Erasure

So, under a very anonymous name that could not be linked to my blog, I decided to join a feminist, lesbian-friendly, small forum. Within a day a troll-man called me a faggot and told me to go kill myself. There was shockingly little support or concern from other women. I was expected to suck it up and ‘use the block button’. I left. I tried the next day to rejoin and see what gave. The mods deleted it, but no one contacted me to see if I was ok, or at least offer any sympathy. Women are used to abuse, and counsel their sisters to merely ignore it. The old ‘sticks and stones might break my bones but names will never hurt me’ trope is clearly untrue. The hurt is ignored, but not erased.

Other women’s lack of concern hurt me a lot more than some prick telling me to end my life and calling me anti-gay slurs, to be frank, that is what hurt me the most. The fact that other women downplay this kind of attack, minimize bullying and its effects on people and expect women to just accept how things are and get on with it says it all about the state of social media and society itself.

I have no friends in the City. I know a few people, but no one who would ever call me up, ask me out for a friendly trip to a cafe or to walk around a park. The fact that I moved here in a pandemic doesn’t help. The fact that I can’t drink alcohol doesn’t help. The fact that all the lesbian bars have been colonized by men really doesn’t help either. I would like to go play pool without any penis-owners getting in the way. I would like to go hang out knowing that men were simply not allowed in through the doors. These days have long gone. Men are centered in all aspects of life once more, and those halcyon days of second wave feminism are over. The second wavers are fighting for women’s lives in a very literal way: on the front lines of reclaiming womanhood, bodily autonomy and female-only spaces. Feminism now is a very serious business. The men got even got Mitchfest (female, very lesbian music festival) shut down. There is no way for women to meet which does not require a go fund me for legal fees to be raised and a lot of stress and upset on all accounts.

Lesbian female-only swimming? You gotta be having a laugh, mate. Everyone nowadays knows that some dykes have dicks and get hard ons in the pool. The lesbian tradition of hiking wearing sensible boots has to be fully inclusive of dick. Dicks where no dicks are wanted has a name. This insertion into female, feminist and lesbian culture is rapey in the extreme. Men are saying ‘you don’t want us? Tough luck. We ARE you. Get used to your erasure.’ They couldn’t beat us, so they decided to become us.

Lesbian dating is now fraught with exhortations for lesbians to get used to the ‘mouthfeel’ of dick: corrective rape by another name. Tomboys and butch lesbians are being directed into conformity with heterosexual norms by encouraging them to transition to male. Any female who is sexually attracted to other females is not so gently encouraged towards non-binary or trans options. It is no longer encouraged to be a gender non conforming woman, no, the men want us to trans away the gay, and it is not ok. I have no desire to fuck a man, not now, not ever again. I have no desire to force myself to do so out of compliance to society’s prescribed norms. I do not want to grow my hair out, wear make up or femme clothes. I want to be me without being pushed towards self mutilation. Apparently this is very much out of date and worthy of being abused online.

I have moved into self protective mode. I will not pursue any online socializing, I will not try to make friends. I will be isolated because it is safer. The pricks have got what they want – divide and conquer. I am not very happy about it, though. Even the local lesbian march was centering dickowners who could self-identify as women and take over the whole thing, thus wiping out the fact that lesbians are homosexual adult human females. Trans away the gay. Claim it. Own it, and shut out those the meaningful words are meant to protect.

I am sick of the ‘be kind’ mantra. That kindness only ever floats one way, and if I sound angry, that is because I am. I am angry because even in these dark post Roe days, we are told that some men have abortions too. Fuck that shit. Becoming pregnant is an exclusively female state. Not all women can become pregnant, but only women can, but still mental gymnastics are forced to happen so that even that suffering, that problem, that injustice is framed around men.

A world that centers penis. How very progressive! How very modish to force the world to revolve around the almighty dick whether it wants to or not. The cracks in the veneer of female emancipation and bodily autonomy always did run deep. Rape is so difficult to prosecute and get a conviction for, that it has basically become legal, yet we tolerated it. I personally counselled female friends to not report, to not put themselves through that stress and horror of being made out to be the bad one in a court room, in the typical reverse of victim and perpetrator. Calls for women to be prosecuted for false allegations if their rape case fails have meant that reporting a rape is yet more trauma and punishment for the victim.

Of every 1000 cases of rape, only 310 are reported to the police and 25 will be incarcerated. Even with incarceration, the sentences are pathetic. Women simply don’t matter. We have been conditioned to accept the risks. 1 in every 6 American women will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, and now those women that fall pregnant by their rapists will struggle to secure an abortion in most states, which will also not allow travel to secure a termination. Women are under siege.

Our sex-based rights and protections have been eroded to the point where we are in actual danger. We tolerated so much, we so ‘kind’ and ‘inclusive’ that we have been left entirely vulnerable to attack. Women in jail are so easy for other women to throw under the bus. Who cares about women in jail? They did something wrong, so tough shit if they are left unprotected, right? Who cares if be-penised people – aka MEN, are locked up with them, leading to abuse, rape and pregnancies which cannot be aborted? To lock up women with men and then refuse abortion, taking their babies away from them that they are forced to carry to term is torture. The punishment does not fit any crime.

You might say that I am rambling, you might be turned off by my anger. I really don’t care. Because unless we all wake up and fight, women are going to be forced back to going barefoot and pregnant, and worse than that, without a public bathroom, safe incarceration, lack of female only sports opportunities, or provisions made for them to close the sex based privilege divide. Women’s awards, yup, now opened to dick owners. Women not only have lost the room of their own that Woolf rhapsodized about, we have lost any space for our own at all.

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