One of the stereotypes that self-identifying lesbians have sprawled on their résumés is “man-hating monsters with severe penis envy”. Obviously this is grossly incorrect. We don’t have penis envy because the ones we can purchase perform better and look prettier than the actual thing. Also incorrect because there are many men in my life who I think quite highly of and I’m sure many other lesbians feel the same. However, recently I have been finding myself completely and utterly disgusted with men and the things they say about women and how they say it.
I’ve grown up around men my entire life. My dad, my twin brother, and my older brother have done a wonderful job helping me grow as a woman. Granted, I’ve heard them say some things here and there, but I always made sure to acknowledge that the comment(s) they made are unacceptable. I remember being in High School and listening to groups of guys talking about the latest and hottest “ass” on the market. Before I was aware of my sexuality, I remember hearing these things and feeling a special kind of anger developing inside me. I didn’t feel as though they were insulting me, but rather the type of beings I held closely to my heart. These were the beings I wanted to love more than friends, and there they were–casually talking about them like pieces of meat. Overtime I kind of felt like an honorary guy because hanging out with the guys was easy for me. They didn’t intimidate me and I sure as hell was not trying to impress anyone, therefore allowing me access to these… discussions.
It wasn’t until college that I began to understand and witness just how many men truly objectify women and to what extent. Sitting in on a conversation full of (certain) men is one of my visions of hell. For hours the conversation is focused on rating women and their level of attractiveness and their “fuckability.” I’m sure plenty of girl friends sit around and talk about men like this in a similar fashion, but I’m almost certain it does not sound as violating and volatile as it does coming from the mouths of men. I also know that not every group of male friends talk about women as if they were items, and I am truly thankful appreciative for you gentlemen.
Oftentimes I think men feel comfortable talking like that in front of me because they think as a lesbian I see women in the same light as they do. They’re wrong. So wrong. Sometimes I feel as though they observe women in harsh fluorescent lighting while I admire them under Magic Hour lighting during the changing of the seasons. I feel protective of women everywhere at all times. Even when I don’t know the woman a man may be “discussing,” if I hear something wildly inappropriate and downright rude, I will make an effort to help him see his error. I don’t hate men. I just hate how it seems as though many are unaware of the misogyny ingrained in their minds. Degrading and objectifying women is so normalized for them that they truly cannot hear the error in their words-their thoughts.
But maybe I’m being unfair. I’m not exactly sure how groups of lesbian friends discuss other women. I’m sure it varies just like other friend groups. I’m also sure their words wouldn’t affect me as much in comparison to men. I haven’t had the opportunity to have a group of close lesbian friends yet. The lesbian friends I do have, speak about women as if they put the stars in the sky. Ok maybe not to that extent, but it’s pretty damn close I would say. I’m sure there are times when I’ve talked about women in unsavory ways, but I (and everyone else) know that at the end of the day women are the sexiest most powerful beings in my eyes.
Men… I know you’re not all misogynistic dickwads. Stop trying to be all macho in front of your friends and let them know how you truly feel about the ladies. Be poetic about it. Women are so beautiful. They birthed your asses, remember? If your friends say something and in your heart you know it’s not cool, let them know. Unless you really do think women are here for your satisfaction only, then by all means keep doing what you’re doing!
P.S. my apology for the huge gap in my posting. I’ve been a tad busy. Also, I generally only like to write about things that truly move me and it takes a while for me to somewhat organized thoughts.
P.P.S. If you haven’t started watching the Netflix series “Orange Is The New Black”, I’m going to need you to open Netflix AS SOON AS YOU’RE DONE READING THIS. There is so much “lesbian activity” (show reference). Also, HOT DONNA FROM THAT 70s SHOW IS A SEXY LESBIAN CRIMINAL. WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT?!