LizzieLou

Ironic Reclamation

I am interested to read what others think about this issue - using terms like queer or dyke, etc. to describe ourselves. I've heard different opinions about this over time. Some are very 'pro-reclamation,' others get really upset. For example, I went into a lesbian chat room once and used the word "lesbo" and got totally shut out, immediately. No one asked if I was a lesbo or even would have had time to check my profile or anything. I was bummed.

People prefer different terms, "lesbian" "gay" and all those alt spellings of "woman".

Does anyone feel strongly about any of these issues and if so, why?

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Hi, Nicole here.

I've heard the terms "dyke, lesbo, lemon, carpet muncher, licker, lesbian, muff muncher..." do I HAVE to go on? 

I'm from Australia so the terms may be different. I'm not offended by any of these terms due to the reason that I don't relate to labels very well. I'm labelled "bi" so I have often been described as a "double adapter, not fussed, swinger, pendelum, confused, unable to make up my mind..." I really don't want to go on  To me, it's how you feel about yourself, so the best way I can describe it is "Lesbian". It's safe, it's politically correct and non-offensive. I have made up my mind, it's not about gender to me, it's about the love I feel or the attraction to the other. To some that is called "lucky" hahaha! I am monogamous in a relationship, that's all I know how to be when I'm with someone I love. That's my idea of Queer Politics. I am, therefore, I am. What else matters?

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to me, frankly, it fully depends on who's saying what, and in what context. If its a straight guy calling lesbians "carpet munchers" yeah....its offensive, and frankly, i find that particular term offensive period. I realise that sometimes people take on an offensive term to remove the stigma of the word or phrase, but to me, that can be (tho isnt always) just a conformation to the ignorant of the word as being acceptable.....

Some things just defy explaination to me. Often, you'll hear someone that's African American (or whatever term is politically correct these days) call each other the "N" word, but dont you DARE let someone else say it. I assume that its acceptable in that instance because of what i said above.....taking power over the word sort of. But offensive is offensive to me......you NEVER hear a Jewish person call another a Kike...... (and here i sort of accidently proved my own point, i feel free to use that word in an explaination, because I'm jewish.....but I dont feel free to use the "N" word, tho they are equally as bad to each of our races....)

Some things are just redundant to me. People that seriously spell woman or women "wymmin" or something similar is just ridiculous to my way of thinking. So its okay to just create our own spellings for things because we dont want to be identified with men?? Its nuts, makes no sense in the larger scheme of things, and in my view, just makes us stand out in a negative way to the communities that we live in. Whenever I hear it, or see it, I want to say "Get a grip......you may not like men....but you came from one, so deal with it." I dont begrudge anyone using or believing in those terms or spellings, but I dont like to be talked down to or insulted by those that do, and that's happened. I realise its partly a difference between those that identify as feminists and those that are just women, but many 'feminists' will put down their "sisters" that dont agree with them, and that's wrong too.

Interestingly enough, i dont know ANY older lesbians that use those terms or spellings. I'm of course not saying that they dont, I'm just saying I've never come across it in MY world view. I know some that did, and stopped. I just asked one friend who's in her late 40's why she stopped, and she said "I grew out of it"..... Food for thought.....?

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Hey Tinker, how are ya?

I agree those terms can be offensive. And I think the world is in the state it is in due to the fact that we are so offensive and take such offense. When I was younger "politically correct" wasn't a term used. Somewhere along the line, we became quite "nasty". Or maybe we began to stand up for ourselves? But today, everyone has to be soooo careful. It's like you are constantly walking on eggshells, on thin ice...one wrong step and you fall, or crack. I think what we have to do is start realising that none of us are separate from one another. We separate, religion, sex, gender, race, bloody everything! We fooled ourselves into believing that one group is "better" than the other. Take away all the bullshit, the clothes, the labels, the values, the judgments, the need to be "right" and we are all the same. Living under the same roof. People "name" call, they "label" because they fear what they do not understand, instead of embracing others, other cultures. Religion, Sexism, Racism, any ism...one day, one fine day...the human race will see that we are all same being. So, all these labels are foolish and stupid and somehow people believe it helps them sleep better at night, knowing their world is how it should be. Reality is something we created and then distorted. And now, this is where we live. I think it's time we wake up.

