Jump to content

"The straight male world has convinced young women the l word is a slur."


Recommended Posts


Da Brat says she felt industry pressure to stay in the closet, according to The Root**.

"Though Da Brat (who became the first female rapper to go platinum with her 1994 album, Funkdafied) assures us her record labels and managers didn’t push her and that it was ultimately her decision to stay in the closet, she did admit she felt outside pressures from the industry, as well as from her religious upbringing.

“I was always told you want to be fuckable to men and women to sell records—you don’t want anybody to discriminate,” she revealed. "It was absolutely my decision. I mean, you saw what happened to people like Ellen: Remember when she lost her TV show, and all these horrible things were happening? People were totally against it."

But . . . that was a few years ago, right?  Sure.  But it also seems she wanted to remind us of the past more recently because she still has concerns.

According to Variety,** after coming out recently to a mostly positive response and ultimately feeling a weight was lifted, she still says, "... while she’s grateful that young LGBTQ artists like Lil Nas X have found acceptance in the industry, she fears that some things will never change. “Men still run the labels and they probably will forever, and if they have to create you, they will,” she says. “So it’s still tough for female MCs, producers and writers if you don’t have the support of a major male artist backing you — or if you’re not super-duper sexy and have some big titties and a nice ass and can twerk."

So women should be fuckable and super-duper sexy to everybody, men and women. 

Don't discriminate.  

. . .

"The straight male world has convinced young women the l word is a slur," according to The Advocate.**

"Don't get me wrong — bisexual and pansexual identities are beautiful, unique, and valid. But I see so many girls who have romantic and sexual feelings only toward other women use the terms 'gay' or 'queer,' while running away from 'lesbian.' Why? The world has long told us that 'lesbian' is a bad word."

. . .

"What 'queer' is affirming, or who exactly it identifies, has never been clear, though," says Arc Digital**.

"For many people, it is simply another way of saying 'LGBT.' Even I, as a writer, have referred to 'the queer community' to break up the monotony of using the same acronym over and over. Last year them., an LGBTQ publication, asked nine people who identify as queer what it means and, predictably, got nine different answers. Daniel Reynolds, the social media director at The Advocate (America’s premier LGBT magazine), said queer is 'a synonym for ‘not straight,’ which seems to be the way most people have used the term.

"If this is the case, 'queer' doesn’t mean LGBT, but rather a political philosophy or even affectation which would exclude many LGBT people whose politics are more mainstream or — get your smelling salts ready — conservative. Coming out as 'queer,' then, would not be about sexuality or gender identity at all. Rather, being 'queer' is about having sufficiently left-wing politics and would, by that definition, exclude some LGBT people but include some straight people who reject what they view as heteronormative social institutions, such as marriage and monogamy. Therefore, by 'coming out as queer,' a straight person could ostensibly be coming out as…straight, but left wing."

. . .

Katie Herzog of the Stranger** reports that more and more people "identify as queer."

"It's not just that more people are coming out as gay, lesbian, bi, or trans, it's that the definition of 'queer' has expanded to include basically anyone who has anything other than penis-in-vagina missionary-position sex. 'Queer' has become less and less a descriptor of who you sleep with than a way of signaling one's political ideology.

"What does it mean, really, this term? 'Queer' started out as a descriptor, then a slur, then was reclaimed by gay, bi, and trans people, and now it's evolved into near meaninglessness. 'Queer' now includes straight men who like to get pegged by their girlfriends, kinky people, poly people, people who don't have sex at all (asexuals), people who only have sex with those they are emotionally attracted to (demisexuals), people who only have sex with those they are intellectually attracted to (sapiosexuals), and the entire and ever-expanding nonbinary family, which, the last time I looked, included dozens of subsets like agender, agenderflux, androgyne, aporagender, bigender, butch, demiboy, demigender, and demigirl. And that's just the first few letters under the enby umbrella. 'Queer' is so expansive that it can include nearly everyone, including people who are actually straight."

. . .

The New York Times** also wonders, "When everyone can be "queer," is anyone?"

"And 'queer' has come to serve as a linguistic catchall for this broadening spectrum of identities, so much so that people who consider themselves straight, but reject heteronormativity, might even call themselves queer. But when everyone can be queer, is anyone?  

"Maybe we are relying on a single word, a single idea, a single identity, to do too much."

. . .

Back to the Stranger,**  "Immediately I was all about this new word. 'Paper or plastic?' the cashier would ask me at the grocery store. 'Queer,' I'd say, 'I'm queer.' The term 'lesbian' quickly came to seem old-school and antiquated, something that signified you just didn't get it. Lesbians drove Subarus and wore cargo shorts; queers rode fixies and didn't need 16 pockets in their khakis. The distinction was political, as well. Lesbians were normies; queers were anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-marriage, anti-monogamy, anti-gender, and—for me at least—anti having a full-time job. Instead, I worked 20 hours a week at wherever would have me and spent the rest of my time getting in trouble and hanging out with my friends—all of whom, of course, were queer too.

