Guyism Lists Sexy Lesbians, Includes Very Few Lesbians

Perhaps Guyism is unaware that terms like “bisexual” exist. Maybe they are aware that “sexy queer female celebrities” isn’t the SEO jackpot that sexy lesbians is. Or it could be they want to keep this idea that lesbians are somehow accessible and open to dating men as plausible as possible. Whatever the reason, they recently compiled a list of “10 of the Sexiest Celebrity Lesbians” that included very few celebrities that openly identify as lesbian. A few lonely lesbians on a list of lies.

...and then he said, "bisexual erasure!"

Regardless of the implications that there needs to be a separate list for sexy women that identify as anything other than straight, the most appalling thing about this list is the lack of actual lesbians. There are celebrities (and just normal folks like us) that are brave enough to saddle themselves with the term lesbian and rock the fuck out. For a men’s site to think they can throw any women who’s ever had a fling with another woman in the group is idiotic.

To add women like Gillian Anderson – who does not identify as lesbian or bisexual, but simply told OUT magazine that she had relationships with women as a teenager with an “anarchistic attitude” – is disrespectful to her and to us. To add Anne Heche — whom they helpfully note is currently married to a man — on a list of lesbians is completely ridiculous.

A smirk does not a lesbian make

To just throw this identity around is to ignore the obstacles some of us have had to go through to be able to embrace, stand behind, and be proud of this word that many, even those that fit in thought and action, avoid. I’m baffled as to what makes it ok for some dudes on a website to ignore stated identities and participate in the rumor mill while we have to sit on our hands with our toes crossed and hope that maybe one day celebrities will come out and we can have an “I Told You So” Parade down a boulevard.

Why are my nails so short? Lol. Funny story...

On their list of 10 Sexy Celebrity Lesbians, only one openly identifies as a lesbian — Portia De Rossi. Then there are the primarily queer-identified women: Amber Heard, Kristanna Loken and Clementine Ford. The other six women on the “Sexiest Celebrity Lesbians” list are Anna Paquin, Lindsay Lohan, Anne Heche, Michelle Rodriguez (who I’m sure is THRILLED to be on this list), Gillian Anderson and Evan Rachel Wood Bisexual.

Any possible positive attributes this list could ever have if we stretched our imaginations to the ends of the earth are undermined by this blatant disregard for the preferences of these women. Instead of a list of “traditionally feminine/attractive” women that happen to like women per the usual fare, they took it upon themselves to decide who can be a lesbian — and to decide that being a lesbian can apparently include a stated attraction to men.  One small step for a men’s magazine, one giant leap for the patriarchy.

ETA: We got a response from Guyism on this! Pretty cool, I think. (-R)

“…you’re right. When we reviewed the article after publishing, we referred to it our social media/newsletter promotion as “Women who’ve enjoyed the company of other women.” During production, the choice was made to use Lesbian to get the point across in the headline and walk it back within the article description.

Either way, we’re very pro-LGBT on this site (which may not be apparent from this one article) so we apologize for any ill will this oversight caused.”

- Chris Spags, Founder and editor of Guyism.com

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 274 articles for us.

54 Comments

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    Ewww. Just ewww. As if we don’t spend enough time trying to make it clear men aren’t on our “to-do” lists! Its so disrespectful to the women on this list AND the entire lesbian community to make such a bold and unconstituted statement about who we are. Men can be so disgusting at times. It’s articles like this that perpetuate that question we all loathe….”So can I watch?!” Ugh, gross!

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    “And though some of these women claim to not be lesbians, they all admit to having dalliances with women, which last time I checked was kind of the opposite of being straight, therefore they make this list of sexiest celebrity lesbians.”

    I’m not even sure whether to try to use this quote to try to defend them a little bit, as they knew and acknowledged the fact that not all of them identify as lesbians or to reinforce the argument that the writer is a jerk who thinks 1) that anyone who has a “dalliance” is automatically a lesbian and 2) his interpretation of someone’s sexuality is the be all end all of it. I think I’m going with the latter.

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      The hypocrisy of his argument astounds me. In addition to that lovely introduction, he frequently uses the word ‘despite.’ As in: “DESPITE this relationship, she has stated publicly that she is not a lesbian” and “DESPITE all that, she married [a dude].”

      Not only is he insinuating that all it takes is one ‘dalliance’ with a woman to make her a lesbian, but he undermines the validity of her future relationships with men. Date one woman, you’re a lesbian. Date a man after that woman — doesn’t matter, you’re still a lesbian.

