There is a reading in our textbook titled “Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism” by Suzanne Pharr. The content of this article aims at the idea that heterosexuality is the “norm” in today’s society and that that is what everyone is expected to follow. Lesbians in society are seemed to be seen as if they hate men and are against them. Gay men are possibly viewed as threat to masculinity and betrayers of what society deems normal. My view on this may be biased since I identify as a lesbian, however, it is obvious to me that society doesn’t see homophobia as an aspect of sexism or that the level of inequality is tremendous. As a society, it has been expected that we follow the “norms” that have been used throughout history. This meaning that men are the dominant gender and masculinity is what society should follow. Lesbians are seen as women who go against men and dislike them, which is why they are associated with the feminist movement.
It’s already enough that women are treated lesser than men, but lesbians are even lower on the inequality spectrum than heterosexual women, because lesbians can’t be “dominated” by the superior gender. Men see lesbians as a threat to their masculinity and they realize we won’t be dependent upon them. A lot of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) members live in fear every day because being labeled with this group practically carries a target over your head. A lot of us lose friends and family, we can lose our jobs, we risk getting physically assaulted, we don’t have the right to marry in every state. Many people who know they are LGBT won’t even announce it publicly for fear of what will happen to them. This already doesn’t follow typical societal “norms,” however, the lesbians and gays who don’t follow the typical gender norms are treated even more unfairly. Take, for example, lesbians that are gender non-conforming, or girls who dress as “boys” (I put this in parenthesis because we have the gender roles that society has constructed to say what type of clothes belong to females and males), are treated far worse than lesbians who follow gender roles because this is seen as wrong and unnatural. I fall into this group of lesbians, and the amount of unfair treatment I receive in society is greater than that I’ve seen of my heterosexual female friends.
The feminist movement has made great strides in gaining more rights for women throughout history, but little has been done for lesbians. We are even denied the universal right to marry the person we love because to society it isn’t natural, and if that isn’t seen as a form of sexism then there’s the problem. This leads me to this point: Why isn’t the feminist movement pushing this issue harder? The only way can fully conquer sexism is to include homophobia in the battle.