Introduction to Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics, 25 years update

 

Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics

Bev Jo, Linda Strega, Ruston

1990 – 2015

Why We Wrote This Book

I’ve put our entire updated book at the heading of my blog, so all the chapters can easily be seen and linked to, in order.  Each chapter is meant to build from the previous chapter, but most also stand alone, for reading and sharing.

2015 – We have re-positioned the chapters, so our original Chapter One, which was Lesbians for Lesbians, is now Chapter Five. Our new first chapter, The Crimes of Mankind, had been the beginning section of Chapter Two, Heterosexuality/Selling Out Is Not Compulsory, but we are now starting our book with it as a separate chapter, since the rest of our book flows from knowing that males are destroying the earth and that women do have the ability to stop them.

We originally had 13 chapters, but are not posting our three personal stories or our brief ending.

So here are the current chapters:

 

2015 Update, 25 Years Later — 2015 Update, 25 Years Later —        
Chapter One: The Crimes of Mankind

Chapter Two: Heterosexuality/Selling Out Is Not Compulsory

Chapter Three:  Heterosexism Among Lesbians is Lesbian-hating

Chapter Four:  Supporting Butches Supports all Lesbians

Chapter Five:  Lesbians for Lesbian — Dyke Separatism
Chapter Six: Leather = S/M = Sadism and Masochism

Chapter Seven: Motherhood: The Ultimate Feminine Role

Chapter Eight: Patriarchy Is One Big Unhappy Family
Chapter Nine: Hidden Disability by Bev Jo and Linda Strega

Chapter Ten: If Looks Could Kill: The Most Personal Oppression

 

In 1990, we published our book, Dykes-Loving-Dykes, in order to share our understanding about what goes wrong in our Lesbian communities, friendships, and relationships, and about how that damage has undermined Lesbian Feminism, Radical Lesbian Feminism, Separatism, and Radical Feminism in general. Everything we described or predicted has proven true. (For example, men claiming to be Lesbians and destroying our last women only space is almost beyond belief, but they are now supported by most pretend feminists as well as liberal Lesbians.)

So twenty five years later, I (Bev) am updating our book with our new information and additional chapters with input from Linda Strega.

I’ve also continued posting new articles at my blog, which would theoretically become a second or third book if we had the money and means to publish them.  They are:

Please, If You Love Lesbians and other Women, Think about this:
https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/please-if-you-love-lesbians-and-other-women-think-about-this/

Defining Lesbians Out of Existence — the Pretenders:
Part One — “Transwomen” Are Still Merely Men.

https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/bev-jo-radical-lesbian-writing/
Part Two – Better to be Anything than a Lesbian: “Transmen” Are Still Women

 https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/transmen-are-still-women-part-2-of-the-pretenders-defining-lesbians-out-of-existence/

Classism

https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/classism/

AGEISM – A Radical Lesbian Feminist Perspective
https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/ageism/

LIFELONG LESBIAN – Always a Lesbian

https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/always-a-lesbian/

PROGRESS VERSUS COOPTATION IN THE RADICAL FEMINIST MOVEMENT  
https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/progress-versus-cooptation-in-the-radical-feminist-movement/
THE BIG SELL-OUT: LESBIAN FEMININITY BY LINDA STREGA 
https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/the-big-sell-out-lesbian-femininity-by-linda-strega/

INTRODUCTION

The story of Lesbianism is a story of magic and survival.1 In almost every part of the world, we’re said not to exist, or we’re hated and lied about. Yet we persist in surviving.  Lesbians come from every culture and country. We appear where there are no others of us, coming from people who try their hardest to make us committed man-lovers. We create ourselves out of nothing, appearing like weeds that cannot be destroyed. We crack open the foundations of the enormous structures of male supremacy.

Our passion to survive and find each other over great barriers of distance and time is like the crashing of ocean waves. Unstoppable. Like witches, we are a horror story that chills the heartlessness of mankind. We’re said to be figments of the imagination. Like ghosts, we’re simply not supposed to be. Like witches, we are murdered and lied about. And like the ghosts of millions of murdered witches,2 we haunt all of mankind.

Lesbians are part of nature. Like witchcraft, rats, spiders and snakes, we horrify, because man is so deeply afraid of nature. We remind everyone that patriarchy and heterosexuality are not inevitable.

We dare to be Dykes. That’s our crime against mankind. We dare to love other Dykes. That’s unforgivable in patriarchy. But we won’t be stopped. We want the best possible world for Dykes and all females, and that also means an unpolluted, wild world, safe for the other creatures on earth. The only way to save the Earth is to end patriarchy. The only way for male supremacy to end is for heterosexual women to stop choosing and supporting men and being heterosexual. We can’t prevent men and het women from making their life-hating choices, but, as Dykes, we can choose to stop supporting them, and instead choose to love our own kind and create truly Dyke-identified Dyke communities.

This book is about loving Lesbians, which means fighting male rule and heterosexism. That’s Dyke SeparatismOnly by devoting our lives to ourselves and each other as Lesbians, as a people, will we begin to build truly Dyke-identified Lesbian Movements.  Dykes deserve the very best — other Dykes.

                                                    Valuing Dyke Ways

Why do we often feel that we’re still struggling against familiar pain that wrecked so many of our relationships with other girls when we were younger — betrayals, malice, slander, manipulations, exclusion from cliques? We already know some of the reasons: racism, classism, ethnicism, ableism, looksism, ageism, and fat oppression. There’s another reason that’s seldom discussed, but which explains the many presently “mysterious” disasters among Lesbians: heterosexism or Lesbian-hating among Lesbians.

To have strong Dyke cultures, we need to also return to our true Dyke/female natures. That means recognizing and eliminating the indoctrination of male and het identification that’s imposed on us, which many Lesbians once chose to embrace and which some still actively pursue. Rejecting male definitions of females is central to Dyke Separatism. Because we’re raised in a Lesbian-hating world, we’re all taught Lesbian-hatred. That doesn’t automatically disappear when we come out. This book is about understanding and fighting all forms of lesbophobia and Lesbian-hatred among ourselves as Lesbians, which also means recognizing and fighting female-hating.

Although some of us have had glimpses, none of us knows what it would be like to be part of a truly Dyke-centered, Dyke-loving community. It would be Separatist, with no men or boys welcome, and with het women only as occasional guests. We’d love, protect, care for and value each other as Dykes. We would have one place in the world where we’d be safer, happier, more hopeful, and strong. We would be genuinely committed to eradicating all inequality among us because no oppressiveness is acceptable to true Dyke Separatists and because we want to have the most diverse and welcoming communities possible.

Dykes as a people are incredibly strong and courageous. Otherwise we wouldn’t have survived. But too often that Lesbian strength is spent caring for our oppressors. Too many Lesbians give energy to men and boys. Too many also give their hearts to het women. Even when Lesbians are only with Lesbians, too many maintain and use men’s standards and rules, and police those of us who want to be fully Lesbian in our minds, hearts, and spirits. Het women are revered as the essence of femaleness, beauty, and kindness, while Dyke-identified Dykes are reviled. It’s all a mindfuck that hurts us individually and as a people.

We won’t take care of ourselves if we don’t value ourselves. The Lesbian-only space we need is almost non-existent in the world. “Women’s” space usually includes boys and often even men. Meanwhile, Lesbians are sick and dying from Lesbian oppression.

In the early 1970’s, we felt a sense of hope, excitement, and possibilities for a new beginning. Many of us were finding other Lesbians for the first time in our lives. Dyke communities were growing bigger and stronger, and new ones were forming. There was caring, love, and self-love among us as Lesbians.

Now it’s the era of selfishness. “Lesbian culture” became “women’s culture,” which then became meaningless. Everyone but Lesbians were prioritized by Lesbians. (By 2011, the Berkeley Women’s Health Collective had become the business called the Berkeley Women’s Health Center, which then morphed into the extremely Lesbian-hating Berkeley Clinic for Women and Men.) Theoretically Lesbian organizations, like the National Center for Lesbian Rights3 legally support men against Lesbians, even while still asking for Lesbian money and promoting segregation in our community by having fundraisers that only the richest Lesbians can afford.

Much feminist writing became anti-feminist. Dynamic and exciting Lesbian music became “womyn’s” music, with the politics and culture gutted, and is often even more boring than mainstream het women’s music. The newer musicians played to Lesbian audiences while being closeted enough to attract het and het women. Lesbians idolized Lesbian “stars,” whose goal was to grow in fame and fortune through taking Lesbian energy and diluting it for the consumption of men and het women. The fire, passion, and realness of Lesbian Feminist politics is almost gone.

Some Lesbians say they’re not “political,” as if that means they have no responsibility for what’s happening. But we’re all political. Choosing to passively accept things as they are is as much a political decision as fighting back, because it affects every other Lesbian’s life. Politics are far more than male electoral power plays, or abstract theories — politics means how we decide to live, in a world where every action or inaction affects others.

Instead of working to build Lesbian communities, many women who identify as Lesbians decided to create their own nuclear families by getting pregnant. With “artificial insemination,” they produce over 85% boys, a patriarch’s dream come true. They also formed an enormous, self-righteous, privilege-bonded pressure group, demanding that Lesbians look after their sons and that their sons be welcomed everywhere, teaching their boys that girls and women saying “no” means nothing. They and the men posing as women destroyed our last remaining female-only spaces.

Three events that completely altered our Lesbian Feminists communities were the “feminist” invasions of porn and sado-masochism, along with the arrival of academics (in a culture and movement that previously distrusted academia and had the ideology of no leaders.) The class divisions widened with all three also.

