“You buy a bitch top-shelf booze all night and don't get any pussy out of it? What the hell is that? You should be at her place, licking her pussy, but what you got? Nothing!”
“Hey, hey, I do all right! I do all right.”
“Really? Last time I talk to you, you're telling me it's been forever since you got laid! You don't got no game! Your playbook isn't even outdated -- you don't even got a playbook!”
You would imagine that conversation taking place between two men of a certain kind, wouldn't you? A pair of young men, barely more than boys, dressed for the club in baggy jeans and glittering bling, bottles of beer in hand, watching women and girls go by, hungry-eyed and smiling through their teeth. You wouldn't trust men like that; not with yourself, your daughters or your girlfriends, gay or straight. Men like that look at women like they're meat, like they're a walking pussy buffet, wham bam thank you ma'am for the cheap eats. Ignoring that someone with this attitude is probably going to be piss-poor in the sack anyway – they're fast-food diners, and you are what you eat – any modern woman would agree this sort of sentiment is anti-feminist, outdated and ignorant.
Which is why it's so disturbing that the above is a conversation between two lesbian women, overheard in a local gay bar.
This is not the first time I've seen this attitude among other lesbians, nor has it gone unnoticed by others. Noted feminist author Ariel Levy examines the phenomenon at length in a chapter of her 2005 work Female Chauvinist Pigs: The Rise of Raunch Culture. Having read the book but not thought about it for several years, I was surprised to find myself instantly reminded of Levy's book as I listened to these two butches talk like 20-year-old frat boys. And then I laughed, out loud, which surely made me look like a maniac, because I have always felt that to be the correct reaction when faced with the absurd.
I want to be clear here that I am not against one-night stands, bathroom quickies, sloppy seconds or 4am booty-calls. What I am utterly intolerant of, however, is the idea that one woman would look at another without regard for her personhood, let alone her pleasure, and consider her a commodity to be bought and sold in whatever form of currency is currently the going rate, in this case “top-shelf booze.”
I don't want to invoke old divides between butches and femmes, but wherever I encounter this behaviour, it is almost exclusively among persons who identify on the former end of the spectrum. To be fair, blame must also be dealt out to those who allow the behaviour to become acceptable, which is to say, women, both homosexual and heterosexual, who allow themselves to be treated like the blue-plate special.
Are we, as a community and as individuals, so insecure about ourselves and our culture that we, consciously or unconsciously, feel the need to mimic the paradigms of the heterosexual community, which women, collectively, have agreed are unacceptable? As modern women, we do not – or should not – accept such dehumanizing attitudes from men; that's the sort of thing million-dollar lawsuits are made of.
As lesbians we are, by our very definition, women who are sexually, romantically and emotionally involved with other women. Ergo, when confronted with the reality of women who love other women behaving as if other women are walking tits and ass you procure both for pleasure and status in a way similar to that which we abhor in men, I must ask the following, obvious question: