Change Your World-NOT your Body

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Butch Lesbian Weighs In on the Public Bathroom Debate



I have written from time to time on the Butch Bathroom Blues, i.e. the difficulties Butch lesbian deal with from toddler to grave whenever they use a school bathroom or public toilet. In the current public bathroom (locker room/showers) turmoil plaguing news (papers/stations) and social media, little has been said from Butch lesbians/hard dykes. And where it has, it is the complete transgender propaganda machine hailing how transgender bathroom rights will make "gender non conforming" lesbians' bathroom experience better. First off, as a biological female, EVERYTHING I do is FEMALE! I conform perfectly well with my SEX thank you very much!

Secondly, as a lesbian who has been mistaken for male from age three onward, I know full well the shit Butches have to deal with when using the public loo. Hard stares scrutinizing what sex we are while we wash our hands. Harsher comments when our sex is realized and then our sexuality presumed. Embarrassment and shame when a woman walks in while we're washing our hands and quickly apologizes to us for coming into the "wrong" bathroom, only to go back out, look at the door and realize she was right the first time-then doesnt return. Walking into the Ladies past a woman walking out and 30 seconds later having a restaurant or store manager knocking on the stall door saying men aren't allowed into this bathroom. Humiliation having to come out of the stall to tell the manager you are in fact a WOMAN! The anger when physically removed from bar bathrooms by bouncers. The astonishment when in lesbian bars, lesbians themselves presume Butches are gay men and ask you to stay out of their toilets.

Thirdly and most importantly, for as many times as I (and other Butches/Hard dykes) have had to deal with bathroom flack, a hundred times over we've seen the fear in the eyes of women when for a brief moment they thought a man was in their locker room or bathroom. Fear that WE too know, regardless of how we appear, because we too are women-therefore just as vulnerable to rape as any other woman. Fear we know as women because ALL women grow up under the threat of male violence/rape. It is THAT intimate female knowledge that has kept us from ever making a bathroom fuss. THAT intimate female knowledge of going out of our way NOT to use public Lady's facilities, even though of course it would be:
  • easier to relieve yourself at the restaurant rather than hold it till you get home
  • easier not to have to pee five times before you leave home just so you wont need to use a public toilet later
  • easier to use a public toilet rather than leave someplace you like (so you can go home and pee)
  • easier to use the gym locker room rather than go home from work to change, then drive back to where your gym is
  • easier to use the gym's bathroom rather than cut your workout short cuz you need to go home and pee
 No matter how much easier using a public bathroom or locker room is, as a woman and as a lesbian (a woman who loves women), the minuscule advantages of public toilets do not outweigh potentially inspiring fear or triggering past sexual trauma in a single woman alive EVER!

I dont give a fuck what laws are passed allowing males, flying monkeys or neutered cyclops into women's private public facilities, knowing what I know as a female, as a Butch-I will remain going out of MY way so that I do not add to the already monolithic rapists threats, fears and realities harrying the female race.

I hope to see more lesbians telling their experiences with frightening women in public Ladies facilities and how they deal with biological needs vs their love for womankind.

dirt


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22 comments:

  1. Some of women's reactions to butches in restrooms aren't out of actual fear of men. Plenty of straight women and fem lesbians can tell a butch from a man, but they are still butchphobic, lesbian-hating bigots. There is no reason to go out of one's way to make homophobes feel safer. If butch women are unsafe, then of course it makes sense to avoid the restroom but in cases where you are actually avoiding the restroom out of "respect" for a heterosexist, butchphobe makes no sense. Feminized women need to think about their own gender identities and be reminded what they themselves would look like without gender identity rather than have their false sense of what women look like reinforced by only having to deal with other feminized women. Butches shouldn't have to act like martyrs just because this whole male rights movement is happening. Butches aren't men and aren't anything like men. If nonbutch women are triggered by butches its not fear of men that's being triggered its homophobia.

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    1. Hi Anon, 5/14 at 11:25 AM: Femme lesbians are most certainly not "butchphobic, lesbian-hating bigots"; since the very definition of Femme is that we are LESBIANS ourselves who are attracted to Butches, so that analysis makes no sense. Also, it is true that Butches are often mistaken for men, and when a woman enters a restroom, sees Dirt, says "sorry" and then goes to look at the door because she thought she entered the men's room by mistake (as Dirt described in the post), then clearly that woman mistakenly thinks Dirt is a guy. So in such a situation, it is genuinely fear/apprehension rather than homophobia. Homophobia is indeed a real and terrible thing that is a problem in many situations, but in this specific situation that Dirt is discussing in her post, homophobia is not the problem.

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  2. Great post dirt...

