One of the ways which straight male friends and relatives responded to my coming out as a lesbian was to include me in their talk about women they were attracted to. You know, along the lines of 'she's a bit of all right isn't she?' 'Get a load of that', and the untranscribable noises.

I never really liked this stuff. It took me ages to work it out, theorising that it had to do with being a feminist, with being uncomfortable around men (actually, I don't think I am), but also feeling that I should be glad to get this kind of acceptance and inclusion from people.

Actually, I think it's just because there's a big difference between me and a straight man: I'm a woman. And if that's their attitude to other women, then in some sense, at some level, that's their attitude to me. And I don't like it when I'm walking down the street and some guy yells 'hey, nice tits', or whatever. I feel scared and annoyed. It's not even so much that I want to do as I would be done by, and not make other women feel bad, but simply, it makes me feel bad.

So, hey, I worked that out, and I stopped playing that game. But I later discovered that some lesbians do act like this towards other women. In fact, they sometimes act like this towards me. And yes, I feel just as pissed off when a woman does it. It seems to me that the women who objectify other women don't identify with the nice pair of tits they're wolf-whistling at. They see themselves as a different kind of woman, who isn't vulnerable to being objectified, isn't in danger. That they're kidding themselves isn't really my concern.

There's a confusion in being a lesbian, I guess, between what you like and what you are. Some of us resolve it by liking, or being determined to like, a type of woman who's different to ourselves. Some of us resolve it by, in some sense, ceasing to identify as exactly a woman. Some of us don't really have that sorted out.

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