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.