Thursday, January 26, 2006

An Emergency Flood Control Measure?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sappho's Guide to Dangerous Women

Much has been written about hetrosexual dating, and how to avoid opposite-sex partners who would be wrong for you. No one seems to have done this service for women who love women. It must be admitted that not all women, even lesbians are perfect. Although responsible, loving lesbians can be found anywhere, the following list of eight less-than-perfect types is offered in the hope of helping lesbians avoid
unnecessary disasters.

The Prima Donna, or Queen Bee

This type is easy to spot. She appears in her strapless gown amid the denim jackets of the local lesbian hangout, expecting someone to take her coat (mink, paid for by her last lover) & fetch her a drink. The lady does not like to be kept waiting.

The Prima Donna is usually gorgeous, otherwise her tactics wuld not work. She may be a true lesbian, contrary to speculation, but is often bisexual or ever straight. Her sexuality is not of major importance, because what she wants is power, not sex or emotional involvement. She will use her helplessness as a devide to get things done for her, but she is a survivor who can be surprisingly tough. She is rarely grateful to the generous, love struck dyke who supports her/pays for her divorce/protects her from men & other women/drives her to the shopping mall/listens to her complaints. The best way to discourage this tendency is to look the offender in the eye (if necessary, use a mirror), and say something like, "Do it yourself"

The Cool Butch

This is the Lesbian Nation's answer to the Fonze, and she expects to be treated accordingly. When she wants you, she'll whistle. More often, she waits to be approached by someone who finds her aloofness challenging. In some cases, Ms Cool is married to her career, in some cases she likes one night stands or multiple (shallow) relationships, and in most cases she points out that she never promised you anything. When she tires of the game (hers not yours) she calmly walks away, wiping your tears off her shirt.

Underneath the calm exterior, this woman is terrified of commitment & self-revelation. The Cool Butch knows that others will read into her slightly sarcastic expression whatever they like, and she does not want to spoil the illusion. The best way to start melting her cool is to ask questions & demand answers. (if necessary carry on this dialog in your head). If you drive this woman away you have diverted an Ice Age in your life.

The Hot Butch

She is aggressive, possessive, touchy, unpredictable & unfair. She can be charming or funny in a good mood but the wrong word can change her into a snarling tigress. She has probably been thrown out of the local lesbian hangout at least once for socking someone in the jaw, though she insists this was not her fault (she was provoked). She has no tolerance for criticism & no understanding of other people's moods. If a negative remark does not arouse her wrath, it makes her cry. If she falls in love with you (and when she falls, she falls) expect candlelit suppers presents that put
her in debt & demands for reassurance that you will also love her forever. This phase lasts up to two weeks, or until your first big fight.

The Hot Butch is an overgrown child who wants attention & power, so walk away from her scenes-if you can pry her hands off your collar (Don't hesitate to ask the bouncer for help). When you are the one seething with sudden, intense feeling, whether love-at-first-sight or righteous rage, take a deep breath, a little common sense can prevent a lot of regret later on.

The Celebrity

You are likely to encounter this personage when your friends whisper "that's her", pointing to the most noticeable woman at the party or bar. She wears shades for anonymity, but is surrounded by fans. She is the only local lesbian musician who has national exposure, or she has written a novel ( about people she knows, thinly disguised )has had a one woman show at the local art gallery. Or she expects success in the near future but hasn't been published, exhibited, discovers yet.

Whether or not the Celebrity is really on her way to the top, expect to take 2nd or 3rd place in her life. Her work & ego come first. In some cases, she likes to buy status symbols now in the hope of paying for them later. (She will usually let you help her with this.) If you become her mate, you will take care of all the domestic details she is too busy for, and worship her most of the time, especially in public.
What she really wants is a combination wife & manager. If you object, she will point out that you can be replaced.

Not all famous lesbians are or have been "Celebrity" types. If you meet the woman, described above, resist the urge to throw yourself at her feet; she might not be as talented as she wants you to think. Remember that every woman has her own dream, and you don't have to sacrifice yours for hers.