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        Well, obvs, who would want to be with men again after that?

        …other than bisexuals and people who were just fooling around in college and, yeah.

        This really does piss me off. I’m fond of telling people that “lesbian” isn’t a club you need to jump through hoops to join – f you really think you are one, you probably are, even if you’ve never kissed a girl. But you have to actually think you’re a lesbian. Some assholes at some magazine don’t get to decide that.

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        And also, ‘They all admit to having dalliances with women’. Admit? ADMIT? Like it’s an offense or a character flaw that you ‘fess up to under rigorous questioning?
        ‘OK, I admit I stole that laptop: I shouldn’t have.’ ‘OK, I admit I can be a bit selfish at times: I’ll try to do better.’ ‘OK, I admit that I have had “dalliances with women” but, you know, I don’t really do that stuff anymore’. WTF?

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    After reading the article, I think the biggest problem is really the title. All the individual write-ups seem pretty straightforward and mention how the person identifies as well as their significant relationships with men and women.

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    Is this real life? Is this going to be forever? Last time I checked (which was yesterday) Michelle Rodriguez does not identifies as queer really at all.

    Also, and I recognize this is so not the point, Anna Paquin can get it.

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    I haaate this. Hate it. I remember a long time back when one of my guy friends liked me and tried to use the fact that he “slept with lesbians before” to convince me that it would be acceptable. (Not happening.) Or when movies reference a male character sleeping with a lesbian couple. Or lists like this, of sexy lesbians men think are hot… and most of them are not lesbians.

    First of all, let me say, sleep with whoever you want. If you are comfortable labeling yourself a lesbian and still sleep with men sometimes and you like it that way, then, well, great for you. To most people, though, the world “lesbian” is a bit more… exclusive? Not like we don’t let people in the club (ha) but like, “it’s never going to happen in a million years, buddy. Keep dreaming.”

    Things like this list are perpetuating the idea that lesbians are sexy little playthings that are even sexier because they like other sexy little playthings and will probably have a pillow fight in lingerie and then have sex with you. It’s incredibly objectifying, disrespectful, and yes, reeks of thoughts of male privilege and entitlement.

    I don’t hate men but I hate this line of thinking. It’s because of these ideas that whenever I kiss my pretty wife in public, I don’t worry about people being anti-gay and hating us… I worry about giving the guys at that table over there something to ogle at with their friends and make lewd comments and jokes about.

    The title of this and whether or not the article is factually correct is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s representative of a society that has warped ideas about us. Have you ever noticed that in most mainstream media, “lesbian” is used in one of three ways: a very humorous way (like a male character on a sitcom is humiliated and rejected by a woman who turned out to be a lesbian), a very bad way (like a sensationalized crime report about a woman and her ‘lesbian lover’ who killed her ex-husband, robbed 47 banks, and terrorized a small town in Idaho) or in a very sexual way (like beautiful fantasy women who are lesbians for male enjoyment and attention and want nothing more than to have some dude join her in pleasing her girlfriend).

    How about this most radical idea? Lesbians are people, not jokes, fantasies, or headline grabbers. Lesbians do not want to have sex with men, they do not seek to turn men on, and they do not want unwelcome attention from men. Thinking that lesbians are here for male enjoyment and viewing is not okay.

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      Exactly!! This pretty much says all the things. I completely agree with your statement about being out in public too…it’s not so much worrying about anti-gay comments as it is inviting unwanted attention and comments from men who seek to involve themselves in some manner. This level of privilege really crosses the line at times.

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        Eh, when I’ve been out with my masculine-presenting partner, I do worry about being objectified, but I also worry about her being attacked by anti-gay slurs. They’ll objectify the crap out of femme lesbians, but their reaction turns more to condescension or anger at butch lesbians.

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          I agree with this. I have been in relationships with butch women and with femme women and they are very different experiences. With a butch partner, the big worry was people being hateful, mean, or violent… In my relationship now, my big fears would be creepers following us home or watching us out their windows while we frolic in our pool. (Just wanted to use the word “frolic,” thanks.) I think as long as a couple can be perceived as being gay, they are at risk of receiving unwanted attention because people suck. The reactions may be different but it’s something we all deal with at some point.

