all 20 comments

[–]PassionateIntensity 18 insightful - 1 fun18 insightful - 0 fun19 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I wish someone would bring back those old Womyn's land communities and festivals. The older I get, the more appealing they seem.

[–]censorshipment 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Depends on what you mean by female separatism... like living on a secluded womyn's land or living in "Lesbianville" aka Northampton, Massachusetts?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Womyn%27s_land#Active_communities

https://www.liveabout.com/top-itemcount-top-lesbian-cities-in-the-united-states-2171190

[–][deleted] 10 insightful - 2 fun10 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Is that real? Omg I want to live in lesbianville omg

[–]Rao[S] 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

As I understand female separatism it can be two things: one being the women's lands you mentioned and the other the prioritization of women instead of men.

This summarizes it quite well and I share this because I've seen other women understand this falls under female separatism so I know it's not a concept only familiar to this poster: (warning, she's a misandrist, lesbian, radical feminist, anti natalist who doesn't pull any punches) https://youtu.be/w_8SrqFoSTg (I listened to her at 2x speed).

To summarize: Like, arguments against complete withdrawal from male civilization because it isn't feasible are easy to understand but the idea that women should cut men out their lives and focus their time, money, resources, personal relationships, love, etc exclusively on other women isn't. So, it's about your personal life - these women don't fuck, date, live with (as best they can), be friends with nor associate with men with maybe male family members being an exception. Like I said, even if there was disinterest or disagreement I rarely see it being spoken among lesbians.

[–]reader 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The second kind of separatism you describe is normal lesbian behavior. Lesbians already prioritize women, at least those, we are close to and/or can have mutually beneficial relationship. There is no reason to stress something, that is done naturally and mostly subconsciously. There is also no reason to prioritize heterosexual and bisexual women, who wants to use us in their games with men.

[–]WildwoodFlower 7 insightful - 2 fun7 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

The idea of living out in the middle of nowhere, doing farm work, and not having access to 20th century conveniences (let alone 21st century) has ZERO appeal to me. Now, I would be interested if someone were to come up with an all-female urban art collective, or even an urban farm (assuming I could do some other job that doesn't require digging around in the dirt).

[–][deleted] 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

For physical spaces, in my opinion it's about backlash and the hard work involved. Giving up modern conveniences is a high price to ask of people who aren't used to the work that would go into a separate commune since they're usually more rural. There's no guarantee you will find living there rewarding or utopian and from the records I've seen a lot of these womyn's lands fall apart due to infighting, clashing political views, and inexperience.

Occasional women only gatherings are more feasible because they don't last as long. But as we know even at that there will always be males and locals who aren't happy about women only spaces, or who take the opportunity to try and harass women.

Concerning the rest (never interacting with men) I think most people, lesbian and otherwise, are not very interested in making activist work every second of their lives. Even if the idea sounds nice, practically speaking separatism sounds like a nightmare to me. I support female owned businesses and feminist organizations but asking me to avoid half the population even more than the average lesbian woman just seems silly and unnecessary. That's my personal opinion though.

[–]yayblueberries 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Your last paragraph is my biggest issue. It is impractical and severely limits one's life to try to avoid an entire half of the population. I have limited males from my personal sphere, but it's not like you can live an entirely separate life. I have hobbies that are dominated by men. I am also astounded by how much shopping IS done by men, most stores are full of them. I love going out in nature - there are definitely women out there, but so are men.

Right now I'm unemployed and renting a room from a woman in a very rural area where I've mostly seen women, and it is definitely awesome. But I know even when I have to go to the store, or can finally find a job, I will mostly be surrounded by men.

[–]Rao[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I posted a video in here about how female separatism isn't only about running off into the woods to be with only women

https://youtu.be/w_8SrqFoSTg

And I summarized it in my response to censorshipment but it's a very good listen for fleshing it out better. In short, it's about prioritizing women. I personally believe that the censorship and lack of community and even being robbed in various way of the title of lesbian is just another feature of misogyny and I believe separatism is a solution to it all once and for all. Our right to separate is being taken away and I personally don't get why lesbians especially are just resolved to complain about this facet of misogyny online, where we can even gather online for now.

[–]Rao[S] 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

just seems silly and unnecessary. That's my personal opinion though.

I get there are lesbians who feel this way but it's not who I'm addressing this question to. I'm trying to gauge the perceptions of those who get it. I guess I should have included women who think it's unnecessary in my OP but I thought that was implied.

[–][deleted] 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Sorry about that. I thought you were literally asking for the reasons why lesbians in particular might not find separatism appealing, I didn't realize you were seeking input from women who were more like-minded. I guess I misread your intent.

One thing I would like to mention is that in your OP you said that you "don't expect republican, conservatives, religious, blah blah women to do so but it seems despite our world not even lesbians jive with female separatism." I think a lot of people, not just lesbians, have the misperception that being LGB comes with certain political affiliations by default. Separatism may seem like a natural conclusion to some, but for others it comes with too many practical limitations and ramifications.

[–]Rao[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Separatism may seem like a natural conclusion to some, but for others it comes with too many practical limitations and ramifications.

