Being a lesbian has nothing to do with men

by Jordan Redman

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard all the clichés surrounding lesbians. The media does a fantastic job of perpetuating certain lesbian typecasts that plague the “L” of the LGBT+ community.  

I think the most polarizing of the stereotypes is the notion that lesbianism has everything to do with men. I know what you’re thinking, ‘that doesn’t make any sense,’ right? Let me explain.

Several lesbian clichés are preserved and driven by men:
• Men molested lesbians as children, and that turned them into lesbians.
• Lesbians hate all men.
• In every lesbian couple, one is the man, and one is the woman.
• Lesbians just haven’t met the right guy yet.

In order they appear, I’ll address these one at a time.

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), one out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Younger women are especially at risk. 82 percent of all juvenile victims are female. 90 percent of adult rape victims are female.

According to Gallup, just over four percent of the population in the United States identifies as LGBT+. If 82 percent of juvenile victims are female, and if their sexual orientation were dependent on their status as a sexual assault victim, we would have many more lesbians than straight women. That’s just not the case.

I can’t speak for all lesbians, just as I can’t speak for all straight people. Each lesbian is entitled to their opinion of men (who isn’t?), and it’s ridiculous to assume they all think the same way. It’s a stereotype that’s rooted in misogyny and is largely baseless. Much like the claim that all feminists hate men.

If you’re a man and you feel as though all lesbians hate you, let me ask, why do they hate you? What gives you that indication? Is it because you’ve poked and prodded at them with silly stereotypes you’ve inheritably learned from lesbian typecasts in the media?

Look to yourself to identify the problem rather than with all lesbians.

Moving into the next misconception; in every lesbian couple, one is the man, and one is the woman.

We’re going back in time to debunk this one. During the ‘40s and ‘50s, being a lesbian was extremely stigmatized. The butch/femme dynamic was the norm. Butch-butch and femme-femme couples were considered taboo.

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, butch/femme couples were considered repressive representations of heteronormativity and the patriarchy. The ’80s and ’90s brought more gender fluidity and more butch/femme pairings.

The socially-acceptable structure of the lesbian relationship model has evolved.

There is no one way to look like a woman or man just as there is no one way to look like a lesbian. If someone wants to adopt a more masculine approach to self-expression; that’s their prerogative, it doesn’t mean they are trying to be ‘the man’ in the relationship.

Lastly, I’m sure you’ve heard this one, ‘lesbians just haven’t met the right guy yet.’

The most recent estimate by Funders & Founders shows individuals interact with about 80,000 people in our lifetime. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, women have an average life expectancy of 78 years old. That’s around 1,025 people a year.

If meeting the right guy was a factor, I think there’s a good chance he would be among the 1,025 people met a year.

As a rule, I dismiss most stereotypes as bullshit. But some people need them debunked to understand their falsehood. Frankly, lesbianism has nothing to do with men.

The Gayly. April 26, 2018. 9:54 a.m. CST.