The most influential women who wrote about “Lesbians sex” in the early Eighties were actually choosing to be bisexual while lying and misrepresenting themselves as Lesbian to promote their male-worshipping in our communities, and to make money off Lesbians: Pat Califia (who now pretends to be a man to get sexual access to gay men), JoAnn Loulan, and Susie Bright. (Similarly, the few books supposedly about Butches have usually been by bisexual Fems and are full of porn and Butch-hating stereotypes.)

These het/bisexual pornographers were part of the reason that Lesbians have falsely been identified with sado-masochism, although that history can be traced directly back to het and Gay male organizations.

So a new “women’s” industry appeared, with porn magazines and videos, telephone-sex lines, and strip shows “for womyn, by womyn.” This was even more of a capitalist money-maker than “women’s” music. It’s also directly tied in with the male pornography industry and with sado-masochists.

Some Lesbians and pretend feminists write dramatically about why we shouldn’t have “censorship” in our Lesbian communities. But “Lesbian” porn is male fantasy with Lesbian-hating books and magazines full of male-style pornography –“Lesbians” saying they wished they had penises, and Lesbians wanting to be “fucked” in the vagina and in the rectum by imitation penises. Anyone who protests this and objects to being exposed to it against our will is accused of being like the right-wing, fascist men who outlawed Lesbianism. This is a mind-fuck.

The few of us who dare to speak out against this can’t censor anyone. We can’t stop men or male “Lesbian” pornography. All we can do is protest it and say that we won’t buy it, we won’t support it, and we won’t welcome it into our lives or our homes any more than we welcome men. And when we create rare Lesbian-only space, we have the right to keep porn out so there will be a few small places that are safe for us in this world filled with rape, male-supremacy, and female-hatred (which is what fucking and sado-masochism is all about). In reality, it’s those who dare to protest porn and sado-masochism who are censored. Dyke Separatists are always censored anyway — especially those who dare to write against the heterosexist power structure among Lesbians.

For the Lesbians who are ridiculed and ostracized because you hate porn and sado-masochism and know they are Lesbian-hating, we want you to know you are not alone. There are many of us who agree.

We have been slandered and censored because we dare to fight the lies and speak out against all other male influences in our communities, like pregnancy being promoted, heterosexism, male-identified femininity, and the oppression of Butches, Lifelong Dykes, and Never-het Dykes. If the daily dangers of living in patriarchy haven’t stopped us, then neither will slander by pretend “radfems” or the rape and death threats by the trans cult. Through our work, we continue to meet deeply committed Dyke-loving Separatists and Radical Lesbian Feminists and Radical Feminists of all ages across the world.

                                      Innocents in the Publishing World

Two working-class US Dyke Separatists and one Lesbian Separatist from Aotearoa wrote this book. We aren’t going to name and praise Lesbian stars as many Lesbian writers do. We wrote our book in spite of that network in which shared privilege determines who’s published and who isn’t. We do want to thank our dear friends and the ordinary Dyke Separatists from all over the world who don’t have fame and fortune but whose blood and sweat have kept Separatism and Dyke politics alive.

We did our own writing, typing, word processing, and editing. We don’t claim to be professional writers, and we don’t think Lesbians should have to fit those standards in order to write about our own lives. The most important thing is to be clear and to not be oppressive. Our style is as political as our ideas, and reflects our working class (Linda and Bev) and national (Ruston, Aotearoa) cultures.

It’s important to not change our ways in order to imitate the trend of increasingly unemotional and abstract Lesbian writing. It’s become fashionable for Lesbian political writing to be so academic as to be unreadable, and so vague as to be meaningless. That way no one’s offended, but then no changes in our lives are possible. Lesbians’ communication goals used to be honest, unpretentious writing, easily understood by all.

Too often Lesbian writers, especially the class-privileged, take an entire book to say what could be said in one chapter. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what a writer thinks about a subject even after reading her entire book, because her language and ideas are so muddled by following male academic writing standards. Meanwhile, we had to pack a book into each of our chapters, and a chapter into each paragraph, because of our lack of money and resources.

It serves patriarchy if Lesbians choose to remain permanently confused in a psycho-therapized muddle. It’s frightening to make definite statements and decisions since strong opinions lead to action. Confused liberalness enables you to be “friends” with everyone, while clear political commitment “limits” you to equally committed friends.  There’s plenty of support for the privileged.  We prefer to ally with those who are wronged, knowing that working to stop oppression is the best support we can give each other.

Asking Dyke Separatists or Radical Feminists to explain ourselves in minute detail, sometimes with demands of “scientific” proof, is often a way of evading the truth, as well as a troll technique to divert us, dissipating our energy for political work. This is a common male tactic, but feminists also play “logic” games, distorting our words and meaning in order to evade real issues. (We see this regularly in online discussions where the goal is simply to stop the Radical Feminist discussion by derailing and exhausting everyone. Some of these trolls are very likely to be paid agents.)

Some issues we’re writing about have rarely or never, as far as we know, been written about before. Women who are upset at what we say in this book should remember that learning the truth isn’t always easy. Facing heterosexism in ourselves and other Lesbians is even more painful than recognizing it in men and het women. But the only way to stop heterosexism among Lesbians is to acknowledge and deal with it. It’s far more important for us to support Dykes who are getting support nowhere else than for us to live with comforting illusions and a conspiracy of silence about Lesbian-hating among Lesbians injuring and, in some cases, killing Dykes who are the most oppressed as Dykes.

Intensity and passion have always been the basis of Lesbian cultures. By our very nature, Dykes, particularly Separatists, question and challenge the status quo lies, seeking out not-always-popular truths. That’s how we grow and find our true selves, and begin to heal from the damage that patriarchy inflicts on us.

We write for those who recognize the truth in what we’re saying, and to overcome the barriers of isolation among us. We write to express Lesbian reality in a male and heterosexual world. We write to assert that it’s vital for Lesbians to be clear-thinking, decisive, and politically active for our own Lesbian selves.

                               The Power of Names — Our Definitions

Dyke: We use this term for the most Lesbian-identified of Lesbians. It’s important to remember that it was originally used only for Butches.

Lesbian: A female who loves and falls in love with other females, makes love only with females, and never relates sexually to males or injects semen into herself. When Lesbians are single and celibate, we’re very different from celibate het women, who are still sexually, emotionally, socially, and culturally focused on men.

Lesbianism is far more than a “sexual preference” or “sexual orientation.” It is a choice of women loving women. Everything we feel and do in our lives we do as Lesbians. Our political and creative work is Lesbian. Our friendships are Lesbian relationships.

No male can become a Lesbian. “Transwomen” are simply men perving, fetishizing, and caricaturing women and Lesbians.

Female: The term we use for our sex, since it’s not age-specific and is less identified with heterosexuality than “woman.” Also, it’s a reminder of our link with other female animals on earth, who are generally called “female,” rather than “women.” And, as Julia Penelope said in The Mystery of Lesbians, “female” is derived from the French “femelle,” with no connection to the word “male,” while (crediting the writings of Monique Wittig and ideas of Ariane Brunet and Louise Turcotte) “woman” comes from “wif” (wife) and “man.”

Woman, Womyn, Wimmin, etc.: For many of us, “woman” has meant heterosexual — a “real” woman by men’s standards. It’s a male definition imposed on females and isn’t our natural state. The many feminist variations are closet terms for “Lesbian,” and we refuse to support that trend. When we say “Lesbian,” we mean it. It’s understandable that Lesbians in unsafe situations use a code name like “womyn” to make contact with other Lesbians, but when Lesbians use those terms instead of “Dyke” or “Lesbian” among ourselves, it weakens Lesbian identity. “The womyn’s community” is het-identified, not Lesbian-identified.

Some Lesbians embraced “woman” because that term is denied to many females, especially Lesbians. Men call us “girls” to demean us. However, some Lesbians prefer the term “girl” to “woman” for other reasons. For some African-descent females, poor and working-class females, Lesbians who came out before the Women’s Liberation Movement, and young females, “girl” is a familiar, affectionate term. After all, we’ve all been girls for a long time, while “woman” is a term laden with images of “adult” females who are heterosexually active, wifely, and motherly. For many of us, girlhood was the time when many girls we knew were most clear about loving other girls and rejecting boys. We support girls who call themselves “girls” as a statement of pride, and we support adult females who call themselves “girls” as part of their culture and heritage.

We also don’t call ourselves Gay women since that associates us with Gay men. That term has been a dividing line between Lesbian Feminists and non-feminists or Lesbians who felt afraid to use the term Lesbian.

Lifelong Lesbian: A Lesbian who’s been a Lesbian her entire life (whether or not she made love as a girl) and was never heterosexual.

Never-het Lesbian: A Lesbian who was never heterosexual but who didn’t necessarily identify as a Lesbian from girlhood. Not being heterosexual in mind or practice doesn’t mean that someone is necessarily a Lesbian.

Old Dyke: This is a term used by some Lesbians for Lesbians who came out before the Women’s Liberation Movement. “Old Gay” was sometimes used in the U.S.

Butch and Fem: These terms are defined throughout our chapter “Supporting Butches Supports All Lesbians.” They aren’t “roles” that Lesbians play at or switch, but are choices made at an early age. These ways of being are as much a part of who we are as our class backgrounds. Butches rejected male rules to feminize as little girls, while Fems accepted it. Butches always felt like unnatural outsiders in patriarchy, while Fems always fit in on some level with male and het standards of femininity. Whether we’re Butch or Fem is clearly recognizable from how we look, talk, and act.

We prefer “Fem” to “Femme,” which is the French word for woman. We consider it insulting to call any Lesbian a “woman,” and “Fem” will hopefully be less jarring to French-speaking readers.