    @Anonymous May 14, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    "Plenty of straight women and fem lesbians can tell a butch from a man, but they are still butchphobic, lesbian-hating bigots."

    I think that is part of it. All butch lesbians can recall times when straight women, especially the frilly cheerleader types recoil at even being close to butch lesbian. I remember in high school when I would walk down the hall, and I could see girls stepping aside as if they didn't want to touch me. One thing is for sure. A lot of straight women can't stand the thought of a butch lesbian touching them, even accidentally brushing up against a butch lesbian in the hallway.

    Because they are women, butch lesbians have every right to use the women's restroom.




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    1. Anon 5/14 at 1:10 PM: I totally agree Butches have every right to use the women's restroom, but I don't agree that homophobia is the specific problem being described in this post. As I noted in my reply to the above commenter, while I agree that homophobia is a real and terrible thing, it is not what is happening in the situations Dirt is referencing in this particular post. Also, I have known several Butches over the years and what I have witness and what they have told me of their experiences is very different from what you describe: none of them have ever reported that straight women recoiled from them or had any sort of negative reactions. In fact, it is usually quite the opposite: Butches are typically like catnip to straight women, and straight women typically get positively giddy when a Butch walks in the room. Just a couple nights ago, a straight waitress practically slipped on her own drool while circling around staring at Dirt. Dirt wrote about this phenomenon before: (copy and paste this link since Blogger comments don't allow links): http://dirtywhiteboi67.blogspot.com/2015/06/aint-i-woman-problematics-of-butch.html

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  3. I agree you have the right to use the woman's bathroom and I'm sorry that you have experienced people kicking you out. But that's also very nice of you to try to avoid scaring other women. To the person who had to use the word bigoy immediately: you have no idea what a rape victim or abuse victim has gone through and if she has seriously been mistaken for a male in multiple situations then you're a fucking ass for just assuming all women born women are bigots for wanting a women-only bathroom. Some people have very little experience in the LGBT community and only see male and female and may truly believe that a man has entered the bathroom. Congratulations you just showed that you're unable to have a productive conversation.

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    1. Hi Rolle, I totally agree that a rape or abuse survivor thinking (even mistakenly) that there is a man in the women's restroom would indeed be scary, and that this fear reaction cannot, and should not, be quickly & automatically dismissed as bigoted. You are also correct that the general public likely has very limited experience with lesbians, and certainly most have probably have never seen a real Butch, since they are rare. I have personally witnessed Dirt and other Butches getting "Sir'ed" and mistaken for men often in a variety of different situations, so to simply assume that everyone will just automatically know (and if they don't, they are automatically just a homophobic bigot), is a flawed and dismissive assumption. Dirt and other Butches certainly have the right to use the women's room, as you said, but yes, I also agree that it is the nice thing to do to actually show care & concern about women in general. That doesn't mean someone is being a martyr, it just means she is sensitive and caring human being.

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  4. The same people who gave us the lesbian phobic "Cotton Ceiling", destroyed Michigan Women's Music Festival, and would gladly transition butch lesbians to extinction are trying to use butch lesbians as some kind of tool to justify their wholesale raping of women's spaces. Hell, no I don't like this. The trans logic goes like this. Because some butch lesbians are questioned in women's restrooms, we have to open up women's restrooms and women's locker rooms to males. The real reason more butches are being targeted is part of the whole trans bathroom backlash. Butch lesbians are being caught up in this backlash. A lot of people, not just conservatives are worried about their daughters. These are parents who are really pissed off about boys in the women's restroom. They are angry as hell. Now, if they see a butch lesbian going into the women's restroom without getting a good look at her, they might think she is a man. Being the colonizing and co-opting sons of bitches that they are, trans activists are trying to turn all this shit around to make it sound like they give a rat's ass about dykes. Queer and trans hate lesbians they can't control. They have been shitting on lesbians for years, and then they suddenly act like they care about butch lesbians. Hell, they would transition every last butch lesbian on earth into a transman.

    This is a recent article from a lesbian sell out by the name of Sally Kohn. The lesbian feminist blog Purple Sage destroys her asinine analysis.

    https://purplesagefem.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/butch-lesbians-and-bathrooms/

    She describes herself as a butch lesbian. I'm assuming that the woman in the article is Sally Kohn. I've never seen a butch with that much eye makeup. I don't see butch lesbian. All I see is a lesbian sell out who is willing to toss her own sex under the bus for brownie points and a pat on the head from trans folks.