"But, gradually, things began to change. ... Queer became normal, widespread, mainstream. And one day, I saw the very same rednecks in Big Johnson T-shirts—or at least their high-school girlfriends—casually referring to themselves as queer on Facebook. It didn't matter if you were a married mother of two whose closest same-sex experience was watching Ellen; you, too, could be queer."

. . .

Back to the NYT**:  "Facebook, which can be seen as a kind of social census, now offers nearly 60 different gender options, including “questioning” and “bigender” — or no gender at all. In a new commercial for Calvin Klein, Young Thug, a slender rapper prone to wearing dresses, states that he feels “there’s no such thing as gender.”

. . .

And now Julia Serano in Excluded:  Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, "The truth is, there is no actual gender system, but rather just countless different sexist double standards.

. . .

"With this being the case,**  gender-neutral ‘gay’ and 'queer' have become sexual 'safe havens' for young women. But using androcentric or gender-neutral terms as if 'basically the same' for men and women has proven harmful to women after all.

"‘Gay’ may be welcomed as an umbrella term for the wider LGBT community, but it also remains primarily used for gay men. Such an androcentric ‘normal’, extended to represent the whole community, is equally seen in the rainbow flag which dominates Pride, and all the rainbow-branded merch that entails. Whilst other sexualities have their own, separate flags, gay men do not. ‘Rainbow’ means everyone, and ‘rainbow’ means gay men. Somewhere along the line, ‘everyone’ and ‘gay men’ have started to converge. ...

"... However, as ‘gay’ slopes towards its grave as a schoolyard insult, it’s tempting to wonder whether ‘lesbian’ might have won a similar fate, had activism not centred around the de-facto male-focused word ‘gay’. ...

"... It is telling that, of the top 10 all-time highest-grossing LGBT films in the US, every single one of these is about gay men, or a male same-sex relationship. There is a deceptive paradox in claiming that ‘gay’ refers to everyone regardless of gender, without remaining open to further debate: for if ‘gay’ is theoretically an umbrella term, in practice, the benefits and discourse it generates are predictably cis-male oriented. This tide of male-centred, ostensibly ‘gay’ media sweeps gay women’s own, lacking representation neatly under the rug. ...

"... What’s in a name, then? The balance between representation and comparative invisibility. ... 'Lesbian’ has been historically hijacked, warped to distortion by the male gaze: no more. The media’s ghoulish and slandered ‘lesbian’ has held her vampiric court long enough. It is time to acknowledge the word’s classical, romantic roots. An ancient poet once let her love for other women be known so exquisitely, lesbians today take their name from her home.

"It’s time to shake off the stigma."


** We wish it didn't need to be said but still probably does that just because we quoted someone isn't a promise we're on their "team" and thus promise to agree with everything else they said before or will say later.  We can't even agree with our own wives 100% of the time.  We're just saying whatever we said about whatever we quoted, nothing regarding everything else they've ever said or ever will say forevermore . . . 

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

There is SO much here to think about and respond to it's hard to know where to start. My own reluctance to use the word lesbian even as I was discovering that I was one? Where did that come from? (When lesbians don't want to call themselves 'lesbians' and feminists don't want to call themselves 'feminists', who makes us think these are unpalatable words? I think I know the answer.) Or... How reclaiming 'queer' isn't the same as reclaiming 'dyke' (as in the kind you watch out for) because one is a synonym and one leads to erasure, or at least perhaps a kind of neutering? (Someone can probably think of a better word for that.) Or... What if it is not semantics, what if it is convenience? There are more syllables in 'homosexual' and 'lesbian' (or even saying 'LGBTQ') than just the one in 'gay'. As a label, it's short and simple, and I think this makes it an attractive option for use. Of course, Ellen came out on the cover of Time Magazine (and on her show) by saying "Yup I'm Gay" not "Yup I'm a Lesbian." Was this also a reflection of 'gay' being more palatable to the masses? I don't think 'gay' is going away any time soon because we are always looking for shorthands for things. (See the rebranding of restaurants and products and celebrity couples as examples.) In short --not that this has been-- there are multiple obstacles here pushing the word 'lesbian' out of use, out of acceptance. Aargh. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

And as we fight over names, the planet is burning & certain psychopathic "leaders" are destroying their own countrymen/toying with nuclear weapons.

Claim whatever title you wish and make no excuses or apologies. If the people around you (who have no skin in the game) have an issue-- then they can well & truly FO. I live for me & my children. I take care of myself & family & I owe no one explanation of myself or my life.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...