We Need To Come Together In Love & Support

So here’s the thing. We, as women, can disagree with each other and still support, like, and even love each other. I have been trying to be consistent with my blog and write in it at least once a week, but this last week or so has left me somewhat heartbroken, watching women on Facebook, Twitter, and different blogs argue over the debate of political lesbianism vs. lesbians who feel they were born that way.

I realize I sound a little kumbaya-ish or like a voice from the past asking, “Can’t we all just get along?” but this is pretty serious. Whether you consider yourself a lesbian who was born gay or whether you consider yourself a woman who came into being a lesbian through your politics, it doesn’t much matter to me. What matters to me is how we treat each other.

True, if one were to go by the older definition of a political lesbian, that is, a woman who is a celibate heterosexual who considers herself a lesbian just for the politics of it; and she is neither attracted to nor does she have sex with women, then that is unbelievably offensive in its appropriation of our lives and words as lesbians. But what I have been seeing over the past couple of weeks is that the older definition is used by few and the more recent definition of a political lesbian is a woman who discovered that she was a lesbian through her politics, through radical feminism. While I, personally, take serious issue with the former definition, I have no problem whatsoever with the latter.

But seriously, the vitriol on both sides is heartbreaking to watch. I have been seeing “born this way” (or b-t-w) lesbians speak poorly about political lesbians, I have seen political lesbians say some pretty terrible things about b-t-w lesbians, and in at least one case, I saw a woman try to out another woman’s pseudonym; and since I am also using a pseudonym, that last one concerns me greatly. It is completely disheartening to think that another woman might get angry with me when we disagree and try to out me all over the ‘net.

I also understand that these same arguments fly over other things like “gold star” lesbians vs. lesbians who came out later in life, lesbians who are for and against the butch-femme dynamic, and lesbians who are for or against BDSM. While I can understand how some women might feel about me identifying as a butch lesbian, it in no way would affect how I would treat those women, assuming of course that they are treating me with the same respect with which they themselves wish to be treated. The same goes for the “gold star” issue: since I have never had sex with a man, I suppose I would be considered a “gold star” lesbian, but I would never presume to deride my close friend (or any other lesbian) who figured things out after first getting married and having children. We are both lesbians, we are both feminists, we both put women first.

One would think that, instead of putting down women who feel they were born homosexuals or who believe they found lesbianism through their politics or who do or do not subscribe to the butch-femme dynamic or who are or are not “gold star” lesbians, that we would all just accept and support each other as we are and work together to fight the real threat to our and every other woman’s life on this planet: men.

Recently, a fellow lesbian got angry with me and cut all ties. Now, do I understand what the hell happened? Of course not, it came out of left field; but I support her right and her decision to not follow or speak to someone with whom she had a disagreement. Just as I love and support my family members who are conservatives; while I would fight tooth and nail against everything in which they believe, I support and love them as my family and as people who have the right to hold whatever beliefs they choose.

So know this: know that I support you all as my sisters. Regardless of how or when you came to be a lesbian (or if you even -are- a lesbian), regardless of whether or not I agree with everything you say (because I don’t, just as not all of you agree with everything I say), regardless of whether or not we “get along,” regardless of whether or not we even speak to each other, I put women first and you are all my sisters, so I support you all.

If I could ask one thing of all of you, it would be this: even if you disagree, even if you don’t even like each other, give one another all of your love and support. We cannot continue this fight against men, misogyny, the patriarchy when we are fighting each other.

 

 

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27 comments on “We Need To Come Together In Love & Support

  1. Miep says:

    Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
    I wish all this could be framed more around women putting women first, instead of around who is having sex with whom.

    This is a beautiful post and you are a beautiful person.

  2. BigBooButch says:

    Thank you πŸ™‚

  3. Miep says:

    also, I really prefer framing it as “lesbian ally” or something like that, because you are entirely correct that it’s appropriative, and indeed confusing, to call one’s self a lesbian if one does not have experience being romantically involved with women.

    And if a woman starts out being sexually involved with men and then later becomes strictly sexually involved with women, why does her name need a modifier?

    Also, I’m sorry you fell out with your friend, or she fell out with you. That stuff hurts.

