Friday, December 09, 2005


I may not be Germaine Greer, and I'm not a fat-man-bashing-lesbian (although I've known one or two). But I do believe I have choices and rights which cannot
be denied to me Just Because I'm a Woman.

So writes Winds and Breezes in her contribution to the women blogging in Ireland debate.

Remind me that this is 2005 someone. Why are straight women compelled to assert their sexuality? They have centuries of heterosexual privilege but still feel threatened by us or superior to us. While the lesbians marched against rape, in favour of divorce, rights to choose etc., began the rape crisis centres, refuges and other services for women in the 70's, they did so in solidarity with their heterosexual sisters. Heterosexual feminsts de-dyked the women's rights movments fairly swiftly. Now the imagery of modern feminism is interpreted by some as anything but lesbian instead of anything and everything including lesbians. And then there is the impression that lesbians are involved in man bashing.

By the way no felines were injured in any manner in the writing of this post. I just am interested by the rush to dyke bash or dyke distance in 2005. And yeah I know I said lets talk about getting more women into blogging and we'll get there yet but it might be interesting to reflect on the anti-lesbian discourses in the interpretation of feminism.


At 17:32, Anonymous SinĂ©ad said...

Maman, I actually think that it's a very male thing to instrinsically link feminism and lesbianism so I wonder why women lump the two together? I have to say, when I think of feminism, I don't think of any one group, I think of individual women working together to assert themselves. Their sexuality never occurs to me.

Came across your blog in course of these debates and find much to recommend it.

At 23:06, Anonymous morgan said...

Her standard of English could improve: I wasn't sure if she was talking about fat men bashing lesbians, or the reverse. And if she's known one or two of whichever she's talking about, clearly she doesn't mind attacking them or blaming them.

Straight men also feel it necessary to assert their heterosexuality. They even get Oscar nominations for the trauma of playing gay characters.

No lesbians that I know, including you, Suzy :) are man hating or man bashing at all. The comments just show that hetero-normative, gender-normative behaviour and beliefs are alive and well.

At 00:32, Anonymous Winds said...

Suzy, thank you for visiting my pages.

I think that you have misrepresented my views, or, at the very least, misinterpreted them. And I'm not absolutely sure that I get what you're driving at either.

You might answer this question though: If someone puts it to me, as someone has put it to me, that "feminism is only for fat-men-hating lesbians", what would you like me to say? a) yes, you're absolutely right or b) well actually, you're wrong. I happen not to be a lesbian, and anyway, not all lesbians have issues with fat men, and realistically, the whole question of women's rights is exactly that. Women. Not lesbians, not heterosexuals. Women. Where's the problem?"

If the recent debate has made anything clear, it is that there is no fixed definition of modern feminism. I certainly don't see it as "anything but lesbian". But I sure as hell don't see it as "only lesbian" either and that was the point I was driving at. That it was misinterpreted as lesbian bashing disappoints me greatly.

At 01:11, Blogger Suzy said...

what I am getting at is

a) the rush to proclaim heterosexuality that several posters on this subject have made when modern feminist movements have been anything but lesbian for the last 25 years in Ireland.

b) The linking of the word lesbian with man hating and fat.

c) the fact that many lesbian women see little or no solidarity from straight women.

All too often lesbian women have been airbrushed out of feminist and womens rights history. (See the scant regard in Documenting Irish Feminism published by CUP earlier this year)

I am fed up being airbrushed out of women's rights as these rights are now often only defined as those belonging to straight women. It may not be explicit but the lack of inclusion of all women and a concentration on reproductive rights (including the workplace and reproduction) is focussed on hetrosexuality by an otherwise deafening silence.

When the phrase women's rights is used now it is not defined as inclusive of all women as the issues people think of are childcare, flexible working, employment progression and career breaks and pension equity. For many lesbian women these are hugely important issues but we also have issues about access to healthcare, housing, pensions and employment in the first place because of the double discrimination we face due to gender and sexual orientation.

As someone who has been involved in the periphery of the womens rights movement I have watched as lesbian women have been actively excluded from the same movement that the women who went before them started. The dedyking I refer to has often left lesbian feminists hidden and invisible.

I expect heterosexual women to define women's rights as not being about fat-men-hating lesbians. And yes I would expect it to be stressed that those rights are for all women including lesbian women and that lesbian participation in fighting for women's rights (for all women) is respected.

I have to say I inferred (and still do so) that you meant fat lesbians who hate men and not fat men hated by lesbians from your post.

At 01:32, Anonymous Winds said...

a) You took a quote from my blog, which appeared to me, at least, to indicate that it was an issue raised uniquely by me, when, in fact, the issue I raised was that feminism was not solely a lesbian issue, despite the fact that many people perceive it to be so, and therefore, not really the issue you were driving at - the need for a heterosexual woman to assert her being straight.

b) it is also made clear on my blog that it is based on my experience in life, and sadly, I have met lesbians who are extremely negative about men. I'll also highlight that in the post itself, I claimed sainthood for neither heterosexual men nor heterosexual women, referring to certain amongst both in very negative tones, based, again, on my experience.

I have also clarified my views vis-a-vis feminism being an issue for all women, so I don't think it's that necessary to reiterate it. I will, however, say that it's interesting that you feel the need to highlight what you consider to be the invisible nature of feminism as it affects lesbians and I feel the need to highlight the invisible nature of feminism as it affects heterosexual women.

At 01:46, Anonymous Winds said...

"I have to say I inferred (and still do so) that you meant fat lesbians who hate men and not fat men hated by lesbians from your post."

On this point - if you still infer that I mean fat lesbians who hate men after I have clarified that I was referring to lesbians who hate fat men, I'd have to consider that that is what you want to infer.

At 08:27, Anonymous Change_is_possible said...

To the "author" of this "blog", you are such a perfect victim.

Thank you for playing and you may keep the consolation prize.



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