The Tramp

You might not recognize this woman until too late. In time, you discover she had a troubled youth. She was adopted, unwanted or naturally rebellious, and her folks were straight laced. She came out, ran away, dropped out of school, became addicted to
uppers/downers/heroin/glue/alcohol/junk food & fell into bad company (not necessarily in that order). She is a walking grade B movie & her theme song is "I'm just looking for love". If she gets sympathy from you, you'll hear more true confessions: She gave
her baby for adoption, her parents/pimp/lover used to beat her, she has a jail record, even though she was framed, or she only committed the crime to support herself or her habit or to help a friend or for justified revenge (see Hot Butch).

The tramp feels persecuted & misunderstood. She needs your support, emotional & financial. She claims you can help her sober up, go back to school, get a job & earn the respect of people who did all those things without help. A Tramp will not move unless pushed, especially if she has lucked into your support. She will wear out your sympathy, your bank account & your reputation before she will make a serious effort to change her life.

Hard as it is, the only way to save yourself from a Tramp is to be ruthless. Threated to call the police if she doesn't leave you alone. (They know her well). Ignore her threats & don't deal with her friends. If you're a Tramp, you need services no other woman can provide. You must decide who controls your life (You). Once you know what you want, go to the appropriate institution or social services agency, state your case, find out what you have to do, and do it. Only when you are on your way to
where you want to be (you are not obligated to go straight) will you be able to form a mutual relationship with another adult.

The PC Lesbian Feminist

She is impressive, well-read, intelligent, politically committed & of sound conscience. What could be wrong? You could. Ms Politically Correct asks why she didn't see you at the latest demonstration for women's rights & will not except you explanation (your mother was dying) as an adequate excuse. She does not drink, smoke or eat meat & disapproves of people who do. She strongly disapproves of males, including your brother or your son. Whatever you wear is too feminine or too male identified for her taste, is made of cancer causing synthetic fibres produced in a Third World country by oppressed workers. You get the message.

Of course not all lesbian feminists fit this description, but a little raised conciousness can be a dangerous thing if it makes a woman feel superior to her sisters. Check yourself periodically for intolerance. If another lesbian feminist tries to revise your lifestyle, stop her as firmly as you would stop a non-feminist ( or a non-lesbian non-woman)

The Tease

She points out that she only wants your friendship, then gives you a sisterly kiss on the lips ... for ten minutes. She tells you she hopes you'll find the right woman soon, then describes they type of woman she wants to spend the rest of her life with - who sounds remarkably like you. Unfortunately, teasing is one of the standard Games Lesbian Play because turning someone on & keeping her off-guard are both power trips. If single, the tease likes to keep several potential lovers dangling until she makes up her mind, which might never happen. If she is involved with someone, she wants to keep you on hand as an insurance policy in case her primary relationship falls through.

Your only hope is to make up your own mind. If you want a sexual relationship with her, phrase your request as an ultimatum. If you lose her altogether as a result, at least you won't be teased anymore. If you decide she is too unstable to make a trustworthy mate, refuse to waltz to her tune. If you are the Tease; make up your mind & make yourself clear to whom it may concern.

The Haunted Woman

This woman can't see you clearly because she is still gazing into her unforgettable past. The Haunted Woman is recovering from her last affair, or yearning for a fantasy figure who was never available to her, because fantasies are easier to control than reality. Expect to hear all about the love of her life. You will probably be addressed by several names, none of them yours. Either the memorable girlfriend was a saint among dykes (You'll be found lacking) or as a fiend who ruined the Haunted Woman's life, in which case she will take out the pain on you, treating you as she was treated (or believed she was treated which is worse). When you meet a woman who can't stop talking about a past relationship, try to change the subject & let her know your real name. If all else fails,leave her before she becomes a regrettable item in your past.

If you are a Haunted Woman, stop watching reruns & hoping for impossible comebacks. You can never forget the past, but remember that a lifetime of possibilities lies ahead of you.

In general, insist on honesty in youself & the women you meet will weed
out the games players described above. Abusive games are based on fear so an open, courageous approach to life is the antidote to abuse. If life's journey has brought you to the Lesbian Nation, you have aready come to far to retreat into the no-win roles traditionally offered to women, and so have all your sisters.