02 June 2009

hypothesis:

"Dyke" is my gender, not my sexual identity.

11 comments:

Troll said...

I've got a new one for you. Fuck "gender bender". I prefer "blender".

Anonymous said...

Interesting.
Would you care to explain the hypothesis?

Kae said...

not just yet =)

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the Radicalesbians of Philly in the 1970s, minus the separatist politics. It also reminds me that in several other languages, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, the "dyke" version of lesbian is often referred to as womanlesbian (all one word, in respective language). I don't think English has an equivalent to this.

~B.

Kae said...

B, i want to learn more about this! i've often said that English has too many words that never get used, and not enough words for what you really want to say.

as for an explanation, or the beginning of one at least: i think "dyke" says more about my appearance and mannerisms outside the bedroom than in it. while getting dressed/doing my hair/walking in boypants, i might say "i look like such a dyke!!" but never "i look like i enjoy [any given sex act]!"

and Troll, i think if anyone deserves the title "gender blender," it's you ;)

Anonymous said...

"i might say 'i look like such a dyke!!' but never 'i look like i enjoy [any given sex act]!'"

What would the latter actually *look* like in public? Do we ever express our sexual identities outside of the bedroom without simultaneously expressing our genders?

As for the womanlesbian term, I can try to explain it by example. Every year in Europe, there is an international womyn's feminist lesbian gathering. The announcements say, in each of the respective languages, that the festival is for "women and lesbians". This implies two things: 1) the fest is open to all women, including straight women (though they rarely come) and trans-identified women and 2) that lesbians are recognized as a gender of their own, separate from the woman-gender. This word distinction (woman vs. lesbian) is probably more closely related to the reasoning behind the English term "womyn", although I have also been privy to European dyke marches, where "dyke" is clearly an English-language term and otherwise not really used in non-English conversation.

Now I'm rambling. I hope some of this makes sense and doesn't further muddle the issues.

~B.

Kae said...

we never (or very rarely) do express our sexual identities outside the bedroom without expressing our genders, which is why it's so important to have legal protections based not only on sexual orientation but also on gender expression.

that said, i don't hear things like this with lesbians/queer women, but i have heard gay men say about other men, "he looks like a bottom/top" and things of that nature. i wonder about the relationship here!

Anonymous said...

b. wrote me recently and told me about the womenLesbian discussion. as a european (austrian) lesbian i would say this term focuses lesbian debates as part of the feminist movement. but: as far i know, it´s not like b. wrote, that all as women identified people are welcome to participate at the autonomous feminist gathering, but only "biological" women/lesbians (nowadays there´s a verbal difference between bio women and women [such include all as women identified genders])
activities open for trans-women mostly say "women and trans", so there´s always kind of a separation.
and the feminist movement, like in vienna, is really more like the second wave movement, a lot focussed on womanhood and not that much on the gender discussion.
i think the only term that is used as an insult and as an impowering and subersive term is the word "kampflesbe" (translated: fighting lesbian). maybe it´s a little like dyke? what do you think b.?
in german we really have little verbs for feminist lesbians..so it´s my impression.

hugs from austria b.!
i am really interested in the discussion....read u soon

sara

Anonymous said...

*waves to Sara*
I'm so glad you made it over here and could shed some light on your own cultural experience. Vienna is really one of the more queer-positive cities in the subversive activist sense and to learn more about (and from) the struggles between the feminist and queer communities all over the world is really important.

As for "Kampflesbe", this is what we would call "militant dyke" in English, though I haven't heard the English term used in quite some time.

"in german we really have little verbs for feminist lesbians..so it´s my impression."
Same goes for English! This is why we need to create our own words and definitions and begin using them! :-)

~B.

Kae said...

"Kampflesbe" makes me think a little bit of "man-hating lesbian," which i've heard more recently than "militant dyke." but "man-hating" seems to imply more than just militism, whether it's militant lesbianism or militant feminism, or some combination thereof. (can you have militant lesbianism without militant feminism?) is hating men a form of militant feminism? what if it's passive, or passive-aggressive? could there be "man-hating straight women"? what would that look like?

the bio-women/women distinction causes me no end of frustration. i personally don't see why people care so much. furthermore, i don't understand how some of the very same people who won't welcome transwomen into women's space try to include transmen--or why they think transmen would even WANT to be included in women's space! (though i certainly see no more reason to exclude transmen than transwomen: to each hir own.)

Anonymous said...

actually i thought about your question whether straight women could me man hating women/feminists. somehow i doubt it...allthough i thought of myself that i was a feminist in my bisexual times. now i would say i was not feminist enough :)
i would like "gender fighting feminist/lesbian" or lesbinist (lesbian-feminist)...
what ideas do you have?

i would really like new words :-D

do you know that:
its a woman from germany....very interesting, impowering woman:
http://beardedwoman.wordpress.com/

greez from vienna where weather is hot and rainy ;)