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"Are you "political lesbians?"


lesbotronic

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(Preamble:  We've received more email in response to this and this and the initial posts in this section.  We're offering zero guarantee of a personal reply to anyone sending questions via email, especially non-members.  But if we get same or extremely similar more than a few times, we might write about them here just so we can point to this section as a broader reply.

Questions in quotes were asked via email unless otherwise credited.  Some are approximate with same meaning, as we standardized the language and removed some profanity and a few words many consider slurs for clarity, plus a bit more politeness.)

 

"Are you "political lesbians?"

"So then your politics as a political lesbian is why you don't date trans women with penises?"

"If y'all are lesbians who don't date men with penises, does that make you political lesbians?"  

 


As I understand it, some feel "political lesbian" is pejorative, others legitimately positive?

I haven't personally known many women who used this phrase, either to describe themselves or other lesbians.  But we've been asked quite a few times lately.


Here's wikipedia on political lesbianism.

While that article is full of controversial political stuff seemingly reflected in some competing ideas, this chunk seems key:

"They argued that women should abandon support of heterosexuality and stop sleeping with men, while encouraging women to rid men "from your beds and your heads".[4] While the main idea of political lesbianism is to be separate from men, this does not necessarily mean that political lesbians have to sleep with women; some choose to be celibate or identify as asexual. The Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group definition of a political lesbian is "a woman identified woman who does not fuck men". 

 


Well.  Speaking for myself, my lesbianism started with wanting to have physical plus emotional plus sexual plus whatever-else-I-could-manage intimacy with women.   I imagined that was a future I wanted from a single digit age.

And I can honestly say that since I embarked upon IRL lesbianism several years later, nope, wouldn't call that "political."  Because I doubt I'd be described as political at all back then, in terms of my lesbianism or any other way I can imagine right now.

SO!  I'm a "Gold Star" lesbian then, some have wondered?

Nope!  

(insert screeching car brakes, then loud crashing and humans screaming)

Despite the auspicious and audacious (according to me) lesbian kickoff  . . . I detoured into dating dudes for a long minute not so long after.  

 


So how the hell did that happen?

My own psychotherapy-enhanced retrospective analysis of self points toward an upbringing within conservative Christianity (what many now call the Religious Right) coupled with a lack of lesbian role models to supply any seemingly realistic alternative.

No one forced me to date any XYs.  I was strongly encouraged, never forced.

But the way I was raised, if a man who seemed appropriate with admirable personal qualities expressed interest . . . who the hell was I to say no, really?  If I said no, that was arrogant.  And what happened to women arrogant enough to say no to men with admirable personal qualities?  

Struck down some kinda way!  Definitely maybe!

So, even though I still imagined a future with women, as I had all along?  I still felt obligated to give it a go with several dudes first.  Like, if I dated several dudes sincerely trying to affect a positive mindset but still couldn't manage a vision of he and I (any of 'em) entering holy matrimony then living happily ever after . . . 

. . . it might be acceptable to say no.  

But refusing any attempt to do as my parents and their church not only instructed but sincerely seemed to believe was my excruciatingly important personal path to happiness to the exclusion of all others was too much for my younger self.  Silly as I know it sounds to most who weren't raised in religion, I imagined if I refused to comply it'd be like waving my hand in the air to volunteer for divine punishment.

Now I know feminists call this "compulsory heterosexuality."

Which I had for a few years.  Until I shook it off.  

Some Americans indoctrinated into the gender religion want any XX to imagine she must choose between Bible-banging social conservatism OR denying the scientific and material reality of dimorphic biological sex and sexual orientation.  Pick one or the other!  No Door #3!

But if gender ideologues actually wanted to consider women who were raised in traditional religion then took a lesbian left turn, like me . . . 

. . . we're very compelling arguments otherwise.

 

 

"Why do you call that "compulsory heterosexuality?"

There are whole books written on this, but short version:  I know if I had turned out heterosexual as preordained by my father's religion, there's near zero likelihood I would have felt compelled to "try out some lesbians" before eventually marrying a man instead.

 


"So why wouldn't you just call yourself bisexual, just like everyone else?"

I define my orientation based on IRL behavior, not just imaginatively.

While I do have a bisexual past, it was quite a while ago.  While my distant past won't change, my recent past, current behavior, and future intention have all been nothing but lesbian for many years.  

If I thought there was as much as a 1% chance I'd ever want to experience sex with a penis ever again, I'd absolutely identify as bisexual instead.

My father's religion was a sexist oppression I did have to reject in order to create a decent life for myself, so rejecting the penis was a whole personal evolution story for me.  

No, I'm not going to reconsider or reverse my evolution now because "gender ideology."  And when "gender ideology" instructs me "educate myself" into "at least reconsidering" dating someone with a penis all over again?

The only thing I understand is I am not the woman you want me to be according to your sexist belief system that I do not share.

