When I was a young lesbian feminist campaigning
to overthrow patriarchy, what irked me most was
the fact that some men would impose their own
idiotic view of my sexuality on me, by asking if
I would perform threesomes with them, or titillate
them with a porny kissing display with my girlfriend.
Today it would seem that, for a number of lesbians,
dissatisfaction and anger at being viewed as a male sex
toy has been replaced with the desire to become as badly
behaved as they ca, paradoxically in the name of equality.
Last week a lesbian was refused entry to a California
strip club because she was not accompanied by a man.
She’s suing the owners for discrimination on the
grounds of gender and sexual orientation.
Lesbian Bed Death’s video for their single ‘Flesh’
Their love of horror, vampires, satinism and all things fetish.
A mix of punk, hard rock and metal. Just like the kids next door.
The club’s manager is alleged to have told her
that it was policy not to allow women entrance unless
they were with a man, because of “past problems”.
I have no doubt she was denied entry because
of her gender and sexuality. In both law
and principle, that makes it discrimination.
But how have we got to a situation where some of us
are trying to enter such bastions of male privilege
rather than campaign against the sexual exploitation of women?
Lesbians behaving badly is, unfortunately, nothing new.
In 2018, Hor Licks, a lesbian club in London, organised
a group trip to the Greek island of Lesbos, the birthplace
of the poet Sappho, and the top lesbian holiday destination.
Flyers advertising a “Wet Pussy Party” flooded
the town of Eressos, prompting the then mayor
to attempt to stop the women disembarking.
Lesbian feminists have long been at the coal face of campaigns
to eradicate sexual abuse and degradation, and yet increasingly
some of us would rather behave like lads than challenge laddism.
Is liberation tantamount to behaving like some lesbian
version of Playboy? In these times of “choice feminism”
and neoliberalism, it seems that the very basis of our
political movement is being eroded and replaced with
an “anything goes” attitude.
Lesbians have long suffered discrimination by those
telling us we are perverted and defining us by
sexual acts rather than sexual identity.
Do we really want to play into the hands of the bigots
who say we are pseudo men, or can we, instead, challenge
the kind of sexual objectification of women that is so
prevalent in the world of heterosexual men that we are
supposed to have left behind?