  4. redhester says:

    dear sister, i love you and offer a warm embrace. sometimes loving in this age of depravity can wear me out. when that happens, my sisters are always there for me.

    if you ever need to just spew out your hurt or pain, please consider me your adoring and compassionate sister. i listen deeply and love loving. my email is radicalredhester at gee mail dot coma.

    really. i am happy to be a source of solace and care. woman to woman. ok?

    can you take a hot bath or do some act of self-care? self-care is how peace happens. dontcha know. πŸ™‚ xo

  5. BigBooButch says:

    Oh, we weren’t really friends, I barley knew her online; but I still support her in her anger over our disagreement.

    As to the need for qualifiers, we do that a lot in the butch-femme community as well. One cannot just declare oneself butch without also saying things like “female identified” or “male identified” or “stone,” etc. Part of me thinks it might be a product of our conditioning as women, we feel this need to explain ourselves in great detail so no one is confused. I mean, do men usually go beyond “gay” or “straight”?

  6. BigBooButch says:

    Thank you very much for your words and your offer of an ear and a shoulder; and yes, I did self care in the form of listening to some of my favorite music, burning some incense, and working a bit on a different kind of writing. πŸ™‚

  7. druidwinter says:

    Thankyou for your post. I am not a gold-star, but I have the same feelings and I am saddened that women dont extend such understanding for each other. ,. it is statically impossible for all of us to come from the same beginnings, and have a ‘clean record.’ Like many women, I did what I did to survive. It took years for me to change my life, safely. I dont judge other women in this way because of it., even if they are still stuck in a bad situation,. I also have sisters that were married off, that I will never see again because they do not even have full human rights and are considered ‘owned-things’.

    Even when we all seem to be on the same page direction wise, we need to respect the connection we have to what it means to be a female with rights, no matter how it was received or earned. I understand that this distrust comes from being burned, I was burned -many times, and took measures to protect myself by not putting impossible perfect standards on others[you dont get as disappointed in others], but I stopped burning women and being part of the problem., long ago. It doesnt help other women.

    Rejection-for just friendship, is a hurtful, yet- small form of burning, but, I learned to let it go when it happens. This isnt the worst thing you will face and you will need stronger bonds, with understanding females that dont judge you when the worst things about being female comes or happens. Statistically, nothing is 100% under our control, especially if you are born female.

  8. BigBooButch says:

    For some women, I think it’s really hard, especially online. They draw a line in the sand and if -anyone- crosses that line, they are cut loose. Some women do it for safety reasons and some are just burned out by all of the BS online can deliver. But until the feuds, the drawn lines, the black and white decisions, all of it stops and we come together as women fighting for the same thing(s), we can never really “win.”

  9. Miep says:

    Boundaries are a touchy business. Since women suffer boundary transgressions at the hands of men so much, it’s even more important that we respect each other’s boundaries, even if we don’t understand them. I agree with your comment but we won’t get there by taking sides. That’s difficult when there appears to be pressure to do so.

    There’s a thing people say down here that you can’t make the garden grow faster by pulling on the plants.

  10. Miep says:

    Yeah, I don’t get that at all. You can be femme or you can be a female-identified butch? And why be “male-identified?” Why let them own it?

    Oh well. See my previous comment about gardens. Women have an awful lot of stuff to sort out and a few decades isn’t that long a time. And the Internet has changed so quickly..blogs were invented less than fifteen years ago. Adjusting to it socially is still very much a work in progress.

  11. BigBooButch says:

    Ha! I completely understand your confusion. A “female identified” butch is a butch who identifies as a woman. She was born and raised a girl, accepts and loves the woman that she is, identifies that way, and prefers female pronouns. A “male identified butch” is a butch who identifies as a male, but who is not going to go through transition in any way. They prefer male pronouns, they usually bind their breasts and pack some sort of dildo in their shorts (could be a soft or one for play), and they view themselves as male without transitioning. We used to just be “butches,” now we have to make it known that we are “female identified” because “male identified” is considered the default online and the default pronoun for butches (online, at least) is “he” or the made up pronoun, “hy.” It is fucking maddening.

    I could go on and on and on about this, but that isn’t what this post is about, so I’ll stop there with that.

  12. Miep says:

    That’s interesting, thanks. So there is a crossover here with female transgenders, since people who identify as transgender don’t always seek medical intervention. And people who are gender-critical are not likely to be happy with this dichotomy, which gets back to the post subject.

