Once upon a time, not that long ago, women and certainly Lesbians knew the difference between females and males. But too many Lesbians gave up or never seemed to learn the common sense that was an essential part of Lesbian Feminism. Lesbians had fought against the trans cult for decades, until finally most seemed to have given in to the lies. (Rape and mutilation and death threats, ridicule and insults, as well as peer pressure to obey male rules, do have an effect.)
It’s been over 45 years since Alix Dobkin sang “Any woman can be a Lesbian.” Unlike now, where she would be chastised for daring to say the truth, thousands of Lesbians cheered in agreement – because most, like her, had chosen to leave men for Lesbians and were proud of their choice. (No, they were not Political Lesbians, but Lesbians in every sense.) Alix also sang, “You can’t find a woman’s love in a man, never in a million years,” and we agreed.
So what later happened is the same as what happens with many oppressed people who give in to the constant pressure to assimilate and betray themselves for the approval of the oppressor: most learn and accept the lies we are taught. The situation of Lesbians is unique, however, because Lesbians can decide to stop being oppressed as Lesbians in order to get full het privilege. This makes talking about choices even more relevant.
This issue is keystone because it’s about freeing all females from male propaganda designed to stop our thinking. The alternative, which means accepting the lies, pushes girls and women to focus on pleasing males and be in competition with each other. And then most join in policing other girls and women to become or stay het.
Choice about who we love is one of the issues of Lesbian Feminism that changed everything, which is why men from the right wing to left have tried to stop it, including getting their women to bully us and be outraged if we disagree or talk back. The tactics are similar to what the trans cult uses. No thinking allowed. This is not a “generational” issue but a truth issue. Those who do not bother to learn our history condemn us to repeat it.
The responses to my first article have been confusing to where it seems like those objecting didn’t even bother to read it. (Why else question what I already answered in detail?) This political issue is not merely personal because it threatens patriarchy at its core. Focusing on what we have done in the past is NOT what this is about. It’s about what women are choosing NOW. The three choices are: love our own kind, be sexual with males, or be celibate. Now this doesn’t not conflict with the feelings that the few Lifelong Lesbians have, which is that we are born this way, because we are born to love our own kind. The problem is that most females go against their nature.
I try to keep it simple:
1. Do you believe that Lesbians who go back to men aren’t choosing? (Then what are they doing? Being abducted by space aliens?)
2. Do you believe that no girl or woman has the choice to say no to the constant pressure to be fucked and used by boys and men? (Why not? Who does myth serve?)
3. Do you know the history of the “born this way” propaganda, from when psychiatristspathologized us as mentally ill for choosing to love our own kind (this was accepted until 1975 and was the basis for “conversion therapy”) to when gay men bullied Lesbians to accept their “born this way” theory as a ploy to get equal rights, based on the premise that we are pitiful inverts and of course would choose to be het if only we could?
4. Do you know the history of how revolutionary and life-changing it was when Lesbian Feminists proudly said that of course we choose to passionately love our own kind? (If so, why do you want to go back to what the men demand we believe? If you don’t know the history, please learn it before reprimanding us to obey the men.
5. How do you feel seeing the constant media propaganda where the Lesbian abjectly agrees she was somehow born perverted and would just love to be het if only she could? The objection to het “conversion therapy” is based on the premise that it doesn’t work. What if instead the Lesbian said, why on earth would I want to be het, as so many Lesbians once proudly said?A movement and community built on shame is in serious trouble. Because when the oppressor claims to be one of us, the grateful shamed Lesbians are thrilled and eagerly welcome him. He matters so much more than any real Lesbian objecting.
How the Myth Is Used Against Us
I realized I needed to explain more after a het “Radical Feminist” ranted at me online when I asked why she chose to be het since it’s so dangerous: “It’s not a fucking CHOICE, which is what the entire LGBT movement is about, right?”
Well, no, my Lesbian Feminist movement is absolutely NOT about erasing us and our choices, but of course it’s what our enemies (het and gay men and women who choose men) push. Lesbians are not the “LGBT” movement. GBT demand we believe against all common sense that women have no choice but to be intimate with our oppressors. (Radical Lesbian Feminists and even many het Radical Feminists know that stopping being het would end patriarchy now.) Denying we all have choices influences girls and women to give up saying no and instead choose to give men and boys what they demand, in spite of girls and women dying as a result. Is this what those who believe in the “born this way” propaganda actually want?
