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8. lesbian sexuality, oh no!

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Here's Holly Lawford-Smith, a senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Melbourne, being interviewed.

We're gonna quote a LOT, not even gonna paraphrase, since we're agreeing, hope she wouldn't mind:


"Many lesbian, gay and bisexual people understand their sexuality to relate to the sex, not the gender (or gender identity), of their prospective partners. That is to say, lesbians are same-sex attracted females, and gay men are same-sex attracted males, and bisexuals are attracted to both females and males. These are minority identities that stand in contrast to the dominant heterosexuality of our societies. (I’m writing from Australia, but this is true everywhere.)

"Recently, there’s been an attempt by parts of the trans movement to reframe some lesbian, gay and bisexual identities as ‘transphobic’, on the grounds that they exclude trans people of the opposite sex. For example, lesbians who refuse to date trans women (in particular, trans women who have penises), gay men who refuse to date trans men (in particular, trans men who have vulvas), and bisexuals who refuse to date trans people (perhaps because they prefer congruence between sex and gender identity in their partners) stand accused of transphobia.

"A recent study on the exclusion of trans people from dating found that only 12 per cent of respondents were willing to consider dating trans people (the study had 958 participants, 951 of whom were cis). Only 1.8 per cent of straight women and 3.3 per cent of straight men said that they’d date a trans person. Lesbian and gay people were a little more willing, with 11.5 per cent of gay men and 29 per cent of lesbians being willing to date a trans person. The most willing group was bisexual, queer and nonbinary people, 52 per cent of whom were willing to date a trans person."


We noticed this ourselves in our own data, here:  sexism sucks


"Despite the fact that straight people were the most unwilling, and gay men much less willing than lesbians, the social pile-on has been focused on lesbians."


Um, hello?  Also yes, here:  are we obscene?


"The fact that lesbians are mostly unwilling to date trans women is often interpreted by trans women and their allies as evidence of transphobia, a failure to really accept the claim that ‘trans women are women’. But a better explanation is available: lesbianism is a not a political position, it’s a sexuality."

"Lesbians don’t exclude males because they’ve failed to reflect critically on society’s feeding them negative stereotypes about males! On the contrary, society relentlessly feeds them positive stereotypes about males, which they have to actively fight against in order to claim their own sexualities."


Cheers, and thanks a lot, Holly Lawford-Smith!

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lesbotronic, I enjoy reading your entries. I don't have much to say, but that's true even IRL. I don't do social media at all, and I'm 65 and not looking to date anyone, but I still like to keep some sort of connection to lesbian space. I'm completely baffled by all the gender stuff, but I do know that it's "same stuff, different day" when it comes to sexism.

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Thanks for the compliment!  But you don't sound baffled to us, as this:


milly33 said:

I do know that it's "same stuff, different day" when it comes to sexism.


. . . is a good one-sentence summary of this whole section, actually.

To elaborate in case that was too vague, we imagine it's much more difficult for very young women to identify sexism the same way women with more experience with sexism and life in general actually can.  

The sexism of now has exactly the same motivations and intended outcomes of all the sexism that came before . . . now dressed up in newer progressive **sounding** language to gaslight you into going along with it.

Sexism will pretend sexism is good for women by calling itself something else, something pretending it's actually wonderful, so women will feel social pressure to go along to get along.  This is an historical pattern.

Once one manifestation falls somewhat out of favor (traditional patriarchal religion), sexists will come up with their next "mens' rights movement," then shame women into cooperating in similar ways.

Because sadly, this often works with many, at least for a good long while.

Now speaking only for ourselves here, we're unfortunately not immune.  We still struggle to identify and shoot down sexism in our own psyches as well.

We just haven't been gaslit by sexism into imagining sexism went away, or that refocusing on "genders" instead will ever help the vast majority of XX in any material meaningful way.

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