 


"But female sexuality is fluid, flexible, formless and free-flowing!"

Some bisexual women are more fluid sexually, yes.  (However, we now know many fewer IRL than imaginatively.)

But repeating this in reply to my assertion that mine is NOT, at least not formlessly free-flowing enough to accommodate a penis ever again, is not an honest assessment or even an attempt at understanding.

It's trying to inflict your religious or academic-sounding wishful thinking upon me, while hoping I'll be too discombobulated by your word salad to refuse.

The sexist hypocrisy here is other than the compulsory heterosexuality some conservative religions still inflict upon men too . . . this rarely goes the other way.

Sexism provides many XY with this narcissism, that he gets stakes and a share in XX sexuality.

That I am how he says I am because he said so, and he is how he says he is because he said so too!

I have zero motivation to tell any law-abiding XY he should take my notes on his sex life.

But how much confidence do you have if I gave any random XY some instructions anyway, he'd cheerfully comply?

 


"But the life experience of growing up XX versus XY isn't all that different!"

"Biological sex is all just individual or what you choose to make of it."

When I first heard this POV, I thought it was beyond idiotic.  (Sorry not sorry.)

It's also a false dichotomy.  While most of our existence is impacted by our emotional reactions, of course, "it" or sexism still objectively exists on its own.  

But after relating this absurdity to a few XY I imagined intellectually rational, I think it's easier for many to imagine we're way more similar than we could be.  Unfortunately, some suffer from the solipsistic outlook that if they were never that negatively affected by sexism, it couldn't have been that serious for anyone else either.

And if sexism isn't something that ever impacted them so much, it'd be better if everyone stopped discussing it.  Stop bumming XY out with this tediousness.  Talking about sexism is not sexy for THEM!

I've also come to believe that if you're XX and don't imagine almost all XX are affected by sexism, you're exceedingly privileged or just very young and yet to experience much of anything at all.


If you are someone without:

  • the emotional experience of being physically female in a sexist world
  • the knowledge that your particularly XX body moving through life affects how you feel about everything and everyone
  • the struggle of making the best of being born XX no matter the sexism, no matter how you feel about being born XX otherwise, no matter how you label yourself or how you dress
  • the felt need to maintain some semblance of an authentic self instead of succumbing to the overwhelming weight of sexist expectations


You and I don't have enough in common for an intimate relationship, not according to me.

If I met another XX who felt zero struggle with sexism, that her entire life and adult personality could have been exactly the same even if she'd been born with a Y chromosome, I wouldn't have enough in common for a truly intimate relationship with her either.

 

 

"How unusual are your opinions?"

We can finally tell we're not the only ones noticing XX are often caught between two different forms of sexism.

"All radicalized social movements attract a backlash. And genderwang has proven no exception—as evidenced by the brutal reaction to CNN’s recently published Guide to Neopronouns, from ae to ze. The guide introduced CNN readers to something called “nounself pronouns,” which “use nature and other inspirations as non-binary or genderless descriptors.” (Example: “For someone who uses the nounself pronoun ‘leaf,’ that may look like: ‘I hope leaf knows how proud we are that leaf is getting to know leafself better!’”) Just a few years ago, this kind of article would have been politely ignored by mainstream readers, who were willing to dismiss this mangling of the English language as a mere campus fad. But things changed in 2022, when a biological man named Lia Thomas made a mockery of the NCAA women’s swimming championships. For the first time, it dawned on the average citizen that, yes, there are ideologues out there who actually believe (or, at least, pretend to believe) that saying “I’m a woman” acts as a sort of magic spell upon the male body.

... And in the UK, a major victory for common sense was scored last month when the country’s Labour Party finally acknowledged the fairly obvious (but formerly unutterable) truths that (1) self-declared “gender identity” differs from actual biological sex; (2) trans rights must be balanced against the need for girls and women to maintain protected sex-based spaces; and (3) public policies based on unfettered self-identification are untenable."

 

Our goal is never to be unkind, but to stick up for XX lesbians . . . and the other demographics that tended to spend time with them in lesbian bars . . . when that was cool with those lesbians too, as they chose (or not) as individuals, for themselves.

If anyone's reaction to that last bit is anything other than cheering us on, that's yup say it again sexism!


. . . 


"So are we "political lesbians?""

For us this is very much sex, and also very much more than sex.

It started with sex, wanting various forms of intimacy with other XX like ourselves . . . then matured into asking ourselves what that should mean now, who we're trying to support or connect with, and how else to help out other women like us too, maybe perhaps?

 

SO:   Personally and politically we're most interested in other XX possessed of a deeply shared sympathy for exactly how the fuck we turned out this way!  Hey!

And we would never deny anyone else's different struggle that's meaningful for them more specifically.

(But especially if you're lesbian, you may be encountering sexists who seem less inclined to return that favor.)

(And noting this is how we're being "political lesbians" right now, thanks for noticing.)


 

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