Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Does lesbianism exist?

What an appalling sexist question to ask! Only the most benighted male could ever venture to formulate such an absurdity.

Let me explain, if I may, what I mean.

I do not share the view of some predatory men that lesbians are just unlucky women who are desparately pining for for the attentions of a "true man" (their very own belching, pot-bellied, tobacco-chewing selves, in fact) to liberate them from their sad state of relegation. Not at all. Nor do I think that lesbians are typically ugly harridans, so that, spurned by men, they are forced to seek consolation in the company of other unfortunates of their own sex. This claim is risible on its face. Many, perhaps most "fem" lesbians are attractive by any conventional standard. And butch lesbians have their own authority and dignity.

What may be the case is that female same-sex attraction and behavior is very different from those of men. In my previous posting on biological factors, I have not mentioned women. The reason is that one cannot simply transpose discoveries about gay men to lesbian women.

In fact the parallel betwen gay men and lesbians has only been commonly invoked since 1869, when K. M. Kertbeny introduced the term "homosexual." In surveys of many countries the finding has been repeatedly confirmed that there are only about 40% as many female same-sexers as there are male ones. This fact suggests that the etiologies must be different.

More subjectively, I noted a good many years ago, when I attended consciousness-raising groups consisting of men and women, that over and over the women described life histories of malleabiltiy. That is (from a male point of view), they wove back and forth between heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

In my previous posting I noted the persistent stability of sexual orientation--at least as men experience it. As the Latin proverb has it, no matter how we may seek to expell Nature with a pitchfork, she comes right back. So it has been for most gay men. But not necessarily for gay women. They may, many of them, have achieved the flexibility that seems so much prized in sexuality nowadays.

I do not know whether that is good or bad. I am simply trying to describe, haltingly to be sure, what I perceive as the situation.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Human sexuality is akin to a spectrum, fluid and dynamic, not akin to binary polarities. While the dimorphism of all sexual organisms permeates the natural world, and is the only biologically relevant distinction within any species (race, ethnicity, are suspect if not outmoded), in which sexual orientation is merely one facet to distinguish on the fluid scale, just as is sexual preference, and acts that are procreative or simply erotic.

And because SEX alone is the only material difference, from which gender traits are derived, sexual expression is far more diverse and pluralistic than simple binaries or even Kinsey's Scale. I would argue that the scale goes from 1 - 100, not 1 - 6, and what titlates one may not do another, what arouses one may not arouse another, but maybe, perhaps, the "straight" male finds himself in the arms and Half Nelson of an "androphile," with stiff erections, all of which go to demonstrate the "binary structuralism" of theory is too constrictive and violative of our biological reality.

The lessons of Darwin appear to be ignored: Pluralism, Variability, Uniqueness, Diversity -- not only BETWEEN but WITHIN species.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous onlooker said...

Scientists were pondering for a very long time: "What makes us fall asleep?"
Then it became clear: sleep is the natural state of all animals, the default mode, so to speak. They should have been asking: "What makes animals wake up?"
I am convinced that the natural state of male animals is homosexual, which is why, apart from man, animals need the smell of oestrogen to become sexually aroused, without it they are not aroused by the female, and even then many of them in every species are not aroused by the oestrogen of the female "in heat", as scientists have discovered.
Man requires something else to arouse him sexually, and this really could be something he experiences as a suckling. I once heard a man say: "I could never be gay. I like t!t too much."
For a baby, life's chief pleasure can be nothing more than the process of feeding off the mother.
In two cases out of six, other experiences may vie for the child's attention - hence the statistics exemplified in the Kinsey scale.
Regarding twins, perhaps we should look more closely at Havelock Ellis' findings that at least one twin is ALWAYS homosexual, and sometimes both are.
There is a lot of scientific work still to be done here. Clearly, male homosexuality is not linked to femininity, though some poor little queans have been brainwashed into thinking that they are half woman.
Plato was of the opposite opinion.
This leaves a question mark over Lesbianism: are they mysteriously attracted by the odour of oestrogen?

10:58 AM  

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