Hard Fem: “Hard Fem” is the term I (Bev) coined to describe what has previously been called “High Femme,” which is a complimentary term as well as a goal for too many Fems. Fem is considered the norm, so Butches are scrutinized and divided from each other by Butch-hating stereotypes. Butches who are more acceptable — most often those who are class privileged — are sometimes called “Soft Butches” by Fems, implying that full Butches are the hateful stereotype of hard, cold, mean, insensitive, predatory, etc., which actually is more applicable to Hard Fems. Yet no one criticizes the norm of Fem. Hard Fems also usually wear the extreme male uniform of the feminine drag queen ideal, passing as het as much as possible, slathered in clown-like makeup, wearing exposing dresses and high heels. Hard Fems are often the most oppressive to Butches and Dyke Fems because they are the most invested in obeying and proselytizing male rules for females. Hard Fems also objectify and use Butches as well as Dyke Fems, yet this is never mentioned.

New Lesbian/Women’s Liberation Lesbians: A Lesbian who came out in or after the WLM. In the U.S. and Aotearoa, and many other countries, this is since about 1970.

Queer: We wrote our book before “queer” and “genderqueer” were trendy terms used by and for the “queer” community to avoid saying “Lesbian,” in order to erase and exclude Lesbians. We used “queer” in our book only for Lesbians, since it brings up name-calling,  shame, secrecy, loathing, and fear hets have directed at Lesbians, and expresses the pride and the depth of love we feel for ourselves and each other when we’ve healed that damage. Since the Seventies, “queer” had been a term of Dyke/Lesbian pride as we reclaimed a traditional anti-Lesbian insult that for some of us was the only name we knew for ourselves as girls without support, without any positive image of Lesbians in any media. But it’s not really a term that proud Dykes and Lesbians now can use because it includes our oppressors, as the popular descriptor of Gay men, women who identify with Gay men, bisexual women and men, men posing as women, etc. It’s also become a closet, less Lesbian word that implies Lesbian, for women who are too afraid to call themselves “Lesbian” or “Dyke.”

Het: Heterosexual. This is more specific than “straight,” which also implies correct, honest, non-criminal, and chemical-free. A het woman is a female who is sexual with men, or who, if celibate, still thinks of herself as heterosexual.

A bisexual is a woman who is sexual with men while being sexual with females as well. This includes women who aren’t currently sexual with men but are open to it in the future.

When we talk about “het women” in this book, we’re also generally including bisexuals. Even though they get some degree of Lesbian oppression, bisexuals still get privilege from their allegiance to men, and are in a position to do more intimate harm to us than they could if they were simply het. They have more access to Lesbians physically, emotionally, psychically, and politically. Their men also have access to us: men involved with bisexuals have threatened, attacked, and murdered their girlfriends’ Lesbian lovers. Lesbians involved with bisexuals are exposed to STDs, including AIDS. The personal and community damage that involvement with a bisexual brings is immeasurable. And the existence of bisexual women proves clearly that some women keep as much het privilege as possible while being aware of their option to be Lesbians.

Heterosexual Privilege: The power and privilege of “normality” that women get from being fucked by men, marrying, reproducing, and raising families. Het privilege is everything women get by belonging to men and the het world, and everything Lesbians lose by being Lesbians. But Lesbians who were heterosexual in the past still have some degree of het privilege, particularly when they continue to identify with het women and have het and male values.

Heterosexism: The dogma that all people are or should be het, and that heterosexuality is superior to being a Lesbian. Heterosexism is the most universal institution, and Lesbianism is the most universal oppression. Heterosexism also means Lesbian-hating.

Patriarchy and Sexism: The social system in which males have power over females, and the male belief that males are superior to females. Techniques used to enforce male power include mass murder or genocide (such as the European witch burnings), mass mutilation (such as Female Vulval Mutilation, unnecessary mastectomies and hysterectomies), enforced dieting, murder, beatings and torture, rape (including family rape), stereotyping, insults, and all other female-hatred.

Lesbian oppression is the extreme of female oppression. If females are hated, then females together are doubly hated.

Women-only/Female-only: Is what we used to have before men appropriating our identity demanded access to our last spaces. This space is essential for our survival, community, and culture. We still try to gather together, but are forced to be subjected to men perving on us and to het women openly hating us since we can usually meet only in public places.

Trans cult: I (Bev) coined this term to describe the phenomenon of the most female-hating men demanding we accept them as women, and for some of them, as Lesbians. None of it makes sense since this myth can easily be exposed in one sentence: men can never be women, and women can never be men. The surgery is a joke and does not begin to alter the mind, spirit, soul. Yet men have figured out a clever way to get access to Lesbians previously denied them except through rape. Now they mind-rape and get women to help them.

Since it’s impossible to say no to these men or any of this bizarre ideology without threats, including rape and death, it’s clearly a cult.

“Transsexuals,” “transgender,” “transwomen,” and “transmen” simply do not exist in reality.

Male-Identified: This term is wrongly used against Dykes, and Butches in particular, who refuse to conform to male standards of femininity. Male-identification is actually a measure of how personally devoted a female is to males, and how much of her reality is bound up with the male versions of “reality.” Internalized male culture, which all females in patriarchy inevitably have, shouldn’t be confused with “male identification.” We use the term “male-identified” to describe het women and the most extreme examples of het identification and femininity among Lesbians.

Lesbian- or Dyke-Identified: Dyke-identified Dykes identify with and as Dykes, not with het women or men. While many Lesbians are het-identified, no het woman can be Lesbian-identified unless she becomes a Lesbian. Dyke-identified Dykes look and act like Dykes. The more Dyke-identified we are, the greater our Dyke oppression.

Female-Identified: Lesbians are the most female-identified females, because hetness involves rejecting and betraying females. The more dyke-identified we are, the more female-identified we are.

Aotearoa: The Māori and therefore rightful name for New Zealand. Whanganui-a-Tara is one of the names for Wellington, as is Tamaki-Makaurau for Auckland.

Racial and Ethnic Background: We try to specify the continent of geographical region of origin instead of referring to color to describe someone’s ethnic background. The use of “Red,” “Black,” “Brown,” “Yellow,” or “White” doesn’t accurately reflect the enormous variety of racial and ethnic groups who exist on earth. No person’s skin is literally those colors, and “black” and “white” have been historically used in racist ways to mean negative/positive, inferior/superior, evil/good, etc. We recognize that some Dykes do use “Red,” “Black,” “Brown,” and “Yellow” with pride in their heritage, and, as Dykes, we know well how a term of insult can be transformed into a term of pride. But we agree with and greatly appreciate the work of African-descent US Dyke Separatists who’ve stated their reasons for choosing to name their continent of origin.4 It’s a strong, self-loving identification of the descendants of peoples forcibly taken from their homes by European slavers, separated from those of their own country, placed with others who spoke different languages, and cruelly tortured for daring to speak their languages and pass on their cultures — all in an effort to subdue kidnapped African peoples and deny their heritages. Because of this, most descendants of the survivors of this genocide (estimates are that 20 to 70 million died) are denied knowledge of their countries and cultures of origin.

Identifying one’s ethnic background with region of origin rather than just approximate shades of dark and light skin among us helps every Dyke become more aware of the beautiful variety and complexities of peoples and cultures on this planet. Naming a Dyke’s ancestral homeland — the Pacific, Africa, South, Central or North America,5 the Caribbean, Asia, Western Asia (“Middle East” is not the middle of anything), Atlantic and Indian Ocean island nations, Australia, and Europe, etc. is a beginning, although it’s not adequate. In each area of each region or continent there are many, often hundreds, of individual racial and ethnic groups, each with its own unique past, culture, and language.

Within the Pacific Islands, for instance, there are many nations with cultural, historical, and racial differences, more numerous and complex than the nations of Europe — yet European national differences are far more acknowledged and respected by the dominant, racist European-descent cultures. Calling regions of the Pacific by the European-designated terms “Melanesia,” “Polynesia,” and “Micronesia” is also inadequate. For instance, the original peoples of the enormous area from Aotearoa to Hawai’i to Te Pito O Te Henua (“Easter Island”) are called “Polynesian” because they have some cultural similarities, but they actually represent many distinct peoples and cultures. The same is true for the other peoples of the Pacific.

Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations of South and Central America, México, and the Caribbean aren’t just peopled by descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese invaders — they’re also peopled  by the descendants of African slaves and many people of mixed races, as well as the original inhabitants, who are lumped together as “Indians” or other group names that don’t begin to describe the many different original peoples. The original peoples of México alone represent many distinctly different cultures, and the borders set by the European invaders and their ruling-class descendants don’t recognize these different nations. For instance, the Maya live in parts of what are now México, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. In the Andes, the Quechua live throughout what was once Tahuantinsuyo (the Inca lands), in parts of Perú, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. With their population of over 9 to 14 million, the Quechua are more numerous than many other peoples who are regularly reported on in the media of European-descent dominated countries.

In Africa, there are many ancient traditional nations within each current official nation based on the borders arbitrarily set by European invaders. The people of India and other Asian countries are also many different peoples. The Indigenous people of Australia are also many peoples with many languages. In Canada and the U.S., the hundreds of original nations with their distinct ethnic groups and cultures are simply called “Native Americans” or “American Indians,” if they’re acknowledged at all.

So, though we recognize that it isn’t adequate to simply name the region of the world or continent of one’s ancestors as one’s ethnic identification, it’s at least a respectful beginning.

