Lesbians are allowed to hate men! Lesbians are not mean or aggressive for hating men! Lesbians are not bad people for hating men! Lesbians are not responsible for homophobia against gay/bi men or transphobia against trans men simply because they hate men as a whole! Lesbians do not reflect poorly on the LGBT community or on lbpq women for hating men! If straight girls are allowed to wax lyrical about how “all men are dogs”, then lesbians should be able to hate men too! Why is it considered “creative feminist rhetoric” when straight women make poetry out of their hatred for men/how men have traumatized by them, but when lesbians do the same or articulate their complicated and negative feelings toward men, then it’s suddenly “setting the feminist and LGBT movements back”?
Lesbians can absolutely hate men and it’s perfectly justifiable and understandable! If you disagree, you’re a lesbophobe, no question about it. I as a bi woman fully recognize that lesbians hating men is not a bad thing, given that lesbians have every right to hate their oppressors. Not only that, but I empathize with that hatred. All women, including non-lesbian wlw, should give lesbians their space and should let them articulate and express anger toward men as a whole. Think about it: men demonize lesbians, pursue and harass them, engage in corrective rape to try and “convert” them to heterosexuality, and generally make life very difficult for lesbians. Additionally, many straight women (and even non-lesbian wlw) claim that lesbians are as “predatory” as men or that they have the “male gaze”. As ridiculous as those claims are, they definitely create an environment of hostility and loneliness for lesbians, given that these people are correlating lesbians with their oppressors. Furthermore, lesbians struggle with compulsory heterosexuality. If you tell lesbians that they need to be “nice” to men or that they need to “love” men, you’re only reinforcing rhetoric that forces lesbians to internalize self-hatred and engage in self-destructive behavior. Lesbians are constantly told by society that they will one day find a man and be happy with one, and that only loving women is unnatural and morally wrong; thus, plenty of lesbians cut off interaction with men for the very specific purpose of trying as hard as they can to resist heteronormative socialization and the coerced impulse to seek out men even when they don’t want to. If you really want to advocate for lesbians, then that means empathizing with this particular aspect of their feelings and not degrading them for not wanting to be kind to their oppressors.
This goes double for trans lesbians and lesbians of color. Trans lesbians are not “socialized as male” - in particular, butch trans lesbians are nothing like men. So if you force trans lesbians, especially butch trans lesbians, to associate with men, you’re contributing to a pattern of trauma that trans lesbians contend with as a result of both transmisogyny and lesbophobia (especially because transmisogynists already claim that butch trans lesbians are just “heterosexual men invading lesbian spaces”). Additionally, lesbians of color don’t just deal with general lesbophobia and misogyny. Many of them are abjectly fetishized by white men (and even nonwhite men who don’t belong to their specific racial groups). Lesbians of color are even told by their religious and ethnic communities that they need a man to survive and that if they don’t marry a man, they’ll ruin their family or community’s reputation. Imagine growing up with the mindset that every single thing you do needs to appease your family and community. Imagine growing up seeing women, including lesbians, forced into marriages with men who make them miserable and at worst abuse and assault them. Telling lesbian women of color that they’re wrong for hating men is undeniably cruel (especially when you consider that corrective rape as a phenomenon is perpetrated disproportionately against lesbians of color who live in post-colonial countries!).
Lesbians who have been abused or sexually assaulted by men or otherwise traumatized by men are also absolutely part of this conversation. You’re spitting upon their pain by telling them that they’re bad people for hating those who have enacted violence against them. You are throwing back rhetoric that perpetrators undoubtedly flung against them. You’re telling them that they don’t deserve to recover and heal. You’re blatantly victim-blaming and telling them to be nice to their abusers.
Finally, lesbians hating men as a whole absolutely does not mean that they’re responsible for homophobia/transphobia against LGBT men. Lesbians don’t have privilege against gay/bi men - that would be impossible, since same-gender attracted people don’t have privileged against other same-gender attracted people on the basis of sexuality. And while cis lesbians can be transphobic against trans men, that doesn’t mean that them hating men is what’s responsible for societal transphobia. Heteronormativity, masculinity, the gender binary - these lie at the root of LGBT men’s oppression. And guess what? Lesbians did not create or institute any of those things (for god’s sake, they’re oppressed by those systems too!).
Consider all of this the next time you want to yell at a lesbian for hating men.
(Note: This doesn’t mean that white women can be racist toward men of color or that cis women can be transphobic toward trans men or anything of the sort, so don’t deliberately misinterpret this post. This post is also not for TERF’s/SWERF’s/transphobes and transmisogynists of any flavor).