Friday, September 22, 2006
baciano le donne
okay, so school/work/doing-all-that-is-required-for-me-to-remain-fabulous has drained me a bit, so i took a walk to the feminist bookstore this afternoon. just to clear my head and get a break.
i was in the store, checking out all the super-cool things they have in there. as is usually the custom, this bookstore was filled with gay pride and queer merchandise. i have always bristled at the fact that whoever finds out that i am a feminist calls me a lesbian. it makes me angry that a woman, whoever she is, who stands up for herself and other women must have some sort of sexual agenda. feminists are straight, and feminists are gay. the fact that lesbianism is a big part of the women's movement is because the women's movement exists to address issues important to women. this includes, but is not limited to, family, career, sex, love, marriage, children or the lack thereof, fashion or the protestation of such, religion/spirituality, etc. a woman who is discriminated against for loving other women should not have to go find her own movement. the movement is for her as much as for anyone else.
that being said, i was a little overwhelmed. i almost felt out of place because there was just so much of it. there were many things i could not relate to.
which is fine, i don't have to relate to everything i see. whatever.
so i'm browsing and some lesbians come in. that's fine and dandy with me; i have a lot of respect for lesbians. (i like the idea of woman as completely self-sufficient, even sexually.) but then, old stereotypes and fears came into my head. from where, i do not know. i like to think of myself as pretty tolerant. hell, i must have zillions of gay best friends, but they are all male.
these nice ladies were just shopping, minding their own business, and i'm thinking those crazy thoughts straighties tend to have. "what if someone thinks i'm a lesbian because i'm shopping here?" "what if a woman hits on me?" i was immediately ashamed at having such thoughts. when i am around men, i don't worry about unwanted attention. if it comes, i deal with it appropriately, but more often than not it does not. so what's the difference? is a lesbian going to reach out and grope me? i mean, come on. i have been hit on once by a woman, and survived to tell the tale.
in the great american psychological tradition of blaming one's parents for everything, i would like to offer up at least one excuse for my behavior. when i was growing up, we knew gay people, but they were living in sin and went to our church in order to abandon their lifestyle and be spared the wrath of god. that poster illustrating people going to heaven and hell that i looked at every day for most of my childhood? on one side of it, it said, "AIDS - the gay plague," implying god sent it to punish gays.
my parents are not hateful bigots, they just believed everything the church said, lock, stock and barrel. mother acknowledges today that that was a sick fucking poster.
come to think of it, mother loves fellow seeker, and the three of us enjoy watching 'talk sex with sue johanson' together, but she would be totally grossed out if she saw him kiss another man in front of her. as far as parents go, what with their upbringing and all that, mine are not too bad. but if me or one of my sisters turned out to be gay, they wouldn't be able to handle it.
it's interesting how ideas that are so ingrained come back to bite us in the asses. but, at least being conscious of it is a start to some sort of change.