Although great strides have been made, the “workplace” is not equal in the truest sense of the word. On average, men still make more than woman for the same positions and titles (research people…it is true). Not my fight at the moment.
Instead, I would like to discuss status of butch lesbians in corporate America. Can they succeed in the corporate world?
This thought started with a conversation that my friend and I had regarding why it is so difficult for her to find highly-educated, corporate America type butch lesbians. (If you can’t tell, she is gay and likes dykes.) Back to corporate talk time…according to her, it appears that she can’t find her type (as in, who she is attracted to) at her level (as in, career and education). No, she isn’t always a douche; this is just my abridged version of what she said that makes her sound douchy.
Granted, there are many variables to consider, for example, where is she trying to meet these women? What age and ethnicity? Location (state, city, country)? I would guess that there are more successful butch lesbians in California, than there are in Wyoming. I would also think that a white butch lesbian would have an easier time than a minority butch woman in corporate America (only because white woman in general have an easier time than minority women…yes true!). And, those who object can bite me because it is true. There are simply more opportunities which begin at birth for Caucasians. Face it white people, you had a head start at being in charge. Minorities can, and do, succeed; Caucasians struggle and work hard for what they achieve; but, that does not mean that the playing field is completely level. It just means that the field is not a giant sinkhole.
So…if men are treated more favorably than woman, and heterosexuals are treated more favorably than homosexuals (news…research…this is true also.), then how can homosexual women expect to succeed? Well, since sexual orientation is not on most job applications, porn stars might have an exception, then “lipstick” lesbians can skate by. They look like the average straight woman, so they only have to deal with gender and race issues…EASY ;-).
Butch lesbian equals target that says “do not enter,” right? If men are threatened by women (who look like women), why the hell wouldn’t they keep the women who look like men locked in the basement processing packages and mail. I mean who wants to see that all day, am I right…high-five bro. This could be true for some working environments. Sexual harassment still exists, prejudice exists, and those in power have agendas and preferences; however, this isn’t the only reason.
What about education? If these women were more educated, then the barriers they face would be more easily visible. They would be qualified, and thus, could argue as to discrimination regarding their lack of equal stature or compensation. Grants, loans, workstudy…hard but possible.
I would say the biggest factor is socioeconomic. A cultural study needs to be done. I believe that butch lesbians mirror their male counterparts in socioeconomic status. Meaning, if gender is the only differentiating factor, a butch woman and hetero-male of the same socioeconomic background would have similar stations in life (with the woman being paid slightly less because that’s the world we live in. This needs to change, but again this is a fight for a different blog.)
Granted, I believe there are additional barriers that butch lesbians have to face when compared to their male counterparts, and in some cases those obstacles are too much to bear. However, it is also my observation in my limited circle that at first glance the stereotype that I would attribute to a man (preppy…thug) is the same that I would attribute to the female counterpart, and when asked “so what do you do for a living” the answers are similar enough for me to conclude that “perception can be reality”.