Pretend to be a lesbian for 24 hours…
This one’s interesting…
Hard to imagine, but this is the curriculum for a course called Women’s Studies 103, at the University of Wisconsin.
What’s hard to imagine is this was handed out in 1988. That’s only 26 years ago. Which means when I was 24, this is the kind of information that was being taught in college.
I never took a women’s studies course, so I never heard of these things.
In case you can’t read the outline, here it is:
(My personal favorites are highlighted in bold.)
1. Do not run from the room. This is rude
2. If you must back away, do so slowly and with discretion
3. Do not assume she is attracted to you
4. Do not assume she is not attracted to you
5. Do not assume you are not attracted to her
6. Do not expect her to be as excited about meeting a heterosexual as you may be about meeting a lesbian. She was probably raised with them.
7. Do not immediately start talking about your boyfriend or husband in order to make it clear that you are straight. She probably already knows.
(Of course. Everyone knows lesbians have stra-dar, the same way heterosexuals have gaydar.)
8. Do not tell her it is sexist to prefer women. Do not tell her that men are as oppressed by sexism as women and women should help men fight their oppression.
9. Do not assume she hates men. On the other hand, recognize that she may not want to attend an event where there will be men
10. Do not ask her how she got this way. Ask yourself how you got that way.
11. Do not trivialize her experience by assuming it is a bedroom issue only.
12. Do not assume she wants to be treated like a man.
13. Do not assume that her lesbian relationships, unlike male-female relationships, are free of problems like envy, communication failure, struggles with commitment, etc. On the other hand, do not assume she is in an unhealthy relationship.
14. Do not assume that you and she cannot be friends. Do not assume you can.
15. Do respect her individuality. She is a lesbian, but she is also Mary, Pam, Lori…
And my personal favorite, the class assignment:
EXPERIMENT: PRETEND TO BE A LESBIAN FOR 24 HOURS. WHAT KINDS OF THINGS DO YOU NOTICE ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT THIS FEELS?