  13. The splitting into categories and splintering into separate boxes of that which should be taken as a whole, in it’s entirety, is a way of thinking and behaving that is divisive and specifically patriarchal – racist – sexist – homophobic – in origin. In the same way that Africans-in-Amerikkka have been graded and judged on the gradations of their skin color, we women (whether we know it or not) are being forced into separate boxes…forced to choose and justify our very existence. Are we surgically formed “women”, are we womyn-born-womyn, are we Lesbians, are we “Gold Star” Lesbians (wtf??!! I’ve heard of earning a “star in heaven” but Damn – not to be taken seriously), are we “political lesbians” – (well I should hope so), are we butch, are we fem, are we SM/BD Lesbians? The categories are endless, but the thing they all share is the creation of further disunity between us. Acknowledgement of different distinctions may be informative and interesting, but as soon as those distinctions matter more than the human being before you, our community is in danger of fragmentation. Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to hate that which is different (even superficial differences) and to not appreciate, not cherish our varied aspects. It is of no significance to me when you became a Lesbian, what kind of Lesbian you f-ck/make love to/or bind, or little details that separate us. I want to hear your story, share our lives over a pot of tea, deepen our sisterhood. Remember, the patriarchy wants us to keep fighting, stay separated, bound, controlled by our own petty B.S. cause they know those who don’t stick together will die alone.

  14. BigBooButch says:

    Thank you for your thoughts on this.

  15. rheeb says:

    I hope you’re doing well. I miss reading your posts.

  16. huffysnappy says:

    Dear Big Boo Butch,

    Just dropping by to say thank you for your blog.

    Happy New Year to you.

  17. BigBooButch says:

    Thank you. Happy New Year to you as well. πŸ™‚

  18. BigBooButch says:

    Thank you. I have a bit of a cold, but am otherwise great. Now that the craziness of the holidays are almost over, I would like to get back in here and write. πŸ˜‰

  19. redhester says:

    dear sister, your voice sweetens my days. may this message find you well. please know that i think of you and hold you in my heart. happy new year! may the sisterhood shine forth in glorious loving waves of peace and truth. may this be so!

  20. BigBooButch says:

    Thank you for you kind words. I appreciate it every time you stop by and comment. May you have a Happy New Year as well. πŸ™‚

  21. redhester says:

    squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! BigBooButch *noticed me*!!!!!!!!! i have all the fan-girl butterflies. omg omg!!!!! seriously, i am a HUGE fan and delight in offering you loving support. (HUGGLES!!!!)

  22. BigBooButch says:

    LOL

    I haven’t responded to you before?? How rude! πŸ˜‰

  23. redhester says:

    ha! no, you are nearing ‘canadian’ levels of politeness. you are always very responsive.

    that is one thing i actually do appreciate about my female socialization. you know? women are unfailingly, excruciatingly polite. at our own expense most of the time, but i am feeling generous today.

    dear sister, happy happy new year. i am thankful for you and wish you a joyous year.

  24. BigBooButch says:

    I am thankful for you as well and, honestly, only polite to those who deserve it. πŸ˜‰

    Happy New year!

  25. FeistyAmazon says:

    Reblogged this on FeistyAmazon and commented:
    Wholeheartedly agree again BBB. I am so so sick pf the infighting and horizontal hostility as Dykes. Its what keeps us weak. As a LeatherDyke, as a DykeAmazon as a Butch Dyke, as a Goddess worshipper of the Sacred Female on EVERY lecel from sexual to spiritual and everything in between. As Lesbian WOMYN we will get NOWHERE if we keep up tge decades long infighting. It is not solely because of the trans or gay men that our community is in tatters. Its that we dont recognize each other and allow for differences and disagreements without all out war defaming and rejection of each other in other words…horizontal hostility. IF we stood strong together ENMASSE DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES BUT RESPECTFUL…gay men would not be allowed to run roughshod over us nor would the trans because AS UNITED DYKEAMAZONS we would be a bloc a group a Tribe that has to be honored and dealt with. We showed our potential when Michigan Equality came after us and our oerformers at Michfest but the huge Gay Inc groups pulled out…led by two Lesbians, NGTLF AND NCLR. That is a small victory nationwide for us! And 5hat is BECAUSE WE UNITED AS DYKES!!!

    Doesnt matter if its nature or nurture or a bit of both. If you love women.erotically,.emotionally,.spiritually and live it and are penis free…then you ARE Lesbian no matter how you get there…

    In Sisterhood FeistyAmazon

  26. FeistyAmazon says:

    See my reblogged comment….

  27. BigBooButch says:

    I completely agree with you 100%, Feisty. If you are a lesbian through and through, it doesn’t matter to me how you got there; and if we can get over these petty disagreements of who is a “real” lesbian, then we can unite and be strong against the men/transgenders who threaten to take away everything we have.

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