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I've just come out of a work event - LGBT terminology and pronouns... and lesbian erasure

(66 Posts)
W0nderW0man Tue 25-Feb-20 15:21:20

Earlier today I attended a panel discussion put on by my company to discuss LGBT terminology and pronouns. I know that I'd come away raging from the wokeness, but I came away raging!

There were reps from other woke organisations to talk about how they do things, and one of them brought along awareness guides to help us deal with/relate to to members of the community. There was a 'Gay Awareness Guide'. a 'Bisexual Awareness Guide' and a 'Transgender Awareness Guide'. Lesbians apparently do not deserve a guide. confused

One organisation had a very vocal rep, who was so proud of their % of NB and trans in the workforce and suggested that every workplace should have targets for employing NB/Trans people! Do we get extra points for employing people who are trans and gay and from an ethnic minority?

The same rep also flippantly talked about their organisation's Twitter being trolled over the weekend after someone 'accidentally' posted a meme saying 'Cher hates TERFS'. It was those pesky lesbians that don't believe TWAW getting all het up apparently.

That was pretty much the first and last time that lesbians were mentioned.

We had the pleasure of a transwoman transplaining to us how important pronouns are whilst waving her hand around in an attempt to look more feminine.

I'm surprised that my eyeballs didn't fall out, they were rolling so much. The only positive moment was in the lift as we were leaving, a group of us stood in stunned silence until I asked if anyone else was bothered by the lesbian erasure and I could see the GC glint in several eyes! We may not all feel able to speak up, but it is gratifying to see that more and more people are peaking.

OP’s posts: |
CoolcoolcoolcoolcoolNoDoubt Tue 25-Feb-20 15:27:55

Did anyone raise your points about the lack of lesbian inclusion? What did they say?

Lordfrontpaw Tue 25-Feb-20 15:30:18

Then more they push with greater and greater demands the more people get pissed off.

Ever seen those YouTube videos of a puppy poking a napping dog? They get nipped eventually and put back in their place when good grace runs out.

People just have to start saying no. Last year some colleagues tried to get me to run some LGBT promo initiatives at work.

I refused - I asked how it fitted in with our programme of raising the profile of disability inclusion, of modern slavery, child abuse, domestic violence... y’know, the grim, real issues. I wasn’t going to slap a rainbow flag on the website if it excluded women.

W0nderW0man Tue 25-Feb-20 15:42:12

CoolcoolcoolcoolcoolNoDoubt - it was a panel discussion so there wasn't much audience participation and once Vocal Rep made it clear about her attitude towards GC women I think we all felt uncomfortable speaking up!

I want to email the company LGBT committee with my concerns .... any suggestions to come across as concerned about female/lesbian erasure without being branded a TERF?!

OP’s posts: |
Oulu Tue 25-Feb-20 15:52:02

My lesbian friends are perfectly happy to be described as gay without needing a separate guide all to themselves.

dragonlangx Tue 25-Feb-20 16:05:47

Are you going to ask your company why lesbians were not included?

dragonlangx Tue 25-Feb-20 16:07:39

damn it cross posted with others.

I would suggest an email asking why there was no Lesbian awareness guide and see what they say

OhHolyJesus Tue 25-Feb-20 16:11:48

Was this a mandatory session OP?

If so I would ask in the email if the company was taking the TWAW position and if there was any discussion involving female employees before takin the decision (as their choice of outsourced panel presenters indicates such) and that you noticed the lesbian erasure. It might be something that HR weren't fully aware of how full on it was going to be.

(personally I'm really sick of the term T*RF being thrown around as if that is meant to make us fear reprisals and shut us up. I realise it's a serious problem and there can be a serious impact, particularly when it comes to employment, but I do think it's a slur and designed to create fear and if accused of such you can refer to the judge on the Fair Cop case etc).

BigFatLiar Tue 25-Feb-20 16:26:54

Were hetrosexuals represented? Soon with all the groups being represented they'll be the minority smile

Prawnofthepatriarchy Tue 25-Feb-20 16:57:05

My lesbian friends are perfectly happy to be described as gay without needing a separate guide all to themselves.

And yet I can't imagine gay men being content with being offered the choice of a 'Lesbian Awareness Guide'. a 'Bisexual Awareness Guide' and a 'Transgender Awareness Guide'.

SomeDyke Tue 25-Feb-20 17:04:20

My lesbian friends are perfectly happy to be described as gay without needing a separate guide all to themselves.
I'm not. Why forget the L in the LGB...?

Plus many people still take 'gay' as short for 'gay men'. Whereas lesbian is a specific name which applies only to women with specific historical associations which go back a lot further than the use of 'gay'. Why (further) erase womens history?

Plus there are (many) issues specific to gay men that don't include lesbians and vice versa.

Melroses Tue 25-Feb-20 17:13:11

I would complain about the style and lack of participation.

stumbledin Tue 25-Feb-20 17:19:57

If you do feel able to email maybe give them a link to the LGB Alliance web site to point out that despite media coverage, most people do not accept that trans, non binary let alone intersex are the same as being someone who is same sex attracted.

