Published on March 9th, 2013 | by Rayne


Keep your politics out of my sexuality

I’m tweeting on Twitter as one does watching the feminist debates and radfem stupidity when I come across this article by Cathy Brennan. Cathy is a political lesbian (whatever the fuck that means) who seems to have some issues with other lesbians.

I haven’t been able to get a straight answer out of anyone as to what a “Political Lesbian” actually is so Google will be my brain. I maybe incorrect so bear with me.

Article: In the late 70s a group of lesbians in Leeds, known as revolutionary feminists (RFs), made a controversial move that resonated loudly for me and many other women. They began calling for all feminists to embrace lesbianism. Appealing to their heterosexual sisters to get rid of men “from your beds and your heads”, they started a debate, which reached its height in 1981 with the publication of an infamous booklet, Love Your Enemy? The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism and Political Lesbianism (LYE). In this, the RFs wrote that, “all feminists can and should be lesbians. Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not fuck men. It does not mean compulsory sexual activity with women.”

So political lesbianism equals women who don’t sleep with men regardless of whether they are same sex attracted? Fucking excuse me? My sexuality is not a political statement to further your hatred of men.

Wiki: Political lesbianism may be defined as the idea that lesbian feminists are in some way – such as morally, ethically or tactically – superior to feminists who “choose to be” straight women (note that this dichotomy completely denies the existence of bisexual feminists, but anyway). It appears to imply the idea (rather controversial in itself) that people can choose their sexual orientation, which interestingly, is almost completely rejected among gay men, but not completely among lesbians – there are some lesbians who believe that it’s possible to choose to be lesbian.

Technically, political lesbians do not have to actually ever sleep with, or even partner with, other women – they may instead be asexual, by practice or by inclination. This, however, seems to do violence to the common understanding of the word “lesbian”, and seems to be more of a get-out clause or fudge than anything else – a sort of mirror image of “ex-gay” scam artists conceding that it’s OK to have gay thoughts, and as long as you pretend to be straight to the world, “you are now straight / ex-gay”.

An extreme form of political lesbianism is separatist feminism, the idea that feminists ought to have little to no direct contact with men at all. This may be conceived of either as a temporary strategy to help bring about a more feminist world, or as a permanent thing.

So political lesbianism is a call to arms. A call for all women to stop dating/sleeping/having relationships with men and either become asexual or gay because apparently all men everywhere suck. Yes you heard it readers, political lesbians are telling women to choose to change their orientation, to completely switch who they are attracted to and have relationships with women (even if they aren’t attracted to them) or become asexual in order to further their political gain. In this definition, “lesbian” means “women who don’t sleep with men” and here I thought lesbian meant a woman attracted to women (remember trans women can be lesbians) or same sex attracted. Sex is a byproduct of sexuality. One does not need to have sex in order to have an attraction to someone nor a sexuality. Silly me.

What a crock of shit. While sexuality isn’t a choice, you can’t choose who you are attracted to, however you can chose to act on it. A straight woman attracted to men who chooses to not have relationships with men is still straight. I can understand a hatred of someone dampening your attraction for them but asking someone to change your sexuality or identify a different way purely for politics? That’s rude.

And even if for some people sexuality isn’t a choice – sexuality, love and attraction shouldn’t be used as a weapon for political gain. You can keep your political crap out of my sexuality and community thanks. Stop appropriating my sexuality for your own gain.

Click the link to see what Cathy has to say on the matter and draw your own conclusions.

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Goth. Metal music. Tea. Books. Woman-shaped nerd.

11 Responses to Keep your politics out of my sexuality

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  5. arife rahman says:

    One does not need to have sex in order to have an attraction to someone nor a sexuality. Silly me.

    • Adumbrodesu says:

      But you need to actually have to be attracted. This is clear appropriation that contributes to the oppression of queer individuals explicitly.

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