Why on earth did that arrogant het “expert” on Lesbians think she could lecture me about what our movement is when she doesn’t even know that we never joined “GBT,” but were added against our will? She was also playing the usual double game of bragging about her “exceptional” man and giving a creepy emoji wink, while complaining about being a victim of men, as if she has no choice. (It’s been decades since we wrote about the third option of celibacy that few women choose because it means giving up their massive het privilege). She first pretended to be our ally: “I’m straight but I will happily join a lesbian movement and support my sisters 1,000%.” (She is a bit confused about basic math.) That didn’t last long because I didn’t genuflect in abject gratitude.
She had clearly been around Lesbian Feminists, so why not ask about the “LBGT” line of “born this way” rather than lecturing me? (It’s because she’s our boss and classism is part of this, as with so much else.) Then, further showing how much she believes we belong to her, she said: “As a woman, you have skin in the game to protect all women. As a het women, I do not have skin in the game to protect lesbians, but I DO.” WTF?
This is more proof about how het feminists think it’s our job to prioritize het women as if most Lesbian Feminists don’t already, with devoting their lives to fighting for abortion rights, creating shelters for women victims of male abuse, etc., rather than helping Lesbians, who no one else does. Prioritizing het women was the thin wedge of early training for Lesbians to later prioritize gay men with an STD (AIDS), and then prioritize het men who identify as women and Lesbians over real Lesbians.
She clearly has no idea that the vast majority of Lesbians once chose males because she wants to believe we are an extremely “other/freak” category to “real” women like her.
Saying no to males and choosing celibacy is strictly forbidden to be mentioned as a possible choice for women and girls. But again, who does that serve? (Sorry to go on, but these days so few women seem willing to think beyond the surface, when going a little deeper explains everything.)
Once again, here is proof about why we cannot let our oppressors define us and return us to the horrors of pre-Lesbian Feminism, when every single group with power, from families to religions to schools to therapists, tried to convince all girls and women that we are meant to live a life of being fucked or that we were a pathetic tiny minority of “mentally ill inverts.” And do not delude yourself — most hets still believe that we are freaks who can’t help being what used to be called “queer” (before it became a trendy term that includes hipster hets) and that something terrible must have happened to make us be “that” way. (Reminding them that we, and they, are all making choices puts an end to that insult.)
But the myth lets het women off the hook from from thinking about the choices they make every day, including about why they are with men who don’t love them or treat them equally and who usually want to do degrading and harmful things to them.
I never know if those who think we are “born this way” believe that theory or the later ploy by gay men to beg hets for equal rights (because we have no right to rights if we say no to men). Some Lesbians even believe the gay male idea of a “gay gene,” which again, makes us rare freaks.
Of course all females were born to love our own kind with a passion, but we need to keep saying all women also choose in order to hold the women who help men keep patriarchy going accountable. No matter how trendy “born this way” has become, why on earth should we betray ourselves after decades of Radical Lesbian Feminism?
This is the selfish era when people avoid admitting to having choices, including those choices that could change everything.
This is the selfish era when people avoid admitting to having choices, including those choices that could change everything. I can’t believe that in Radical Feminist groups online, bisexuals are playing victim with crying and histrionics and bullying because Lesbians dare to say no to them. They used the same arguments that the (TIMs) Trans-identified men) do, as if Lesbians have more power and owe women choosing men anything. Why do both groups feel so entitled to Lesbians’ hearts, souls, bodies? If we refer to the literal danger they put Lesbians in, from STDs to violence from their jealous men, they call us “misogynist,” as if we aren’t women.
Do we really want women who go back to men and then bring their men into our last spaces be supported because we are told “but she’s bisexual,” as if that explains anything? Women identifying as bisexual certainly have a choice: if they are going to fuck over Lesbians by being with men, then stay with the men and leave us alone. (I still remember a Lesbian in torment because her long-time lover would periodically go find some stranger scumbag to fuck her because she was a “bisexual.” How is that any kind of excuse? Lesbians are too vulnerable to being conned.)
