Wanted: Butch Lesbians

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) behaving un-ladylike is not accepted. Period.

Women who behave, speak, or dress in a masculine manner are seen as deviant and threatening. In fact, masculine women aren’t considered women at all. They are described as the “fourth gender” a euphemism that is used to refer to lesbians.

Viewed by society as deviant, it is widely believed that these women are menacing because of their sexual orientation and pose a threat to “normal” women who they are said to allegedly harass in schools, universities, and workplaces. 

Last week the UAE ministry of social affairs took matters into their own hands, launching a campaign called “Excuse me, I’m a girl” to protect society from such women. The campaign involves a series of workshops, lectures, and TV programs to raise awareness of the “problem” and find ways to counteract it. The goal is ultimately to help women avoid such behavior, but there is no mention of finding a solution for the alleged “harassing” that is being done (Wouldn’t harassment trump cross dressing anyway? I guess not).

Naji Hay of the ministry of social affairs told a local TV station has said:

“The phenomenon of manly women has become apparent in society … These women are against the normal nature of females. Their deviant behavior threatens other normal girls. This is why we had to launch this initiative to protect society from this menace.”

The notion that a woman is deviant, threatening, or menacing because she is masculine, and therefore a lesbian, is ridiculous. The fact that being masculine automatically creates the assumption that a woman is a lesbian is ignorant and simply perpetuates the tired stereotype that lesbians are manly or butch. This campaign is just another attempt to (1) glorify heterosexuality and define it as “normal,” (2) give lesbians (or masculine women) a bad name, (3) instill fear in society in an effort to reject homosexuality. 

Lesbians aren’t safe in South Africa either. Here reports indicate that more and more women are being raped in an effort to “cure” them of their sexual orientation.

The situation in the United States isn’t much better either. Anti-gay hate attacks here have increased since 2006, the last year statistics are available, even though overall hate crime have decreased.

Ostracizing, raping, or assaulting a person based on their sexual orientation is wholly unjust. Just like your gender or race, sexual orientation is not something you can control. Unfortunately, we live in a world where homophobia, not to mention sexism and racism, often triumph.

What can we do to break down the walls of homophobia and create a culture of acceptance around the world? 

Photo by Switch_1010 used under a Creative Commons license.


Dee Dee L.
Dee Dee L9 years ago

So what if these butch women are around. They don't bug me. I am a straight married woman and I think these ladies should be treated better (this goes for all gay,lesbians). Everyone is scared of what they don't understand or believe is unmoral. I say I am not God I wont judge them or punish them. To many people in this world have a God complex and think that it is ok to judge others like that. Now I can see if someone does a crime or something but just because they are gay or lesbian is not a crime. Shame on those of you who think wrongly against other people.

Beverly Caro
Bev Caro10 years ago

I believe that all souls reincarnate many times as both male and female.Both genders are blessed by the light of God..

Has anyone ever thought that the seeming increase in homosexuality over the recent time period could be a form of evolution? We cannot feed and shelter all the people who are in existence at this time. Wouldn't it make sense for people to change their sexual preferences to avoid adding to the problem? We have tried teaching birth control to the uneducated, but it is not working quickly enough.

Perhaps that is also the reason behind global warming. We need more land to feed this large population. Now with the polar ice melting, more land has been made available for us to use. Why can't we accept these changes as a part of the Will of "All That Is"? We should realize that the time has come for us to advance our level of consciousness, leave the old ways of greed and power behind. It is time to love and care for our brothers as much as we do ourselves.

Lika S.
Lika P10 years ago

well, the banner didn't post, so here is my link to the petition. Thanks.


Lika S.
Lika P10 years ago

I wish there was a better world out there for all people. It's terrible that people are being sexually abused over their sexual orientation. Sex assault is the most demeaning type of abuse. Then to have it used against you because of sex orientation? Cruel! Please visit me at my official site, www.youthvoiceinitiative.org - and sign my petition by clicking this banner:

Richelle R.
Richelle R10 years ago

Oh come on Ellisa W. You went a lot farther than I did. As a matter of fact, the things I had problems with were included in the second part of your comment, not the first. I got tired of being harrassed by others! I felt they should have "chilled out" because they were harrassing me. I'm sorry if you think we should have to deal with sexual harrassment because it's a given right!

Roger Bertrand
Past Member 10 years ago

Congratulations Elizabeth, at last a comment that sums it up very well.

I agre with you that in each Human Being, there are Recessive and a Dominant characteristics, just as in the Genes, Each of us are a bt man and a bit woman and it manifests in all reactions and actions.

Many persons do not want to recognize this or that recessive side because they fear of being pointed out or singled out by people that are framing behaviours in the fossil ages.

Individual choices are individual's responsibility and nobody else should mingle in other person's life, if not invited.

Only the insecure and self low esteem persons want to manage other people's life.


Justine L.
Justine L10 years ago

Gender and sexual orientation are an important part of a person's identity, but they don't always go "hand in hand" (if you will)the way some people think. Some straight women like to wear mens clothes or keep their look more androgynous. Other times, there are lesbians who don't dress "masculine". The tired, old- and incorrect- stereotype that says all lesbians are manly or masculine and dress in a way that reflects that is insulting. "Manly" women or lesbians (they are not necessarily one in the same) are not evil. These people need to learn that a person's sexual orientation doesn't mean they are deviant or a menace. Also, I was wondering... lesbians or more masculine women are referred to as "the 4th gender". Who or what exactly is the "3rd gender"? Btw, South Africa has a notoriously high crime rate- and that includes rape. (ladies, I strongly urge you to take a self defense class & b aware when u are out & @ home). I wouldn't be suprised if "corrective" rape is taking place elsewhere on the African continent & in the world. We need to talk about this issue and find out if it is.

D. E-Platt
D. E-Platt10 years ago

History is filled with the oppression of women, in part due to our ability to reproduce & men wanting control over knowing if the children are his or not. Yet another reason is that in the ancient pagan traditions, it was the Mother Goddess who was worshiped before the Church took over & did it's level best to take power from women, especially those in the healing arts & midwifery, burning many as witches.

Lesbian women, who "read" as more masculine, come across as a threat to many men - as they are already uncomfortable with their own feminine side - and perceive
a "masculine" female as someone they cannot play out their usual roles with. In addition those who are uncomfortable with anything outside of the moral minority point of view are not like to be accepting of those who are gay, whether they are male or female.

Whatever your gender is should not determine what your choices are in life, in career, or in society. But in the world we are in, having a physical body (male or female) does determine much of what our life experiences are. Our hormones affect us on multiple levels, from our appearance to our emotional states & very likely whether we are likely to be gay or not as well. The only choice I can believe to be true as to our sexual orientation is if we make that choice at a soul level, before entering into the physical form.

Regardless of who you are, you should have the same opportunities for a happy life as anyone else!

Kellie Noffsinger
Kellie N10 years ago

Thanks Jessie, for making that fact clear about all fetuses starting as female. I think a lot of people tend to forget that. Kudos to you Sandra, I've noticed a lot of people fitting the same description.

Rosie Castellanos
Rosie Castellanos10 years ago