This is what a lesbian is. I think. I may not be clear on what a lesbian is.
This is what a lesbian is. I think. I may not be clear on what a lesbian is. Getty Images/Hinterhaus Productions

We have a piece in our Valentine's Issue of The Stranger—an issue I edited—called "Disgusted with Men? Date Women Instead." It's a tongue-in-cheek piece written by a woman about the superiority of dating women. It's humorous, but it also has some real advice in there for any women who are actually curious about what it would be like to date a woman. Anyway, some readers are. Not. Having it.

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We got a letter to the editor by email this morning, subject line: "A tip." Here's the entirety of the email.

Here’s a tip: learn what a lesbian is, and what it isn’t, because whoever approved the article you posted on Twitter with the caption “Celebrate this Valentine's Day by becoming a lesbian.” is so far wrong that they may never be right again. As the editor, it’s your job to make sure your newspaper is worth reading. If this is the content of Seattle’s only newspaper, the citizens of Seattle would be better off without one. You should be ashamed.

1. That was me! I approved it. Hi.

2. Before we move on: Can anyone tell me what a lesbian is? I thought I knew.

3. Can anyone tell me what a joke is? I'm unclear if this article is a serious anthropological study of lesbianism or if it's... something else? It must be an earnest, scientific, factual consideration of lesbianism—right?—because it includes sentences like this:

PullquoteLesbianismThoughtCrime.jpg

Yeah, after reading that pullquote there about "moldy dicks," I can tell this is definitely not a humorous piece in a humorous publication that has always been a humorous publication since its first issue in 1991. No, no—this is serious.

4. Other sentences that prove this is a serious, very serious piece and not a tongue-in-cheek riff:

Unless you've been living in a menstrual hut for the past few months, you've probably heard by now that men are out.

Happy Valentine's Day, dudes. This year, all we want is for you to gather up your fedoras and your ball sweat and head back to Mars where you came from.

Sure, dykes wear their keys on their belt loops and start processing their feelings before you've even finished coming, but at least we'll never "accidentally" slip our dicks in your poop chute.

Unlike your boyfriend's dick, ours are dishwasher safe and you can boil them.

Just a few follow-up questions: Do men actually come from Mars? They must, because the article says they do. Can men actually "gather up" their ball sweat? They must be able to, with a cup of some kind? All I know is that I read this article that says they can, so they must be able to. Maybe after I learn what a lesbian is, someone will teach me what a joke is.

5. In case you were so blinded by outrage that you didn't notice the jokes, you may also not have noticed that (as already mentioned, but let's just mention it again, just to make sure we're clear on what this is and what it isn't) it's all about how awesome women are and how fun it is to be a woman who dates women. Here are some more quotes from this absolutely unacceptable and shameful piece of writing:

There is nothing hotter than a woman getting off.

Women superior to men as conversationalists/cuddlers/companions.

Women get each other in a way that opposite sex partners never can.

There are still a handful of dyke bars left in the world, and one of them is in Seattle: the Wildrose. Go there. And when you meet a gal you like, treat her the way you'd like to be treated: as a human.

"You can't watch someone do something in porn and later do that same thing and get that same result." But you probably already knew that because you aren't a man.

As a lesbian, you won't have to explain why you don't feel like having sex on the first day of your period. We get it!

Lesbians have dicks, too—and we actually know how to use them to make pleasure for the woman instead of just the man.

WHO APPROVED THIS ABHORRENT CONTENT?!

6. What is everyone's dedication to labels all about? Why is there this absolute rush to label everyone and then decide whether or not they fit into the container that they were just labeled with by some gigantic labelmaker? Many millennials say they are anti-label, but that is the least true thing millennials say about themselves. Millennials loooooove labels. At least many of the millennials I know do. They love deciding whether or not you are a "progressive." They love determining whether or not you are a "fascist." They love telling you what a "lesbian" is and what it isn't.

They love tagging everyone and simplifying them and distorting their humanity into a single word that necessarily means different things to different people—making the whole enterprise a useless activity, but many millennials perform this task as if they are saving the world by doing it. They love arguing about what makes the label the label and what makes a person fit into the label or not. Here's a tip: "-isms" and "-ists" are bullshit. They are a shortcut. They are reductive. They eliminate nuance. They are distorting. Therefore, they are false. If you are arguing about whether something is or isn't an "-ism" or whether someone is or isn't an "-ist," you are fighting over a label. You are not talking about the thing or person; you are talking about your labelmaker. If you want to say what a lesbian is, what you're allowed to say about lesbians, what jokes you can or can't make about lesbians... uhhh, guess what? You're a fascist! You think I'm joking, and I am, but only kind of. Because you know who else has a list of jokes you're not allowed to make? Vladimir Putin.

7. What do some other real-life women have to say about "Disgusted with Men? Date Women Instead"? I don't know, all women are different, I'd hate to generalize (except about millennials, in which case I am happy to generalize). Also I would hate to misgender anyone or jump to any conclusions about anyone's identity. But some people commenting on The Stranger's Facebook page who appear to be women have had reactions to "Disgusted with Men? Date Women Instead" such as:

Aaahahahaha, amazing. Also: relevant!

LOL

Dang. What. A. Good. Idea!!! 🌹

Where do I sign up?!

Lol if you could choose to be gay there'd be no straight women ok😂😂😂

Everybody’s somewhere on the Kinsey scale, and if you assume more or less a bell curve, that leaves a lot of room for fluidity

I laughed out loud.

guess we gotta switch teams

AAAHAHAHAHA!!

Look at these non-progressive, non-lesbian fascists!