Everyone knows that lesbians are ugly. Because they tend not to dress for male approval, often rejecting makeup, high heels and other trappings of femininity, lesbians could be considered aesthetically unacceptable by both men and other women.
There are exceptions, of course, such as those who provide girl-on-girl porn excitement to men, sharing their huge toy, where every single lesbian is skinny, achingly trendy and lashed with lipstick. But, as a general rule, the public image of a lesbian is not attractive. After all, if we were not grotesque, some man would desire us, and we need not seek sad but necessary consolation with each other.
I have been told: “No wonder you are a lesbian. No man would have you” (paradoxically, usually after some drunken creep has tried to pick me up) so many times I have it on a T-shirt. But anti-lesbianism is a ruse to keep all women in our place. Misogyny and homophobia go hand in hand. Those who fear lesbians do so because we do not conform to the required gender role that renders us passive to men.
Lesbian is synonymous with “man-hater” for the simple reason that we reject men sexually. Loads of young women could tell the story of how it tends to go if they reject the advances of a belligerent young man. The word “slag” is followed by “lesbian” because – let’s face it – batting for the other side is the only feasible explanation for not wanting to shag some drunken Neanderthal.
Words “bisexual” and “lesbian” are factual and not normally to be understood as pejorative by a reasonable person. I really laughed at this. The word “lesbian” is so stigmatised that there are plenty of lesbians themselves who are terrified to use it, preferring the term “gay women”. There are barely any out lesbians in the media, certainly compared with the number of gay men, and the word is used in schools and elsewhere as a serious insult.
More than 20 years ago, Channel 4 broadcast a magazine-style programme that focused on a range of gay and lesbian issues, and was followed, in 1995, by Dyke TV, a mixed season of films, documentaries, and other lesbian-themed programming.
But where are the role models today? Gay men are everywhere, it is much easier for men to be out than it is for women, because men have so much more power in the world just by dint of being male.
And lesbians often consider their sexuality such a barrier to success at work that they hide it. This all serves as a warning to all women and girls that we have to toe the line – be properly feminine and subservient to men, and if we are to dabble in lesbianism then at least have the courtesy to look like a male fantasy of one.
I say fuck that.