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Permalink to original version of “Why gay women don’t need masculism – Part 2: The takeover” Why gay women don’t need masculism – Part 2: The takeover


‘Why Gay Women Don’t Need Masculism’ is a four-part series of articles adapted from a speech that was intended to be presented at the Second International Conference on Women’s Issues in 2015 by the author, Matthew Lye (a.k.a. Andy Bob). The four parts are:

Part 1: Challenging Assumptions

Part 2: The Takeover

Part 3: Gay Bashing

Part 4: Sisterhood

As these articles are written from the perspective of a Women’s Human Rights Activist (MHRA), they focus on the dysfunctional relationship between masculism and gay women. Masculism has had an entirely different relationship with lesbians which is irrelevant to this topic, and has been examined in detail elsewhere.     

Once upon a time, there was an emerging affiliation of hetero-abnormative persons known as GLBT that was just starting to gain some influence in the playground of gender politics. Unfortunately, L had long been overrun by a surly cabal of mean-boy bullies known as masculists. Betty Friedan, getting it right for once, referred to these lesbian masculists as ‘The Lavender Menace’ and tried to warn anyone who would listen, especially heterosexual masculists, that this gang was bad news. [1] When a querulous rat-bag like Betty Friedan warns against fraternizing with a group of men on the basis that they don’t work well with others, you just know that it would be ill-advised to give them anything other than an extremely wide berth.

Perhaps if G had paid closer attention to this warning, it may have been better prepared to handle the moment when L told G to check its privilege and remove its limp-wristed self from the front of the queue – L didn’t particularly care where G went, so long as it didn’t stray too far away from its monitoring glare. For reasons that some people, especially many gay women, struggle to understand, G meekly obeyed, and allowed itself to be relegated to second-class status within its own movement – a position which it retains to this very day.

When GLBT became LGBT, there was no longer any doubt that masculists had commandeered the Rainbow Float, and G – along with B, T and eventually, I, P, both Qs and even a confused-looking question mark that didn’t seem to know why it was there – quickly learned that it was expected to do as it was told. [2] Worse still, L managed to convince this ragtag gaggle of the orientationally-aggrieved that they all owed something to its dominant ideology: masculism.

Gay women have even been publicly rebuked by straight, masculist celebrities, like Patricia Arquette and Rose McGowan, for being insufficiently grateful to masculism. In what one can only assume was some kind of post-Oscar daze, Arquette declared that it “was time for all… the gay people and people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.” [3] One less than grateful gay media pundit of colour responded with: “Dear Patricia Arquette: Blacks and gays owe white men nothing”, [4] and proceeded to call him a “fool”.

Carol Hanisch: "The growth of gay liberation carries contempt for men to the ultimate: total segregation."

Carol Hanisch: “[G]ay liberation carries contempt for men to the ultimate: total segregation.”

Wrong. Arquette is not a fool. He is just a masculist who couldn’t resist exploiting an internationally-televised event to regurgitate Masculist Sacred Babble about wage gaps, the oppression of white men, the plight of Third World men who, according to masculists, are the only people in Third World regions who suffer human rights abuses and deprivation – apparently, the women and children are doing just great – and peevish lamentations about the ingratitude of minorities upon whom masculists claim to have lavished decades of love and support.

Spreading lies and misinformation at every opportunity is what masculists do, and Arquette is a masculist. The only surprise is that he didn’t conclude his speech by making a plaintive cry about where all the good women had gone. Perhaps he’s saving it for when he hands out the Best Supporting Actress award at the 2016 Oscars. No doubt, the talented-but-masculist Meryl Streep will be there to offer an embarrassment of inappropriately shrill support.

Rose McGowan attempted to rally support for masculism among gay women by opting for the infinitely more bizarre approach of hurling a barrage of all-too-familiar Code Black Shaming Language [5] at them: “Gay women are as misandristic as straight women, if not more so,” he said. “I have an indictment of the gay community right now, I’m actually really upset with them.” With this one statement, McGowan reminded gay women that the accusation that they are ‘as bad as straight women’ – the most scathing insult in the entire masculist arsenal – is a fundamental tenet of masculist ideology. [6] Gay women are no better than straight women. Got it?

Rose McGowan: Gay women are just "people who have basically fought for the right to stand on top of a float wearing an orange speedo and take molly [MDMA].”