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          Oh absolutely. I’ve dealt with a little of both and certainly neither situation is comfortable. I tend to avoid presenting as a couple unless in the company of friends or in obviously gay-friendly environments….it kinda sucks to self-sensor that way but I just don’t trust people….especially the men-folk.

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          I find it is ALWAYS men that bother me and my girlfriend (we both look femme). Women may stare but never actually bother us. I’m very blunt so I quickly tell the guy to f**k off, which doesn’t work so well when they are drunk and attempt to fight me, luckily I carry around my good friend pepper-spray.

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      This Guyism article is just another reminder of why I can’t be alone with certain male acquaintances (or “friends”), especially when intoxicants are involved, why I have to be careful walking to my car especially if anyone saw me with my girlfriend, why I’m haunted by some pretty shitty memories, etc. It’s almost like some men turn evil when they find out a woman is queer- it makes them incredibly angry or incredibly lustful or something, either way they can become incredibly ugly. This simplification and objectification of women doesn’t make it any better. Not to mention adds to the confused faces I receive from most straight people when I say I identify as queer. Most people think if I have a girlfriend it’s just “lesbian”. SOME will be so open-minded as to throw “bisexual” as an option in there too.

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      “I’ve slept with lesbians before”? He may as well have tried “I’ve slept with women before”. So the fuck what?! It has nothing to do with my personal right to choose who to sleep with, regardless of sexual orientation.

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    “Hopefully they’ll take it as the compliment it’s meant to be.”

    Yep, as a lesbian it’s TOTALLY a compliment to be objectified by the EXACT SAME male gaze that is completely and absolutely irrelevant to the way I DEFINE MY WHOLE SEXUALITY. On the upside, the name of that publication has just given me a new work for when straight cis blokes do really annoying twitty things.

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    You know, I find it insulting to assume that this is nothing but a symptom of patriarchy. Perhaps these dudes have indeed had an in depth discussion about sexual identity and thought it was best to use the word ‘lesbian’.

    “Humbah humbah. Girl like girl. Girl lessssssbian!!”

    On a serious note though, I think the use of the word ‘lesbian’ is because it sounds more enticing and equally inaccurate to its target audience than the word ‘queer’. ‘Queer’, which pretty much conjures up the images of individuals who don’t fit into the giggly, high heeled, and painfully manicured lesbians in their minds.

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    I went over to guyism.com to read the article, ready to give them a piece of my mind and then i saw this “We saw the Autostraddle article…you’re right. When we reviewed the article after publishing, we referred to it our social media/newsletter promotion as “Women who’ve enjoyed the company of other women.” During production, the choice was made to use Lesbian to get the point across in the headline and walk it back within the article description.

    Either way, we’re very pro-LGBT on this site (which may not be apparent from this one article) so we apologize for any ill will this oversight caused.”- Chris Spags, Founder and editor of Guyism.com

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      I went to guyism.com to read the article and give them a piece of my mind and then saw Evan Rachel Wood Bisexual and all I could think of was her tying me up like that… Damn, at least they nailed the sexy part.

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    My girlfriend works as a promoter / bar maid at a club, last night I joined her at work and actually lost count of times I heard the words ‘Can I watch?’
    just ew >.<

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    I have mixed feelings. I agree with a lot of what people are writing about respecting a lesbian identity, etc – BUT what about sexual fluidity? I sort of like the whole ‘sexuality is dynamic, complicated, fluid’ perspective.

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    “Regardless of the implications that there needs to be a separate list for sexy women that identify as anything other than straight, the most appalling thing about this list is the lack of actual lesbians.”

    No. The most appalling thing about this list is bisexual/pansexual/fluid person erasure.

    Oh, and also objectification and creeptastic fetishization of our sexuality, in addition to the same being done with regard to lesbian sexuality.

    The comments on this thread are also really upsetting. “[A]nother reminder of why I can’t be alone with certain male acquaintances (or “friends”), especially when intoxicants are involved”? Why, because if you’re lesbian-identified, it’s not cool to rape you, but if you’re a femme bi-chick, I mean, you mighta been okay with it because ya know sometimes we sleep with doodz? Just, no.

    The policing of the boundaries of “queer” keeps so many bi, pan, and otherwise not-straight-not-gay people out of the “club”. It contributes to stereotypes that we are gross, not real, confused, and “fake.”

    It sucks and it should stop.

    It would be nice if, instead, the community defended us when this kind of fetishization crap happens, to us. But, once again, the “B” in LGBT seems to be a silenced letter.

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