Thought Catalog

5 Common Misconceptions About Lesbians

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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

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    • http://twitter.com/perniciously Esha

      I respect women enough to expect them to have enough self-esteem to not consider themselves as victims at all times. It’s just idiotic that people (especially most lesbians themselves) think that being a lesbian and being a feminist should go hand in hand.

      • me

        woah, huge difference between feminism and victimhood.

      • Greta

        being a human and being a feminist should go hand in hand.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726295377 Mercedes Villanueva

          Greta, that comment was gold. In an alternate universe, I would go down on one knee just from reading that comment.

        • dos

          Sorry if I sound idiotic, but I don’t exactly understand why the term isn’t ‘humanist’. I mean, most feminist fight for the rights of everyone regardless of class, sex, whatever. 

        • bee

          That’s not idiotic.  There was actually an entire essay on TC about this today. 
          However, ‘humanist’ is a little problematic, too – it almost implies that only human rights matter.  As a feminist and a vegan (wahwah, bitch about crazy liberal hippy freaks, whatever), I wouldn’t particularly enjoy that title, and I’m sure others wouldn’t either.
          But that’s the problem – it’s hard to pick a title that everyone feels comfortable with!  Because no matter what, the title can never stand for everything the belief system encompasses.

        • Anonymous

          earthist. 

        • Anonymous

          well this didn’t reply to whom i intended it -___-

        • wtv

          ” it’s hard to pick a title that everyone feels comfortable with! ” that’s the same response I always see written by feminists about the word “feminism”. It’s a stupid excuse. Please don’t use it anymore.

      • Angel

        because all feminists see themselves as victims

        • hersy

          LOL 

          nah, my friend. 

    • http://twitter.com/tbarrios47 Tanya Barrios

      Thank you for this. Educating people about misconceptions gets fucking exhausting.

    • guest

      amen!

    • lady chattergay

      The truth has been spoken.

    • Anonymous

      This article is perfection. 
      If I have to hear that UHaul Joke one more time, I swear… 

    • http://twitter.com/ward_hegedus Ward Hegedus

      LOL gender roles. — makes me giggle. 

      • Clitty McLabia

        LOL you beat me at commenting about LOL gender roles—LOL. 

    • guest

      kudos to Mila!!! an article about misconceptions may not alter the dominant hetero-culture on which relation-perceptions are built on but change can only come through a brick by brick approach. you go sister

    • Hark

      As a straight male who – through a strange confluence of circumstances – happens to be roommates with two very catholic, republican gay men (they are a couple), and who’s closest friend happens to be a lesbian woman (she is a feminist).

      I have a lot of respect for position #1.  People come in all shapes and sizes.  They have funny opinions and weird outlooks.  The only people who want us all to share the same ideologies are politicians, extremist and the lunatic fringe.

      God bless misogynist non feminist lesbians.  While I don’t personally agree with them, they prove that people are people and that it is okay to be different.

      • Feminist

        I don’t see any virtue in daring to be different by believing you, your partner, and all other women should be treated as less than equal to men. While I value diversity of opinions, I don’t include oppressive opinions among that. There are much more legitimate debates WITHIN feminism.

        • guest

          very rawlsian response indeed 

        • Mysogenist

          There is an assumption in feminism that if it isn’t clearly part of a clearly defined and fairly rigid set of conventions then it must be misogynistic.  Take people like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann.  I know very few liberals and very few feminists who consider them anything less than an embarrassment, and most people would tag them with a misogynist label as well. 

          The problem is that conservatives wouldn’t agree with the characterization that these women are “less” than their male counterparts.  Just different, with a different focus and different ideas about what is important. 

          By characterizing these ideas as innately misogynistic, and unworthy of any consideration, you are in fact acting every bit of a discriminatory manner as any red neck hillbilly hick out in the woodlands.  We are a pluralist society.  Diversity means exactly that.  The ability to respect that while opinions might differ from our own, while they might seem backwards and wrong headed and maybe even downright evil… that they are valid as opinions and ideas.

          Or rather, to say that there are much more legitimate debates WITHIN feminism is to say nothing more than “I am right.  You are wrong.”  And unless you are talking Mathematics there are actually no positions that are intrinsically correct or incorrect.

      • http://underwaterbreedingapparatus.blogspot.com/ Max K

        Your group of friends/roommates sounds like a setup to the plot of a very terrible Adam Sandler movie.

    • Clitty McLabia

      I really want to be a lesbian now. LOL. 

    • Poo

      Does this website publish anything except numbered lists anymore? Are there any writers here that don’t use lazy crutches?

      • Guest

        baha ur funni

    • Anonymous

      “its vast array of fickle commitment-phobes. See? We’re not all clingy emotional domestics.”
      haha, sigh. 

    • http://www.traceymichele.wordpress.com/ Tracey Michele

      #6) We all play softball.

      PS. We won our softball game tonight!! 
      Because some stereotypes are true… ;)

    • Michaelwg

      I was under the impression that every time lesbians enter a bedroom their bodies morph and that Naomi Watts scene from Mulholland Dr. plays out. I’m going to continue believing this. Don’t judge me.

    • Turd McGee

      hey this is pretty gross

    • Andrea

      #1: -MIND BLOWN- 

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