Dating in the PoMo World

January 2, 2013

National

One of the benefits of being an openly horrible feminist blogger is the opportunity to correspond with Women and Lesbians from all over the world (well, mostly the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, although I have regular readers in Saudi Arabia and India). I really do enjoy this, as it makes up for the regular deluge of death and rape threats I get from the peace-loving Trans folks and their cis allies. One of the most popular topics of these valued messages is how awful it is be a Lesbian trying to get a date in this Post Modern world.

I get it. Having met my three last girlfriends on Facebook (2)  and OK Cupid (1), I find the whole dating in the 21st Century experience inhumane.  How can you get to know someone by Facebook posts, or from an OK Cupid profile? Also, people lie and project – a fact that pretty much EVERYONE forgets when reading Facebook or looking for a date on OK Cupid (seriously, remember this – people lie, or may be using Facebook for purposes other than telling you all about themselves).

On OK Cupid – because it is explicitly cruisey – you need to be able to communicate WHO YOU ARE in a pithy way that will make you stand out from the rest. Here’s what I did (and this kept away the Queers, so HOORAY!)

THIS IS ALL I HAD ON MY OK CUPID.

THIS IS ALL I HAD ON MY OK CUPID.

In addition to the general awfulness of online dating, it has become a “gating issue,” apparently, that a Lesbian seeking to date not be “transphobic.”

This vow of  non-transphobia takes at least two forms. First, the Lesbian seeking to date must affirm that she accepts trans women as women, or respects their right to identify as women, or accepts their right to penetrate women-only space. Second, the Lesbian seeking to date must affirm that she, actually, would have sex with a transwoman. I have experienced this in real life, when an ex-friend (let’s call him Kaiden/Braden/Jayden) interrogated me for hours about my unwillingness to declare that I would sleep with a mutual transwoman friend with a penis (seriously, this was a conversation. I eventually told him that he was disgusting and we are no longer friends).

If you aren’t willing to declare that you will date Ladystick on OK Cupid, you have to be really super sensitive to the feelings of poor transwomen by writing ads like this:

REMEMBER WHEN YOU COULD JUST SAY "I AM A LESBIAN" AND PEOPLE KNOW WHAT THAT MEANT?

REMEMBER WHEN YOU COULD JUST SAY “I AM A LESBIAN” AND PEOPLE KNEW WHAT THAT MEANT?

Um.

Err.

What the…?

So, in response to Lesbian correspondents telling me about this thing that’s happening (which also makes sense in light of all the Cotton Ceiling discussions), I reactivated my OK Whatever Account to see exactly what they were talking about.

And yes! Page after page after page of Lesbians affirming that they accept transwomen as women and/or that they personally would date/have sex with a transwomen.

WHYYYYYYYY is this happening?  Why has it become important for Lesbians – Women who love Women, and want intimate emotional and sexual relationships with Women – to declare their love of Ladystick, or to declare that they accept transwomen are women? Why on earth do Lesbians feel the need to mention this AT ALL in the context of a dating website where they are looking for another Woman to have nice times with?

(Cotton Ceiling).

Seriously, how enticing is it to “get to know” someone over email and have the following discussion:

“So, um, I see you aren’t transphobic.”

“Yeah, even though I am talking to you, I would totally date a person with a penis.”

I don’t know about YOU, but I call a person who will date/have sex with a person with a penis either (1) heterosexual or (2) bisexual. I would not call them Lesbian. And that’s fine. It doesn’t mean a Lesbian wants to date her.

And that’s also fine. Lesbians should not be shamed in their choice of who to date. Ever.

We need more options, OK Stupid.  For those of us who want to avoid this stupidity of declaring our love of Ladystick, how’s about…

ok_cupid

Because Lesbians exist.

That way, the Lesbians can date each other, unmolested by the relentless demands placed on us by transwomen and their cis allies, and transwomen and their cis allies can love each other (have fun)!

Lesbians dating in 2013 need to know that it is OK to not want to date someone with a Penis.

That is, it is OK to be a Lesbian without qualification or apology or caveat. A Lesbian is a Female Gay who wants to date Females. If someone tells you that you are “Transphobic” because you don’t want to date a transwoman, they are an asshole. And not only are they an asshole, they are perpetuating a culture where access to Women’s bodies is demanded/expected/negotiable (we call that Rape Culture).

Oh, and also, it is ok to reject trans ideology – you will still find Women to date.

Just not on OK Cupid.

About Cathy Brennan

Gender Atheist.

View all posts by Cathy Brennan

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44 Comments on “Dating in the PoMo World”

  1. whataboutthemen Says:

    This isn’t so blatant on OK cupid in the UK, but I have seen so many young lesbian women saying they’re bois or transmen or how they couldn’t live without their cock, so it seems like there’s a tonne of ways we can observe pomo culture invisiblising lesbians on Ok cupid.

  2. Carolyn in Baltimore Says:

    I just say I’m a radical feminist and that I am colander phobic – that I won’t date a dog with a colander on her head. Of course I have not gotten many dates that way….. Am I doing something wrong?