The Lesbian Feminist idea that we all choose the most important decision of our lives is deeply threatening to our enemies, including het and gay men and the women aligned with men against us. Of course they want to destroy our history and our awareness of reality. Repeating the same lie over and over does not make it true. Talking about supposedly “compulsory heterosexuality” also erases those of us who always said no.
Again, who on earth does this propaganda help, but men and male supremacy and patriarchy? Who wants no girl or woman to question why she loves males more than her own kind?
Even though I am a Lifelong Lesbian (and one of the few who has dared to write about it and have been attacked as a result for decades), I am being slandered as a “political Lesbian” by the trans cult over this issue, which reveals how threatened they are. But why are Lesbians joining our enemy in slandering me?
What Most Helps Girls and Young Women?
This is also not about “judging” or “blaming” teenaged girls, but about supporting them. This political issue affects all girls and women.
I recently saw a teenaged Lesbian on television, being bullied on one side by her mother chastising her that she could choose to be het (and saying it’s dangerous to be “gay” because of the risk of AIDS), while being “supported” on the other side by a patronizing psychologist (who should have said that Lesbians who are only intimate with Lesbians are among the lowest risk for AIDS, and that her mother was far more likely to get AIDS than her daughter). Instead, the psychologist told her mother that her daughter had no choice about being “gay,” implying that no girl in her right mind would choose to be a Lesbian. Is this really what we want girls and women to believe, without support?
The girl was lovers with another Latina girl and they looked ecstatic and radiant together. Their only problem was the hatred and oppression and lies aimed at them. They had nothing to answer the charges with, other than the usual, “Of course I’d be straight if I could be.” (Meanwhile, the bitter mother looked anything but happy with her own het choices.)
Do we want girls and women who choose each other to be ashamed of their love? Why? How does this help us?
I was always passionately in love with other girls and would not give that up even at the time when there was nothing – not one book, film, person — to support me. But what a difference it made in my life when I found our wonderful Lesbian Feminist community in 1970, to have support to say I was making a proud choice. So when my mother or doctors asked what terrible thing “made” me be “this way,” I told them it was a choice and I would never want to be heterosexual, ever. I also told my mother that she too could choose to be a Lesbian instead of being with her abusive and repulsive men who gave her STDs, beat her, etc. (And yes, she was attracted to other women but didn’t have the courage to follow through because she wanted what she thought was an easier life being “taken care of,” with a man on her arm, even when he despised her.)
Shall We Discuss this Logically?
Do you think we are rare freaks? Then you must believe most girls and women are born to be fucked? If not, girls and women can say no, which means there are three choices. Once can lead to ecstasy, with loving other Lesbians but suffering oppression, one can mean having more status as celibate though still ridiculed, while the third choice means high status for het women, but often a life of loneliness and increasing likelihood of STDs, abuse, etc. (Not to mention that reproducing is destroying the earth.)
Once, which many of us still remember, marriage was known to be a legal form of prostitution where women were paid for services rendered. Great if they loved their man, but they didn’t expect it. And many women felt no attraction to their man at all.
But with the threat of feminism, men bombarded the media with imbeds and subliminals and endless propaganda geared to get women and girls to think they were attracted to males. (When I was little, most girls hated boys because they attacked and harassed us). But as part of joining the “normal” world, girls started focusing on men they didn’t even know who the media told us were attractive, like singers, movie and television stars, etc. And then girls would talk together about their crushes on strangers as a way to do early het bonding.)
Lesbians sometimes suddenly identify with issues that are not theirs if the issues suddenly seem trendy. This happens with classism, where some of the most class-privileged and classist Lesbians announce they are working class at a class workshop, and then proceed to dominate as the privileged do. It happens when the same Lesbians who told me to stop identifying as Butch suddenly say they are Butch (when they clearly are not). And it also happens when the same Lesbians who ridiculed “gold star” Lesbians and brag about old boyfriends and husbands, their past het privilege, etc., suddenly insist they always were Lesbians, but they “just didn’t know it” – which erases Lifelong Lesbians.
Lifelong Lesbians are actually one of the most denied groups of Lesbians since so many ex-hets love to proclaim “we were all het once.” (When I was told that by a Lesbian star and said “no we weren’t,” she asked incredulously, but “you must have wanted dick at least once!?” No, and I haven’t eaten dog shit either.) I wonder how many ex-het Lesbians have been harassed like I have been, with smirking Lesbians showing photos of erect pricks or ugly prick effigies (like the woman who carries this on her keychain and taunted me in her baby doll voice, “this is going to really scare you”). Then there’s the “friend” who bragged to a friend I introduced her to that Lesbians who’ve been het make better lovers (Really? Not that I’ve ever experienced.) I never know when it will happen, but believers in “born this way” deny those women made and continue to make choices?
