I came across this article the other day: Lipstick Lesbians: How this kiss sparked a teenage trend that will disturb every parent and found it very interesting. The subject of girl on girl as a fad has come up many times on this blog and I find it very interesting to read different points of view on it.
This article presents it as a problem. I can see that there are problems with this recent development, but not for the reasons that the article writer states. She comes from the POV that this is potentially harmful for young girls to willy nilly be kissing and being sexual with other girls as a fad and not for themselves. She blames celebrities who she says are doing it for the attention and shock value for spurring this recent trend on.
"For women such as those [celebrities], it's just another layer to the mystique they try so hard to create around themselves. But for the teenage girls who are, at 15 or 16, in some ways precocious, in other ways they are deeply naive about what the fallout might be from kissing another girl in public.
Yes, they're vulnerable to intense social pressures to fit in with whatever is perceived to be fashionable. And yet few are mature enough to deal with the complicated sexual issues surrounding such behaviour. That's why this celebrity fad is so insidious."
See, I kind of disagree with this statement. I agree that teens will do things from peer pressure. However, I would wager that being pressured by some boy who claimed love and then dumped the girl or even worse, spread the word that she's a tramp after sex, which is far more likely to happen--- is way more harmful to a girl's self worth and sexual maturity than kissing another girl just to be "cool" and emulate a celebrity.
And clearly, when a teenage girl kisses another girl when all their friends know it's due to the fad and they aren't being serious, then how "insidious" is that really? Frankly, I also don't think that 15 and 16 year old girls are that naive about the effects of kissing a girl for themselves and how others see it. Far worse for me is this statement by one girl.
'It's really not such a big deal. Some of my girlfriends do kiss each other at parties - sometimes because they are drunk, sometimes because they think it will impress boys.
I think this is the bad part of this trend. While I don't think celebrities are doing this to impress men, it's turned into young girls doing it to impress boys, which only reinforces the whole girl on girl as male fantasy thing. I think this is the detrimental part personally.
Then there is this:
'It doesn't mean at all that they'd go further in private. Just that they are happy with each other to be seen doing that. It is a way of showing off, or flexing their sexual muscles to prove they are not square and boring.'
One 14-year-old girl confided to me that 'kissing a girl' was now considered by some in her set to be one of the first 'sexual bases' - a new rite of passage for teenage girls. 'It's something you have to do. It's part of growing up,' she told me.
Another said: 'We know it's the kind of thing that would shock adults, so we enjoy doing it.'
Well, there's no doubt that adults, and particularly the parents of teenage girls, will be disturbed, to say the least.
I don't know where this article writer has been, but even back in my day in my tween years, my friends and I would do things like showing our growing boobs to each other, or the sudden appearance of pube hairs and so on during sleep overs. Considering that it was always groups of 5 or more girls, I don't chalk that up to specifically same sex desires of one girl to another girl. It was more a rite of passage and not near as bad as boys masturbating in groups, which is not uncommon.
Tweens to young adults are experimenting with sex and dealing with strong hormonal changes that they don't have control over. Maybe girls haven't kissed other girls as openly before, but same sex sexual experimentation on minor levels has being going on forever. The only difference now is that it's more in the open and less of a big deal.
But psychologist Donna Dawson warns that such things can lead to problems - as a result of undue peer pressure.
Again, teens doing things and being damaged by giving into peer pressure is a common issue across the board and not specific to girl on girl kissing or experimenting.
Ironically enough, while some girls think it's cool to kiss other girls, 'lipstick lesbianism' has served only to anger sections of the lesbian community.
Yes, I agree with this problem. I can see how lesbians would be less than thrilled about this phenomenon. Girls kissing girls as a fad and not because they are lesbians means that they don't really have to deal with the stigma that many girls who are lesbian, who have no choice, must deal with. Real lesbians are teased and taunted for who they are as teens. This fad rather makes light of what they live daily and the real prejudice that they face.
On the other hand, for someone like me who would love to live in a world with no labels and where people could just be with who they love no matter what the gender, this recent fad is good.
I think it opens the doors for people who are on different points of the Kinsey scale and who would like to be open to some same sex experimenting and love, but who stop themselves due to stigma. At least discussion is happening around same sex relating and that can only be good in the long run.
The comments to this piece are particularly interesting and state what really people think about this, including parents. They are worth to check out.