  3. weirdward Says:

    And where are all the disclaimers on gay male dating sites, stating that the gay male seeking to date is not transphobic, and is totally okay dating transguys, and will not date/talk to anyone who is transphobic for not believing that some men have vulvas instead of penises?

    Oh that’s right, it’s only females who aren’t allowed to set sexual boundaries. Silly me.

    • bugbrennan Says:

      That’s right. Although I have seen, here and there, some limited instances where FTMs have accused Gay men of bigotry for not wanting to enjoy sex with a transman. E.g. http://bug-brennan.tumblr.com/image/39123047948

      http://bug-brennan.tumblr.com/post/39122993741/gay-trans-guys-transcripts-of-chats-where-i-disclose

      The tumblr blog gaynotqueer has some, as well.

      But you are right; the focus is always on telling women what we should do with our bodies.

      • Branjor Says:

        They can tell me what to do with my body until they drop, but it’s not going to make the slightest difference.

      • bugbrennan Says:

        I am happy to hear that. I am unhappy to report that many young lesbians have emailed me to say that they felt pressure to date transwomen (and did) because they didn’t realize it was ok to listen to their inner voice saying “this is a man.”

      • weirdward Says:

        Re transguys claiming bigotry over gay men not wanting to date them – Yes, does happen, but unlike with lesbians there is not an entire legal, social, political and ideological framework in place backed up with threats, shunning and censorship for failure to conform. Because biological sex (not gender) as a political category is still the determining factor, no one cares what a biological female on testosterone with lopped off breasts wants, whereas everyone cares about helping men get into lesbians’ pants and affirming their ‘womanhood’.

        Gay men as a class are not falling all over each other in their rush to affirm transmen’s masculinity for fear of what will happen to them if they don’t.

        Where are the large numbers of gay men who are supporting lesbians in this? Maybe it’s about time they showed some solidarity in return for everything lesbians did for them during the AIDS crisis? [Yeah, I know that’s never gonna happen]

        [I know we all know this stuff already, but maybe spelling it out repeatedly will help others who are starting to ask questions]

      • bugbrennan Says:

        You are 100% correct, and repetition is crucial. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out.

      • bugbrennan Says:

        Oh and also, yeah! The gay men have been observably HOSTILE to Lesbians asserting a sexual boundary. You can read about two of them here: http://bugbrennan.com/2012/10/17/with-gay-guys-like-these/ and here: http://bugbrennan.com/2012/11/20/alan-leo-bounville-suggests-women-get-over-their-fear-of-rape/

  4. Nicole Says:

    “Why on earth do Lesbians feel the need to mention this AT ALL”
    Um, cuz they’re NOT lesbians!

    “but I call a person who will date/have sex with a person with a penis either (1) heterosexual or (2) bisexual. I would not call them Lesbian.”
    Exactimundo. The word “lesbian” has been appropriated by every dumb hoe under the sun. I’m going to start calling myself straight. Some of them probably aren’t even female… it is the internet after all.

    As for actual lesbians feeling pressured? Er, get a backbone, ladies. I’m a proud
    “transphobe” and want nothing to do with men in ladies wear.

    • bugbrennan Says:

      I agree with most of what you have said except the dumb hoe part.

      Also, the pressure some of these young women are subjected to seems a lot – the more of us who speak out, the easier it will be (hopefully) for them to feel comfortable saying “NO THANKS.”

      THANK YOU for speaking out.

  5. donna Says:

    My saying with a lesbian ex friend was “dicks are gross”. I think this applies well!

  6. donna Says:

    Also cis men are immune from being called transphobic in my experience, even when they do recognize trans women as men and thus their kin. Waiting for the term to have some gender neutral tangible meaning in its usage and not be a cover for misogynist trans women whose psychological object relations have not changed from their socialisation and perception towards females…

  7. phonaesthetica Says:

    Again and again, it comes down to this: What lesbians want in a partner, sexually and emotionally, is not important. What lesbians want in a partner, sexually and emotionally, is wrong. And, according to Feministing.com, “not reality based”:

    http://feministing.com/2012/06/28/enough-with-i-date-women-and-trans-men/

  8. phonaesthetica Says:

    Hold your nose while you read the comments on that old Feministing pile of shit. You will encounter the neologism “vaginiaphilic.”

    • donna Says:

      Oh god I’m going to be ill…

      So being a lesbian is a pathology now? Lesbophobic.

      • phonaesthetica Says:

        And, of course, it’s one of Feministing’s top posts of the year.

      • bugbrennan Says:

        Demanding sex sells.

      • FCM Says:

        just for funzies i read some of the comments: they all start with “interesting article, really made me think!!!!1!!1″ which is hilarious since that article (like all fun fem writing) is actually completely boring and thought-terminating, and full of reversals. i have also seen some of the “very interesting, thanks!” comments on various trans posts (like the infamous “abortion is not a womens issue” post and vexings infamous “you better fuck transwomen dammit” post) that almost read as “i think you’re wrong but it would be *more* wrong for me to say youre wrong so i wont.” the best ive seen is someone admitting that something blatantly rapey and gross makes them feel slightly uncomfortable, but i *have* seen that — albeit infrequently. that community is completely toxic, thought-terminating and gross.

