- Gender and Relationships
The Option of Homosexuality
Just One Anecdote
During the tumultuous years of
the 1970s, a particular American
University got its first:
Women's Studies Department.
Within a month of the first classes,
a particular Professor needed to
speak to a particular activist
She Needed to Speak to her In
The Professor told the Activist that she was accused of 'turning three girls into lesbians.'
The activist who 'knew everyone' asked, in strictest confidence, the names of the girls.
Ann had been a virgin in June.
She had sex on Prom night with her
She learned she was pregnant in
She told her beloved.
He rushed her to an abortion clinic.
In September, when Ann entered University, she had no boyfriend.
Ann had gone from being a child graduating High School, to having her first boyfriend.
She went from having a boyfriend to having her first sexual encounter.
That act of sex resulted in pregnancy. Resulted in an Abortion.
Ann had gone from child to woman before she was ready.
Instead of having the beautiful 'first love' she had a painful episode. Not
only physically by emotionally and spiritually.
For her boyfriend she had been an easy lay, then a problem, then some
one he used to know.
Beth was in love with Larry. Larry saw her as an aide de camp.
Larry was the leader of an Anti-War group, Beth was a member. He used
Beth to give out leaflets, organise meetings, etc. but never saw her as female.
He was attracted to lots of other women in the group, but not Beth.
No matter what Beth did he never saw her as a woman.
Carla was a 'mess'. She could keep psychologists busy for years. She was
the type of person who, when asked "What do you want to do?" would reply, "Nothing," and when someone suggested; "Let's go to the movies," Carla would claim everyone was 'pushing her around.'
These three had entered "Women in Society" in September as 'straight', and by October had 'turned into lesbians.'
The activist, who knew the histories of the three told the Professor, (who was a lesbian):
"It is probably true. You gave them an option.
Ann will never ever be used by another man.
She will never be pregnant again, she will
never have an abortion again.
Beth can never be rejected by a man again,
and Carla now has a reason why she's 'different'."
In a particular well known homophobic country a number of women, many in their 50s, have entered into lesbian relationships. The majority are from the lower classes and have trailer loads of children fathered by different men.
As this sudden change is so discordant, every other sociology/psychology student has raced downtown to understand 'what happened.'
The stories are all basically the same.
Female engaged in sex with male at young age, often unwilling. Whether she was raped by father/uncle/neighbour/brother or area Don, or gave herself to the first passing male who would 'help her in life' she went through various partners, had a number of children for men who either beat her, robbed her, abandoned her, leaving her with another mouth to feed.
Emotional fulfillment never came from males. There was never any love, it was sex and use.
Now, having worked most of her life, (often selling in the market) she doesn't need/want anyone to take care of her, she simply wants to love and be loved, and she finds that with other women whose life mirrors hers.
In the 'Old Days'
As 'late' as the 1950s the idea of a
girl being a lesbian did not occur.
Considering the gender bars,
where girls were to wear dresses
and play with dolls and boys got
to do all the exciting things, it
was no wonder that there were so many 'Tomboys'.
A 'Tomboy' was the term for a girl who could do things as well as the boys.
Run, ride a bicycle, play sports, climb, etc.
She wasn't interested in cooking and sewing, playing house, and sitting silently in a white dress with a doll on her lap while the boys ran up and down kicking a ball.
There was no sex aspect; she didn't want a penis or to make love to another girl,
she wanted to have the freedom to be active, assertive, powerful.
Many 'Tomboys' reached puberty and began being 'girls', experimenting with makeup, fashion, dating boys, getting married and having children,
physically fulfilling the 'woman's role' but maintaining that independent
'Tomboy' mind set.
Today, would they not be categorised as lesbians?
Despite being in 'pre-sex' stage would they not be labeled and then full fill the expectation?
I would not doubt that there are people 'born that way', whether through being in the 'wrong body' or being 'genetically wired' or even having a hormonal imbalance.
I am sure there are those who are and have always been attracted to members of their own sex. However, there are other factors which are not exactly 'nurture' which can and do operate.
In the first anecdote, (that at the University) Ann embraced lesbianism as
protection. One can only speculate that if Ann had not had sex on Prom
night and become pregnant for someone who couldn't care less about her,
or if Beth hadn't loved Larry so much, or if Carla had gotten some kind of
counseling when she was a child, that none of the three would be lesbians.
In the second, (market women) if they had been born in other places, where they
would not have been exposed to heterosexual sex as early and unpleasantly as
they had, but enjoyed childhoods, grew up, and as women met and were loved
by a man who provided for his children, then it is clear they would not look within
their own sex for the kind of emotional fulfillment they have been unable to obtain
from the other.
In Western nations the 'need' to label has become fierce.
In the 50s/60s/ as late as the 70s there was no need to categorise. A girl who wanted to play sports, wear jeans, who cut her hair short was more seen as someone who wanted the freedom boys had than the sexual equipment.
Where boys were punished for being weak or girly when they showed interest in 'girl things' the girl simply exasperated her parents.
Most 'Tomboys' did not become Lesbians. As hormones kicked in, as they found boys sexually attractive, as their bodies changed they kept their mindset but filled the woman niche. They would become feminists, interested in Women's Rights, not women as lovers.
Today, the girl is 'channelled' into accepting herself as a lesbian or transgender when she is not. However, once one is so categorised, she falls into her category and fulfills those expectations.
It may be much later in life that one appreciates what she may truly want or not want.