Remember V, he of the sexting saga? (If you don’t, you can refresh your memory here and read about my friends’ mixed reactions here.) As expected, he was not delighted with that blog post. However, he tempered his apologies for having made me feel uncomfortable with reiterations that all his actions were motivated from a desire to get to know me, and what was he supposed to do when I wasn’t being forthcoming? #ThatIsTheWholePointYouMissedBuddy I expected him to unfriend me, but he didn’t. I didn’t much care either way, as I anticipated little to no further interaction with him.
My anticipation proved incorrect. He occasionally likes my pictures, drunk messages me 1x per month, and has spoken of his continued desire to move to Montreal. I rarely respond to these gambits, until he messaged me this, following a Facebook status about Brown Socks’ bachelor party:
In case there is any doubt that V’s socially awkward comment is a one-off, let me disabuse y’all:
- Dynamo, my darling Dynamo, periodically tells me how much he dislikes my short hair and why must I do that to myself, I am making myself look like a lesbian;
- I once met an Emmy award-winning soap opera star. I did not fawn over him, which so piqued his vanity he asked me, “Are you sure you aren’t gay?”
- My therapist, very respected in his field, once joked that if I was finding dating so hard, I should just give up and become a lesbian. He also asked me why I would call myself a feminist and cut myself “off from half the population.” These 2 comments so shocked me, I considered dropping him as a therapist. (Turns out that despite these narrow-minded comments he really is excellent at what he does and I need to learn to not judge people too harshly based on the words they say. Something I clearly struggle with.)
FINE. I have short hair, am a tall woman, weigh more than half my guy friends, am muscular, and enjoy sports that are traditionally male-dominated. Fine, I challenge (slightly) the feminine archetype. I still subscribe to many characteristics that are strongly associated with being feminine: I don’t own a single pair of business slacks – I only wear skirts and dresses at work, I wear makeup, heels and own an astonishing jewelry and purse collection and my favourite colour really is pink. I aspire to be an Amazon, an archetype which differs from the traditional feminine image in that an Amazon is powerful and fierce. Fine, my physique, character and behaviour make me unusual. What is not fine is when men interpret my uniqueness and differences from their perception of the feminine norm as a valid indication that I am not heterosexual. What is even less fine how the term “lesbian” is used here to imply that I am less than fully female, as though BEING FULLY FEMALE MEANS BEING HETEROSEXUAL.
All of these examples use the word “lesbian” similarly to the expression “like a girl”. Just as Always’ masterful campaign showed “like a girl” is currently used as an insult, to imply a person’s actions are lesser and inferior to those of a manly ideal, the use of lesbian in all of these examples is used to imply I am less attractive, as though attractiveness to the male gender were the only barometer that existed. Being lesbian, or any sexual orientation, is not an indication of being less feminine or less female. It shouldn’t be a term used to insult heterosexual women, just like being straight shouldn’t be used to insult homosexuals.
I can have short hair, like boxing, be accepted by the boys at a bachelor party and still like the cock. Just like I can wear sexy, figure-hugging feminine dresses and fuck-me shoes and be a lesbian.
Men, just be aware that when you say these things, you reveal your own unflattering biases.