It might seem odd to include and answer some of the recent bizarre criticisms I got over my article by Lesbians who didn’t seem to have read it, but I will answer some who are scrambling to discredit me. (A friend was wondering why Lesbians who hadn’t even been alive when I was already a Lesbian Separatist activist felt they could say they didn’t believe I was a Lesbian if I said we all choose. All the questioner had to do was to look at my photo and read what I’ve written about my life to know who I am. As my dear friend has said, our entire book is available for free online.)
I was reprimanded that it means something if “multiple people” don’t agree with me. Well, if that is what it takes to make me give up my politics, I would have quit when I was first told to stop identifying as a Lesbian when still a teenager, or to stop being a Lesbian Separatist in 1972, or to stop identifying at Butch by an out-through-the-movement esteemed middle class academic, or to stop saying men can’t be Lesbians if I wanted to be “modern and with it.” I am willing to discuss this issue with any Lesbian, but I will not betray my politics or myself, because if I haven’t been beaten into submission by rape and death threats, nothing else will work.
The Lesbian chastising me used classism to lecture me, even though that is not her issue to use, but I doubt she would be so insulting if I were middle class like her. She said how some things can make it impossible for girls and women to choose being Lesbians, even though I have Lesbian friends from parts of the world where we are executed by law.
She made me sound unfair and cruel by distorting my saying that we need to hold accountable adult Lesbians (including Radical Lesbian Feminists) who choose to go back to men (which seriously harms our communities) as being about holding little girls “accountable” for their choices. She said that many girls “lie about being Lesbians” and that “it takes a huge amount of courage to resist.” What girl is directly asked by her parents if she is a Lesbian? I’ve never heard of that. Generally, parents are far more worried that their little girl has started to let boys and men fuck her and that she’ll get pregnant. Lesbians trying to shut down the politics of choice seem to forget that most parents have mixed feelings about their daughters choosing men. Although most parents want their daughters to be het, they want them to do it acceptably, while married, etc. Girls are encouraged to be celibate, at least for a while.
This Lesbia also said “Being able to figure out that the adults which have power over you as a child or teen are fallible beings who might not have your best interests at heart is a big cognitive leap. Girls reach that point at different ages, possibly due to diet or environment in developing that area of the brain. That therefore impacts on the choices those girls make.” This seems like she was in an unusual (class-privileged?) position of having thought of adults as people we could trust as girls. I sure didn’t. From very young, I knew my mother made terrible decisions and hated how those decisions affected me, from her getting thrown in jail after bar brawls to putting me in short dresses and setting me on drunken stranger’s men’s laps at bars to get herself more attention. I was convinced to believe a lot of lies, but nothing was going to stop my feeling in love with other girls.
By the time I was a teenager, my friends and I regularly talked about what a mess our parents were and why we didn’t trust them to have sense. But at the age girls in some cultures are married off to men, I saw my same usually thoughtful, intelligent friends suddenly brag about how they were learning flirt to attract boys. I saw them make very clear decisions away from girls to males. Some also joked about Lesbians.
This Lesbian had gaslighted me by lecturing me about the five kinds of love, ignoring that in my article I had specifically referred to passionate, in-love Lesbian love: “Because to the majority of women ‘lesbian love’ refers exclusively to a love that has a romantic and sexual element. I don’t love my best friend in a lesbian way, or my mother, or my cat, or my car. Then of course there’s love’s counterfeit – attachment. People often mistake attachment for love, especially teenagers. Attachment is normal but it is not noble like love, it is something else entirely.” (Her car?)
Seriously? This trivializing the intense love girls can feel for each other where some will die for each other is exactly what psychologists do to us, writing that we are just practicing with each other for the “real thing” (men.)