As an example of the diversity of original peoples in North America, we include in our Endnotes a list of some of the original peoples of just what is now California,6 many of whom still live in California as nations within a nation. (The list is only approximate since it’s based on information gathered and recorded by European invaders in the early years of colonization.) Within California, genocide against American Indian peoples reduced their numbers dramatically.7

The tangata whenua (people of the land; traditional and rightful inhabitants) of Aotearoa identify both as Maori and also with their iwi (nation or tribe)8 and, often, hapu (sub-tribe). It was the English invasion, wars, and colonization, beginning in the 18th Century, that forced the tangata whenua to identify as one group, Maori, in order to make unified resistance.

Aotearoa is Maori land. The iwi of Aotearoa9 traditionally organize themselves according to their turanga-waewae (traditional lands) and the canoe they arrived in from Hawaiki, the ancestral Pacific land.

Rape by Male Family: We say “family rape” or “rape by male family” because the popular feminist term “incest” implies consent, and doesn’t differentiate attacker from victim. Men also use other euphemisms for girl-rape: “pedophilia” (literally “child-love”), or “sexual orientation to children,” “seduction,” “sleeping with,” “having sex with,” “sexual intercourse,” “sexual acts,” 10 and “too much affection.” We encourage you to read Father-Daughter Rape, an excellent book by Australian author Elizabeth Ward. She says, “…I believe that the sexual use of a child’s body/being is the same as the phenomenon of adult rape. Terms like ‘sexual abuse,’ ‘molestation’ and ‘interference’ are diminutions of ‘rape’:  they imply that something less than rape occurred.” 11 They’re also ageist terms because they imply that crimes against girls are less serious than crimes against women.

We also prefer saying “family rape” because the crime and trauma of girl-rape goes even further than the pain of being raped by your father or other male relatives. Girl-rape is part of normal family life, and older female relatives, especially most mothers, add greatly to the trauma by denying the attack and failing to support the girl. The girl’s intense pain and sense of conflict is endured against the backdrop of everyday family life that mostly continues as if nothing happened to her. Later she must recover from that as much as from the actual rape, not to mention coping with her family’s reactions if she exposes the rapist.

Victim: We call a female raped as a girl a family rape victim, not a family rape “survivor.” “Survivor” is a US psychotherapy term that glosses over the fact that many females don’t survive the attack — they’re either killed as girls or kill themselves later. While it aims to praise female resilience, it actually compounds the secrecy and shame of family rape by suggesting that there’s something inherently shameful and dirty about being attacked or victimized. The fact that “survivor” is attached to “incest” makes it particularly suspect — not only was there no rape and no rapist, there was also no victim!

If there’s nothing shameful about being victimized, why not say it? Considering that no girl is in any way to blame for being sexually assaulted, why not use “victim”? After all, it has traditionally meant someone who was subjected to harm against their will. Transactional psycho-therapy co-opted the word “victim” to describe someone that they claimed “asked” to be hurt, and they included in their arrogant definition oppressed people who never wanted to be harmed. Someone who truly wants pain is a masochist, not a victim. Identifying as family rape victims supports the victim, and those who love her, in their natural desire for justice and revenge. It helps us assert our power. If we’re victims, then we have the right to bring our attackers to justice.

Lesbophobia: We partly agree with Celia Kitzinger’s article “Heteropatriarchal Language, The Case Against ‘Homophobia’” 12 in which she criticizes the word “lesbophobia” because it originated as a psychological diagnosis that generally defined fear of Lesbians as an irrational phobia — when in reality patriarchy has good reason to fear us. So we describe men’s, boys,’ and het women’s usual reactions to Lesbians by the more accurate term “Lesbian-hatred.” However, we think it’s important to have another word to describe many het women’s reactions as well as some Lesbians’ revulsion at and terror of their own and others’ Lesbianism, because Lesbians and het women don’t have a reasonable reason to fear Lesbian. “Lesbophobia” just seems the best term for this particularly extreme kind of fear. It’s come into general use and no longer feels like a psychological term for many of us, and it clearly portrays the terror that’s as irrational as a phobia towards spiders or other harmless and beautiful wild animals.

“Homophobia” was one of the first terms that made it clear queerness wasn’t Lesbians’ “mental problem.” If anyone had a “problem,” it was the hets who hate us. That made a great difference to many Lesbians’ lives.

Disabled: We (Linda and Bev) prefer this term for ourselves instead of “physically challenged” (although we’re not criticizing anyone who uses “physically challenged”), because we find that most well and able-bodied Lesbians want to deny hidden disabilities and assume that if we just try hard enough we’ll be able to be as physically functional as they are. Chronic illness severely limits our ability to function, and no amount of effort will make us as physically able as well Lesbians. Some well and able-bodied Lesbians seem to have taken the term “physically challenged” to mean that disabled Lesbians can overcome any and all physical limitations if we try hard enough to “meet the challenge.” We also prefer the word “disabled” because it includes developmental disabilities while “physically challenged” doesn’t.

WASP: A US term for “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.” It includes culture as well as ethnicity.

History: This word comes from the Greek “histör” and “istör,” meaning “knowing,” “learned.”13 It doesn’t mean “his story,” although the documented history females have access to is the history of patriarchy because men have systematically destroyed records of the time before patriarchy. No amount of calling the past “herstory” will change that. As for what we call female history, why allow men the exclusive use of a perfectly adequate word such as “history”?

                                                      Explanations

We don’t want to compare oppressions, because every experience is unique, but unfortunately, only certain oppressions are acknowledged as existing. Specifically Lesbian oppressions are ignored by almost everyone, including Lesbians. There’s so little understanding of them that they’re sometimes considered to be privileges. Even Lesbianism itself is said to be privileged by some “radical” Lesbians. Usually only issues of oppression that are experienced, written, and talked about by men and het women are considered valid by Lesbians. They may not always be fought, but at least they’re recognized as existing, which is a beginning.

For this reason, in this book, we often give classism as an example to explain the pain and damage caused by the various forms of Lesbian oppression. The comparison isn’t exact, because our class backgrounds aren’t chosen, while the heterosexist privilege that some Lesbians use to wield power over other Lesbians is chosen. We decided to focus only on class as an example because two of us are class-oppressed and it seemed more appropriate to talk from our experiences than to refer to others’ oppressions.

(Ruston: We use the English spelling and punctuation style of Aotearoa in sections I alone wrote, and the US style in the rest of the book. We found this to be the best way of expressing my national identity while not denying our class differences, and it also made the enormous job of typing the book more manageable.)

                                                          Authors’ Notes

Bev: I was born in 1950, in a catholic working-class family of German, English, Scottish, American Indian, and I’m not sure what else ancestry. (My parents and grandparents were all born in the US). I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, was in love with other girls from my earliest memories, identified with the word “Lesbian” and rejected male-defined femininity from an early age (which is why I now identify as Butch). I never was heterosexual, and became lovers with my first lover when I was 17 (in 1968), before the support of the Women’s Liberation Movement. I found a Lesbian community in Berkeley, California in 1971, and became a Dyke Separatist in 1972. I’ve been disabled since 1981 with a chronic illness.

I was one of the three members of the Gutter Dyke Collective who co-wrote and published Dykes and Gorgons in 1973, which was the first Dyke Separatist writing we knew of. (Much of that work was reprinted in the Separatist anthology, For Lesbians Only.) It’s been my goal since first becoming a Separatist to work towards building a Dyke Separatist community. I’ve written Separatist articles published in The Lesbian Insider/Insighter/Inciter; For Lesbians Only; and Lesbian Ethics (USA), Amazones d’Hier, Lesbiennes d’Aujourd’hui; Lesbian Fury/Furie Lesbienne; Voices for Lesbian Survival  (Canada); and Gossip (England), among others.

I taught free self-defense classes for females only for 10 years, did Lesbian-only self-defense workshops and Separatist workshops at “Womyn’s” Festivals, and was in several Separatist action groups. I was part of the collectives that planned the first Lesbian Feminist Conference in the San Francisco Bay area in 1972, the first San Francisco Dyke Separatist Gathering in 1983, and the Lesbian Forum on Separatism in Oakland in 1984. The most recent workshop I did was on Radical Lesbian Feminism at the Old Lesbians Organizing for Change in Oakland in 2014, where I protested our losing one more Lesbian group to male membership.

I moderate three Radical Feminist groups on facebook and one Lesbian-only group.

I regularly party, dance, and cavort with the Lesbians, in spite of our having no women only space left. I lead local nature hikes to see plants, animals, etc. I think the animals that men tell us to hate and fear, like rats, spiders, snakes, lizards, frogs, bats, and Lesbians (among others) are particularly beautiful.

Linda: I’m a working-class, catholic-raised, Italian-descent Lesbian, born in 1941 in a USA factory town. I’ve been chronically ill since 1981. An ex-het Dyke-identified Fem who never married or had children, I was a het feminist activist from 1968 until 1972, when I followed my deepest desires and became a Lesbian. In 1973, I moved to Oakland, California, into a vibrant, intensely political Lesbian community. I found that it was Dyke Separatists who were living by the truths I’d come to consider self-evident, with the most real love for Lesbians, and I’ve been a Separatist ever since.

I taught female-only self-defense classes for seven years, helped organize the Dyke Separatist Gathering in San Francisco in 1983 and the Lesbian Forum on Separatism in Oakland in 1984. I’ve written Separatist articles published in The Lesbian Inciter and Lesbian Ethics (U.S.A.); Lesbian Fury/Furie Lesbienne; Amazones d’Hier, Lesbiennes d’Aujourd’hui, and Voices for Lesbian Survival  (Canada); and Gossip (England).