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no longer active member said:

to me, frankly, it fully depends on who's saying what, and in what context. If its a straight guy calling lesbians "carpet munchers" yeah....its offensive, and frankly, i find that particular term offensive period. I realise that sometimes people take on an offensive term to remove the stigma of the word or phrase, but to me, that can be (tho isnt always) just a conformation to the ignorant of the word as being acceptable.....

Some things just defy explaination to me. Often, you'll hear someone that's African American (or whatever term is politically correct these days) call each other the "N" word, but dont you DARE let someone else say it. I assume that its acceptable in that instance because of what i said above.....taking power over the word sort of. But offensive is offensive to me......you NEVER hear a Jewish person call another a Kike...... (and here i sort of accidently proved my own point, i feel free to use that word in an explaination, because I'm jewish.....but I dont feel free to use the "N" word, tho they are equally as bad to each of our races....)

Some things are just redundant to me. People that seriously spell woman or women "wymmin" or something similar is just ridiculous to my way of thinking. So its okay to just create our own spellings for things because we dont want to be identified with men?? Its nuts, makes no sense in the larger scheme of things, and in my view, just makes us stand out in a negative way to the communities that we live in. Whenever I hear it, or see it, I want to say "Get a grip......you may not like men....but you came from one, so deal with it." I dont begrudge anyone using or believing in those terms or spellings, but I dont like to be talked down to or insulted by those that do, and that's happened. I realise its partly a difference between those that identify as feminists and those that are just women, but many 'feminists' will put down their "sisters" that dont agree with them, and that's wrong too.

Interestingly enough, i dont know ANY older lesbians that use those terms or spellings. I'm of course not saying that they dont, I'm just saying I've never come across it in MY world view. I know some that did, and stopped. I just asked one friend who's in her late 40's why she stopped, and she said "I grew out of it"..... Food for thought.....?

Yes, to everything she said. I won't even engage with someone who deliberately misspells woman or women; and while people are free to call themselves whatever derogatory terms they wish, I will not tolerate being called a dyke or queer or any of the other N-word-like euphemisms being bandied about by the hipster types. And good on gay men for not introducing themselves as fags/faggots. You teach people how to treat you; and if you don't respect yourself, how can you expect anyone else's respect. (I'm off to break into song, now.)

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Regardless of how you spell it - women, wimmin, wymmin,  whatever - if we are communicating verbally  it all sounds the same and I will still see "women" in my head. (Because I always see written words in my head instead of pictures). 

Additionally, Dyke and dike sound exactly the same and a dike, as you know, is a structure that retains water and could therefore be used to describe women of all orientations.

And yes - I do tend to have a rather queer sense of humor.

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Sammy Lynne said:

Regardless of how you spell it - women, wimmin, wymmin,  whatever - if we are communicating verbally  it all sounds the same and I will still see "women" in my head. (Because I always see written words in my head instead of pictures). 

Additionally, Dyke and dike sound exactly the same and a dike, as you know, is a structure that retains water and could therefore be used to describe women of all orientations.

And yes - I do tend to have a rather queer sense of humor.

I always love your posts. I just can't get behind the creative spellings because they seem to be reactionary, and the reactionary is, by nature, defensive and never coming from a place of self-confidence, and because I took Attic Greek as my language in college; and having some understanding of etymology, I know that the English word women is historically derivative, whereas the English word "men" is just a shortening of the Greek origin for "women". I like this, because all humans are inherently biologically female. Language reflects nature, if only by chance. "Man" is "Woman" but merely lacking. That's as radical feminist as I get ;)  

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Dani28 said:

I always love your posts. I just can't get behind the creative spellings because they seem to be reactionary, and the reactionary is, by nature, defensive and never coming from a place of self-confidence, and because I took Attic Greek as my language in college; and having some understanding of etymology, I know that the English word women is historically derivative, whereas the English word "men" is just a shortening of the Greek origin for "women". I like this, because all humans are inherently biologically female. Language reflects nature, if only by chance. "Man" is "Woman" but merely lacking. That's as radical feminist as I get ;)  

Thank-you. I find myself looking for you whenever there is new content on the site because I enjoy your posts as well. 

