Skin as follows:

I had helped organize the Lesbian Sex Mafia, a group intended for ‘politically incorrect’ women…(I) began to do public speaking on sexuality…publishing my essays on incest, family violence, and sexuality…(I) concentrated on attracting members whose primary sexual orientation was s/m, butch/femme, fetish specific, or otherwise politically incorrect.

First of all, Dorothy: Butch/Femme is NOT a “sexual orientation“.  Our sexual orientation is the same as every other Lesbian: LESBIAN! Secondly, the other sexual practices Allison lists among “sexual orientation” are NOT sexual orientation either. S/M and fetishes are not sexual orientations, they are pathology (in the way in which Allison and her cohorts define and practice them). Thirdly, to lump Butch/Femme as part of a passage discussing incest, violence, S/M, and fetishes is incorrect, irresponsible, and abhorrent.

Allison goes on to say regarding the Lesbian Sex Mafia’s demise:

“The most shocking failure of the Lesbian Sex Mafia…was that none of us predicted the kind of attack and vilification that accompanied the April 23, 1982 Barnard Conference on Sexuality, or the speakout on politically incorrect sex we organized to take place the next day….we had not seriously prepared to deal with critics who would be horrified at our behaviour as lesbians, never mind queer queers.”

The failure of Camp Allison was that they were so caught up in their own sexual abuses they believed that by reliving over and over and over and over again those abuses as adult women, what they were doing was subversive! It became abundantly apparent to them during the Barnard Conference that other feminists/academics didn’t share their noxious Nirvana. Members of Camp Barnard were in fact so disgusted some members dissected a sexscapade between Allison and two other women in an issue of Off Our Backs.

Allison recovered whatever shame or insecurity she felt over the Barnard scandal and went to write and publish essays, stories, novels-one as we mentioned that made it to film, as well as to teach and lecture at many notable universities.

Whatever Allison did sexually we would like to say is her business, but, unfortunately, Allison has SO publicly made it ours. Nevertheless, we don’t have to purchase her books or go to her lectures, and we haven’t. The problem we have is Allison did whatever she did while (with straight privilege) calling herself a lesbian. Dorothy Allison won copious lesbian awards for her writing, awards that paid her well, engagements that paid her well, and lecturing that paid her well. And still pays her well.

Like every Straightbian we have discussed thus far in this serious, NONE of them feel the slightest bit of remorse for shining under a star that doesn’t bear their name.

How many actual lesbian writers received rejection letters, so that this drivel written by Allison instead, under the incorrect name of lesbian, could be published?

“Natalia was much older than me, and we had been playing school girl and Governess. When I was the Governess, Natalia was my toddler who needed to be washed tenderly, powdered down, sometimes have her temperature taken–‘turn over baby’–and invariably be nuzzled gently until she orgasmed in my arms. When I was the schoolgirl, I was a stubborn adolescent who accumulated countless demerits…Natalia decided she would like to play out one of hers (fantasies) and see if she couldn’t train her schoolgirl to enjoy having her ass used.”

After lots of wine, oysters, and a bubble bath:

Before I could hiccup in confusion she had my wrist tied to a ring on the floor. “Ma’am?” I tried, unsure of which game we were going to play. “Be still,” she said sternly. “Don’t think, just relax. I want something from you and tonight I’m going to get it.” She poured a pool of thick creamy lotion into her palm and began to massage my ass, her blunt fingers pushing dollops of cream up into my butt.”

After some poppers:

“‘Ma’am,’ I wailed, and she purred back at me, ‘that’s my girl,’ while her hand worked its way steadily into my butt. She hurt me and I screamed at her. She laughed at me and I howled at her. But she had all the practice and she knew every crevice, every rudimentary panic, every movement I would make in response to every movement of hers, and nothing I did or said or cried stopped her. After a while she wasn’t hurting me, she was guiding me, whispering soft words while her fingers played tickle-touch so deep inside me I wanted to burp.”

Good grief.

Dirt and Mrs. Dirt