The most shocking thing about the domestic violence that I witnessed and tried to stop last Saturday was the fact that it happened right in front of Dyke Night at a Lesbian-Owned Club. I guess their main concern was just getting the drama off of their door-step, but still…I’ve always thought that if any woman was abused by a man even near a dyke, she would rise-up, like a Lesbian Avenger and bash him down, not coax the woman into her abuser’s car.
How did I get this view? When I was a kid my Mom took me NEWMR, a lesbian music festival. For three days I was surrounded by women of every shape and size rock’n to woman-centric folk, rock and jazz. This weekend was the only time that my over-protective mom gave me free range to wander without supervision. When I got too old for the day care, I would roam through the woods and up and down dealers row learning the features of blue lace agate and tigers eye, and being given small presents by indulgent craftswomen.
Every thing there was dyke this, and dyke that. I didn’t learn that dyke was considered an insult until I got an alarmed response on my third grade essay about “What I Did This Summer.” Dykes were cool, butch, amazonian women who wandered around in leopard print scarves and not much else and chased away any men who tried to get in with baseball bats.
As I got older, I learned not to talk about dykes, but my gut feeling that they were cool, strong women who wouldn’t let no woman take no shit persisted. As a pre-teen I watched a bull dyke intercept a punch meant for a guy’s girlfriend in a hotel lobby. I remember thinking; wow, that woman wouldn’t take no shit, was not afraid to step in to stop a man from hitting a woman.
I will never forget, as a teenager, taking the T to an Ani DiFranco concert. My mom was worried about me by myself downtown, but as I washed towards the concert hall in a sea of beautiful strong women, I felt safe.
This time, when the chips were down, and a woman was being abused, the dyke who stopped it (at least temporarily) was me. I should have decked him.