      • bugbrennan Says:

        WELCOME TO THE QUEER DATING POOL!!

      • FCM Says:

        its too bad you still want to date then. seriously. thats awful. maybe not as bad as dating men — but therein lies the rub ay?

      • bugbrennan Says:

        LOL. Yes, it’s awful.

      • FCM Says:

        have you thought about joining a quilters guild? knitting is probably too cool and might attract the pomos, but a good old fashioned quilting bee might be a good place to meet women. im just saying. they might all be straight, but then again so are all the men in your lesbian spaces amiright? at least there would be actual women there, and NO POMOS.

      • FCM Says:

        PS. it would help if you know how to quilt. in fact, for the guilds its pretty much required. those ladies are seriously skilled which makes them AWESOME. google “quilting blogs” to see some galleries.

      • bugbrennan Says:

        I kind of love these comments, FCM.

  9. weirdward Says:

    In all seriousness, a lesbian group I was in once did up this dating questionnaire that literally had questions that went something like: how do you define your sexuality? (pretty standard for gay/lesbian dating) followed by how do you define your gender identity? and which gender identities are you attracted to? and then a whole bunch of porny questions about what kind of sex you liked – dildo y/n – dominant or submissive in bed, are you open to threesomes – goddess, it went on and on like a teenage boy’s fantasy. Almost nothing in there about actual personalities or interests – I guess lesbians are collections of pornified sexual urges and nothing else?

    • bugbrennan Says:

      I was talking to someone about this recently. I want to start a dating website for sex negative prudes. But in all seriousness, the pornification of the Lesbian community makes me never, ever, ever want to date anyone, ever.

      • FCM Says:

        the fact that the *entire point* of dating now seems to be to act out pornified fantasies on the bodies of other people — or submit to them yourself — is sad and wrong. what ever happened to going to the movies and stuff? or, you know, QUILTING together? im serious. its really interesting to me, bc over the past year or so i have realized that the entire point *for men* of being in relationships with women is to catch friction on her and to (possibly) get a hot meal prepared. “woman as useful object” and all that. gee, i WONDER WHY lesbian “dating” looks so strikingly similar to that now? could it be all the men invading and defining etc? men and male values are like a plague, or toxic mold. you can really see their influence, and its no shock that their shitty fingerprints are all over the academy too. instead of “follow the money” its like “follow the porn” or follow the toxic sludge. the cotton ceiling really hammered this one home for me bc now lesbians are expected to have to negotiate birth control too, whilst having the lesbian sex with the female lesbians with peen. NO woman is allowed to escape any of this. NO woman has a choice about any of it — even “born this way” trans and gays apparently would think nothing of LESBIANS having queerified PIV and abortions now…bc born-this-way lesbians are “born” with an attraction to — wait for it — either women OR deluded males.

        but wait…this isnt MALE shitty fingerprints all over this, its PEOPLE fingerprints. and dont shit-shame me for liking shit.

        BTW it might sound like im kidding but im really not. this stuff is highly disturbing. and quilting isnt.

      • FCM Says:

        srsly, i am sorry that lesbians have to deal with het mens porniness. that really fucking sucks.

      • bugbrennan Says:

        It really does suck. We also have to deal with how porn culture has influenced the sexuality of women. In two words: It Has.

  10. weirdward Says:

    Yes to a dating site for sex negative prudes who understand the concepts of biology and same-sex attraction and are heretical gender atheists.

    Or we could all take up quilting.

  11. WordWoman Says:

    How about a spinsters group? All this crap doesn’t give us many choices. Perhaps the spinsters could take up spinning (not the exercise kind), akin to quilting.

  12. BadDyke Says:

    So, looking for a ‘lesbian’ who doesn’t have/has never had a penis isn’t allowed, but I bet my fat arse that saying you’re NOT attracted to fat dykes is still hunky-dory…………………Just call me a cynical fat ole radfem.

    Just glad I’m out of that game, it was bad enough when you had to ‘come out’ as vanilla to get away from all the dykes who assumed I was into SM cos I shaved my head.

    Hey, but even suzanne Moore in the guardian today (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/09/dont-care-if-born-woman) has spotted the transcult:

    “….Mostly this seemed to be an obsession with secondary sexual characteristics: peeing sitting down if they had been a man, wearing horrible lumberjack shirts and refusing to wash up if they had been a woman. The radical fluidity of gender vaporised. Some trans people appeared to reinforce every gender stereotype going.

    To say this, though, is apparently controversial…”

  13. theoptimistwithinme Says:

    Does this extend to transwomen who have vaginas?

    Accepting pre-op transwomen as women is important… because they’re women. In my opinion, though, it’s OKAY to not want to sleep with someone who has a penis, but that does not mean that there aren’t lesbians out there who date pre-op transwomen. It also doesn’t mean that every member of the trans* community thinks people should go outside of their comfort zones/the boundaries of their sexual attraction to have sex with someone who might still be biologically male.

    If you don’t want to date a transwoman who is biologically male (and by that, I mean that they have a penis), fine. But, again, TRANSWOMEN ARE WOMEN, TOO.

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