Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dress sense

Why is that most lesbians - apart from the silicone creatures on The L Word - dress rather conservatively? Even we are guilty of sussing out a stranger by her dress sense (or lack of it). If she's in pantihose, high heels, a sexy little skirt and bearing a healthy cleavage, we're unlikely to say 'dyke', under our breaths, as we tend to do when in packs. We see a sensibly dressed woman on the other hand; one who is wearing a practical pair of pants and a well worn pair of shoes (flat, of course) and we smile at one another and silently mouth the word 'family!'

Hmm, so why is that exactly? Why are we stereotying ourselves into these sensible dresscodes? Is it a way of identifying one another? An extension of the gaydar system? "Ah, denin jacket and boots, must be a dyke!" or is it just that we prefer to dress for comfort and not for eye candy? Or could it be that we've subconsciously dressed that way to send signals to men that we're not on the market for them?

Maybe it's a little of each of these things. I also think it's because we are freer. We don't have to fall for the hererosexual trappings of make up or Wonder bras or stuffing our feet into teeny little heels to impress a man and make him feel strong and macho in our femininity and gentleness. We don't have to impress the male of the species and so we just are. Too simplistic? Too goody-two-shoes? Quite a few of my straight female friends who embrace all three things will disagree that it's about impressing a man. They will argue they do it to feel good. And I am sure there are many who do.

So why don't we then? Ok, some of us do, but the vast majority don't. We can look nice, of course, even pretty, but in a next-door-gal kinda way and not a who's-your-mamma-lookee-here way.

So, should we start? I think it's time we stopped living to stereotypes. If you want to do it, do it. If you don't, that's cool too. But when a sister walks in the gay bar in her sexy little black number let's welcome her instead of asking is she's lost!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Joined at the hip

Lesbians are often guilty of the siamese twin syndrome. Being joined at the hip - and not just when in the sack! Many of us tend to take the 'best friends' thing to the extreme, blocking out any other friendships that may interfere. It's a pity.

Yes, how utterly wonderful to be with a woman who is your equal, your twin and who understands how you feel when you get your period. But how suffocating too. We need to learn to give one another space. To have outside interests and hobbies and friends. That's one area we can learn something from the straight folk. They don't merge and blend from sunrise to sunset. They separate and explore on their own and then reunite later on. We need to do more of this.

I don't speak from a know-it-all position. I speak from a place of having been too linked to my partners; to have put all of my eggs in that one basket all of the time. It felt heart wrenching to tear myself away from my significant other, but now I know that in order to thrive and to keep the relationship hot and alive, we need our space. We need to have some mystery; some sacred place we can escape to. It does not drive us further apart; it brings us closer together.

Durban - get with it!

I've just had a wonderful dinner out with close friends at Cafe 1999 in Silverton Road - Durban. Great restaurant (albeit a bit expensive). We had a really fun evening (as we always do) and could easily have gone on to another venue for a nightcap, except that in Durban there is nowhere really to go. Nowhere gay that it.

Imagine that. A whole bunch of gays and lesbians looking for a place to have a coffee and a perv and there's nowhere suitable or dedicated to gay people. Not that I'm suggesting we need to be quarantined, but come on, why isn't the Pink Rand commanding some respect?

Beanbag Bohemia is gay friendly, supposedly, but it's not gay. We need a more upmarket version of the old Garth's coffee bar in Avonmore Centre. Come on Durbanites, there's got to be someone with the dosh and the vision to get this going. Where do mature (and by that I mean over 30) people meet one another if not in this kind of setting?

God help us all

A few days ago two women were attacked in Umlazi, near the Durban airport, for wearing trousers. A mob of men took offence and caught them and stripped them naked. The terrified women tried to get away and fled in the direction of their home. They were chased and beaten all the way. The group forced the women's families to flee for their lives and they then set their home on fire. They cannot return to Umlazi now.

What the hell is happening in our society? That a group of men can take offence to women wearing trousers (instead of a dress or skirt) and do this is totally outrageous. As far as I know, no arrests have been made so this gang is still roaming wild.

The media here has treated the story in an almost humourous light. Of course the gender groups have expressed outrage but the cops haven't made any noise about the crime. They haven't issued the usual "we will leave no stone unturned" quote.

And let's face it, that's where they wil have to look for this lot. Under rocks and boulders. Not a proud moment for us and let's hope they are caught before they do any more damage.

What's in a title?

A friend of mine recently lent me a book called "I Love You But I'm Not In Love With You" by Andrew Marshall. I nearly didn't borrow it because of the title. I mean who wants to lie in bed with a partner with a book called "I Love You But I'm Not In Love With You"? Potentially very limiting move for the person reading the book! And by association, very limiting move by the author.

But, oddly enough, I read it and could not put it down. It was really good. He has some great ideas and some excellent explanations and even couples who are happily involved should read it. You'll just have to get over the title!

I also liked it because the author makes mention of gay couples and does not just write about straight relationships. We exist too! Refreshing, and if you can get over the title, it could even enhance your relationship!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A classic song!

Where has the year gone? I've been very slack on this blog and am cheating now with a YouTube clip of Jill Sobule's classic, I Kissed a Girl. If you've never heard it, you need to change that asap! Enjoy.