Ruston: I’m from Aotearoa, born in 1952 and raised in Tamaki-Makaurau. I joined the Women’s Liberation Movement there in 1975 because I’d been falling in love with females for years and very much wanted to become a Lesbian. I’m pakeha (European-descent), of Welsh-Irish-English descent, middle-class, raised protestant, and an ex-het Dyke-identified Fem who never married or had children. I’m educationally privileged through having a degree in medicine, but for many reasons I’ve never worked as a doctor. After working on anti-rape and other feminist issues for about a year I became a Separatist in 1976. I helped organize a Lesbian conference in Tamaki-Makaurau in 1977 and created Lesbian theatre with other Lesbians in Hamilton in 1978.

I moved to Whanganui-a-Tara in 1979 where I got involved in setting up the Lesbian Centre and in running many Lesbian-only political and social events. I’ve written articles published in Circle, the Wellington Lesbian Newsletter, Lesbian Lip, and Lesbians In Print (LIP), among others, in Aotearoa. I met Bev and Linda through our political work in our respective countries, in 1983, and since 1984 have been writing articles and letters with them, printed in the Lesbian Insider/Inciter/Insighter; Lesbian Ethics; and Hag Rag (USA); and Voices for Lesbian Survival; Amazones d’Hier, Lesbiennes d’Aujourd’hui; and Lesbian Fury/Furie Lesbienne (Canada).

Next to Lesbians and Separatism, my greatest love is the forests, wild creatures and wild places of my home, Aotearoa. My favourite creature is the kea (alpine parrot of Aotearoa). It’s a very stroppy bird that survived terrible slaughter. I’d like to spend all my time at Lesbian parties, listening to music, learning homeopathy, drawing, reading murder mysteries, and being outside in beautiful places away from everyone but Lesbians.

                                                      Endnotes

  1. Julia Penelope described this beautifully in “Mystery of Lesbians,” printed in Lesbian Ethics, Vol.1, Nos. 1,2,3 (Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.) and Gossip, Nos. 1,2,3, and in an edited version in For Lesbians Only: A Separatist Anthology, p. 506 (Onlywomen Press Ltd., 38 Mount Pleasant, London, WC1X 0AP, England).
  2. An estimated nine million females were accused of being witches and murdered by Christian male authorities in Europe, mostly from the 14th to the 18th Centuries. That was an enormous part of the population — in some villages only one or two females were left alive.
  3. From Gallus Mag:

http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/dana-beyers-rotting-lesbian-iceberg/

The NCLR (National Center for Lesbian Rights) now donates nearly all their (plummeting) resources to non-lesbian (predominantly heterosexual and male) activism, much of it anti-gay. Their legal director is “ex-lesbian” attorney Shannon Minter, who injects testosterone and now “identifies as” a heterosexual male.

Here is a list of all active pending cases on the NCLR case docket posted on their website, as I understand them:

-an amicus brief submitted in a lesbian case challenging Florida’s ban on adoption by lesbians and gays. (The case was represented by pro-bono attorneys, not NCLR, so here the NCLR submitted a brief in a case relating to an actual lesbian, not a case they represented however.)

-Lawsuit filed to force prisons to provide incarcerated trans criminals taxpayer funded hormones and surgery. Free sex changes for incarcerated transgender people who “come out” after incarceration. As wards of the state, convicted criminals should be entitled to taxpayer funded hormones and surgeries that are not provided for law abiding citizens.

-Lawsuit filed claiming heterosexuals are being discriminated against, by being excluded from gay men’s softball leagues. Seriously. This is who the NCLR is representing. Can’t make this shit up.

-amicus brief filed in case of Egyptian gay man seeking asylum from anti-gay mistreatment in a country where gay men can be arrested for homosexuality.

-asylum case for Mexican transgender identified person who received alleged harassment because of claiming to be a sex incongruent with that on birth certificate.

-asylum case for gay Pakistani male.

-amicus brief filed in case of Pakistani hetero male who alleges he was detained by the FBI due to religious profiling of muslims in terrorism investigations.

-assisting a pro bono attorney who is representing an asylum case for Bosnian lesbian.

-lawsuit against Cherokee Nation representing lesbian married couple.

-asylum for another Mexican transgender person.

That’s it. As I understand it those are the open pending cases represented by the NCLR.

Well what else do they do?

NCLR Sports Project issued a report in 2010 warning that women’s sports teams discriminate against males and that failure to permit males to compete against females in female sports may result in “costly litigation”. The NCLR press report was issued in October when a 57 year-old male who beat out all the female competitors (average age 30) to win the women’s world championship for long-drive golf sued the LPGA for his “right” to compete against women. The NCLR supported this action and does so by misrepresenting themselves as being a lesbian WOMEN organization. The NCLR appears to believe that women’s sports leagues infringe on the CIVIL RIGHTS of males. The 57 year-old male may be the first competitor in history to embark on a new professional sports career at such an advanced age.

It’s hard to IMAGINE that a lesbian rights organization would make the rights of males to play women’s sports their highest priority, much less the “rights” of male criminals to receive taxpayer funded sex changes, or the “rights” of heterosexuals to play on gay softball leagues, but this is what the NCLR is concerned with. Only three of the ten active pending lawsuits listed on the NCLR website concern lesbians, and two of them are not actually being represented by the NCLR. So, one out of ten.  Three transgender cases (two male one female), two gay male, two hetero male.

  1. Conversations with Monifa J. Ajanaku; and “Of Color: What’s In a Name?” by Vivienne Louise, Bay Area Women’s News, Vol. 1, No. 6, Jan/Feb 1988, 5.
  2. Although we generally use accepted geographic terms, we disagree with the ones that say there’s a “top” and “bottom” of our planet, with “northern” and “southern” hemispheres, placing Europe, the US, and Canada at the “top” of the world, and southern Africa, South America, and South Pacific nations at the “bottom” or “down under.” “Top” has been made to imply superiority and “bottom” inferiority, so that current maps make northern hemisphere nations appear innately superior to southern hemisphere nations. It may be too much for most male minds to comprehend, but in space there’s no top or bottom. Our planet spins in space, as do other planets, and the stars and moons.

6.  Wikipedia.
List of indigenous peoples of California

Yurok, northwestern California[14]

7.  Russell Thornton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987), 49.

  1. A.W. Reed and T.S. Käretu, Concise Māori Dictionary (New Zealand: Reed, 1984), 13.  Claudia Orange, The Treaty of Waitangi (Wellington, New Zealand: Allen and Unwin/Port Nicholson Press, 1987), 267.

9. Wikipedia

Iwi

Name (“United Tribes” number[2]) Rohe (location) Waka (canoe) People (2001)
Kāi Tahu – (see Ngāi Tahu below)
Kāti Mamoe – or “Ngāti Mamoe South Island
Moriori † (21) Chatham Islands 585
Muaūpoko (31) Levin 1,836
Ngāi Rauru (23) – or Ngāti Rauru Taranaki Aotea-utanganui 3,090
Ngāriki Kaiputahi (44) – or Ngā Ariki Gisborne Te Ikanui-a-Rauru 2,083
Ngā Ruahine (21) Taranaki 3,228
Ngāi Tahu (also Kāi Tahu) South Island Tākitimu 39,180
Ngāi Tai (9) – or Ngāti Tai Hauraki Tainui 177
Ngāi Tai (53) – or Ngāti Tai Bay of Plenty 2,022
Ngāi Takoto Northland 489
Ngāi Tamanuhiri – or Ngāti Tāmanuhiri Gisborne 1,173
Ngaiterangi Matakana Island 9,561
Ngāi Tuhoe (51) Te Urewera Mataatua 29,259
Ngāpuhi (4) Northland Ngatokimatawhaorua 102,981
Ngāpuhi ki Whaingaroa-Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa Northland 1,965
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 5,892
Ngāti Apa (29) ManawatuSouth Island 3,021
Ngāti Awa (50) KawerauBay of Plenty 13,044
Ngāti Hako Hauraki Gulf 924
Ngāti Hau Wanganui
Ngāti Hauā (26) Waikato ? 6,400
Ngāti Hauiti Rangitikei 1,002
Ngāti Hei Hauraki Gulf 363
Ngāti Huia (15) Waikato
Ngāti Kahu (2) Northland Māmaru 6,957
Ngāti Kahungunu (34, 36, 37) Hawke’s BayWairarapa Tākitimu 51,552
Ngāti Koata South Island 765
Ngāti Kuia South Island Te Hoiere 1,224
Ngāti Kurī Northland 4,647
Ngāti Mahuta (7, 14) Waikato
Ngāti Mamoe South Island 2,262
Ngāti Manawa 1,542
Ngāti Maniapoto (17) King Country Waikato Tainui 27,168
Ngāti Maru (12) Hauraki
Ngāti Maru (Taranaki) (24) Taranaki
Ngāti Mutunga (18) TaranakiChatham Islands 2,652
Ngāti Paoa (10) Hauraki Gulf 2,397
Ngāti Pikiao (Te Arawa) Rotorua 5,022
Ngāti Poneke Wellington
Ngāti Porou (39) East Cape Horouta 61,701
Ngāti Pukenga Tauranga 1,137
Ngāti Pūkenga ki Waiau Hauraki Gulf 273
Ngāti Rāhiri Tumutumu Te Aroha 93
Ngāti Ranginui (48) Tauranga 6,120
Ngāti Rangiteaorere (Te Arawa) 177
Ngāti Rangitihi (Te Arawa) 1,041
Ngāti Rangiwewehi (Te Arawa) 1,551
Ngāti Rārua South Island 699
Ngāti Raukawa (16, 28) WaikatoManawatuKapiti[disambiguation needed] Tainui ? 24,000
Ngāti Rauru – or Nga Rauru Taranaki
Ngāti Rongomaiwahine Mahia Peninsula 4,254
Ngāti Ruanui (22) Taranaki Aotea-utanganui 5,286
Ngāti Ruapani (42, 45) East Cape
Ngāti Tahu (Te Arawa) 1,209
Ngāti Tai (9) – or Nga Tai or Ngai Tai Hauraki Gulf 177
Ngāti Tama (25) King CountryWellingtonSouth IslandChatham Islands 1,764
Ngāti Tāmanuhiri (38) – or Ngāi Tāmanuhiri Gisborne
Ngāti Tamaterā (13) Coromandel Peninsula Tainui 1,866
Ngāti Tara Tokanui Hauraki Gulf 330
Ngāti Te Ata Manukau Harbour 15,652
Ngāti Te Wehi Aotea Harbour Kawhia 5000
Ngāti Toa/Ngāti Toarangatira (32) Porirua Tainui 4,491
Ngāti Tūtekohe (41) East Cape
Ngāti Tuwharetoa (46) Taupo 29,301
Ngāti Wai Northland 3,966
Ngāti Whakaue 5,061
Ngāti Whanaunga (11) Waihi 399
Ngāti Whare 690
Ngāti Whātua (5, 6) Kaipara Harbour 12,105
Pakakohi Taranaki 408
Patukirikiri Hauraki Gulf 60
Poutini West Coast
Rangitane (30, 35) Northern South Island 4,401
Rongowhakaata (44) Gisborne 3,612
Rongomaiwahine Mahia 2,322
Tai Ngahu South Island 1,094
Tainui Waikato 35,781
Tangahoe Taranaki 261
Tapuika (Te Arawa) 1,050
Taranaki (20) Taranaki 5,940
Tarawhai (Te Arawa) 114
Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti (40) East Cape
Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki (43) Wairoa 4,365
Te Arawa (47) Rotorua
Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi (27) 8,820
Te Āti Awa (19, 33) TaranakiWellington Aotea 17,445
Te Aupouri (1) 7,848
Te Kawerau Northland 228
Te Rarawa (3) Hokianga 11,526
Te Roroa Northland 966
Te Uri-o-Hau 732
Te Whakatohea (52) Opotiki 9,948
Te Whanau-a-Apanui (54) East Cape 9,951
Tūhourangi (Te Arawa) 1,617
Uenuku-Kōpako (Te Arawa) 174
Waikato-Tainui see Tainui Waikato Region Tainui 52,000
Waitaha (Te Arawa)
  1. “Suing Ma Bell Over Dirty Language,” Newsweek, 7 Dec. 1987, 47. This article described a 12-year-old boy’s rape of a 4-year-old girl as, “…he persuaded a 4-year-old to perform sexual acts.”
  2. Elizabeth Ward, Father-Daughter Rape (The Women’s Press, Ltd., 124 Shoreditch High St., London E1 6J3, England), 79.
  3. Gossip, No. 5, page 15.
  4. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, Massachusetts, USA: Merriam-Webster Inc., 1984).

