No more WLW clickbait
author: hannah grover | contributor
Identities constantly in question
Intersectionality within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community isn’t a bad thing; recognizing one’s own privilege and knowing if your voice is needed or not is a crucial element to being involved in activism, whether one’s role is that of a leader or an ally. Within the WLW (women-loving-women) subset of the 2LGBT+ acronym, though, I have an issue with divisiveness. I was prompted to write this piece after I saw an article circulating Facebook about biphobia and bi-erasure. What angered me about the article was the title: “Why are lesbians more likely to be biased against bi women?”
Now, giving bi folks ample space to fight against their oppression matters. Not only are their identities constantly questioned, but bi folks are far more likely to remain in the closet longer than gay men and lesbians; bi folks typically experience more violence; bi women are more likely to be sexually assaulted; and bi folks have less job security. As mentioned previously, intersectionality is a good thing; it’s important to recognize oppressions and violence as they intersect, and, as such, giving bi folks ample space to fight against the multitudes of oppressions they are facing in their own community is part of that.
The article at hand did discuss prejudices and prevalent biphobia in the 2LGBT+ community, but that was not what I took issue with. My issue stems from the continuous scrutiny that 2LGBT+ women or feminine identifying folks faced, scrutiny not faced equally by their cis male counterparts. When lesbians specifically were addressed, it was said that “lesbians perceived bi women as more sexually attracted to men than they are women. This results in ‘more negative attitudes against bi women by gay men and lesbians.’” While I believe this is true, there was little to no analysis of why that was, nor were sources given and lesbians were not the majority of the article’s argument, but they were given the most serious criticism.
It’s dangerous to make general statements like this with no analysis because it creates more prejudice against lesbians than there already is, and it doesn’t help biphobia, either, because it barely scratches the surface of issues bi women face. It’s unfair that lesbians are blamed and vilified in the title to generate clicks. Lesbians are highlighted once in the article as being the main perpetrator of bias against bi women, but the rest of the article uses the broader term “lesbians and gay men” as the focus. This is lazy journalism at best, and at worst it harms relationships within the 2LGBT+ community.
I hope what I’ve said encourages a healthy discussion about the community’s ever-prevalent misogyny, biphobia, and lesbophobia. As a queer woman myself, it’s important to me that each of these issues are addressed and stopped or, at the very least, given attention. I don’t appreciate when the WLW community is forced to be divisive and pick sides on this debate, when the real enemies are the Straights.
Just kidding… but not really.