Man is woman but merely lacking? Oh, I am so telling this to every male coworker I come into contact with tomorrow!

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Sammy Lynne said:

Thank-you. I find myself looking for you whenever there is new content on the site because I enjoy your posts as well. 

Man is woman but merely lacking? Oh, I am so telling this to every male coworker I come into contact with tomorrow!

Thank you. Same :) And they are - they're lacking a second X chromosome, which carries so much genetic material, including an additional chance at a higher I.Q. In it's place, they have a Y, which carries only one command - that of the in utero sex change from female to male. The Y chromosome is also the smallest and most fragile of all human chromosomes. It is so unstable that there are murmurs in the field of genetics that nature will, as an evolutionary step, phase it out. Which is kind of sad, but also fascinating.

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This is reflecting my warped sense of humor: right now, I am hearing a Devo-esque song playing in my head that has the refrain "phase it out." Lol. I dearly love reading posts from you guys. Err, you two. You usually have most interesting things to say. I should follow you both. 

I remember when the alt spelling of "women" was much in vogue among a certain sort in the lesbian scene. That really irked me. I didn't think there was any need to abuse language to make a political point. If you need another work for "woman", there are many beautiful ones available, no need to misspell the nice one you have in English. I offered my local lesbian collective several from the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic at my command but was rudely turned away as an elitist-and probably in the employ of the patriarchy. 

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keltheimpossible said:

I offered my local lesbian collective several from the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic at my command but was rudely turned away as an elitist-and probably in the employ of the patriarchy. 

:D I so relate to this. I refuse to accept the proposition that my being gay means that I have to be petty or foolish. Smart is sexy. Stay sexy, my friend.

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keltheimpossible said:

I offered my local lesbian collective several from the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic at my command but was rudely turned away as an elitist-and probably in the employ of the patriarchy. 

 

Dani28 said:

:D I so relate to this. I refuse to accept the proposition that my being gay means that I have to be petty or foolish. Smart is sexy. Stay sexy, my friend.

As shocking as it may be,  I have never belonged to a lesbian collective  (unless you count LESBOTRONIC, which I don't view as a single collective but rather as a bunch of random smaller ones).

The groups that I am aware of in my area hold no interest for me. Contrary to the misconceptions of the grossly uninformed,  merely being lesbian is not enough of a reason for me to join your group - or to even like you for that matter.

Despite this, I am quite familiar with the sentiment. I have been dismissed on multiple occasions by so-called academics due my lack of a college degree. Apparently, traditionally recognized institutions of higher learning are the only acceptable places to get an education. Not having a degree would seem to be a definitive indicator of a subpar intellect. 

The fact that I am a lowly factory worker serves as further evidence that I am not capable of intelligent thought. Being underestimated is a part of my daily fare. I'm used to it, but being rejected in any way does not feel nice.

If you happen to be one of those people who dismiss others based on some perceived deficiency,  you should know - superiority is decidedly unattractive - stop it. Seriously, just stop.

You should also know that going to college doesn't automatically make you smart any more than not going automatically makes you stupid. Think about that.

Maybe I should have started a new thread for this. I seem to have gone off topic. 

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Sammy Lynne said:

 

 I have been dismissed on multiple occasions by so-called academics due my lack of a college degree. Apparently, traditionally recognized institutions of higher learning are the only acceptable places to get an education. Not having a degree would seem to be a definitive indicator of a subpar intellect. 

The fact that I am a lowly factory worker serves as further evidence that I am not capable of intelligent thought.

Sounds like you made some pseudo-intellectual very nervous. Good on ya ;)

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