WARNING: RANT IN PROGRESS
It is 100 per cent organically, fair-traded true that I am qualified to write about things lesbian: I am a card-carrying worshipper of women who’s love/life interests and relationships since I came out are only with women and oh, doesn’t that just make me a lesbian.
I’ve been writing a while now, albeit mostly for business, or articles for community and trade publications and such. It’s only recently that I’ve written anything of a more personal nature, and I continue to ponder whether the voice with which I write makes me a lesbian writer, a writer who just happens to be a lesbian or if being a lesbian even matters.
SIDEBAR: (Alert: potential offensive comment) I believe in rights, but identity politics troubles me. While helpful perhaps from the various perspectives of hip-hop-happening, of-the-minute, tweeted infonewsytainment fashion, academia, queerism, feminism, social change, inclusionism, fringe and mainstreaming groups — not to mention sales and marketing opportunities — seems to me that identity politics is simply step two in an evolving rights-based culture; a sort of social, cultural adolescence within wealthy democratic countries where everyone gets to break away from the big, dominant, majority/privileged culture/iceberg to form their own little clique/iceberg — or clicks as Americans pronounce the term — and float around in the cultural waters with distinctive and easily identified plumage easy for the OTHER to spot and therefore stereotype.
Categories are so tribal, primitive brain, ancient, semiotic — of the pragmatics sort, Victorian, cultish, binary; useful for some things and not others. And some bi-peds that pass as human are in fact still functioning with that reptilian, proto-human brains.
I wrinkle my nose at first and final-point fundamentalism of categorism when applied to a person, previous sentence notwithstanding.
I say this totally thankful for the political efforts of all the women who stood up for women’s rights, and all the brave people before and since Stonewall, and all the people before and since the Pink Triangle Press and before and since the bath house raids here in Toronto. Without those people who stood up during those social/legal battles, gay people in Canada (and elsewhere) would not have the right to get married, experience a legal divorce, or wonder why we feel so mainstream as to be invisible again, except for those of us who are taking Sue Sylvester’s challenge to Swish it up a bit.
Human brains might be programmed to categorize, but we often forget to think after slotting people into a category. While efficient from an evolutionary standpoint, putting someone is a box is categorically inconsiderate.
But I digress.
I launched this blog to explore whether or not I have a lesbian voice outside of a few poems, and if so, what might that voice sound like and what does it have to say?
Things to write about from my lesbian perspective were not exactly jumping out at me. I am firm in my own guidelines to not write too much about politics, celesbians or sex. There are many voices writing about those topics.
So after my last post about broken hearts, love and ending relationships, I took a walk with my dog to consider what to do with the voice I wasn’t hearing and next steps with this blog. Turns out I carried a strange sense of responsibility toward the people who subscribe to the blog and to my friends who read it and call to share their thoughts on what they read here.
Where it Landed
By the end of my walk, I reached a decision. The blog has served its purpose. Time to close it down. I sat at my Mac prepared to send a tailored note to each of the 10 subscribers and call my friends to inform them of the blog’s take-down date and explain why. Before I got to work, I took a few minutes to revisit the pages, the poems, posts and comments. Amazing how stuff accumulates, isn’t it?
WordPress, the blog’s service provider, lets bloggers know what Search terms people use that lands them at your blog. Since launching in December, the search terms that land people here are rather unremarkable and consistent: lesbian, lesbian life, no-one knows I’m a lesbian.
As I was drafting the close-down note, my eyes wandered back to that part of the screen. Hmm. A new term. I had to blink twice to make sure I was seeing it correctly:
Woman wants a lesbian experience.
The UnLanding of my Lesbian voice
I read it again, looking at the screen thinking, give to me a freaking break. Are you kidding me?
EEP! My voice, a mix of editor, writer, semantically sensitive communicator, complete with iced, haughty, righteous lesbian over and undertones came out in full force, about to go all sorts of red-pencil arrogant on that search term.
First. The grammar, the words, the idiom, the entire sentence, is all WRONG, WRONG and oh, WRONG. Redundant. Not smart. A man cannot have a lesbian experience because (BIG SECRET REVEALED) only women can be lesbians. Except for some of the (former) men lesbians I know and lesbians who say they sleep with men. So I am thinking that it is a MAN who keyed it in for his wife. Without sounding too quick to categorize or too judgemental and trying to forget a very bad memory, EEEEEW!
