Updated: Jan 25
Interview with Diversity Rep. Connor Allen (They/Them)
June 16th, 2021
What is lesbian fetishization?
"To put it simply, lesbian fetishization is when lesbian people/couples are viewed as nothing more than sexual objects. It can exist in things as simple as a straight man saying that lesbians are "his type", but it's usually accompanied by a feeling of disgust towards genuine lesbian relationships. They view these relationships as some kind of forbidden fruit that only exists in pornos."
Why do you think this is an issue?
"The fact that this is an issue shouldn't come as a surprise. By reducing [lesbians] to nothing more than some girls gone wild fantasy, [men are] no longer viewing [lesbians] as people."
When was the first time you experienced this issue?
"The first time I remember experiencing this firsthand was when I was fourteen. I was out at some public pool with a friend of mine. A group of boys around our age approached us, standing a bit too close for comfort and asking crude, invasive questions. We tried to brush them off, hoping that a simple, "Sorry, we aren't interested. We're both lesbians." would be enough to drive them away. Rather than leaving us alone, our dismissal only seemed to encourage them. As we tried to distance ourselves from their group, I overheard comments they were making about my friend's physical appearance. They wondered, out loud might I add, if we would kiss in front of them if they asked. They continued to verbally fantasize about the two of us, all whilst degrading my physical appearance. At that moment, all I wanted was to go home and change out of my bathing suit. I knew it wasn't my fault, but that didn't make me feel any less humiliated."
What can we do?
"...I want to focus on what we can do as individuals. This is going to sound overly simple and cliché, but one of the best things you can do is speak up when you see it happening. Whether it's a comment on some young girl's social media or a guy friend making a comment about two of your female friends, don't sit back and let it happen. Something as small as checking up on the victim(s) with a simple, "Hey, are you okay?" can create a much more welcoming environment."