Over the past years, violence against lesbians has increased and has taken pernicious forms, ranging from cyber-harassment to “corrective rapes” and femicides. The growth of nationalist, far-right, and anti-gender movements, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, have exacerbated the situation. Lesbians’ needs and interests must be adequately and explicitly addressed to avoid the pattern of lesbophobia 'falling through the cracks’ of policies and measures combating 'solely’ gender-based violence or addressing 'just’ hate crime against LGBTI community.
What is lesbophobia?
Lesbophobia is a specific form of bias that encompasses misogyny, sexism and stigma on non-conforming sexual orientation. In particular, hate against lesbians is structured around three entrenched social norms:
- lesbians with their sexual orientation and gender expression refute the social expectations and stereotypes concerning ‘male’ and ‘female’ gender roles,
- lesbians disrupt the expectations that women are at the ‘disposal’ of men, especially because women’s sexuality is widely objectified, and
- they compel society to confront widespread taboos related to female sexuality and to non- heterosexual sexual orientations.
These prejudices, as well as the violence that results from them, have an influence not just on the victims, but also on society as a whole.
What can we do about if?
- identify lesbophobia as a form of violence
- push for all cases of gender-based violence and domestic violence against lesbians are appropriately and thoroughly documented
- organize public campaigns, in partnership with lesbian organizations, to combat lesbian violence
- encourage the private sector, particularly online platforms, to avoid associating the term „lesbian” with disparaging or hypersexualized and dangerous content.
- encourage the media to review its coverage of lesbophobic gender-based violence and hate crimes
To learn more about lesbophobia as well as how you can support your local lesbian community Eurocentralasian lesbian* community’s website.
Surce: Eurocentralasian lesbian* community