I’ll preface this article with an admission, and an apology: this is supposed to be a funny, light hearted column. But I’m gay, so that’s just not going to happen. Sorry!
Any woman who’s experienced the (perhaps excessive) love and support of another woman, or the multiple orgasms could tell you that there’s distinctive advantages to lesbian relationships. Despite accusations that hetero women have so-called “straight privilege” lessos preach the truth: if you want to play oppression politics, you’re better off embracing your inner heterosexuality.
Women’s oppression doesn’t come out of nowhere – it’s the direct result of our role as child bearers. Hetero women are stuck bearing and caring for children, and are in turn downgraded within the workforce. Remove these gendered child bearing systems and women have it a lot better. Families with two women parents remove the gendered division of household labour and the gender wage gap within the family that comes with it. That’s on top of the fact that lesbian couples generally have less children, which are expensive and time consuming (and cute!) Simply put, lessos have it better.
Homophobia is an attitudinal-based oppression [FACT!] that has the potential to change depending on widely held views about the family and “twinks”, “dykes” and “faggots”. This is how out-of-the-closet lesbians went from being unemployable to arguably one of the wealthiest minorities in Australia.
The (hetero) wife penalty versus the lesbian wage premium! Lesbians in Australia earn moderately higher wages and around 33 percent more income than hetero women. The reason for this is obvious – we have less children and do less domestic labour. In fact, the positive effect on lesbians’ wages is stronger the EARLIER we come out of the closet! If we realise early that we will never be a tradwife, we make career decisions accordingly – e.g. stay in school longer, have continuous labour force attachment, or work longer hours. A study from the United States even found that ‘lesbians who had previously lived with male partners made 9.5 percent less than who’d never cohabited with a husband figure.’
The struggle to overcome homophobia obviously, remains important. But failing to acknowledge the advantages of lesbianism means we overlook the disadvantages of patriarchy. Really my message is this: ladies, cast off your men, you have nothing to lose but your oppression.