Monday, February 06, 2012

The Gay Men and Lesbian Divide

As gay men grow up and get over their trauma of being gay and as the society becomes more tolerant, accepting, and even celebratory of gay men (especially in the better cities), it becomes clear to gay men that, “Hell, it’s good to be a man, in a world of liberal men, where it is still a man’s world and you can be friends with women but sort of know that yes, it’s all about the men and so the world gets heady and powerful, strong and sexy—a parade of testosterone and sinew.”

But what if you are a lesbian? You get over your trauma. Or let’s say you don’t have trauma but “made a choice” or however you have become a lesbian, and you integrate into the adult world, even in one of our better cities, and you see, clearly, that it is still a man’s world. What would you want to do in order to feel like it was all about being a woman and all about being powerful, too? Because that looks pretty damn good to you. You’d want to separate.

So though there is often this joke about lesbian separatists, it sort of makes sense. As a gay man, if you are in the mood on any given day, you can fully ignore women and just march along and feel like your tribe (men, in general) is running everything. You can’t do that as a woman. And if you do, it will take a huge amount of aggression and denial and strange internal rule changing to get that done. Or a move to the woods.

I do not know if this post is at all compassionate. I mean it to be. But I also know that I am being condemning of lesbians in our culture who try to separate while remaining upright, walking among men.

I do not know what the answer is. I want lesbians to be powerful. I want women, in general, to be powerful. I want it all to be equal (as long as it really is equal). But it never gets there. And I just wonder if this is always going to be this way as long as we are physical beings and men remain physically stronger than women, with their muscles and their height, with their external genitalia hanging out, claiming space, as if it is their birthright. No matter how you slice it.

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