Apparently, I’m primarily known to fellow feminists for the following things:
1. An irrepressible murderous instinct towards full-term human children
2. Terrible cooking skills
3. Tendency towards excessive metaphors that defy understanding, along with dry humor or deadpan statements that read like open aggression to those unfamiliar with my writing
4. A compulsive desire to do my laundry
5. Anarchistic leanings
6. HATRED OF SCIENCE!
7. Inexplicable taste in music, I mean seriously who cares about that shit?
8. Preoccupation with lesbian separatism.
So I thought I’d address that last point. Am I a lesbian separatist?
Idealistically speaking, yes. Practically speaking, no. Here’s why.
Point A. Am I a lesbian?
To be totally honest, the more I read, the less I’m sure. As an ex-het (or ex-bi, or ex-closet case, or whatever most accurately describes my experience), I don’t know if I can ever feel comfortable calling myself a Lesbian. It feels like an appropriation of lifelong Lesbian experience, and that’s the furthest from my intentions. For more discussion and a primer if you need one, see these comments at GallusMag’s.
In this social climate, I feel it is almost impossible to know the difference between innate and learned instincts. Did I find boys repulsive when I was a child because I was born a Lesbian, or because I found boys’ behavior despicable, inexplicable, and the opposite of what I wanted to experience? Do men continue to frighten and off-put me to this day because I am innately attracted to women, or because men as a general group are some scary freaks? It’s impossible for me to know for sure, because I’ve been trained (as all women are) to doubt my own feelings and I think some women never doubt these things about themselves.
I only know: 1. that I am attracted to some women and love all women as a class, but 2. for a time, in my late teens and early twenties, I chose to pursue sex with males in an attempt to mitigate my own pain at being part of the oppressed class.
Yeah. I totally sold out. And there is no taking that back.
So in my pursuit of truth, and calling things what they are, and not being disingenuous, I can’t call myself a Lesbian simply because I love women and have no physical or emotional interest in men. That is not enough.
B. Am I a separatist?
Much as it pains me, at this juncture, I am not. In my current situation, I absolutely need housing, and thus have been renting a room in the same house as a man. I live in the basement, he lives upstairs, and we rarely interact, but I am polite to him when I see him and I devote energy toward staying out of his way.
Though I am moving out soon, I may end up moving into another similar situation, at least until I can find other females who are seeking the same things I am. Because I’m not sure if I can really communicate how difficult it is to room with postmodernists, or funfeminists, or antifeminists, even when they are also female. In fact, the betrayal feels double when the offenders are other women — because we expect that shit from men. We have emotional and physical tactics in place already to deal with that shit from men. We don’t, so much, to deal with it from women … or at least I don’t.
I would rather live in a married het couple’s basement and stay far out of their way, than I would live in a more intimate set-up with women who actively hate women. Especially if they use postmodernist circular language to justify it, and consider me a prude or unliberated fuddy-duddy with religious hang-ups for not agreeing with their quasi-empowerment bill of goods and services.
Also, in the interest of full disclosure: I talk to a male social activist sometimes, of my own volition. It sucks, but I’m currently far removed from anything like radical feminist interaction other than texts or emails, and I’m lonely as hell. Obviously, talking to a dude is less than ideal, because I feel a compulsive need to watch my words around him, but he is not attracted to me physically, I could doubtlessly take him in an arm-wrestling match, and it gives me somebody to talk to every couple of weeks. Some separatism, I know. I’m a sellout.
But nevertheless: it’s true, I do still advocate for separatism, and for voluntary lesbianism too. Men take up too much female energy, and cleansing some of that from one’s system is liberating beyond even the wildest belief. I advocate that every woman take a Man Cleanse [TM], lasting as long as she personally desires, even if she cannot feasibly practice total separatism. The next post will be about that — just in time for the holidays.
We all do what we can.