Vaguely about female homophobia
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Written at work with many interruptions.
In an email this morning I expressed envy that some gay women are comfortable with gender play, color, roles - choose your own term. Enough so that we've had books from major publishers on lesbian femme/butch relationships come into to the shop (both queer theory and silly books).
After opening the shop this morning a car pulled up and out stepped too women. One slender, in a dress with a purse; her companion wore jeans and a sports pullover. The slender woman would've set off my gaydar* by herself. Together I couldn't help but project femme/butch onto them.
Never get to do that with a gay male couple. Perhaps in other parts of the world but not in Durham, NC. Whenever I wonder why (a slice) of gay women do this but gay men don't. Heterosexist gay men shudder at the thought. That old Devil masculinity.
What I've been trying to summon up in my mind what homophobic women feel? I've heard straight women find the idea of same-sex erotic contact nauseating. Luckily I've never met any of them.
I was wondering if straight women who find lesbian sex revolting (as opposed to uninteresting, unerotic) feel some abstract neurotic fear. Or do they feel their femininity would be compromised, destroyed. As with homophobic men you have to wonder what is so horrible about their body when someone else has it.
Often I've wished for a Gender Switch in the back of my neck. I could flip it and see what the social world is like for women. (It wouldn't work; I'd be just as asocial if I were a woman.) But I can't imagine experiencing what must go on in the mind of a homophobic female.
* A few words in self-defense. My limited lesbian gaydar works only in my shop or nearby. This is the gay-friendly part of Durham. In buying and selling lesbian books I've probably picked up a few transitory local details of hair, dress, deportment. Just as it is possible to feel confident certain men are gay without their fitting any sort of gay stereotype. I know gay women I'd never guess without having been told. Don't assume women with functional haircuts are lesbians. While a few may have patterned themselves in the image of Leslie Feinberg, most don't suggest butchness.