 

About Bev Jo

I've been a Lesbian from my earliest memories and am proud to be a Lesbian. My life's work is defending Lesbian culture and existence against those who oppress us. Working-class, ex-catholic, mostly European-descent (with some Native American ancestry), from poverty class culture. Lifelong Lesbian, born near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. Became lovers with my first lover in 1968, became part of a Lesbian community in 1970, and became a Dyke Separatist in 1972. Worked on some of the earliest Lesbian Feminist projects, such as the Lesbian Feminist Conference in Berkeley in 1972, the newspaper “Dykes and Gorgons” in 1973, the women’s bookstore and Lesbian coffeehouse, and taught self defense to women and girls. Have published in several journals and anthologies, including “For Lesbians Only,” “Finding the Lesbians,” “Lesbian Friendships,” "Amazones d'Hier, Lesbiennes Aujourd'hui," “Mehr als das Herz Gebrochen,” the Journal for Lesbian Studies, Lesbian Ethics, and Sinister Wisdom. With Linda Strega and Ruston, co-wrote our book, “Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics for Lesbians Only” in 1990. Have been disabled since 1981 with ME/CFIDS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome) or perhaps Lyme disease (who the hell knows) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.) I love nature and plants and animals -- and especially the animals who are feared and hated and killed by people who don't even know them, just as Lesbians are. I've learned to love rats especially, who I do not consider inferior to humans. I'm a spiritual atheist, but I've found out that there is definitely life after death because a little rat returned from the dead for three days to comfort us. These hated little animals are so kind and loving, and willing to die for someone they love. I say, in our fight to protect the earth -- distrust all "truths" we are taught by patriarchy. The true truth is often the opposite.
This entry was posted in Additional Radical Lesbian Feminist writings, Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics, Our book 25 years later with extensive additions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Introduction to Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics, 25 years update

  1. Lizzy Shaw says:

    I do like a good introduction. Also, thank you for pointing out that bisexual women do have privilege over lesbians and do oppress us. The current mindfuck narrative is that lesbians and gay men are somehow treated just as well as heterosexuals due to only being in romantic relationships with one sex. They like to call us “monosexuals” which used to be a term for a narcissistic person who masturbated too much, because calling lesbians and gay men sexual deviants is sooooo progressive. The popular lie is that bisexuals don’t have to worry about homophobia, oh no, it’s those mean gays and especially those mean lesbians that cause all their problems!

    Bisexual women (and some het women) who are trans boot-lickers like to call lesbians “genital-obsessed” even though they are dick-lovers who are obsessed with making sure other women do as the patriarchy commands and fuck men. (For some “mysterious” reason though, they have less problems with het men who say no to the trans cult.) I also recall many online discussions about lesbian issues being derailed by obnoxious bisexual women who were mad it wasn’t about them, despite how some of these women like to pretend to be us. That said, there are some bisexual women I like and who do have a radical way of thinking. There is one blogger who is very good and calling out the trans cult and the bs that counts for bi-activism, but just her and a few others is not enough.

    (Also, the phenomenon of people who claim to be bisexual or pansexual but immediately go back to just having het relationships after their first brush with homophobia shows that it is in fact homophobia they need to worry about, not “mean” homosexuals.)

    I never used the word “queer” to describe myself and it is illogical to use a word that now has such a diluted meaning. This is why I think it’s really important to not let the trans cult have anymore of our words. Plus, a lot of people were labeling others as “queer” without their consent and calling lesbians “queer women” to erase their lesbianism. There’s nothing wrong with reclaiming a slur for yourself if it applies to you, but you shouldn’t be naming others with it without their permission.

    I think your writing style is great. Some academic writers are good, but many are just bad at it. People in STEM careers are notoriously bad at communicating and I often find myself asking, “What the hell is this crap?” One of my former lab instructors told me that good communication is considered secondary for most journal articles and you really just want to cram in as much jargon as possible to sound smart. The interesting thing is that the journal articles with a lot of jargon sometimes have disappointing results or you can just tell that the people who wrote it were bored out of their minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bev Jo says:

    Thank you so much, Lizzy!

    Like

  3. KgSch says:

    I’ve seen some of that “monosexual” nonsense floating around too. It’s just ridiculous. Being a lesbian is not a privilege over being bisexual. I know a few bisexuals who have common interests with us, such as being against the trans cult. However, most I’ve met seem to care about these erasure allegations and making any conversation about lesbian stuff about them. Oh, and saying that unlike them, lesbians don’t know what it’s like to be oppressed for being “queer”. More illogical thinking!

    At least back when I was in high school and being bisexual was a fad, there wasn’t any of this whining about how gays a lesbians have more privilege.

    I will say that “bisexual” is becoming passe nowadays, because it’s not “gender-inclusive” (trans-cult worshiping) as being “pansexual”. If you’re wondering what the difference is, there really isn’t any except most pansexuals are way smug about how much they worship trannies. Also, while there are male bisexuals, I see almost no male pansexuals. It has to be a women who worship the trans cult thing.

    Like

  4. Lesbian says:

    Thank you Bev, for opening my eyes to the patriarchy and how it’s foully seeped into every corner of our behavior! Reading your article, suddenly many things make sense. I was born an east asian country which is patriachal in every way despite seeming modern. From boys in my family, and at work ridiculing me whenever I lead, to hiding the resources (cars, money, inheritances) to themselves, wishing I were not lesbian, wishing I never interacted with lesbian friends (wishing my identity out of existence), suddenly a lot of things make sense. Het married women act smug and adult. Lesbians working mainly on abortion, divorce, and het issues at the largest women’s organization. I came across a frightening article written by a relative in which he rated girls at his university and deemed most of them “just good for f***king, throw away afterwards”, and whether they would perform certain acts on him. It’s subhuman. It doesn’t matter whether they’re “enlightened” or not, it’s just a matter of degree. It was always a puzzle to me but suddenly it becomes a coherent whole. However, I have a few questions:

    – Many of the high paying jobs in the economy require interaction with men and het women, as much as they feel superior to us. How do we mediate our interactions? Money enables us to buy houses, own land, healthy food, and have good medical care.

    – Working in the patriachal economy does enable one to learn valuable skills, such as medicine, law, and building. It appears it’s very valuable to continue working in that economy. How do we reconcile this?

    Thank you! Your article has affirmed the need to build better ties with Lesbians solely.

    Like

    • Bev Jo says:

      Sorry it’s taken me so long. I broke my wrist and it hurts to type.

      I’m so glad you survived!

