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…





Love the sinner hate the sin

24 11 2010

Every God fearing Christian has surely heard these words.

I don’t think there is anything that irritates me more than this line, especially when used on gay people. It’s like saying “we don’t hate you we just hate the act.” Like being gay is only about sex. (But I knew I was gay even before I ever had sex with a woman!)

Every other aspect of the relationship – the love, the sharing, the emotions

and the caring are all discounted. To me it’s like saying its ok to be Sri Lankan but don’t behave like one! So don’t eat with your fingers, and don’t drink tea with three spoons of sugar in it. It’s not a separate thing: to be and behave. How can it be? It’s just the patronizing attitude of people who haven’t experienced certain situations or emotions in their lives.

I just read the story of an Irish Catholic priest who was has been banned by the Vatican from publishing any more of his writings after he suggested that homosexuality was “simply a facet of the human condition”, and that same-sex attraction and acts have been a consistent feature of human life. The Church says it’s “not wrong to be gay but it is wrong to act gay”.

Can someone please tell me how the fuck I can separate the two?





Vasopressin shots for ALL lesbians, please!

13 08 2010

I am a little put out. I was reading up on this Casanova gene: the VASOPRESSIN RECEPTOR GENE. Yep. You don’t know what that is? These Casanova dykes are hiding it. That’s why you never heard of it. Here’s what it is: a vasopressin receptor is a cell surface receptor which binds vasopressin, which is a peptide hormone that controls the reabsorption of molecules in the tubules of the kidneys by affecting the tissue’s permeability and affects the central nervous system in such a way that it initiates and sustains activity supporting pair-bonds between sexual partners. Righti-ho.

Translated, it means the vasowhatever is a gene which makes you either stay faithful or fuck around. Men may be influenced by it and voles definitely have it (sounds absolutely perfect, that vole-male connection). Lady voles, on the other hand, have Oxytocin (fondly called OT by scientists) that make them prone to such things as staying with their first love and looking after everyone (i.e. men and babies).

But we need research to be absolutely sure that we humans have it too. So some committed scientists have patiently got hold of a number of Swiss men, unravelled their DNA, asked them and their wives/girlfriends questions like “How often do you kiss your mate?” and “Have you discussed a divorce or separation with a close friend?” and voilà! Link found between the vasowhatever and human stable long-term relationships (as in over 5 years). That’s us baby, humans.

My non-lizzy sisters. Now you know. You thought it was some woman’s short skirt and the famed 64 seduction techniques, but you don’t have to blame it on your fellow women anymore. Neither do you have to castigate yourself for his straying. Some of these poor things have the short end of the gene and it makes them absolutely need to have sex with someone nice that they see. (If you are already with one of them, don’t worry, I think an antidote is being developed).

And this is when it started smelling fishy. For my lesbean self, that is.

Lizzy sisters. Some honesty is in order here. That dyke you said can’t stay with someone for more than a year? And that really hot woman who just had to hit the dance floor to pull a girl (in a straight nightclub, for fuck’s sake!)? What about the lizzy friend you caught making eyes at your girl? Obviously there is a place I can get these vasowhatever shots in our community. Put ‘em on the table, girls! Not fair.





What slang words are used to describe lesbians in your country?

5 08 2010

Here are some from Asia.

From North India:

  • Chapat Baaz – meaning stuck things. For more on this read Ruth Vanita’s book Same sex love in India.
  • Ran Chandi – the word denotes an angry butch warrior like woman. Hmm, I think the Daily Mirror would like this in referring to us as man haters!
  • Bhayada – Hmm, I like this one. It literally translates as ‘androgynous’, not a man but not a woman either. The world needs more of these!
  • Babu Baai – meaning ‘man-woman’. Or sometimes just ‘babu’, meaning man but by calling a woman that, it implies she is not a woman.

From Sri Lanka:

  • Aappa – ahh! our favorite and the name of our blog!
  • Kello-Kello – meaning ‘girl-girl’. Pretty tame.
  • Thori – ‘thori’ is the feminine form of ‘thora’ which is the Sinhala word for Kingfish or seer fish. So lesbians are basically called fish. Great (must admit I do like the water!)
  • SLS – this one is a classic. It stands for ‘Sama Lingika Sevavan’, or ‘same sex services’! It can also be used to describe gay boys. I believe it is very popular in universities around here..

From Jordan:

  • Is she a taxi? – apparently taxis in Jordan are green and yellow in colour, and in conversation, when you ask “is she a taxi?” you are actually asking “Is she gay?” Green And Yellow = GAY, get it? Of course in Bangladesh calling someone a taxi is calling someone a prostitute.

I am fascinated by these words and expressions and wonder where they come from. I think of taking pride from these expressions and in re-owning these words. They take on a different meaning in a different place and time…. Of course there are more slang words for gay boys but it’s interesting to see what gay women are called.

Please feel free to add words from your countries.





Can the newspapers take a stand on the homos, please?

29 07 2010

If we had ever thought the media in Sri Lanka was showing some signs – SOME – of turning around and being supportive of lgbt rights, today’s ‘Editorial’  in the Daily Mirror puts that to rest. Seriously. By sounding like the rant of a disappointed misogynistic male who has it in for not only the lesbians but also the women’s organisations.

In case the recent blitz of pride photos in the newspaper made you think otherwise, no, this is NOT the first time that lgbt organisations worked with the media. Many years ago, a regular FAQ column was run in a Sinhala tabloid which discussed issues of sexuality. Several years ago during pre-election times, national dailies ran advertisements that asked voters to think whether the chosen candidates stood up for rights of lgbt people and people living with HIV/AIDS. That was before newspapers stopped printing such paid advertisements for fear of ‘problems from above’. So yes, we have regressed. This is how it is – you take two steps, slide three back, but you keep walking forward.

