Change Your World-NOT your Body

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Even in the Lesbian Community Misogyny is King

A Femme whom I have known (online/phone) for several years and believed was a good friend, abruptly severed our friendship today, via maturely, unfriending me on FB. I suspect it has been a long time coming. Since I have known her, she has been in/out of an abusive relationship with a self hating Butch. The Butch's self hatred has taken the form of drugs and alcohol abuse to verbal and later physical abuse ("she spit on me, hit me and said nasty things to me") of said Femme. When the Femme was spit on and punched in the face by this abusive Butch, she ended the relationship. The Femme told me in detail what transpired, told snatches of what happened to a few friends, but kept silent otherwise. Being not merely a good friend, but an avid feminist and a Butch to boot, I advised her the best I could, with love but also with harsh truths about abusers.

I told her she could call me day or night, because even if abused, lets face it, breaking up is hard to do! And it plain old fucking sucks. Needless to say after hearing from her frequently, she suddenly stopped writing/phoning. I surmised she went back to her abuser. I was right. Some months later she emailed telling me as much and telling me with much shame. I informed her, that I only hoped for the best and her going back to her g/f was no reason for us not to talk. But clearly whatever friendship we had, it was seriously strained by my knowledge of her abuse. It went beyond shame, to (I suspect) fear of me saying something out loud about the abuse since she was so tight lipped about it (her family knew nothing).

I watched saying nothing when she moved her and her children in with her abuser, watched and said nothing. During this time she took some big steps back from talking to me/commenting on FB updates etc. Some months after this she emailed and phoned me because things werent working out, there was a lot of verbal abuse and she was daily walking on "eggshells". She was worried there would be physical consequences if/when she officially moved out. Thank god there were none (that I know of). She hoped putting some distance back into the relationship would change things for the better. Since then she has stopped emailing/phoning me and has literally become a stranger.

This morning I commented jokingly to her on her FB account, her abuser (who has never spoken to me before) got snide, I made a simple truthful comment back. The Femme at that point unfriended me, which I said earlier I believe she has wanted to since telling me about her being spit on and punched square in the face. The whole situation is incredibly sad to me, not just over losing someone I really thought was a friend, but what it says about misogyny in lesbians and the lesbian community.

I dated a Femme who volunteered for a lesbian abuse center, I have lesbian friends now who do the same. I have long known lesbians can and are physically and emotionally abusive to one another. We're all subject to the constant barrage of misogynistic messages imparted by patriarchy. But as lesbians, we glean deeper insights into patriarchy than our hetero sisters, who swallow those insights for the love of men. As lesbians we do not have to ignore patriarchal realities to couple, and yet far too many of lesbians do.

Whenever a lesbian chooses to be abused by a woman over being loved by one, she ignores every misogynistic insight gleaned from being a lesbian! And whenever other lesbians stand silently by, we too ignore those insights and the patriarchal heteroistic status quo of abuse continues, even in our lesbian community. A community that has not only lapsed into the same silence lesbian abuse victims are living in this very minute, but a community that if we're being honest, no longer exist.

How are we to teach young lesbians to love themselves when many lesbians are ignoring their own abuse and worse, removing any person around them who might remind them of the abuse they're in?If you are a lesbian in an abusive relationship or know of one, please feel free to email me if you want to talk. I am ALWAYS here to help a lesbian sister.

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4 comments:

  1. "But as lesbians, we glean deeper insights into patriarchy than our hetero sisters, who swallow those insights for the love of men. As lesbians we do not have to ignore patriarchal realities to couple, and yet far too many of lesbians do."

    Your post is a reaction to what is obviously a personally painful experience, so maybe I shouldn't read too much into it, but it seems to me that you're expressing a deeply-seated misogyny as well, though aimed solely at heterosexual women. To me, it sounds an awful lot like you're saying that we're not capable of independent or critical thought due to our compulsion to procreate (or maybe by couple you simply mean copulate, though I hope you'd give over half the female population the benefit of the doubt that it's not solely our desire for human-penis-driven orgasms that's driving us). I realize you're concentrating on supporting and actively helping the lesbian community, and that's fine, but I have to wonder how you can call yourself an 'avid' feminist if that's how you really think of any woman who's not a lesbian.

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  2. Being a feminist does not mean ignoring truths. And I wasnt speaking at all about sex, as I said "the LOVE of men".

    Patriarchal structures and the GST apply/rule straight women a lot more than they do lesbians because of that love. Fact of life.

    dirt

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  3. I don't know, Dirt.. I have met more dysfunctional Lesbians in my life than healthy ones. Not to say straight people are not dysfunctional.. The worst beat down I have ever gotten was from a Lesbian and I once dated a woman with degrees that forced herself on me. Not sure what the answer is, but in any abusive relationship there are stages of leaving. Abusers have a way of making any person feel that they cannot make it without them. No matter the lifestyle or orientation the leaving part takes time. For those of us who can see it so clearly it is frustrating as we don't want to see someone we care about hurt. For the one immersed in it, they have to go through the stages of realization before they leave. Sometimes it is fear based; regardless if that fear is of being alone, finances, or of the abuser. For us it is as simple as saying walk away. Not sure what the answers are..

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  4. Under the current patriarchal structures it would be a sheer impossibility for anyone not to suffer from some form of dysfunction. Thats not to say some groups arent more aware of those issues and in the right context work to alter some of it.

    dirt

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