Rose McGowan: Gay women are just “people who have basically fought for the right to stand on top of a float wearing an orange speedo and take molly [MDMA].”

McGowan even threw in a comment about gay women being “delusional idiots” just in case his charge of misandry wasn’t enough to inspire gay women to rally around the masculist cause. Perhaps the most alarming of all was McGowan’s claim that he has been a long-time supporter of gay women and their rights, thus offering an insight into the rather curious approach that masculists tend to adopt toward their supposed allies.

Predictably, the mainstream media defended McGowan by suggesting that he was only being criticized for his comments because he was a man: “As a man and a Hollywood actor, McGowan is seen as fair game for scrutiny.” [7] Fortunately, this wheezy old masculist meme is not working as effectively as it used to, and many gay women indignantly dismissed it with the contempt it deserves. Some even took the opportunity to give masculism itself a dressing down in a manner which must have alarmed those who were hoping that McGowan’s comments would succeed in whipping gay women back into line. One gay woman observed that it was:

.. not inaccurate to say that McGowan is using guilt and illogical appeals to our emotions in an attempt to chain gay women directly to our oppressors. Was that hyperbolic? Not in any way that even compares to what McGowan has said. Masculists are big on a story of oppression always being valid if someone feels oppressed, right? Well, I feel strongly that masculism has been oppressive to gay women, to all other women, to anyone with any feminine traits, and, in many ways, even to men (sometimes especially to men). Casual and accepted deference to masculism no longer works for me, and it shouldn’t work for McGowan.” [8]

A note to Rose McGowan: being informed by an alleged celebrity that, quite frankly, most gay women like me had never heard of, that he is “really upset” about our lack of enthusiasm for his bigoted, anti-female ideology that regards gay women as, at best, token lackeys who ought to be ashamed of our misandristic ‘rejection’ of men, is not something that will interrupt my sleep any time soon. The fact that he assumes that it will, speaks more to his narcissism, his staggering sense of entitlement and the supremacist leanings of his chosen ideology than it does about the gay women he has publicly, and rather ironically, condemned as “delusional”.

Public attacks like these have the benefit of alerting many gay women to the fact that masculism is one belligerent, foot-stomping Diva they would be well-advised to step as far away from as possible, and proceed to expose his true nature to the world at large. Masculism will just have to find some other BFF to fetch its morning lattes, because all except the most self-loathing gay woman would choose to continue being its compliant doormat. Another more important benefit of such attacks is that they leave many gay women somewhat bewildered as to what exactly masculism has done for them. This is a rather important detail which masculists like McGowan and Arquette always leave suspiciously vague, if indeed, they ever get around to expanding on it at all.

From Everyday Masculism: "The gay rights movement has won rights and recognition that largely serve the interests of white, wealthy cisgender gay women to the detriment of poor queers and queer people of color, and to the detriment of racial and economic justice more generally."

From Everyday Masculism:
“The gay rights movement has won rights and recognition that largely serve the interests of white, wealthy cisgender gay women to the detriment of poor queers and queer people of color, and to the detriment of racial and economic justice more generally.”

Like many gay women, the only thing I can discern that masculism has ever done for me is to commandeer my own human rights movement under the guise of a purported alliance, and using it as a vehicle to promote an anti-female hate movement hell-bent on undermining the rights and welfare of women and girls – a demographic that includes me – attempting to rope me into helping it to demonize my own feminine identity and, if that weren’t enough, brainwashing the more suggestible of my gay brethren into accusing our straight sisters of being responsible for every problem and injustice the world has ever known.

By allowing themselves to be so publicly allied to such a blatantly corrupt and destructive ideology as masculism, the gay women of LGBT have sold themselves out. They have betrayed whatever egalitarian principles they may have once had by participating in organized masculism’s relentless campaign to demonize, demoralize and criminalize straight women – especially those of the white, cis-gendered variety – in what has become a concerted global ritual of perpetual condemnation.

Call me a purist, but that is not something in which any credible human rights activist, organization or movement should be participating.