Second. Exactly what lesbian experience is Woman Wants seeking? I COULD assume it’s the same old stuff:
lesbian = SEX, with a woman
But perhaps not? Am I guilty of assuming something I ought not to assume?
I started to ponder the notion of a lesbian experience, and oh my goddess, didn’t a travel brochure appear in my mind’s eye and hands with the following copy on the panels:
Women, are you a Wannabe Lezgirl?
Thinking of riding the BiCurious highway?
Want to explore lady love in beautiful surroundings? Looking for that ULTIMATE, ORGASMIC vacation?
Look No further. Book Your exclusive Lesbian Experience (LE) today.
Over the course of your stay, our Luscious Lesbians or BiKnowledgeable Babes will treat you to everything lesbian from grain recipes, flirting, and drama, through to earth-shattering orgasms complete with cunning, linguistic lesbian lyrics.
Or, if you find your constant craving is for that one of a many kind of tank-topped, tantalizing Boi, we have a uniquely situated ranch fully outfitted to give you the range of lesbian experience that only a Boi can offer.
Whatever your Lesbian Experience needs or desires, we at LE are here to make sure your stay with us is everything you dreamed it would be and, oh, oh OH!!!! so much more.
There are SO many different kinds of lesbian experiences to choose from, dear Woman Wants, because NEWS FLASH: not ALL lesbian experiences are sexual. In case you didn’t learn in your Manifesting What You Want in Life class, you gotta be specific. Following are examples of some lesbian experiences to consider.
1. Unrequited crush on a girl or woman. Go to the library, the grocery store, the beach, book stores. Spot a woman you find appealing and begin without even knowing it, to like her. Pine for her a bit. Dream about her. Then try to talk to her with your heart in your throat and your heart beat as fast as any drum corps. Let her talk a lot about the boys/men she’s interested in. That’s a lesbian experience.
2. Come Out. Take your best friend, your parents, your boyfriend, your husband somewhere quiet and tell them that you have just discovered that you are a lesbian; that your emotional, sexual, and every other self is for women and women only, and try explaining to some of them that it is not a matter of not having met the right man, and no, it’s not just a phase, and no, you will not get dyke haircut number three (even if you plan to get number four). Or don’t take them anywhere. Just blurt it out in the middle of the kitchen. Either way? Totally a lesbian experience.
3. Tell a guy who’s very interested in you that you are a lesbian, and no, as much as you a flattered with his declarations of undying love, you are not interested in anything more than friendship with him. You will find responses ranging from violence through to tender, understanding tears but regardless of response, it’s totally a lesbian experience.
4. Put your partner’s name on your health benefits and watch the HR person’s face do strange things. Wait for questions like, is that a boy’s name? Totally a lesbian experience.
5. Two women. In bed, or not, but together in that you know, relationship way. Throw in a little out-of-sync PMS. Nobody talks about that as part of the lesbian experience, do they now? Totally a lesbian experience.
6. Be afraid that you will lose your job or your life if people find out that you are a lesbian.
7. Two women, exchanging, “I love you more than….” for the entire course of their relationship: TOTALLY a lesbian experience.
That’s just a sampling. Experience is influenced by geography, education, class, culture, music, intelligence, dance moves and hair style; however, all this to say to you dear Woman Wants: the lesbian experience is not restricted to the bedroom.
I get that sexual variety is interesting and arousing. There is certainly NOTHING wrong with tumbling into bed for no-strings sex. But it is also grrrrrsome and galling that straight women objectify sex between women. Geez. We lesbians believe that right belongs to us.
Take your search term copy, refine it. I hope you find that which you seek. And thank you, or your man for keying in the search term, which brings me back to my first point. My lesbian voice. This blog.
Cue second landing point.
Perhaps it’s not about a lesbian voice after all. It is the fact that AS a lesbian, I have a something to say about things pertinent to being a lesbian, that affect lesbians, and what THIS lesbian might think about the wild, wacky, wonderful world in which we live that other lesbians can read. And this too is a lesbian experience.
At least that’s where it’s landed today.