Oh, those silly straight women, the ones in need of airtime. Who create churn and who get quoted. Who open their mouths to let silly words tumble forth which then get picked up and used to fill space and time by silly media whose business it is to make money finding and broadcasting such stilly things to the silly masses.
Why silly? Well, we’re supposed to be sophisticated people. Educated. Informed. Knowledgeable. And yet? There are some seriously silly straight women out there who think that their life would be so much better and less painful in the romance, love, relationship departments if only they were gay because everything is so much easier (read: less painful) if a woman is in a relationship with a woman.
AfterEllen.com ran a post about a music video called I Wish I was Gay by an American actress/singer/someone in search of celebrity or notoriety, Jessica Lowndes. The video’s premise is that a woman wishes she was gay because all the guys she chooses treat her all the same as in, presumably, badly. Then there was her interview with an American newspaper.
“I wrote the song when I was going through a bad breakup, and I think it is something all girls can relate to,” she said. “When they’ve gone through a bad breakup, they want to throw up their hands and say, ‘I wish I didn’t have to deal with this anymore.’ We all say we wish we were a little gay.”
All girls? All girls she knows? All girls in the world? Girls not women? A little gay? What on earth is a little gay??
Perhaps I should give her a discount on my world-class media training, the one that teaches you how to graciously keep your mouth closed when you are so out of your element that opening your mouth will let people know that you do not have a clue.
But back to the video: the music is bad. The lyrics are worse. The concept as realized is cliché. And she brags about having creative control. She shouldn’t have. No, really. The interview was bad, even allowing for some editorial hijinks.
But allowing for how awful the video is, and the adolescent comments in the interview, what struck me is the absolute invisibility of lesbian, because Goddess knows, straight women don’t want to be considered lesbian, because that term — lesbian — is far too loaded with political, psychiatric, clinical, noxious baggage. No one except academics and radicals want to be associated with that label, lesbian. In fact, younger women coming out now are increasingly disavowing the term lesbian, preferring to use the term gay. After all, it’s a far more upbeat, inclusive term, isn’t it? Aren’t we all happy, shiny people? We’re nothing like those serious feminist lesbians. We’re gay! Or some refuse any label of any kind: lesbian, queer, straight. The ultimate in the maturing notion of identity and me-ism. I am just me and that’s the only label I need. Don’t box me in, don’t define me, and don’t think you know me by a label I chose not to use.
Full disclosure: I am adjusting to the term ‘gay girl’ and yes it takes up less space when texting, but, I do not have to like it much. I like the cadence of three syllables of les-bee-ahn, to the short, curt, to the point, monosyllabic gay. To me, les-bee-ahn is a linguistic, semiotic reflection of women in the same way the word gay is for men. But I get it: taking back a slur, an epithet was the last generation’s strategy. It is not so much a thing that this generation feels a need to do.
Gay today? No way
Meanwhile, back to the subject at hand. A certain level of controversy can drive sales of product. The song, I Kissed a Girl gave Katy Perry a hit record and started lots of conversation around the world. It was, on the surface, a fun dance song about a thing that seems to happen for women in their 20s: a few drinks, a few kisses, that gave a taste of Cherry Chapstick and innocent play. Ya, right. Nothing like controversy to get more people to find out what the fuss is all about.
Perhaps I Wish I was Gay is meant to be edgier, meaner. Perhaps it was designed to garner interest and sales for Lowndes so that she can get picked up by some star-making music machine. I’d say it falls flat, but for that to be true it would actually have to rise to something, and it doesn’t because it’s just plain bad. Gay in the title just to get the attention?
Oh, some straight women are silly.
To believe that it’s easier to be in a relationship with a woman compared to a relationship with a man; to believe that the kind of hurts which happen in a relationship with a man are not going to happen with a woman, well, that’s just silliness squared. And sadly, it’s sexist. You see, for a woman (or girl) to think that it’s easier to be in a relationship with a woman seems to suggest that a woman’s relationship with another woman can only be considered counterpoint to a relationship with a man, that being with a man is the only real, meaningful relationship for a woman to have, and that a relationship with a woman is second best, a knock-off of a real relationship, a pretend, wannabee but never will be, a real relationship.
That view, that it’s easier for a woman to be with a woman than it is for a woman to be with a man, suggests that a relationship between women lacks depth, emotional richness, intensity, ferocity, grace, sweetness, anger, contentment, happiness, fun, and all the other things that are felt and happen in a real relationship. That view also suggests that relationships between women don’t have the kind of emotional investments that can lead to being hurt, crushed, having your heart broken to bits. On the other hand, that view also suggests that women don’t do stupid things to each other, either. An equally sexist view.
Oh, silly, silly straight women who continue to regurgitate such culturally construed crap that only a man is the pinnacle for a relationship, and if that’s not working, go to the next not-as-good thing available, those gay girls you might play with are hardly going to make you or turn you gay.
It is true that men and women are different. And it is equally true that not every woman is like every other woman, which means being in a relationship with a woman is nothing like being in a relationship with your mirror self.
For those silly straight women who think it’s easier to be in a relationship with women, there are only three ways that’s possible:
- approaching a relationship with a woman as if it means nothing, with no emotional investment. Just go for the dancing and the sex and the make-up and the clothes or cuddling, and for someone to go places with and nothing more. Don’t share anything of yourself; or
- realizing that relationships with men are not what you want and that you might actually be a lesbian; or
- recognizing that romantic, emotional relationships are not something you want or need but feel socially pressured to have happen in your life. None of that is of any interest to you with anyone, man or woman.
It may surprise some silly straight women, but, women can be jerks and assholes too. And just like men, they can do stupid things, like make really bad music videos, and be quoted saying things they know nothing about.
A relationship between two people who care about each other, who share intimacies, both emotional and physical, who trust each other, who open their vulnerabilities to each other, who offer loving consideration to each other, and who, at the end of the day, want to have a life, or at least a now, with each other that makes room for two people to be who they are, together and as individuals. There is an emotional bond that’s there, wrapped with similar values and a way of working things through. And love. There’s always love to consider, unless of course it isn’t there to begin with. And that’s about the choice of partner, isn’t it?
Seems the star of the video has some work to do in that area of her life because if she makes wrong choices with men, and is playing at gay, chances are she’ll make wrong choices with women because she won’t be able to take in that the only perfect relationship is one where two people want it, work at it, and accept each other as being imperfectly perfect for each other. Now THAT’S a video I’d love to see!
Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
NB: No straight women were harmed in the creation of this rant.