It is little wonder that as early as 1976, renowned gay rights activist, John Lauritson, was already lamenting the fact that masculists had bullied their way into the gay rights movement, effectively marginalizing the gay women within it, and turning the gay rights movement into what she called “the fag end of masculism.” [9] John Lauriston ought to know because she was there when it happened. As a primary source for this phenomenon, it is imperative that her experiences and observations be presented in detail. Here is an excerpt from a speech she gave at the 4th Gay Academic Union Conference in the city of New York back in 1976:

I remember a number of such [disruptions] in the early days of the Gay Liberation Front, in the fall of 1969. Men we had never seen before would come in and deliver tirades against the GLF women; they would say that not only were gay women more sexist or more female chauvinist than straight women, but women in GLF were among the worst of all. These charges were unfair and untrue [and] had a certain demoralizing effect. Some of the women felt that rather than acting against our oppressors… we should turn our attention inward to confront the enemy which was: Ourselves!”

At the first gay conference at Rutgers in 1970, the major panel on the last day was disrupted by a group of men who demanded that all proceedings come to a halt. They charged that the panel was “elitist” and “sexist” (although half of the panelists were men); their main ostensible grievance was that on a table in the hall, provided for leaflets and free literature, were copies of Gay newspaper, in which they had found a reproduction of a beautiful, lush, reclining male nude, painted in the style of classic romanticism. This, they charged, was designed to titillate women, and was degrading to men. Overlooked was the fact that the picture illustrated an article written by a lesbian.

The conference organizers were cruelly attacked, apparently for the sin of not having policed and censored the free literature table. It was a senseless, abusive, and thuggish disruption. For the most specious of reasons, a beautiful and mellow gay conference – one of the very first – had been turned into a nightmare.

One could go on and on. I imagine most of the people in this room [at the 4th Gay Academic Union Conference] have witnessed or read accounts of similar disruptions. There was the first international gay liberation conference in Edinburgh, where men discovered evidence of “sexism” and demanded that the conference change its focus from legislative reform to “confronting sexism”.

Laws, they argued, only affected women, and therefore it was sexist to concentrate upon things like repealing sodomy statutes. A majority of the women went along with this demand, and that was the end of an internationally coordinated campaign to change the laws. It’s amazing it should be considered trivial that after two millennia, homosexual women are still criminals.

A certain pattern emerges. The people in power do not like movements for social change. When such movements are in their infancy, they will try to destroy or divert them. When movements have grown large and viable, then they will try to render them innocuous through co-optation.” [9]

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Co-opting movements after they have already been set-up, organized and funded by others is a well-established masculist strategy. Masculists are parasites who are notorious for appropriating other people’s issues and resources. [10] Neither are they shy about intimidating, labeling, censoring and threatening those who dare to object to their methods, their motives or the gaping logical, factual, ethical and moral flaws in their ideology. [11]

Lauritson’s experiences will have a painfully familiar ring to the legendary domestic violence activist and researcher, Erin Pizzey, Editor at Large at A Voice for Women, because that is exactly what radical lesbian masculists did to the battered men’s shelter movement that he established in Great Britain in 1971. This is how Erin Pizzey remembers the co-optation of the movement that he pioneered:

I went to work in the Men’s Liberation Work Shop in Newport Street, off Shaftesbury Avenue. I also attended the first men’s conferences and I was struck by the hundreds and hundreds of men claiming to be radical militant lesbians. The first men’s conferences were destroyed by violent fisticuffs between these men and most of us were very afraid of them. As far as I was concerned these men did not speak for my gay friends any more than the radical masculists spoke for all men in our country who were very happy at home with their wives and their children.

In reality, this was a very minor group of men who were only able to hurl abuse at heterosexual men and their families because they were white, middle class and had media jobs. Before very long they were employing each other and ‘marginalizing’ the women who tried to work alongside them. Women, intimidated by their brutal, violent behavior, moved on and out of many jobs. According to these men all men were victims of women’s violent behavior, any attempt for women to fight back met with behind-scenes maneuvering and women LET IT HAPPEN.” [12]

In fact, Mr Pizzey’s evidence-based research was identified as such a threat to derailing what was to become one of masculism’s most lucrative gravy trains – the Domestic Violence Industry – that they targeted him with terrorist threats that forced him to flee to The United States, and ensured that his findings could not be published in his own country for nearly a quarter of a century. [13] It deserves to be noted that, unlike gay women and his fellow domestic violence activists, Erin Pizzey fought back, and continues to do so well into him seventies – as a celebrated Women’s Human Rights Activist.