Now, the problem for me is not so much newspapers refusing to publish anything on lgbt or sexuality rights issues. The problem is that they are inconsistent. What’s with putting out publicity articles on pride celebrations, pseudo-celebrity interviews, surprise comments by state representatives, and then writing an editorial like this?

Is it too much to ask that

1. an editorial actually reads like a piece of sound content written by the most senior journalist in the newspaper?

2. the newspaper takes a fucking stand on an issue?





Why it’s never too late to be a lesbian

23 07 2010

More and more women are discovering after years of marriage to men, and having had children, that they are lesbians.

Were they always – or is sexuality more fluid?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/22/late-blooming-lesbians-women-sexuality





“…a lousy, smelly, idle, underprivileged and over sexed, status-seeking neurotic moron.”

20 07 2010

“If you are a lousy, smelly, idle, underprivileged and over sexed, status-seeking neurotic moron, give me your money…”

Recently, as we have posted below, there has been a flurry of activity by various organizations to clean up the city, and purify youthful souls, while certain discussions such as this one have also been raging idiotically across the local blog world… (although the latter has more to do with local homophobia than issues of morality.)

All this emphasis on virtue and morality is beginning to get me down. Why are we as a nation so defensive about all things sexual? And why is there a special panic button reserved for women and their virtue in particular? Do we need to be policed more than men? (One of the lovelier comments on the indecent hoardings story ran as follows: “Very good suggestion. Rape will drop quite a bit if women do not invite people to rape them by dressing indecently…”)

Now even I, with my limited understanding of feminism, know that the issues surrounding the sexual objectification of women are important in feminist theory. And most feminists would strongly object to sexist or exploitative advertising in any form. Now however I wonder – where does the feminist agenda on this issue cross with that of the moral police who are, as we speak, tearing down every hoarding or billboard in Colombo and its suburbs that has an image of a woman on it, (barring the ones portraying women wearing saris and being traditional housewives that is).

Are the feminists cheering? Or do they mourn another step towards conservatism, censorship and state control? Who decides what is indecent and who decides when it is exploitative and are the agendas simply one and the same? If not, where lies the difference?

Dharshini Seneviratne puts it much better than I could in her article ‘When media mould women’. She says:

‘Fortunately or unfortunately, cultural puritanism has meant that the local media hardly objectify the woman’s body. So even for the wrong reasons, the right thing is getting done. Unlike in the western film and television circles, where women are filmed in a particularly sexist way that focuses on parts of their body, Sri Lankan films largely avoid these portrayals (except in sex scenes) mostly for cultural reasons. Because it is ‘bad’ to do so. Not, mind you, because of feminist arguments that object to the same thing because it demeans the female through the objectification of the body. But beauty queen contests and highly ‘sophisticated’ advertising in Sri Lanka continue to ape the West in this sense.”

So is there then, such a great difference between someone vaguely claiming that advertisements portraying women are ‘bad’ (or ‘against our culture’) and another stating clearly that ‘they demean the female through the objectification of the body’?

When the end result is censorship, it all seems to conspire towards reducing women’s freedom and power, not increasing it.

Maybe the problem is with an unsophisticated and uneducated consumer and people simply need to grow up and learn to view advertising as something generally manipulative and devious; not to be taken seriously and never to be considered as anything more than an appeal to the “lousy, smelly, idle, underprivileged and over sexed, status-seeking neurotic moron” in all of us.





Citizenship, homosexuality and equal opportunities

20 06 2010

“For those of us who are heterosexual and conform to the sexual behaviour expected of us, we enjoy the perks of citizenship without much thought. But the recent events held to commemorate Pride week, and discussions held around issues that haunt the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) communities in Sri Lanka, brought up the fact that, for these communities, citizenship remains a vexed legal, socio-political subject….”

http://catseyesrilanka.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/citizenship-homosexuality-and-equal-opportunities/





Having lesbian babies: or looking at the sky through the eye of the needle

17 06 2010

There’s a lot of baby talk going around these days. I thought it was only us here, but there was our sister from lesbian neurotica commenting on the article in Time as well. I like babies in the abstract. Like, I want people to have them only if they want children. Like, it irritates me when people smoke with kids around. Like, it pisses me off when the state messes with the education system. There is all of that. But when the baby is in the room I can only admire from two feet away.

When I was straight, my mouth would set in a mutinous line when the boyfriend talked of children. But as a lesbian I felt I should support my partner if she wanted a baby. If she loved babies at least as much as I loved dogs, it was sad not to be able to have a kid. NOT a comparison. NOT. But. I can’t think of not having dogs in my life. So imagine seeing kids all around you and not being able to have one for yourself because of stupid reasons.

Like having to pretend you are married when you go to a hospital to get information on fertility. Can’t they just imagine you are a loose woman and still give you the correct info??

Like trying to find a gay-friendly gynaecologist who won’t have a fit when a woman walks in and says ‘me want baby without man around’. Needle in haystack, what!

Like not being able to adopt because you are not married to a man. And look at all those idiot families neglecting kids and those other kids who are in orphanages.

Like not being able to be artificially inseminated if you are not married and the husband hasn’t consented. What the fuck? Maybe the hospitals can start off a side business in marriage brokering.

I can’t even begin to say what a froth all this gets me into. But hey, we have our means.

wink





Man and man, woman and woman

16 06 2010

Politicians in Iceland have passed a law legalising gay marriage…

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/06/11/icelands-parliament-unanimously-approves-gay-marriage/