    This is a butch lesbian. Or, maybe she does her best not to look butch during the day by putting on makeup and styling her hair. God forbid, don't look too much like a dyke. When the cameras are off, she reverts back to being butch.

    http://www.sallykohn.com/

    We need to see more butch lesbians in women's restrooms, and they shouldn't feel ashamed of using the women's restroom. Or, perhaps we need more single stall restrooms, but trans folks bitch about that too. There have been a few cases where boys who say they are girls were offered the option of a single stall restroom, but they complained that it was discrimination to keep them out of the girl's locker room. The backlash we are experiencing today with butch lesbians getting a second look is due to pissed off mad as hell parents who don't want a boy in the girl's restroom. Transgender activists created this backlash, and now these sick sons of bitches are trying to use lesbians as handy trans tools to justify the wide spread rape of women's personal spaces.

    Why not more single stall restrooms? This is a good idea. Also, straight women need to get over their butch phobia.

    It's not just about bathrooms. It's locker rooms too. Butch lesbians don't have a penis, and men do. A penis is a dead give away that he is male.

    To Sally Kohn:

    Don't ever use butch lesbians to push through your damn laws giving men like Stefonknee Wolscht full permission to use the women's restroom. Haven't trans activists shit on us enough.

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    1. Good comment/points with the exception that Sally Kohn is NOT a Butch.

      http://dirtywhiteboi67.blogspot.com/2014/08/butch-please-sample-of-not-butch.html

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  5. You know Dirt, being a female focused and female loving female, I can tell who is and who isn't a man and I have no fear of butch dykes in women's bathrooms. Maybe it's my age and such that has allowed me hone the skills to recognize men, I dunno.

    I can only speak for myself but when I notice butches in the street, my glance towards them is out of admiration, not fear.

    I know that ain't the way the majority of the world works though. I say all butches should come in the Women's room so that the women that might recoil would become more women focused.

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  6. Dirt writes, "The astonishment when in lesbian bars, lesbians themselves presume Butches are gay men and ask you to stay out of their toilets."

    THIS is why fem lesbians are part of the problem. Fem lesbians are taking their own gender identity for granted and forgetting what they are without patriarchal feminization. Fem lesbians have stood by and held "Femme Conference" and wrote articles about "Femme Invisibility" and "Femmephobia" which all helped to demonize butches and push them out of queer/lgbt circles if they didn't transition. Yes, fems are lesbians and love lesbians but that doesn't mean they don't have internalized lesbophobia and act in butch-hating ways to preserve the acceptance they have among queers/lgbt groups. Butches are natural females and natural females should have every right to use the female bathroom and I sincerely do believe not viewing unfeminized women AS women IS homophobia, IS butchphobia and no one should be excused for it based on their ignorance or history of trauma with MALES. females in their natural state look nothing like males. we have to state this over and over and over if we truly believe in sex-based oppression instead of gender-based oppression. feminized women's fears and concerns and need to pee and NOT more important than unfeminized women's needs and concerns and need to pee. and the less unfeminized women in female spaces, the more normalized feminized women become and the less comfortable the next generation of girls is going to be with being unfeminized

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    1. The only lesbians to ever recognize us ARE FEMMES! And the "femme conference" has been by/for and about STRAIGHTBIANS! Check your facts before spewing ignorance. You clearly have an axe to grind with STRAIGHTBIANS whom you're attributing to be Femme. Whats wrong, Eve or Miz Chris wouldnt suck your plastic cock? No worries, neither were/are Femme. Move on, get over it. If you're a lesbian you wouldnt want the dick breath fuming from their lips anyway.

      dirt

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  7. I get the sentiment, and I used to agree with you, about just avoiding the conflict and unintentional slight altogether. However I don't always have the luxury to just "go home" or to somewhere private. It would cause me great anxiety to use a public restroom; so much so that I often couldn't physically 'go' once inside, because of the internalized guilt and anxiety.

    So instead of making OTHER WOMEN uncomfortable, I'd risk my own "comfortability" and my OWN SAFETY and use the men's room instead. The men's room where nobody would look at me funny, even going as far to complement my shirt or something while washing my hands. Using the men's restroom is extremely nerve-wracking for me, and the last place I want to spend ANY time.

    No offense, but FUCK THAT. I know I'm a woman, and I know which restroom I have the right to use. If that makes some women uncomfortable for a brief second, then that just goes with the territory as far as i'm concerned.

    Nowadays, I stride right in, like I own the place, and make eye contact and smile at women whom I feel like may be projecting a vibe of confusion or being uncomfortable. The more 'plebians' are exposed to butch women, and realize they have nothing to fear from us (or at the very least be able to recognize us easier), the less we will encounter such negative instances! That's what I believe at the moment, anyhow.

