Thought Catalog
May 1, 2012

5 Common Misconceptions About Lesbians

Report This Article
What is the issue?

1. All lesbians are feminists

Lord, how I wish this were true. Unfortunately, feminism and lesbianism go hand in hand much like chocolate and peanut butter do (theoretically make sense and should always be holding hands, but don’t). People understandably seem to think that if you’re a woman who likes women, then duh, you’re all about women! Love women in ALL the ways! But sadly, no. Just because a lady likes vagina in her face does not mean she actually cares about the vagina owner’s rights. I have come across plenty of misogynistic lesbians who really do think their girlfriends belong in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant. I have met anti-Planned Parenthood lesbians, slut-shaming lesbians, and lesbians who actually support Rick Santorum (??). The point is, being a woman who likes women does not make you a feminist. It makes you a lesbian.

2. Scissoring: it’s what’s for dinner

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you’re telling someone about having sex with a girl and they kind of tilt their head inquisitively and go “…But how?” And the next thing they think of is scissoring. Why? Because a) in general, people are #NotClearOn lesbian sex, and b) in our heteronormative culture, we generally accept the idea that sex = genital-on-genital action. So by that logic, scissoring would make sense, but in actuality nothing could be further from the truth: there are approximately 4,947,803 ways to have lady sex (just look at all the manuals!) and scissoring is just one inconvenient way to do it. It can get pretty awkward, and with a significant height difference it’s way more trouble than it’s worth. Also, you generally don’t scissor with just anyone because a) let’s be honest, it looks ridiculous, and b) you have to really trust/ like the person to even try to maneuver that kind of thing. Moral of the story? Scissoring is kind of like the healthy option at a fast food place: always on the menu, but no one really orders it.

3. There’s a “girl” and a “guy” in every lesbian relationship

LOL gender roles. There is quite possibly nothing more irritating and homicidal-feelings-inducing than being somewhere with your girlfriend and having some unimaginative weirdo ask “So who’s the guy?” But again, blame heteronormative culture for this trespass: this question comes from the narrow view that a relationship is comprised of a “man” and a “woman,” so when people ask this, they’re applying traditionally masculine and feminine roles to a relationship constituted of two females. Within this framework, they want to know who gives and who takes, who kills bugs and who cooks dinner. But in reality, most lesbian relationships don’t work this way, and not even heterosexual relationships are that cut and dry. While some lesbian relationships do in fact, rely heavily on the traditional butch-femme dynamic, the masculine-feminine aspects of two women in a relationship tend to be fluid and malleable rather than static.

4. The whole U-Haul thing

The U-Haul stereotype is one that, unfortunately for the rest of us, continues to be perpetuated by those of the “act first, think later” mindset. Though it is rooted in truth to a certain degree — gay ladies are notorious for taking things too far too fast too soon — in reality, anyone in any kind of relationship who feels the so-called “urge to merge” (ugh) can act just as impulsively, which makes it an unfair stereotype to apply to the entire lesbian community. We all know of straight couples who get married after two weeks of dating or less (hello Vegas), as well as gay couples who stay together for years but keep their spaces separate. Besides, in addition to an overarching love of Tegan and Sara and a knack for making plaid look good, one glaring hallmark of the lesbian community is its vast array of fickle commitment-phobes. See? We’re not all clingy emotional domestics.

5. Lesbians hate anything penis-shaped

If this were true, strap-ons would not exist. TC mark

image – Benson Kua