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Sister is a bisexual woman who exclusively dates women. She was married to a woman, now divorced and engaged to another.

She doesn't like that lesbians exclude women like her, especially in her last marriage where she was with a lesbian and they couldn't join as a couple. She says there was a lesbian group for nursing and pregnant women that she wanted to join really badly, that her wife could have joined but not her.

I understand her POV but I don't think she's being fair and considering the POV of lesbians in this. In truth, I don't think I fully understand it either because I wouldn't mind inviting bisexual women who are dating women exclusively in particular. But I don't have experience with those spaces so I don't know what the lesbians' experience would be like and where that boundary is from - I've been too isolated for that.

It still bothers me that she doesn't have respect for those women's boundaries and is viewing the issue so selfishly. But I wonder if there is anything I can say to convince her. Should I try? I feel as though it might not be worth the effort because she doesn't even see why it would be inappropriate for her to join a group for pregnant and nursing women without being either of those things. She said she wanted to join because she wants kids, but I think wanting kids and being pregnant are such wildly different things. How would she relate to what they're going through and help them? The selfishness of wanting their time so she can gawk is beyond the pale in my eyes. I really want to knock some sense into her but I can't imagine anything that might get her to see it's not always about her.

The other thing that bothers me about it is that LGBTQ discourse so strongly favors her side here and that there's no respect and acknowledgment for women's boundaries there either. Her selfish attitude gets reinforced and encouraged by the community itself and that group by now probably doesn't exist since this was something that happened before the gender trend destroyed lesbian spaces.

tl;dr Frustrated by my bisexual sister who thinks she's the victim because she doesn't get invited to lesbian pregnancy support groups.

Sister is a bisexual woman who exclusively dates women. She was married to a woman, now divorced and engaged to another. She doesn't like that lesbians exclude women like her, especially in her last marriage where she was with a lesbian and they couldn't join as a couple. She says there was a lesbian group for nursing and pregnant women that she wanted to join really badly, that her wife could have joined but not her. I understand her POV but I don't think she's being fair and considering the POV of lesbians in this. In truth, I don't think I fully understand it either because I wouldn't mind inviting bisexual women who are dating women exclusively in particular. But I don't have experience with those spaces so I don't know what the lesbians' experience would be like and where that boundary is from - I've been too isolated for that. It still bothers me that she doesn't have respect for those women's boundaries and is viewing the issue so selfishly. But I wonder if there is anything I can say to convince her. Should I try? I feel as though it might not be worth the effort because she doesn't even see why it would be inappropriate for her to join a group for pregnant and nursing women without being either of those things. She said she wanted to join because she wants kids, but I think wanting kids and being pregnant are such wildly different things. How would she relate to what they're going through and help them? The selfishness of wanting their time so she can gawk is beyond the pale in my eyes. I really want to knock some sense into her but I can't imagine anything that might get her to see it's not always about her. The other thing that bothers me about it is that LGBTQ discourse so strongly favors her side here and that there's no respect and acknowledgment for women's boundaries there either. Her selfish attitude gets reinforced and encouraged by the community itself and that group by now probably doesn't exist since this was something that happened before the gender trend destroyed lesbian spaces. tl;dr Frustrated by my bisexual sister who thinks she's the victim because she doesn't get invited to lesbian pregnancy support groups.

29 comments

I have some sympathy because I don’t know why pregnancy is different from one same-sex couple to another (whether the woman is a lesbian or bi), but branding lesbians as ‘exclusionary’ triggers me because it’s such a common term used by TRAs to attack lesbians... it sounds like she has absorbed the homophobia of the queer movement on at least some level

I was upset when she used that word also. And you're right it's probably picked up from some place in LGBTQ discourse that is on the homophobic side, though if you called her homophobic she'd be really mad. lol.

I feel like a lot of bi women who say that lesbians are 'exclusionary', are the same ones that had they been lesbians would have 'excluded' bi women (if that makes sense). She would put herself above others regardless of what her sexuality is, and if anything inconveniences her it's 'exclusionary'. Maybe she should make a bi pregnancy support group. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

To be honest, I'd be pissed at any woman joining a group for pregnant/breastfeeding women, if the woman wasn't pregnant or breastfeeding.

Fuck tourists.

If she wants to know what it's like, I'd recommend "What to Expect When You're Expecting," a good book that explains it all quite well.

That's a perfectly reasonable response too. I thought it was weird that she'd want to join it so badly.

[–] ItsCalculated 17 points Edited

In general, no I don't think we're too exclusionary.

Right now in the midst of this TRA/gender movement... FUCKING HELL NO we aren't too exclusionary. We're being forced underground. Any sliver of space we have for ourselves is too much for everyone on the outside, and I don't fucking care what they think anymore.

Nothing against anyone here, but it's amazing how there aren't any groups for bisexual women. If they're seeking a sense of community, like lesbians have always done and struggled to do because of people who aren't lesbians showing up, then they could do the same and try to create a space by bisexual women for bisexual women.

A lot of the groups are doomed-- they mostly want to talk about men, and the women who actually seriously want to commit to female partners get shunted out unless they also chat endlessly about men.