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  8. Obvious lesbians and females who don't look like 'womanly' have been submitting to the cultural norms of hiding and not being seen in women's spaces for so long. Lesbians have prioritized straight women's needs and feelings. Its a lesbian cultural tradition to fade into the background, to not use facilities designated for women, to step aside and let straight and feminine women have womanhood. This might be cultural tradition but its part of what got us in this mess where tomboys would rather be trans men than live the life of a butch woman. For once, gender non-conforming women need to be centered and told they can live self-determining lives with their humanity fully intact. To accept straight/feminine women's fear of gender non-conforming women, to honor that fear, is to continue the marginalization of butches. Young lesbians are transitioning because they don't want to slink away from the restrooms or any other facet of public life. We cannot say "don't pee in women's restroom out of respect for feminine women" unless we want to continue to send the message to tomboys that they don't belong in women's spaces. Of course they'd rather transition and pee somewhere than have no where to pee at all. These are old issues, but we can't deal with them in the old ways. We need new ways because there are too many girls reading and hoping.

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  9. @AnonymousMay 15, 2016 at 8:05 PM

    Excellent post...

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  10. I think part of the reason I grew my hair out was to be able to use the public bathroom without anxiety. I completely understand how terrible it can feel. Especially the thought of scaring women. For so long I used the disabled toilets just to not have that problem.

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  11. While using the women's restroom at a concert a few years ago, a patron called me out, she insisted I was in the wrong bathroom. My anger was quickly extinguished when I realized she wasn't being bigoted toward me at all, she just wanted to be sure I had the right parts to be in there with her. I answered her in a quiet and measured voice and assured her that indeed I WAS in the correct bathroom. I just could not get myself to be upset about it. These days however, my very feminine girlfriend insists she escorts me. She would probably be the one to blow a fuse if anyone questioned me.

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  12. It could also be easier to just NOT GO TO THE GYM at all! Gym rhymes with Men, and that is who they should be for. No woman should EVER feel the need to lift weights or use dangerous equipment, because if the pounds won't come off just from eating less, then they don't need to. I have also never had a problem using female restrooms, yet I've kept my hair short for 23 years. No one has ever looked at me and thought I was a man or questioned why I was using a female restroom.

    P.S.: Why do people speak of the gym like as if it's just an everyday part of life? I don't even use the apartment one that's literally a few feet outside my door, and I certainly won't be burning my gas, wasting my time, and making my body sore just to play around at a "real" one for 2 minutes before going float in the pool.

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    1. "No one has ever looked at me and thought I was a man or questioned why I was using a female restroom."

      What's your point? Are you blaming others for looking "too butch"? When I was young, I was frequently mistaken for a woman, which is kind of an eye-opener for a man. I remember conversations with women friends: "Do you guys get treated like that all the time? - Yeah, pretty much." I often still get taken for a woman when I talk on the phone, but like Mare says, if it's an honest mistake there's no reason to get mad about it.

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    2. P.S. In what dialect of West Carolina does "gym" rhyme with "men"?

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  13. Can I just say how difficult the whole "toilet debate" is for us to understand in Europe? YES, we have sex-differentiated toilets, but ALSO YES, when one is overcrowded, we accept that people use the other facility. In practice, this mostly means women using men's toilets. WHY would anyone insist on their "right" to join the long line for the women's john rather than the short one for the men's?
    Toilets are not intended to be social gathering-places, although historically they have become so (differently) for women and for men. They are places to take a piss or a dump.

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  14. I have rarely read anything so willfully stupid as my own last comment. I guess I was thinking of the bathroom of a small local pub or restaurant, if I was thinking at all. Real public toilets, the kind you share with a large number of strangers, have a significance way beyond their declared instrumental function. They are a place where men (by no means just gay men) go to have casual sex with other men, and where even the straightest of men can quasi-legitimately "check out" other males. And for women, they are an oasis in which to take "time out" from the sexualized pressure of heterosexual dating or their public presentation in "mixed company". Trannies are smart in choosing them as a battleground, and women are right to defend it.

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  15. I am an androgynous woman with a very short haircut and I get called "sir" and mistaken for being in the wrong bathroom ALL the time. I guess the poster that said she can't get mad at the assumption that she's in the wrong bathroom, is a better person than me. I get pissed off about. I rarely say anything though unless they say something to me.
    Yesterday, I walked in the bathroom and an older woman primping in the mirror gasped as I was walking in the stall. The sound surprised me and I stepped back out and looked at her. "Oh," she said with a limp smile. Also yesterday, I was out with some friends and I went to the bathroom. A mother and her adult daughter were at the sink as I was washing my hands. I walked to the paper towels and as i was drying my hands I felt them over my shoulder. They were standing behind me as if I was the line leader. I stepped to the side thinking they may be trying to get to the towels. They just stood there, in line, staring at me. I stepped to the side again and motioned toward the door four feet away. "Go ahead," I said.
    I always find it odd how my presence in the bathroom short-circuits people and leads them to do weird things.

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