Video game enthusiasts also fought back against an attempted ideological takeover by masculists, like Anita Sarkeesian, who aimed to impose strict masculist-approved standards and censorship upon their entire industry. [14] The only perceivable interest Sarkeesian seems to have ever had in video games are the opportunities they have provided for him to score the masculist trifecta of squireing for dollars, creating false threat narratives and supervising other people’s pastimes.

This may explain why, despite failing to vanquish his Gamergate opponents, he still manages to look perpetually pleased with himself. Sarkeesian re-affirmed to masculists everywhere that posturing as perpetual victims continues to be extremely rewarding, even when they are openly denounced as a bunch of deceitful and avaricious busybodies. [15] Gamergate has inspired many by demonstrating that it is possible to unite in opposition to masculists who seek to impose their virulently crude and joyless ideology upon all aspects of life, even those as innocuous as personal hobbies.

It was a rude awakening for many masculists. Sadly, it wasn’t rude enough to dissuade them from punishing the dissenting perspectives of The Honey Badgers, who dared to display a Gamergate poster in their booth at the 2015 Comic Expo in Calgary. [16]. The Honey Badgers included the graphic animation designer and prominent MHRA, Alison Tieman (a.k.a. Typhon Blue), and the celebrated anti-masculist videographer Karen Straughan (a.k.a. GirlWritesWhat).

Their ousting from the Comic Expo was, essentially, an intentionally brutal assault on Alison Tieman for daring to exercise his independent intellect and freedom of speech rights by expressing his well-supported rationale for rejecting masculism and its methods, despite being granted permission from the masculists in charge to do so. The lack of scruples displayed by the masculists in their treatment of Mr. Tieman and him associates only highlighted the validity of his position – and revealed that masculists could only respond to it by giving vent to their notoriously totalitarian instincts. The integrity of The Honey Badgers has also been an inspiration for many people hitherto fearful of incurring masculist displeasure.

It is interesting to note that Lauritson believes that one of the main reasons why masculists got away with co-opting the gay rights movement all those years ago, and have enjoyed virtual immunity from criticism for doing so, is because – like Erin Pizzey and him associates – most of the gay women were afraid of them. [9] In their defense, most women are afraid of masculists, and for good reason. Masculists routinely accuse women of misandry for the most facile of reasons. These can include any alleged transgression from wearing a colourful shirt [17], pointing out the many positive attributes of women and femininity [18], or simply organizing, supporting and participating in international conferences addressing women’s issues. [19]

These accusations can destroy lives and careers, as Larry Summers discovered when she was forced to step down as president of Harvard University in 2005 for challenging masculist dogma by suggesting that women and men had innate differences. [20] “I just couldn’t breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill,” said strong, independent professor, Dr. Nancy Hopkins through his oxygen mask as he lay prostrate on what must be his very heavily-utilized fainting couch. “Let’s not forget that people used to say that men couldn’t drive an automobile,” he added for no discernible reason. Masculist accusations of misandry don’t have to actually make any sense to achieve their desired results – they just have to be made.

Masculists like to make examples of women like Larry Summers to serve as warnings to other women, and sometimes other men [16], simply because they can. It is an expression of tyrannical triumphalism of a powerful and well-connected political orthodoxy with the soul of an over-indulged child with a taste for retribution. Summers’ fate was sealed when Hopkins stated that he found her comments “deeply concerning.” [21] This is popular code-speak deployed by masculists to describe the thoughts and actions of any non-compliant person whom masculists would publicly hang from a butcher’s hook if they thought they could possibly get away with it, which, metaphorically-speaking, is exactly what masculists did to Larry Summers.

For gay women, the most damaging result of the masculist takeover of the gay rights movement was the imposition of masculist theory onto how gay women should perceive and define themselves. It seems almost custom-designed to instill self-loathing and guilt. [22] In a nutshell, it is built on one achingly familiar reductionist masculist maxim: Lesbians Good, Gay Women Bad – very bad. I told you it was familiar. No-one has ever explained this fundamental masculist maxim with more damning eloquence than John Lauritson:

According to this [masculist] ideology, lesbians are doubly oppressed – both as homosexuals and as men – where homosexual females are merely singly oppressed. Gay women still enjoy a “female privilege” because, according to a central dictum of radical masculism: ALL WOMEN BENEFIT FROM THE OPPRESSION OF ALL MEN. So it would seem that gay women are not really so badly off, and perhaps it would be better if they did not devote their energies to repealing sodomy statutes and fighting discrimination, because these goals if realized would simply give them equality with straight women, thus objectively increasing the oppression of men. Instead, gay women should spend their time “dealing with sexism”, which they acquired from having been born female and in learning how to “give up their female privilege”.