I get this and tho I find the sentiment very ill advised I just find it very odd separatism is barely discussed despite whatever political affiliations. Even if just for the spirit of discussion and debate, one would think it wouldn't be such a dead topic.

[–][deleted] 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'm personally interested but there seems to be almost no interest it in these days. I think there are many more factors besides just being a lesbian that would make someone interested, it's a very specific kind of lifestyle.

[–]a_blue_bird 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Why do you think it should be popular? I can't think of a single reason why I'd want to remove all men from my life. Maybe you are confusing being a homosexual woman with being a political "lesbian".

[–]vegan_dyke 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Everything pertaining to significantly increased freedom for females gets very little exposure, so most people have not heard of female separatism. The people who are most likely to promote female separatism, radical feminists, are blindly hated and widely misunderstood, so people, even lesbians, will dismiss us without listening to what we have to say about the subject. Among those who have heard about female separatism, there are probably lots of strange and false ideas about what it entails (such as the person below who thinks that separatism involves refraining from going to the grocery store just because men are there).

Separatism is unpopular for the same reason that anarchism is unpopular—they both involve seismic shifts to the current structure of society. The majority of lesbians—just like the majority of people in general—probably want to live in the society they are used to, with just a few tweaks to that society so that they aren't mistreated or disadvantaged. People get attached to what they are used to, even if it's worse than the alternative. They may desire the advantages of separatism, but, I've found, those advantages don't occur to them; someone has to explain the advantages because people generally aren't used to thinking outside of the structure of the society they live in.

Also, a lot of women are now insulated from the brutality of patriarchy, which might otherwise increase their interest in separatism. Because women are now able to hold jobs, own property, be out lesbians, etc. without too much trouble in many parts of the world, living in a more integrated fashion with men does not much bother them. The socioeconomically privileged aren't experiencing the more overt and urgent predatory male behavior that many homeless, incarcerated, disabled, and prostituted women face, and they aren't poor enough to experience the reality that all the advances in women's legal rights don't translate into stable, well-paying employment for many women (which drives the prostitution, poverty, etc. that make women vulnerable to male violence). Other legal advances have made men afraid of losing their jobs, going to prison, etc., so they may turn to misogynistic porn, abuse prostitutes or runaways, or even fly to Thailand to rape children instead of taking out their disgusting urges on women in the Western world. The male brutality has simply shifted out of view relative to places where females have no choice but to live with and marry men and be continually exposed. Some women don't even see feminism as necessary anymore.

In the United States especially, people tend to have a blindly individualistic perspective on society. Women don't view their position in society as connected to that of other women enough to prioritize sharing resources with women instead of with men, and doing so is not the norm and will therefore seem odd. People do their own thing, separately, and hope the government will fix everything instead of addressing it ourselves. Collective political action in day-to-day life is foreign to a lot of people; they view it as activism, as separate from how they live their personal lives. You do activism or volunteer and then you go home and live your life; you don't live activism 24/7.

And people tend to not think of women's welfare in terms of material resources. Politics is seen as a lot of talking, arguing, voting, and passing laws. People "raise awareness" (i.e., talk) rather than just putting some money in some poor woman's hand. Of course there are issues with simply giving out money, but my point is that increasing women's collective resources is far more effective than talking about women's issues.

I could go on. The bottom line is that lesbians aren't that different from other people in their worldviews.

[–]Rao[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Well said and I know this but I guess I didn't want to accept it because I wanted to believe that due to existing on multiple axes of oppression and being women ourselves that lesbians would be more aware and driven to prioritize women not just in their own social lives.

I wish you did go on though I've recently come to feel separatism, in numbers, won't solve the over arching problems of male violence and socioeconomic class warfare. I think it's necessary to begin to force change quickly but perhaps it's just a part of a solution. I'm not sure.

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The problem is, the second any lesbian or biological woman only group gets popular, cry bullies catch wind of it and try to destroy it. Look at what happened to Michfest. Or any social media site that's ever had a community for women only.

As a very small and secretive group, I think it's possible.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

[deleted]

    [–]Rao[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    I'm glad your life hasn't resulted in anything that ever reminded you of that period until just now. I wish I could have met them.

    [–]plumedoomer 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    Because it's pretty ridiculous.

    [–]overgrown_roots 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    I try to prioritize women in my own way, which is a bit more open-minded than female separatism. I'm down to only interacting with male coworkers and immediate family. I don't necessarily discount male-created media, I'm just more critical of them than I used to be (and as it turns out, a lot of male-made media is rehashed and garbage - once you've seen or read one you've basically got the blueprint for them all). I'm fine with seeing men out and about (like if they're just out and doing their business), but I keep it moving. My hobbies are either solitary, female-dominated, or has a significant female population so I really don't have to interact with men if I don't want to. I don't see it as activism, I just found out I don't really like talking to men, most male-dominated things, and most male-created things. I just realized one day that I don't have to participate if I really don't want to.

    I find full blown female separatism a bit odd. I don't feel like I should give up my place in larger society just because I want to do the things I want to do. I do think that by separating, you're limiting the types of futures younger generations can see for themselves.