Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Lesbian, Til' Graduation?

Maya Richard-Craven |
March 21, 2014 | 9:51 p.m. PDT

Contributor

"Aw, sweetie, are you afraid?"
"Aw, sweetie, are you afraid?"
“Kiss her!” demanded a suave guy who belonged in the television series Entourage

“What? No, there are other people around!” I spat back. 

“Aw, sweetie, are you afraid?” whispered a young, blonde actress and USC student, clinging to Entourage guy's arm. 

I grabbed the girl in the giraffe suite beside me and kissed her. I’d had enough wine and thought she looked like Jennifer Lawrence, which would be a great story to tell to my girlfriends. 

The party was on Menlo, a small street just on the border of West Adams, where the real hood begins.

I had gotten separated from my friend at the film fraternity and had come across a group of very adventurous, sexually undefined artists.

I hadn’t kissed a girl since Truth or Dare in high school, and forgot about the ridiculous pressure that exists for women to kiss other women, regardless of sexual orientation. 

I didn’t like kissing that girl, at all, and wasn’t surprised by the nothingness that overcame me, along with my usual desire for, yet another, glass of wine. 

But after talking to several girlfriends about my experience, it sounded like “the drunken girl-on-girl hook up” has become a popular phenomenon amongst Millennials in college. 

A close friend of mine who attends Chapman University in Orange County, California, admitted that she "had never kissed a girl before" and felt like doing so because it was one of those "'rite of passage ordeals that she was supposed to experience." She also noted that she and a friend who "kissed twice" at a party were drunk, which made the idea "much more conceivable." 

Yost and McCarthy of The Psychology of Women Quarterly reported that 33 percent of straight women in college have kissed or made out with another woman, while 69 percent of college students have witnessed two or more women kissing while at a party.

Scholars found that 56 percent of straight women who kiss other women do it to seek attention.
Scholars found that 56 percent of straight women who kiss other women do it to seek attention.

These scholars also found that 56 percent of straight women who kiss other women do it to seek attention. This need to seek attention based on patriarchal standards is centered around what psychologists refer to as the "male gaze."

The male gaze is defined as the "need for women to validate themselves based on mens needs and definitions of beauty, regardless of whether or not men are present." 

When women view themselves through this male gaze, they also contribute to a process known as self-sexualization

In the article, When Are People Interchangeable Sex Objects?, authors Sarah J. Gervais, Theresa K. Vescio and Jill Allen explain how women present themselves to men as sex objects, perhaps by even “kissing other girls.” Feminist Psychology also suggests that much of female sexuality is based on competition and social factors, rather than biology. 

In the Time Magazine article, “Girls Kissing Girls: Explaining the Trend” author Jeffrey Krueger explains how some girls have started to identify as LTG, or Lesbian Until Graduation.

LTG encompasses many girls willingness to experiment in college, but never fully date or commit to other women outside of the casual hook-up culture that exists on college campuses. Other women have chosen to identify as flexisexual, heteroflexible, pansexual or queer.

Krueger also claims that this growing trend is an old one, which stems from the emergence of the gay rights movement in the 1960s, and continues to develop with the pressures for American, female celebrities and musicians to entertain audiences. 

Alhough I did kiss a girl, I am very confident in my heterosexual orientation. Like many other heterosexual women, I have succumbed to the notion that I am expected to perform for men in various settings.

It is clear that self-objectification is engrained into the American, female psyche at a very young age. From the way female characters are portrayed in animated films, to the inaccurate depictions of female bodies through the use of dolls and barbies, young girls are encouraged to accept female objectification before they learn to read.

However, we cannot simply complain or blame the opposite gender for the continuance of female hypersexualization. Just as I did at the film frat party, many women comply with these expectations, allowing objectification and degredation to persist and further develop.

 

 

Regardless of socioeconomic or racial background, self-sexualization is a national experience forced upon American women through various components of media such as pornography, the modeling and music industries, film, etc.

And in order to be treated more like equals, and less like objects, we need to ask ourselves: what has really motivated heterosexual women to kiss other women, especially in front of men? 

 

Reach Contributor Maya Richard-Craven here. Photos by Rebecca Orlandini here



 

Live On Twitter

Buzz

The Los Angeles Ballet puts on a lively rendition of Tchaikovsky's famous ballet.

No, we're not going to war against North Korea

 

ntrandomness