      I think you need to so whatever you can to make a living and it’s good to have more options financially, but I’ve seen too many friends change from being Separatist to identifying with their company or the power structure as they became enmeshed. But then being desperately poor is hellish also. I chose to be poor but free.

      Like

    • Bev Jo says:

      Also, being a Separatist is about who we choose to be with, not who we are forced to be around for work, etc.

      Like

  5. Anon Lesbian Who Thinks You're Cool says:

    Hi, you don’t have to post this if you don’t want to and I am using a different name than usual but I just wanted to say that I agree with everything you said and I am horrified by the way Gallus Mag treated you. I don’t see the point of “dropping the T” if we again go back to a system of always putting gay men’s concerns (even though a lot of them hate us) ahead of lesbians. Gay men might not be out to trash the non-existent space we have or threaten to rape us, but putting any men ahead of lesbians never helps us. Maybe no one knew what AIDS was at first but now we do know that it’s a preventable STD. That is just a biological fact. It is also a fact that gay men in the Bay area and other parts of the country tend to have safer places to live than a lot of lesbians, more money and resources than most of us, more political influence, and there are plenty of AIDS charities. Name-calling and saying you are right-wing disgusts me. That is the trans-cult line that is used against lesbians when we know that creepy men are just creepy men. If Gallus Mag and other people disagree with you they should be able to say why without screaming insults at you and accusing you of things you never did and I really don’t like this mentality of “you disagree with me; you are right-wing”. I think most of the lesbians and other women who helped gay men when AIDS first happened knew gay men and associated with them regularly. Since you weren’t associated with them because they hated you, why would you be around them? Why isn’t it equally good that you were helping lesbians who needed it?

    I thought gendertrender was a good site to comment in, but I guess it’s just like tumblr where if you step out of line in the slightest people who don’t even know you will feel free to make personal attacks on you and accuse you of things you never did. I deleted my account on tumblr because it wasn’t just the awful trans politics; if you had a different opinion on a TV show of all things (especially if it was a popular TV show and you didn’t like it) you were “spreading hate”. I never thought I’d feel the same creepy feeling from gendertrender of all places. I liked the site because it had honest reporting and you could see that you weren’t the only lesbian who wasn’t on board the trans train. The only thing the depressed me was all the shit trannies got away with, but at the same time it was a relief to see that not everyone was being brainwashed. Most of the Houston voters weren’t brainwashed, although it was sad to see the lamestream media calling this a lesbian issue. I am in a mood to say, “Hi I’m a lesbian and I would have voted no on that proposition if I had lived there.” Now I’m actually more upset about things Gallus Mag said to you because I really did not expect better from idiot reporters with their “journalism”, but I have grown to expect good things from her.

    I honestly can only see myself commenting on your blog and maybe radical feminist Facebook groups if I ever get a Facebook, because unless I need to quote crime statistics at someone I am done with gendertrender. I can’t condone the way Gallus Mag treated you. You have been commenting there for a long time so she should know that you aren’t a bad person and aren’t out to oppress anyone. I can’t support a radical feminism that involves turning on our friends like that over a disagreement.

    I also just wanted to add that your book is great and thank you for putting it online. It has been a huge positive influence on my life. (Also sorry about the weird name but I just don’t want more internet drama now. I also wasn’t sure where to post this.)

    Like

    • Bev Jo says:

      Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I’ve been upset about this because I’m friends with Gallus Mag, love her dearly, and always support her online and elsewhere. I’ve called her our “champion” because she is the one Lesbian consistently fighting the trans cult, and GenderTrender is the one place I recommend people go to find out the truth with her great posts about the horrors of what these men (and a few women) are doing. I also support her against the hatred she gets for being a class-oppressed Butch because of course her culture shows in her writing style.

      So I’d say to not give up on her or her blog. And I wonder if enough women wrote to her, asking her to look at what is happening now, when, as you said, it’s clear what causes AIDS, so why is this THE priority of so many Lesbians now, with millions still going to AIDS groups (and the original funding had been cut from the cancer budget), with Lesbians volunteering. These aren’t even Lesbians who had been in the gay community, but women who came out late after having husbands and kids, and then think AIDS is the most important issue for Lesbians. Why not explore all this since it is directly connected to why Lesbians and other women prioritize other men in the trans cult?

      I didn’t even get into how gay men promote the trannie men, whether it’s being in the richly-funded alphabet organizations so with a man posing as the “L” the gay men can work entirely with men. This is increasingly happening, and other horror is gay men and trannies writing (erasing) our Lesbian history, such as in the book, “Gay By the Bay,” where the trannie pretending to be a Lesbian wrote lies about our Bay Area Lesbian Community. This collaboration happens elsewhere too. I tried to go to an enormous “LBGT” conference in Oakland a few years ago since there would have been Lesbian workshops. I objected to the $200 fee and was called names by the gay men in charge (I didn’t go of course), but they had spent thousand to fly in a trannie from New Zealand who had just left his wife and kids to “come out” and was bragging about how he had no idea how to look like a Lesbian until he took a women’s studies class and the Lesbians taught him. I’m rarely around anywhere gay men are, so I can only imagine this is going on all the time. (Another story a Lesbian who helped create our community here told me is that after an expensive AIDS benefit, a gay man took hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash with no protest.)

      I don’t understand why she reacted like that, but she’s done it before, referring to the “beautiful boys” who died of AIDS. Obviously, men she loved very much died from AIDS. That would have been terrible. But when I’m in SF around the time of the Gay Parade, like for the Dyke March, where they don’t leave us alone. I see anything but beauty — instead there are nasty-looking gay men in sadist regalia with their pricks hanging out.

      I don’t know what gay community she was in, but I think that’s how she came out and was never in a Lesbian community. She missed the wonderful Lesbian Feminist communities of the Seventies, probably never saw Del Martin write about how much gay men hated Lesbians. When we disagreed a few years ago about it being a choice who we love, she objected. “Born this way” came from psychiatrists and gay men, erasing Lesbian Feminist choice. When I mentioned how is it not a choice when so many Lesbians go back to men, she’s never known of any! “Bisexuals” prove there is a choice.

      What I didn’t dare mention is that I saw the AIDS situation unfold in the gay newspaper here, where for a long time the theory (including by gay doctors) was that the men’s immune system had been destroyed because they had had STDs so many times, taken so many antibiotics, that their bodies couldn’t cope. There is a reason they were forbidden to donate blood. But before AIDS, some of their STDS, like various forms of hepatitis, did get into the blood supply. People died or were disabled for life. But why aren’t we supposed to talk about this? It is all about gay men having the right to fuck each other to death. Fine, but don’t infect other people and why expect Lesbians and other women to take care of them? I still do not understand it other than that the hets vilified them, so we must take care of them. The same could be said of the trannies or any other group of men who are not mainstream. Of course we aren’t the right wing. It’s the right wing who do not want those with privilege questioned, and in this case, it’s the gay men who have privilege over us, including in the media.

      It is entirely relevant to question why and how Lesbians have betrayed each other and girls and other women on behalf of het men/trannies. How did they become more important than any female? Exploring how and why some Lesbians abandoned Lesbian community, ignored what the Shanti Project did, and prioritized gay men over Lesbians who were/are dying is part of that answer. Lesbians supporting men who hate us became institutionalized, and we are still feeling the effects, worse than ever.

      I’ll quote Anna Lee and Jackie Winnow again, as we did in our book:

      In a speech given at an Eighties San Francisco conference for Lesbians who were taking care of men with AIDS, Jackie Winnow, a Lesbian dying of metastatic cancer, said

      …. there’s a few things you should know. There are around 100 women with AIDS in the Bay Area. In 1988 there were 40,000 women in San Francisco and Oakland living with cancer; at least 4,000 of the women with cancer are lesbians; 4,000 will die this year. Only 1.5 percent of the city health budget last year went to women-specific services …. There are so many women in our community with health problems, be they cancer, environmental illness, Epstein-Barr or multiple sclerosis, but they are not seen as having anything serious enough to be taken care of … and women are on the lower rungs of the financial ladder, and when they become ill the bottom falls out much quicker, because they’re closer to it …. Why aren’t we screaming that sexism kills us? …. All disease in this country is political … the money going to AIDS was taken from the cancer budget ….4

      As Anna Lee, a Black US Lesbian Separatist, says in her brilliant article, For The Love Of Separatism:

      Another example of the bond between white lesbians and white males is the almost wholehearted endorsement of the need to support males dying of AIDS…. many white lesbians both separatist and non-separatist claim that because black women are dying of AIDS, lesbians should be involved in that struggle. It is true that black females and males die from AIDS. It is not true that AIDS is transmitted through the air we breathe and the water we drink. It is transmitted through sexual contact with someone who has AIDS and through blood exchange with someone who has AIDS. Because of the way AIDS is transmitted, lesbians are a low risk group. In order to induce lesbians to work on AIDS, the definition of lesbianism is diluted to include women who have sexual contact with men. Who then is a heterosexual woman?…. I’m still waiting for white lesbians to question their bond with white men and what that bond means to creating a diverse lesbian community. The bond between white lesbians and men is currently a stumbling block to the creation of meaningful race and class diversity.”5

      Thank you so much again. Do join us on facebook. I moderate several Radical Feminist group, including a Lesbian-only one. Megan moderates one to discuss our book. Beware, there are a lot of troll groups by “radfems” who hate us, who go against basic feminist principles, and who play double games with the trans cult. Our groups are the Radical Feminist Coffee House, Lesbians for Lesbians, Womyn Born Womyn Radical Feminist Warriors, Dykes-Loving-Dykes, and the more open, liberal, the Harmful Transgender Agenda.

