Change Your World-NOT your Body

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lesbian must be put back together...piece by piece

(Lesbians)..."lead m/e to your scattered fragments, there is an arm, there is a foot, the neck and head are together, your eyelids are closed, your detached ears are somewhere, your eyeballs have rolled in the mud...I announce that you are here alive though cut to pieces, I search hastily for your fragments in the mud....I find your nose a part of your vulva your labia your clitoris...I assemble you part by part, I reconstruct you...then you m/y Osiris m/y most beautiful you smile at m/e undone exhausted".

Like Monique Wittig's characters in Le corps Lesbien, we must reassemble ourselves into a living lesbian body. Right now we lesbians are only the parts we see displayed in Wittig's work above, an arm here or there, a leg, a nose, a vagina, parts of a lesbian body, but not the whole. Those fragments of the lesbian body are the result of malecentrism/male systems and their great fears of lesbians. They are also a result of our own lesbian fears of ourselves, especially our fears of lesbian power. And by lesbian power I certainly do NOT mean the Kate Kendell's of the world, that power is a malecentric power, i.e. acceptable power because it follows male rules. We saw in the 70's mostly, hints of lesbian power, hints of what lesbians could do as a working body, when class and race and religion were stripped from the lesbian body, when the lesbian body was simply new, naked and pure.

WE were building houses with our lesbian hands, WE were lifting walls with our lesbian legs, WE tasted home grown foods with our lesbian mouths; parts of a lesbian body working together to create a whole lesbian body, a working femalecentric system. And I'm not speaking of nor advocating lesbian separatism, lesbian separatism was the beginning of the end of the lesbian body/community. Lesbian separatism made two lethal mistakes, it retreated from the fight, then made a declaration to straight women to leave their straight lives and choose instead a "lesbian" life.

Separatist led women to believe that lesbianism was something any female could choose regardless of the absence of lesbian nature and lesbian desire. We still occasionally hear from a handful of them still stuck in some separatist hey-day-mud bitching, moaning and begrudging those straight women, who after a few years of playing house in the woods, moved back into life and back into lives with men as well as those lesbians who moved on to educations and careers whom are treated equally as betrayers.This anti-essentialist politic helped to usher in the queer politics that have hack the lesbian body into the pieces I'm hoping and I'm hoping you're hoping, to help assemble back into something meaningful and whole.

So no, no lesbian commune. What we need is a lesbian body, parts of a whole all working together in the real world, fighting real problems, lesbian problems!

Give us your hand, your leg, your eyes, your breast and help reassemble the LESBIAN BODY! For SHE is far from dead!

dirt
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14 comments:

  1. Interesting analysis, I agree.
    I am not in favor of separatism, you were right in saying "you can't play pretend amazons in the woods". I think lesbians should reclaim their letter from the QWEERTY soup ASAP, but also not distance themselves from the rest of the human community, because apartheid is death for you and the virtues you want to embody and which are critical to all women and humanity as well. "Fight inside the beast's belly" indeed.
    I also am straight and, alas, saying I am lesbian to be cooler in the eyes of certain feminists is a lie. I think that's the attitude, together with the very "unspeshul" status of "straight female", that led to the birth of "queer femmes"- straight women who, for a reason or another, couldn't stay with men anymore (abuse, insensitivity, latent bisexuality, being cooler, whatever).

    I support you and all the other lesbians working for lesbian visibility. Now THAT's the thing that can benefit everyone, NOT catering to gay bi trans queer people ... but reclaim your status as lesbians and fighting against all your particular issues.

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  2. Blue, while appreciate your efforts regarding this matter, you have no business on these posts. Lesbians dont need straight women with straight privilege telling us what we should do. We've been bossed around by straight women since we first joined feminist groups in the 60's.

    Lesbian doesnt mean we dont have a brain or dont know how to use it, it means we connect, partner, love and make love to other lesbians.

    And I'm not bitching at you, I'm merely telling you how I feel in hopes you understand slightly. And I'm only speaking here, say whatever the hell you want on that FB page. Just please have some respect for lesbiancentric posts.

    dirt

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  3. I didn't understand the post was lesbiancentric. Sorry.

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  4. *by that, I mean that only lesbians could comment. I am ok with that in certain posts like the others dealing with the lesbian community. I have no lesbian experience to speak of, nor lesbian-specific discrimination (I face standard female discrimination + nonconforming female discrimination, but I've never faced proper lesbian issues like bringing a girlfriend home)

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  5. Putting myself back together piece by piece is a hell of a lot easier (and fun!) when others stand up beside me.

    While I appreciate straight women/men standing up too, I know there are a lot of women like myself that look for others lesbians to speak up also.

    Is there something standing in the way? Is it all so broken apart that we can't talk with one another unless we're fighting for a cause?

    I mean, come on! I see so many really intelligent, funny, warm and loving women on here and on FB/YT/other social networking sites but the one thing I notice more often than not, is the lack of them talking, befriending one another.

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  6. Lesbian Separatists did not lead to the decline of the Lesbian Movement. A decline in visibility perhaps as they went off into their own communities away from male media. Lesbian Separatists have been living on the land in various enclaves for the last forty years and are now at the forefront of creating Lesbian retirement co-ops so elderly lesbians don't get placed in male-centric nursing care institutions as they age and may need supportive care. Lesbians should look into the herstory of the Separatist movement for themselves. It just might be time for a broader Separatist revival, twentyfirst century style.

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  7. And by 21th style you mean queer enclave/poitics. Wasnt lesbian then, isnt lesbian now!

    dirt

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  8. NO I did NOT mean queer style. I meant utilizing 21st century technology to create co-operative business opportunities and communicate with the larger lesbian community. Why on earth you would think I support queer politics is a mystery.

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  9. Historically separatists are anti essentialist, which is the foundation for queer/trans ideology/politics. And I wasnt speaking directly about you in any capacity, merely separatism.

    dirt

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  10. Lesbian Separatism means lesbians living apart from men and male-centric women. That's all.

    It meant many things to many different separatists.

    Lesbian Separatism was not anti-essentialist.
    All were sex essentialists (sex is biology and unchangeable by science), but gender essentialists (those who believe certain traits, behaviors and characteristics are caused by one's biologic sex) were around 50/50. Some women felt men were intractably prone to violence for example because of their handy ability to rape and impregnate females, while others felt male aggression was culturally created.

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  11. From my experience as a lesbian separatist, I agree with what gallusmag is saying.

    We were about lesbian-only space, which is what you are talking about.

    No need to declare war on a label.

    From my experience, the only lesbians who ever fought for lesbian-only space called themselves separatists.

    Your experience may be different.

    For the vast majority of separatists that I have known, going off into the woods was never an option or desire.

    Creating lesbian-only and separatist-only events and few-days gatherings or festivals *was*.

    Females who do or who have identified as lesbian separatists are not your enemies. Also, the great majority of lesbian separatists that I knew were never-het and small-b butch. (Had a slightly different take on Butch identity than you do: I respect yours). I identify as kiki.

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  12. Mary,

    "Kiki", how old school. I love it!

    dirt

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  13. THIS from the "woman" that NEVER writes about how much "SHE" loves clit and giving oral sex to another woman. But "she" sure loves to remind us all how important it is for a femme to love her butch pussy. I never heard of a 40 something butch dyke that doesn't sing the praises of giving oral sex to another woman...until now that is.

    Open your eyes people. Dirt is NOT one of us.

    ReplyDelete

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