I’ve just bought a pink T-shirt

3 12 2010

I’ve just bought a pink T-shirt but I’m worried it might make me look a bit, ahem, gay and give off the wrong signals. What do you think?

(Name withheld)

You know, I really gotta hand it to homophobes: they sure do think they’re hot. The rest of us, I feel, go through life thinking that maybe we’ll catch a few friendly glances coming our way. Homophobes, on the other hand, seem to believe that they are so irresistibly attractive that every gay person of their gender wants to jump their bones, given half an opportunity and a public toilet for privacy. Maybe it’s because these homophobes get so few offers from the people they do want to attract that they assume theirs is a face that appeals more to the other side, so to speak.

There was a simply marvellous quote in a New York Times piece recently about whether gays should be allowed to be open about their sexuality in the military issue, or whether America should continue to deny a group of people a basic human right and instead make them feel ashamed of themselves by suggesting there is something perverted about them when they are giving up their lives to defend their country. But I digress. The reporter spoke to one soldier who said that no, he didn’t want gays in the military because he was worried about being “approached”. That this young man, as he conceded, had never been “approached” in his life – by a man or woman, one suspects – did not lessen his concern. After all, he was just so hot, despite his eyes being – one imagines – ever so slightly too close together.

Name withheld, I’m guessing these are the, ahem, signals you are, ahem, fearing. Well let me assure you: that you are even worrying about looking, ahem, gay, proves that you have neither the wit, nor intelligence, nor style to accomplish such a feat. Look gay? You wish.

Ask Hadley





What you fear you will become…

28 11 2010

“…our patriarchy is so elegantly engineered that women themselves voluntarily do much of the dirty work of oppression, so greatly do they enjoy and freely choose dudecentricity as the logical conclusion of their natural-born femininity. Many Western women hardly need more than the occasional implied threat to keep them on their little painted toes…”

Patriarchy on autopilot

I think the above refers to straight Western women and how they sometimes ‘choose’ oppression, hardly even realising it. But I wonder if there’s more to it  than that…

Why is it that butch dykes often cultivate the walk, the talk and the style of men? And why does male fashion so often dictate butch fashion as well? That is, pants, long sleeved shirts, boots…

If we reject the male and the masculine in all its forms, (do we?) why do we still slavishly acquire all the trappings and accessories of outward masculine appearance?

And it isn’t always just the outward that we acquire. Butch women often manifest many of the controlling behaviours, sexist attitudes and perceptions that men hold towards women in general. Exactly which man becomes a role model is often unclear, or why, but that the model is masculine is beyond doubt.

So why do so many lesbians occupying different positions on the scale of butchness so often feel the need to mimic male behaviours, while frequently claiming to reject the entire male species at many levels? Is this about comfort? Convenience? Or the seizing of a model that is obviously freer, more liberated and comfortable with itself than the one we are born into? Are we simply trying to trade places?

If we as lesbians reject so many male values and behaviours – an entire system of patriarchal oppression in fact – (one which is more apparent and obvious in our region than most), why then are we driven to ape that which we reject?

Do we even see what we are doing and how we buy into the masculine role model all the time?

Oppression elegantly engineered, indeed…