      Like

      • Anon Lesbian Who Thinks You're Cool says:

        Hi sorry for that late reply. I do think Gallus Mag’s blog is pretty great and it is good that she exposes so much crime that tranny men do and doesn’t play the make nice with pronouns games. Even a lot of so-called radical feminists who point out the repeated misogyny, lesbian and gay-hating, and outright violence of the trans cult still call those men “she”.

        Still, the whole thing bothered me quite a bit when I have never got the impression that you were trying to oppress anyone. I understand how hard it can be to lose friends you cared about and loved, but it isn’t just about individuals. I think it is logical to look at the AIDS crisis as a time when lesbians started prioritizing men, even if a lot of the lesbians were formerly het with husbands and/or children.

        I can get that if you were friends with gay men prioritizing them when AIDS first happened, but now we know what causes AIDS and how it can be prevented. Still, you are right that it begs the question of “does that mean lesbians should help all non-mainstream men (as in men who don’t fit into the macho white hetero male ideal) even though they hate us?” Gay men do have more in common with lesbians than the trans cult does, due to also being in same-sex relationships but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still men and that many of them hate lesbians and other women. If some super virus affected men pretending to be women, should we drop everything and as a group help them even more despite the fact that they are some of the most misogynistic, lesbian-hating men out there? In fact, too many lesbians and other women already fawn over them and treat them as the most oppressed creatures on the planet despite the fact that as a group they have more financial influence and financial power than we do and often have access to high-paying STEM and IT jobs that most women could not get.

        Anyway, it is ridiculous to continue to prioritize a group of men over lesbians and even het women over lesbians. You are right that many gay men do promote tranny men and allow them to pretend to be lesbians so they can trick lesbians to donating money to their organizations. With a few exceptions like some gay men on gendertrender for example, most gay men seem happy to place their tranny “sisters” ahead of lesbians or any woman really. Men will always side with other men over lesbians. They don’t want to work with us and they run organizations that actively oppress us.

        That man they paid to fly to the conference is disgusting, but typical. I think the high fees for conferences like this are deliberately designed to exclude poorer people, especially lesbians. It also pisses me off that suddenly some criticisms of the trans cult are considered legitimate not because of the rape and death threats against feminists or the eugenics experiments on children but because some gay men were upset that the trannys complained about drag.

        I’m not surprised about the re-writing of history either. I recall reading a comment on a different blog where the commenter said that her friend took a “women and gender studies” class taught by a gay men and all of the reading material was just crap that completely distorted the political positions of radical feminists and the teacher told the students that it was a waste of time to read the original works by the radical feminists because it was “all trash.”

        “Another story a Lesbian who helped create our community here told me is that after an expensive AIDS benefit, a gay man took hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash with no protest.”

        Sadly that doesn’t surprise me. It seems that actually that charity doesn’t have much to do with helping gay men with AIDS and is more about that one dude lining his pockets. In general I’m suspicious of most big-name charities.

        Absolutely a reason AIDS spread so fast is because so many gay men already had compromised immune systems from repeated STD infections and having to take antibiotics. Gay men who have pointed this out, including the gay men who are doctors and they have been vilified and ostracized for it, even called fascists. Sheila Jeffreys’ book “Unpacking Queer Politics” has a section in chapter three that talks about it and the resources she sites are almost all from gay men. Most of the gay men who first had AIDS had depressed immune systems and had had several hundred lifetime sexual partners. One man quoted who eventually died of AIDS stated he had had sex with over 1000 other men and he listed all the diseases he got from it. I had to look some of those diseases up.
        The gay man who wrote “And The Band Played On” was ostracized for having the logical idea to show the spread of AIDS by closing down gay bathhouses and not having sex with men with AIDS.

        Larry Kramer, another gay man, got a lot of crap for writing the book “Faggots” about how destructive mainstream gay culture, drugs, and sex with multiple partners was for gay men and prevented them from finding love. He was even banned from local grocery stores and it got worse when AIDS hit and he tried to convince other gay men to care about their health and convince the governmental bodies to help. He was ousted from his AIDS support organization that he founded and after giving a speech after Bush Jr. was “elected” encouraging gay men to embrace healthier lifestyles when it comes to things like STD prevention was called “homophobic.”

        It isn’t popular to air dirty laundry but oh well. If one wanted to help gay men, wouldn’t it be good for gay men to know that they could take measures to prevent STDs, including ones that can kill you without being a “sex-negative prude” or other reductive label that means “bad”?

        I also think that just because gay men are well, gay that doesn’t mean they are different from heterosexual men. I have a het brother who fucks lots of women without protection and who knows how many STDs he has now that’s he’s spreading around. A lot of his male friends are also promiscuous. Of course, the women who agree to sleep with him are being idiots too. My point is that my het brother’s behavior and his friend’s behavior is not so different from the way a lot of gay men behave—that is, totally self-destructive and dragging other people down with you.

        As for the blood supply, yet another (surprise, surprise) thing I don’t agree with that happens with organizations that claim to represent me involves that. Those organizations claim that it is homophobic not to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood. But the thing is, blood has a shelf life of 40 days tops and it can take three months or more for HIV to show up in a blood test. It seems like narcissism to me. If lesbians got some horrible blood-borne disease (where of course most gay men and trannys would just leave us to die and celebrate our deaths) I wouldn’t throw a fit over not being able to donate blood despite not having the disease because I’m a rational person and wouldn’t want other people to get some awful disease.

        Not acknowledging how AIDS spreads is ridiculous. It is denial on the highest level and refusing to acknowledge a link between really high levels of promiscuity in an insular community and the rise of AIDS is just denying reality and it doesn’t help anyone.
        Plus, like you said, gay men still have way more resources than lesbians and plenty of lesbians and het and bi women to fawn over them. Just the other day my mother told me how it is so much harder to be gay as a man (even though I have asked her repeatedly to not call me gay). I asked her what evidence she had to base this on and she just pointed to some self-hating gay dude that she works with who got crap on Facebook for being gay, as if the same shit doesn’t happen to lesbians. She also thinks gay men being mentioned more in the news and in history books is somehow evidence they’re more oppressed than us, what the fuck.

        Strangely, she had nothing to say when I pointed out that gay or not, men still make more money than most women, still have charities dedicated to them, and in some parts in the US control entire neighborhoods and towns while lesbians have zero space to ourselves and a huge poverty rate, especially among older lesbians. Then again, my mom also likes to fawn over trannys because they’re “beautiful” (read: performing male-identified femininity). She must have a hard time with Bruce Jenner considering she hates deadbeat dads, Republicans, and rich people, but maybe she’ll eventually come to the good liberal conclusion that he’s still the most oppressed creature ever. At least my dad acknowledges that Bruce’s behavior is like performing blackface, but targeting women.

        She really can’t see outside of het roleplaying and has called my lesbian cousin “aggressive” and has said “She’s not a dyke or anything, but she’s an aggressive lesbian.” Everything she says is so illogical. I guess she thinks being a lesbian is lucky because I have some self-respect and have told her that I would never choose to be het, but self-respect doesn’t negate oppression. I think Obama has respect for himself, yet he still experiences racism and he’s the fucking president. My mom also thinks that I’m lucky because I won’t have a toxic relationship with a man, but it’s all a CHOICE and there is nothing keeping our family members from leaving their men, especially because none of them are married to their men and most of them are the ones financially supporting their men.

        I also agree about being a lesbian being a choice. The born-this-way philosophy really doesn’t make sense when you consider women who have been married to men, especially women who have been married to men for decades, and then decide much later to be lesbians. If they were really “lesbians all along” then that implies that being married to a man, having sex with him, and reproducing are lesbian behaviors when they are not. I can understand why variations of “born-this-way” show up since lesbianism is a perfectly natural way of being, but a lot of women obviously choose to love men instead or to go back to men for the privilege.
        I will just say keep up being awesome. I think I will join those Facebook groups, but it might take me some time because I have a huge workload until June.

        Like

  6. Joanne Eliora James says:

    My initials are JWJ. Was in contact by mail with Bev in the late 1980’s and wish I knew where my book went! Reading LC this morning I was glad to see Bev’s name and am inspired to begin my own blog with the lesbian history of what I find is called “old gay”: our dear friend and “uncle”, Glad Smith. We lost her 20 years ago but I have an oral history and photos. She was born in 1923. She taught us, Butch and Fem make the world go ’round. Boy that has been problematic when we moved to Eugene Oregon and women were full of internalized homophobia. (the woman who made the biggest stink ended up going back to men). More and more to learn and connect with like-minded radical separatists. Great work and Brava to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bev Jo says:

    I’m so sorry, Joanne. I thought I’d answered you! It’s been overwhelming, with Linda discovering a new cancer (though she had surgery and is doing great).

    That is a great idea to start a blog! We have our groups on facebook, but the harasssment is endless. That’s so important that your keeping histories since we are being so erased.

    It’s been my experience too that the most Lesbian-hating are often those lecturing the rest of us and then go back to men. And now they are prioritizing men over Lesbians and women.

    As you can see from our chapter four, I don’t think role-playing is good for us, or that Butches should belong to Fems, but it’s essential to name who we are based on girlhood choices, since it affects our lives now, in terms of how men and het women and even Lesbians treat us. Butches are recognizable and treated accordingly and often with cruelty and objectification and slander, while Fems can be out as Dykes and share support, or pass as acceptably het. Too often now, though, Butches are appropriated by Fems posing as “Butch” in photo collections, etc., and other media images, often combined with sado-masochism. Like with other appropriation, some of these Fems publicly present Butch-hating stereotypes.

    I wish we lived close enough and I could just give you another copy of our book!
    xoxox

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s