When I used to ID as bi I found these groups (online, as well as LGBT groups in real life that were dominated by bi women) fascinatingly intolerable and tbh worse than mixed orientation groups... in my experience bi women in groups of other bi women are more defensive of their attraction to men than straight women are and this clouds their ability to solve inevitable issues with the men they date/marry/etc.

bi women will say "normalize dating men" and not realize this is why most lesbian spaces do not want them.

Or worse, they go on that fucking tangent that “sex is fluid!!”

Like no it’s not

This. In my experience, about 80% of the women I know are bisexual. They may never get the chance to make love to a woman, but they wouldn’t say no if it was ethical and healthy. Ask them. They will tell you.

And yet, where are the bisexual groups? Where are the bi-moms support groups? Where are the “bi but with a man” breakfast clubs?

Because they belong to men, and their men won’t let them, that’s why. Ask them.

Some groups that are labeled lesbian are named that as a shorthand for "same-sex female couple", others are lesbian only-- you often have to double check in a respectful way what the intention of the group is before you join (i.e. not "AM I ALLOWED HERE? pouty face but more like, "is this a group only intended for women who identify as lesbian or for any woman in same-sex partnerships?"

I think you're right-- if she can't get why someone who isn't pregnant or nursing shouldn't join a group for women who are pregnant/nursing, then she's going to be hopeless at understanding the lesbian question. If she is so mad at this she's mad at hypothetical exclusion (my wife could have gone but not me! neither of us were pregnant though...) then she's likely not able to see straight about this issue.

I wouldn't give up about saying something-- somebody's gotta set boundaries with her other than whatever poor lesbians she wants to trample over and whine at-- but I'd advise keeping it short and just making it clear she's being an ass, unless she's receptive to hearing more.

Is her current partner a lesbian? Gotta wonder what she thinks...

They're both bisexual but I don't know what the partner thinks.

This reminds me when I had initially assumed that my past roommate was a lesbian, and that she was dating a lesbian. When I was talking about that, she got extremely angry and corrected me in saying that she’s bi and her gf is bi, and they just met at a bar drunk and it turned into a relationship. Fuck I only wish it was THAT EASY for me or any lesbian.

But how she got even more nasty towards me like that showed she had some extreme homophobia, but was all nice and kind to her gay male roommate friend who would talk behind my back about me all the time.

as always lesbians are bigots lmao (and have monosexual privilege).

i wouldn't have a problem with a bisexual woman who exclusively dates women, but how do you enforce this? most bi women will date mostly men, and their bf/husband showing up to a lesbian space is just... Bad.

This! What if while she’s in the group she breaks up with her female partner and starts dating a man. While the other ladies are able to take their partners and be comfortable with each other because they’re all women, how would it be to tell her she can’t bring hers, or to tell her she has to leave the group. Best to stick to the lesbians only rule.

I wish bisexuals would see how they only fight to be in same-sex exclusive spaces and never heterosexual ones. What makes you think you relate more to me than you do to a straight woman? They claim to like both equally yet cling to lesbian spaces and communities like its their lifeline - and a lot of them havent even dated women!

If they can’t even see the hypocrisy in this behavior then it’s almost impossible to reason with them.

Bi women spend time with men. Nearly all of them wind up with men. They all prioritize men - at least some man at some point, usually a number of men, in their lives. And, in particular, they live their lives adjusted to, and cooperative with, male socialization and sexuality. Women who absorb male socialization and sexuality like this are inevitably changed and more deeply influenced by it than they know or would ever admit. Lesbians notice this in bi womens behavior in relationships. And the core of male socialization and sexuality is violation and domination. Bi women bring this connection to males to lesbian groups and relationships. Mostly they should never call themselves lesbian cos most wind up back with men and it gives men even more reason (like they needed any) to think lesbians just need the right dick.

I'm not a gold star. Most lesbians aren't so that means we have also spent time with men at some point. I don't know that this is a good argument unless you're arguing for gold star only spaces.

[–] mathlover 4 points Edited

If a woman is only attracted to other women, however she got to that point, she is a lesbian. Bi women retain the possibility of prioritizing a man in their lives, something no lesbian would or could ever want. Lesbians want nothing to do with the dynamic of relationships with men. That is a critical difference that keeps bi women tethered, even as only a possibility, to males.

Found the bi girl

I would think that OP is right and the majority of lesbians have some history with men, just no attraction to them (obviously).
edit: sigh the fact is, very few of us are goldstars, for obvious cultural and social reasons. I'm saying this AS a goldstar

You post in the Lesbians circle, so I am assuming that you are a lesbian (circle rules).

Does your sister think you are too exclusionary?

She's aware I'm a lesbian but not my stance on these issues - so no she probably doesn't think I'm 'exclusionary'.

I honestly try not to talk about sexuality with her. I'm not comfortable with it. This isn't her first time trash talking lesbians. I don't even know any straight people who are this hostile. She must think being bisexual gives her a pass to be homophobic. It's weird.

Maybe her issue with lesbians is some internalized homophobia. Like her own discomfort with being attracted to women, not that she's not bisexual. I'm tempted to tell her that's her problem so she won't want to talk about sexuality anymore. Cause it gets tiring.

That would be hard to deal with. I can appreciate how tough it is since she is your sister. I’ve dealt with family homophobia, it is difficult.