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My thoughts on imaginary lesbianism - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
sesquipedality
sesquipedality
My thoughts on imaginary lesbianism
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triskellian From: triskellian Date: November 8th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't comment on the earlier post, but I'm broadly pro-self-definition (while agreeing with your point that my right to self-define in no way takes away your right to think (or even say, in some circumstances) that I'm being silly).

The trouble is that sexuality (like most of the other areas where self-definition is a relevant position) is almost all made up of grey areas. Somewhere between "has only ever been sexually interested and involved with women" and "is equally interested in, and had equal involvements with, men and women" is the boundary between lesbian and bisexual, and part of where anyone in that grey area draws the line is the importance she herself places on each piece of evidence.

Is someone who briefly fancied a man ten years ago allowed to call herself a lesbian? What about someone who once kissed a man? And so on, into the grey area. You obviously think that "having a current relationship with a man" is on one side of the line, whereas she thinks it's on the other. Most people (me included, actually) would agree with you, but we're not able to look into her head and see how she's personally weighting each data point. Maybe he's a really 'effeminate'* man, maybe all of their sex involves her fucking him with a strap-on, maybe she's thinking about other women the whole time, and this is the only way fucking a man works for her - what then? What if next year he realises that he's transexual, and starts to transition? What if after this relationship she goes back to exclusively sleeping with women; at what point does she get her lesbian cred back?

Anyway. My point is, we don't know. She knows her own sexuality far better than we do; in any case it's not a thing that's primarily defined by what you do, so while I might mock her for using lesbian, I still think it has to be something she defines for herself.

*I hate this word, and the ideas it encompasses. Nevertheless I'm afraid it's the one I need :-(

(This seems to be my 'lesbian' icon ;-)
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: November 8th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd say that like stocks and shares, with sexuality past performance is not indicative of future trends. My own feeling is that current relationship status is relevant however, and this is where she falls down. I'd be far happier to call her a lesbian were she not in fact in a sexual relationship with a man at the moment.

Oh, and re "effeminate". I don't see why "feminine" wouldn't work in this context. I try to reserve "effeminate" for drag queens or nelly queers (what's the politically correct term for those these days anyway?), since their behaviour is quite stylised. (Also in the former case at least patronising and somewhat objectionable, but probably best not getting into that now.)

Edited at 2007-11-08 09:51 pm (UTC)
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