Friday, November 15, 2013

LGBT Myths... Busted: Lesbian Myths

The following is the first installment in our series "LGBT Myths... Busted!"

First up... The "L" written by Kayleia Southard.



Lesbian Myths

5. Lesbians don’t have sex

Did The L Word teach society nothing? The myth that Lesbians don’t have sex stems from the idea that sex is an activity that a penis has to be involved in. There are plenty of lovely ladies out there that will contest quite strongly that what they do is valid and enjoyable sex (depending on who you ask, sometimes better sex) even though there is no penis to speak of.

Why does this harm the community?: By not considering Lesbian sex a “valid” form of sex we open ourselves up for internalized sexual stigma(http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/ihpitems.html). This prevents lesbian sex and relationships from being an empowering time of self-discovery and discovery of our partners into a constant pull of if the sex is even good enough or valid. This also leads to the next myth.



4. Lesbians can’t get STD’s

Of course since Lesbian sex doesn't exist the chances of getting a STD must be completely removed. Right? Wrong.

Why does this harm the community?: According to Women's Health Gov some STD’s are more likely to be transmitted between women than others. Bacterial vaginosis, Chlamydia and Genital herpes are a few of the STD’s that can still be transmitted between lesbian sex partners. By creating a culture that we don’t get STD’s we don’t practice safe sex and lead to higher STD rates within our own community. We are signing our own death certificates but not being cautious. So, sadly, no skipping checks for STD’s at the doctor just because your partner is a woman.



3. Lesbian relationships are one butch girl and one femme

So you’re hitting the town and are a beautiful breathtaking femme girl. You go into the bar and of course the only girls that catch your eye are the butch ladies, right? You may or may not know but of course, only femme girls can date butch ladies and vis versa.

Why does this harm the community?: This limits and delegitimizes lesbian relationships that fit outside of the “norm”. There are plenty of butch girls that love other butch girls and femmes who prefer to date femmes. It also excludes those who sit in the middle of the spectrum.




2. Lesbians are man hating feminists

Not being attracted to males of course correlates with hating men, thus turning a female into a lesbian.

Why does this harm the community?: Not only does this hurt the lesbian community by alienating those who have strong views about women’s equality and rights but it also alienates the straight female feminist community by being stigmatized as lesbians. By making becoming a lesbian the outcome of being a feminist it further drives both communities apart. Sure there are feminists that are lesbians but there are also feminists that are in committed relationships with men.




1. Lesbians move in after the first date

So you met a girl and now you’re frantically looking up uhaul prices for your new move in. Slow down sister, no need to move in after the first date. Just because you like ladies doesn't mean we need to take the plunge into cohabitation.

Why does this harm the community?: According to clinical Psychologist Dr. Lauren Costine there is a practical explanation to lesbian uhauling.

It’s a mix between increased Oxycontin release and social stigma. The reason it harms the lesbian community is that if a relationship wants to move slowly there is this overhang in the community that we must move in or we aren't being real lesbians. Relationships take time to build a lasting connection and should be taken cautiously and when all parties are ready.

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The short answer to any myth is... that whenever we use language like "all" "always" "never" and other absolute language we are depriving part of our vast and varied community.

Next up... Gay Myths!

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