Plus, I would say the courage it takes for teenaged girls to love each other enough to become lovers when there is NO support anywhere, not even from our closest friends, when they risk being homeless or put in mental hospitals, raped and killed, with the entire world against us, is certainly “noble.” (Before Lesbian Feminism, the worst thing they did to us was to make us question if our loving our lover was harming her, as in “The Well of Loneliness.”) Marg and I went through hell for each other. I would like to know why on earth this Lesbian feels superior enough to judge us? At what age does she consider her loving women to be “noble?”
It was like she was trying to find anything possible to criticize me, to censor me and make me give up, just as the men do to us. (This is a common thing I’ve experienced from the class-privileged before, where nothing we say or write is good enough.) She also went off on a theory about how brains aren’t fully formed until age 23 (but why say that? Is that to excuse women who chose men before 23 as not really making an actual choice?)
When I answered that the theory of brains not being fully developed before age 23 has been used to excuse rapist and murderer males who were younger than 23, she said: “Well I’m using a big sharp knife to chop up vegetables for my dinner, sharp knives are also used by males to threaten, maim and kill women and girls. So are you inferring there is some correlation between my using a knife in meal preparation and the oppression of women, so should I therefore not use a knife? It seems you’re trying to infer that I agree with neuroscience therefore I must therefore also support its misuse in this way. That’s ridiculous.”
No, that’s classist to call what I said “ridiculous” and her response is mindfuck. A knife is a tool. Scientific studies are open to interpretation and have been horribly misused, with results often gotten from torturing people and other animals. What is even the point of discrediting the decisions made by females younger than 23 except to “prove” we don’t have choices?
So, to her, my life and work before 23 is meaningless because my brain was not “fully formed”? She doesn’t even consider that my work likely helped her come out decades later. Of course she didn’t notice or care that by doing that she was erasing some of the most important years of my life, from when I told my best friend I loved her at 16, chose to become lovers with my first lover at 17, and subsequent lovers, and not only chose to identify as a Lesbian Feminist at 19 in 1970, but then as a Dyke Separatist in 1972. I helped to create one of the first Lesbian Feminist conferences we knew of in the world when I was 21, and when 22 in 1973, co-wrote, co-drew and co-published Dykes and Gorgons, one of the first Dyke Separatist newspapers, was one of the first Lesbians to have confronted and worked against men claiming to be Lesbians (which I am still being slandered about), volunteered for our women’s bookstore, worked on a Lesbian coffeehouse , and so much more. When I was 23, I was with a wonderful lover who was a very wise and aware Lesbian Separatist at 32. I learned so much from her, including about class, but I still felt older in some ways because of my years of Lesbian experiences.
I’m sorry if all this seems too personal and detailed, but I’ve learned from decades of experience that whatever is thrown to silence me will be thrown at other Lesbians. It could be that this Lesbian who I consider a friend has re-thought what she’d written, but I haven’t heard from her.
Why Not Give Ourselves Credit for Choosing the Best?
I want to ask the Radical Lesbian Feminists who vehemently oppose the idea of choice, don’t they make the same courageous choice every day to be Lesbians, so why are these revolutionary and powerful Lesbian politics so threatening to them? Why on earth are we expected to give up one of the most important Lesbian Feminist realizations from the Seventies to fit in with the het and gay male and het women’s proclamations that women and girls have no choice about who we love with passion? Do we really want all that we accomplished to be erased by these people who hate us?
Again, I am willing to discuss this and any of my politics, but is it too much to ask that Part One to my article be read first before being required to repeat again what I’ve already spent decades thinking and writing about?
I’ve been a Lesbian from my earliest memories and am proud to be a Lesbian. Lesbians are my people and my blood. My life’s work has defending Lesbians and our culture and existence against those who oppress us. Working-class, ex-catholic, mostly European-descent (with some First Nations, probably Shawnee, ancestry), from poverty class culture. I’m a Lifelong Lesbian, born near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. I became lovers with my first lover in 1968, became part of a Lesbian community in 1970, and became a Dyke Separatist in 1972. I helped create Radical Lesbian Feminist and Separatist community and 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, Lesbian coffeehouse, and taught self defense to women and girls for ten years.
I’ve been published in 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, Sinister Wisdom, Trivia, and Rain and Thunder. With Linda Strega and Ruston, I co-wrote our book, “Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics for Lesbians Only” in 1990.
Our book and my more recent articles have been updated at my blog https://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/
I’ve been disabled since 1981 with ME/CFIDS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) 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.