Ask if they will put on an event that talks about people who are same sex attracted and how to avoid appearing homophobic by inviting in someone who erases the reality of lesbianism and homosexuality.

W0nderW0man Tue 25-Feb-20 17:44:18

Oulu - I read through the guide and it was specifically about gay men. I wouldn't have minded too much if it was lumping the L in with the G, although I'd have still had a grumble about leaving it off the front page!

OhHolyJesus - it wasn't a mandatory session, but it was suggested that mandatory training is in the pipeline. I will ask HR about their stance on TWAW and female rights though!

BigFatLiar - cis straights were indeed not represented! Unless the comments about the straights assuming others are straight as default counts! wink

stumbledin thanks for that idea about sending the link to the LGB Alliance site to the committee.

I did fire off a quick email to the guy who is our local point of contact to ask if he noticed the lesbian erasure. He has replied to say that he did notice the 'mention of ongoing dispute between parts of the community' and mention of TERFS, but it he didn't 'interpret it as a direct attack on lesbians'. He has admitted that maybe it would have been a good idea to have a lesbian (and a bisexual), rather than just 2 straight (1 of whom was oh-so-woke) women, 2 gay men and a transwoman on the panel!

OP’s posts: |
vaginafetishist Tue 25-Feb-20 18:30:34

I'm not represented by 'gay' either.

vaginafetishist Tue 25-Feb-20 18:32:33

Don't worry about being labelled a terf, accept your terfitude, you're in good company.

Lordfrontpaw Tue 25-Feb-20 18:52:29

My sisters SIL will tell anyone who will listen that she is a terf. She is very proud of the fact (and I wouldn't want to mess with her).

AutumnRose1 Tue 25-Feb-20 18:57:52

“ Do we get extra points for employing people who are trans and gay and from an ethnic minority? ”

Yes. Ithink I’m losing points though, although I’m an ethnic minority woman, the fact that I’m a TERF is going to cause issues. Unless....ethnic minorities get extra points for whatever religion they assume I am.

This industry needs to be stopped. Woke Academics and consultants will just have to find something else to do. If they didn’t feather their nests in the glut of work they’ve had the last few years ruining lives, more fool them.

LonginesPrime Tue 25-Feb-20 18:59:02

He has admitted that maybe it would have been a good idea to have a lesbian (and a bisexual), rather than just 2 straight (1 of whom was oh-so-woke) women, 2 gay men and a transwoman on the panel!

While I'm no stranger to lesbians being genuinely forgotten when planning a LGBT events (largely because they're unrepresented on committees and panels and people genuinely forget they exist) if they're not a lesbian themselves), I can see why it doesn't do a woke training seminar any favours to remind people that lesbians exist.

It's one thing doing this kind of talk at LGBT events as the audience is self-selecting woke, so you know they're going to happy to hear panel members demonise women for standing up for their rights.

But they have to be careful going into corporates to do mainstream training because to the uninitiated, it sounds mad to say 'some lesbians have penises'. So what's the solution to the obvious conflict between lesbian and trans rights? Don't mention lesbians. Then no-one will be thinking about them and the important questions highlight the conflicts of rights don't arise.

Without lesbians on the scene, everyone can #bekind and there's no issue. It's also a clever way of showing up lesbians as the problem, because panel discussions go swimmingly when no-one has to acknowledge that lesbians exist. It's the lesbians and their pesky sex-based boundaries who are the problem.

Lordfrontpaw Tue 25-Feb-20 19:04:41

'Points' snort. I'd be yelling 'Bingo-ooo!' but then I have quite a big gob and am getting really like my mother (never a shit give) as I get older.]

I think the time is here to NOT remail silent (when safe - don't get punched out there). We just can't allow this to drag on - or when it does go tits up we will have lost ground as you never quite go back to where you were, do you?

Dances Tue 25-Feb-20 19:24:35

'Terfitude' - brilliant!

Stealing that....

DCIRozHuntley Tue 25-Feb-20 21:01:23

You won't have been the only one raging at this. It's becoming so obvious that the LGBT movement has been totally hijacked by the T (and a few woke bros) and is becoming more and more misogynistic and anti-women.

Quite glad I don't work outside of the home so I don't have to sit through this shit with a straight face.

boatyardblues Tue 25-Feb-20 21:15:19

It's becoming so obvious that the LGBT movement has been totally hijacked by the T (and a few woke bros) and is becoming more and more misogynistic and anti-women.

This is the most depressing aspect of the last few years. The rainbow flag used to have positive connotations about inclusion. Nowadays it’s more often a sign of big business jumping on the bandwagon (M&S LGBT sarnie anyone?) for woke cookies or that an organisation might not have the tightest grip on safeguarding policy or balancing Equality Act provisions. When you think how hard earlier LGB campaigners worked to build all that goodwill and acceptance, its sad to see how much damage a partisan lobby can wreak in a few short years.

AutumnRose1 Tue 25-Feb-20 21:22:31

Yes, I now see the rainbow flag as a threat.

I could be totally wrong but is the black and white flag meant to be a counter for it?

LonginesPrime Tue 25-Feb-20 21:31:23

AutumnRose, I think the black and white flag represents straight pride.

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