What’s in a Lesbian name?

I wasn’t surprised when someone told me about a Greek island full of lesbians – any lezzer knows Lesbos is a hot spot for rug muchers. Especially if they have been there (like me!)

So, why is this in the news today? Well, it seems Lesbos is a bit more full of lesbians than I first thought. The Greek ladies of the isle also like to call themselves lesbians. In fact, they say they are the original Lesbians (with a capital ‘L’). And that’s why they are a littled muffed, sorry miffed, that their good name has been taken somewhat in vain.

Such is the spread of the muff the Greek warriors have decided to take this matter to court, challenging the lady-lovers’ right to call themselves lesbians. What’s more, they have suggested that if they win they might try to fight the lez on an international scale. Read all about it on the BBC website by clicking here.

Now, although pretty damn hard to enforce, one of the outcomes of this case would mean girls-wot-like-girls are left sans nom. That would be a tragedy…oh see what I did there?!

So, who are the real lesbians? Is it gay women, or the 100,000 people living on Greece’s third biggest island – plus the other 250,000 expatriates who originate from Lesbos?

Personally I’ve never much cared for the word ‘lesbian’, or any of it’s derivatives (lez, lezzer, lezza, lesley, lemon…creative bunch aren’t we?) so if we had to use the more descriptive ‘gay women’ then I don’t think it would be the end of the world. I also rather like Wah Wah – an underused term if ever there was one. And if that doesn’t suit we could just settle for rug munchers, muff divers, Australian DJs, or be those innocuous ‘women in comfortable shoes’…

However, the latent two-year-old inside tells me that if I was told that I couldn’t use the word lesbian, it would magically position itself on the tip end of my tongue and proceed to dive off at the most inopportune moments. In fact, it’s already on the end of the spring board.

You know, like when you mean to say ‘lettuce’ or ‘less’ or something like that. Imagine it – you’re in a provincial branch of Hamburger Union (like I so often am, not) ordering a cheeseburger and ask for a little bit of lesbian with it…aaarrrgh, the horror! Almost as bad would be ordering dinner after the hot straight work colleague your sitting next to who doesn’t know you want to Wah her. She asks for a large portion of the dish (probably meat); you try to ask for ‘less then her’, but all that comes out is that you want to ‘lesbian her’. Not cool.

Already I want to say it. LESBIAN. Lesbian. LESBIAN. L-L-L-LESBIAN. Les-les-les-les-LesbIAN!

So the issue is, who has the right to call themselves Lesbians – is it those in pursuit of pussy or the swathy hetrosexual Greek ladies of Lesbos? Who knows. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a strong argument from either side. The chap leading the charge for the natives is a publisher called Dimitris Lambrou, whose main point seems to be that the ‘international dominance of the word in its sexual context violates the human rights of the islanders, and disgraces them around the world’. Phew – that’s heavy stuff. According to Mr Lambrou, all the sex-ccociation of the good Lesbian name causes daily problems to the social life of Lesbos’s inhabitants…

So much so it’s allegedly gotten to the stage where the Greek government is so embarrassed by the term Lesbian that it has been forced to rename the island after its capital, Mytilini…

No chance of sharing that name then, Dim?


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