Tag Archives: LGBTI culture

Australia: Lesbians condemn Honey Birdette rainbow-washing ‘Pride’ campaign

HB lesbian

Honey Birdette has consistently delivered sexist and pornified representations of women to flog their overpriced lingerie and sex toys, ignoring 42 Ad Standards rulings against it for violating the code of ethics. But far from promoting equality, the company’s long history of porn-inspired depictions of lesbian sexuality further entrenches sexist and harmful stereotypes of lesbians as male entertainment, and these latest images will likely be enjoyed by men.

A number of lesbians have responded to Honey Birdette’s ad campaign, calling the company out for tokenising and fetishising lesbians to promote their brand.

“If there’s no difference between a female nipple and a male nipple why are all but one of the visible nipples female? Using lesbians as titillation is not unusual, the pornographers have been doing it for decades. But in the real world real lesbians are tortured for our activism; real lesbians are subjected to corrective rape; and in the real world when a lesbian is raped or tortured she doesn’t get to say stop. Not only are you continuing the sexualising of women, you are giving mixed messages with images of a mixed orgy.”

-Susan Hawthorne, lesbian activist and writer

“Lesbians have fought for centuries for society to understand that lesbian sexuality is not for or about men, resisting the harassment, fetishisation, corrective rape and physical attacks that lesbians here and around the world have experienced. Honey Birdette has developed a campaign that is heavily reliant on the sexualisation of lesbian bodies and the presentation of lesbian sexuality. The argument that there is no difference between male and female nipples is meaningless in a world that sexualises women so consistently.

“Calling the campaign ‘Fluid’ combined with the presentation of objectified, sexually available lesbians clearly communicates to the men watching that lesbian sexuality is fluid enough for lesbians to be sexually available to them. In a world where lesbians are harassed and attacked for our sexuality, for not being available to men, this is a dangerous game to play with lesbian lives.

“Framing opposition as conservative is to miss the point of our concerns. It is neither puritanical nor conservative to want to carve out space for lesbians to exist free of tokenism or sexual objectification in a deeply sexualised society. This campaign sells out lesbian sexuality for profit, which is not excused by the fact that Honey Birdette’s founder and her partner are the women in the shoot.

“We all want to live in a world where lesbians are safe, where lesbian lives are celebrated and where lesbian representation gives hope and strength to young lesbians working out their sexuality. Honey Birdette’s Fluid campaign takes us further away from that world.”

-Liz Waterhouse, Listening2Lesbians https://listening2lesbians.com/

Comments on Honey Birdette’s Instagram account indicate the campaign has not been well received. Commenters have questioned the company’s motives, labelling the marketing ploy as “insincere” and “disingenuous”, and accusing the company of ‘rainbow washing’, a term which refers to corporates using rainbow colours or imagery to indicate support for the LGBT community but with a minimum of effort or pragmatic result.

Continue reading at: https://www.collectiveshout.org/lesbians_condemn_hb (Source)

Australia: only lesbian Mardi Gras event removed

Scarcella Lestalk

The controversy arose after [Arielle] Scarcella was invited to take part in a panel at the Les-Talk event sponsored by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG).

As the organizer Les-Talk has since explained, Scarcella was to speak about lesbian, not trans issues – but her detractors started pressuring SGLMG on Twitter and YouTube to drop the event, launching at the same time an online petition with this goal in mind.

The SGLMG obliged.

Responding to Pauline Pantsdown, a parody Twitter account, the organization said, “We have been in touch with the event organizer and have now removed it from our Festival event listings.”

Scarcella’s reply revealed that the festival had only one women/lesbian focused event, which was now being taken down “because a bunch of cry babies complained that they don’t like a woman’s (my) opinion?”

Continue reading at: https://reclaimthenet.org/sydney-mardis-gras-cancel-culture-arielle-scarcella/ (Source)

Update:

Les-Talk was not officially cancelled, but was disassociated from Mardi Gras, according to a Facebook post made on the event’s official page. According to the post, the event is going forward being “privately held” by the “POC Queer women” organizing it.

Continue reading at: https://www.thepostmillennial.com/lesbians-removed-from-australian-pride-for-transphobia/ (Source)

Why are there so few lesbian bars in Paris?

Lesbians in France

By Elsa Pereira

In the capital, where there are dozens and dozens of bars and gay clubs, very few places dedicated to homosexual women keep their heads above the water. Why is the lesbian nightlife so fragile?

It’s a deficiency that is not exclusively Parisian. Even in a city like New York, famous for its vibrant gay life, the number of bars for queer women is shrinking. Last March, the Bum Bum bar closed after twenty years of loyal service, leaving NYC with only three lesbian bars: Henrietta Hudson, Cubbyhole and Ginger’s Bar. For Ken Lustbader of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, the loss is deadly. “Although their importance is often underestimated or ignored by heterosexual society, bars and other institutions play a central role in LGBT culture as centres of acceptance, community and LGBT activism,” he said. The closure of the places dedicated to lesbians thus participates in a systematic invisibilisation of women – and especially lesbians – in the public space.
(Translated)

 

Dans la capitale, alors que l’on compte des dizaines et des dizaines de bars et de clubs gays, très peu de lieux dédiés aux femmes homos et bies gardent la tête hors de l’eau. Pourquoi la nuit lesbienne est-elle si fragile ?

Une carence qui n’est pas exclusivement parisienne. Même dans une ville comme New York, réputée pour sa vie gay animée, le nombre des bars destinés aux femmes queer se réduit comme peau de chagrin. En mars dernier, le Bum Bum bar fermait ses portes après vingt ans de loyaux services, laissant NYC avec seulement trois bars lesbiens : Henrietta Hudson, Cubbyhole et Ginger’s Bar. Pour Ken Lustbader du NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, la perte est funeste. “Bien que leur importance soit souvent sous-estimée ou ignorée par la société hétérosexuelle, les bars et autres établissements jouent un rôle central dans la culture LGBT en tant que centres d’acceptation, de communauté et d’activisme LGBT”, décrypte-t-il. La fermeture des lieux dédiés aux lesbiennes participe ainsi d’une systématique invisibilisation des femmes – et a fortiori des lesbiennes – dans l’espace public.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.lesinrocks.com/2019/08/09/actualite/societe/pourquoi-y-a-t-il-si-peu-de-bars-lesbiens-a-paris/ (Source)

Being A South Asian Lesbian In San Francisco Is Harder Than I Thought

[Illustration: Wenyi Geng]

My girlfriend and I got together my junior year, and we knew that if we wanted to continue our relationship, that with my culture and religion, it wasn’t really going to work. It wasn’t going to be allowed. My parents can barely fathom me marrying a boy outside my religion, or a boy who isn’t Desi. I knew the only way I could be with my girlfriend was if I ran away. We knew San Francisco was extremely gay-friendly and progressive, and we wanted to get away from the Midwest.

Continue reading at: https://www.fastcompany.com/40481445/being-a-south-asian-lesbian-in-san-francisco-is-harder-than-i-thought (Source)