WIth pride month arriving, I am reminded of the support and love I share with the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. By being a part of this community, I have learned how to be as supportive and accepting as possible. I attended the Speech and Debate National tournament this year, and was lucky enough to see the final round for program oral interpretation. One piece about the sexualization of lesbian women caught my attention. As a lesbian myself, I know that I live in a world where I am occasionally sexualized by straight men in my own personal life. It is honestly frightening to know that some people truly think that your sexuality is illegitimate, or that you are vile for who you have feelings for. In a culture where “stealthing,” or the act of removing a condom once the two parties have agreed on using one is coming to light, it should not surprise me that there are individuals who believe gay women can be seduced by men.

The article in question is here.

To begin, the existence of this website is frightening. Under the about section, it states: “Return of Kings is a blog for heterosexual, masculine men. It’s meant for a small but vocal collection of men in America today who believe men should be masculine and women should be feminine.” It is based on the principles of “neomasculinity,” which seems to be highly misogynistic, placing heavy importance on traditional gender roles, without mentioning transgender or gender non-conforming individuals.

This article is frightening to say the least. It is a seven step system, designed to teach a straight man how to convince a gay woman to sleep with him. I’d like to begin by stating that a gay woman cannot be convinced to be with a man. Gay women are not attracted to men in this way, hence the situation in this article is astronomically unlikely to take place. Sexuality is fluid, and although gay women may have dated men previously, this does not negate their sexual identity. This article is also not targeting women who are attracted to men in addition to women, like bisexual or pansexual individuals. This article is strictly talking about gay women, which is one of the most upsetting things about it.

The tone of the article comes across as cocky for the entirety. (Pun intended, by the way. At the beginning, the author speaks about the appeal towards lesbians, and the reasoning behind this article, describing a lesbian as: “Someone who is deeply sexual, experienced, and a “virgin” at the same time. You’ll be boldly going where no man has gone before.” This quote minimizes the relationships the woman has had with other women, seeming to imply that their sexuality is somehow inadequate because it does not involve a man. One of the steps includes isolating the women, which is dangerous on multiple levels, implying that she would be more willing to experiment when she is alone. This sounds like it could well lead to sexual assault if she did not comply, considering the perspective and tone in which this article was created. The last two sentences of this article state: “Love conquers all. Even lesbianism.” This seems to imply that love between two women cannot truly be love, or that women need men in order to be loved, which is ridiculous. Love comes in many forms, not just in straight romantic relationships.

I could spend another three thousand words explaining why this article is problematic, but I do not wish to give the author or the website the satisfaction. Women do not exist solely for the enjoyment of anyone. Everyone should have the ability to love whoever they love. One article may not open everyone’s eyes to how awful this way of thinking is, but hopefully it can make someone realize how wrong they are to believe that they can change an individual’s sexuality. Love and relationships are different for every single person on the planet, and no one can take that away.