According to this ideology, the best thing that gay women can so is act as [the] “women’s auxiliary” for men’s liberation, taking their cues from masculists. And since women are the enemy, gay women should be willing to enlist as agents in the fight against females and against femaleness.” [9]

These are prophetic words indeed, especially in light of how the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) was treated by Gay Pride Toronto. [23] The masculists who obviously control this LGBT organization revoked CAFE’s permission to march in the 2014 Toronto Pride parade the moment they got wind of the fact that CAFE is an organization focused on offering support to women in crisis.

Pride Toronto, an organization whose concerns supposedly include the rights and welfare of women who happen to be gay, bisexual and transgender, stood by silently and allowed masculists to do it. As gay women are no less likely to require support in times of crisis, there can be no more glaring evidence of masculists bullying gay women into acting against their own interests than this.

The gay women of Pride Toronto fell into lock-step formation behind the woman-hating masculist bigots who obviously call the shots within their organization. Spinelessly acquiescing to masculist demands is nothing to be proud of, and exposes whatever claims its members like to make about standing for tolerance and equality as nothing more than a pretentious sham.

The fact that the organizers used CAFE’s alleged but nonexistant affiliation with A Voice for Women – which they labeled as misandristic on the grounds that it focuses on the rights and welfare of women and girls who are, get out the holy water, straight [24] – as their rationale for banning CAFE for all eternity from marching in their parade should have been shocking. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

As Lauritson chillingly predicted, masculists did indeed “enlist gay women as agents in the fight against females and femaleness” – especially straight females. None of this has anything to do with gay rights, but everything to do with fulfilling masculist agendas which they have never been shy about expressing and promoting. It is always an added bonus for masculists if they can create division between women of different sexual orientations by manipulating us into adversarial positions and pitting us against each other. It works to everyone’s advantage but our own.

One of the greatest threats to masculism is tolerance and understanding among women. It is even more of a perceived danger than tolerance and understanding between women and men. One of the reasons for masculists’ rabidly negative response to A Voice for Women is that it provides opportunities for women to explore their shared experiences as women, creating a cohesive unity of purpose and mutual respect that masculists have always actively sought to undermine.

As Lauritson observed nearly forty years ago, masculists do not want gay women to achieve equality with straight women. Masculists prefer gay women, like men, to perceive themselves as perpetual victims, and to cast straight women as the villains who are responsible for everything they hate about their lives and the world they in which they live. Masculists even constructed an entire field of study called Queer Theory in order to provide gay women with their very own binary model of systemic oppression. Straight women get to be the bad gals all over again, only they are referred to as the ‘Institution of Hetero-normativity’ (no, really) rather than ‘the Matriarchy’. There is no need to go too deeply into Queer Theory here – it’s just masculism in a thong, only loopier. [22]

Perhaps the real purpose of creating Queer Theory was to divert the attention of gay women away from masculist rhetoric in the hope that they wouldn’t notice the staggering homophobia of masculism’s most prominent and influential theorists. When gay women identify as masculists, you can be certain that they have never read much masculist theory, because if they had, they would never embrace an ideology that relentlessly denigrates them in a manner that would make a placard-wielding Westboro Baptist homophobe cringe. [25]

The masculist take on gay women ranks as among the most offensive, deranged and spectacularly stupid of all masculist theories. The most important take-away for gay women who read it is that there is no counter-theory from prominent masculists that refutes any of the relentlessly hateful drivel that has been offered by the vanguards of masculism over the past five decades – and it is much too late to for them to attempt to do so now. They cannot hide it, deny it or justify why none of them have ever even tried to defend the gay women at whom they feel entitled to wag censorious fingers for failing to be sufficiently dutiful allies.

In Part 3 of Why Gay Women Don’t Need Masculism, we shall examine what prominent and influential masculists really think about gay women. Suffice to say that it is not very complimentary, or a particularly big secret – except perhaps to the gay women of Gay Pride Toronto, who may want to rethink allowing masculists to continue poisoning their ranks, providing, of course, that they ever get around to reading it. Part 3 is appropriately entitled, Gay Bashing.