Dear Straight Allies, Please Don’t Forget The Harassment Of Queer Women

The Establishment
The Establishment
Published in
10 min readJan 28, 2016

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By Casey Quinlan

Credit: flickr/FUMIGRAPHIK

I’ve read a lot of pieces on the so-called crisis that is modern dating. I’ve read a lot about men who require girlfriend responsibilities without committing to responsibilities boyfriends usually have. I’ve read about male Tinder users who treat women as disposable objects, although I doubt Tinder can be faulted for that. I’ve read about men and women who ghost each other. I’ve read about how awful casual sex with men can be. I’ve read about how bad sex isn’t the end of the world as we know it.

And I’ve read about online harassment of women on dating sites. Unfortunately, it’s usually framed only within the context of straight women’s experiences. I once read the clause “especially for heterosexual women” in a piece addressing the horrors of online dating — harassment and all — and wondered why the author, and authors of similar pieces at general interest publications, rarely consider queer women when they write pieces about harassment of women both online and off.

As a bisexual woman, I know I can find great coverage of issues that affect me at sites for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer-identified women, such as AfterEllen and Autostraddle. Larger operations such as BuzzFeed also address our concerns, but I’d like to see more outlets acknowledge us in pieces about women and dating experiences in general, because queer women do receive misogynist messages and various levels of harassment. Bustle was one of few sites geared toward women in general that has done this, writing, “Lots of people (usually women who are interested in men, though people of all genders and sexualities encounter such horrors) give up on OkCupid because they can’t take the barrage of graphic descriptions of sex acts, racialized sexual harassment, and general weirdness.”

The Erasure Of Queer Women

The standard lack of acknowledgement tells me that a lot of straight women think queer women can just opt out of harassment from men, both in the online dating world and on the street. When the dialogue on harassment does include queer women, it’s generally only implicitly, by identifying all the issues that affect “straight women.” But the truth is that women who identify as gay or lesbian aren’t given…

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The Establishment
The Establishment

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