She looks like a lesbian - can I say that?

In this case I was referring to a slightly “butch” face and demeanour, rather than clothing. This was just the quickest way I could think of communicating to my wife who I was talking about, and she got it immediately, so job done.

My general point though, is why is it considered derogatory to presume someone is a lesbian, (or rich, or a vegetarian) when all are considered equal anyway?

I think there’s a difference between saying someone looks like the typical stereotype as a shorthand descriptor, and saying that a person IS whatever that is, because they fit the stereotypical look.

I mean, if I was somewhere, and trying to describe a particular man in a crowd, describing one as looking like a gay man doesn’t necessarily carry any baggage- to us, it would define a certain sense of fashion/style and aesthetic (very put-together and just-so) that straight men *typically *don’t have here in the US. It doesn’t mean they are gay, or that there’s anything wrong with being gay, it’s just a visual shorthand for a specific sort of look/public persona. Just like if she said “the rednecky looking one”- that would narrow it down a lot too. Or the “gamer” would too. Or she might say that a woman looks “trashy”, which knowing her, means a certain mode of dress, makeup and hair. Or “80s hair” is one that comes out sometimes when trying to describe people.

I don’t think I’d say that sort of thing outside of people I know pretty well, because they might take it the wrong way, even if its as innocent as describing a car as a beater or pimped out or whatever.

For an audience of people you know pretty well, I’d go with something along those lines. “The one who’s rocking kind of a stereotypically ‘butch’ style” or something like that.

For an audience of people you don’t know well, I’d stick to a more objective and neutral type of descriptor: “the one with short dark hair”, “the one with square black glasses frames and no jewelry”, etc.

For speaking privately to your wife where nobody else can hear you, it’s nobody else’s business how you choose to describe this person. (I mean, you made it our business because you posted it on the Dope asking for comments, but if you hadn’t then it wouldn’t be.)

The issue is that because the terms are typically used in a derogatory context, the presumption is that’s always the context. Using that terminology with your wife or someone else close to you avoids that presumption, as they understand that you weren’t. As this thread will bear out, strangers won’t be as understanding.

I don’t think this is wrong, and yet I sometimes feel the same way. But really, it’s an easy identifier. Shouldn’t be any different than identifying by hair color if your Joes had hair. Blonde Joe or Brunet Joe.

I don’t have this problem. I don’t have two friends. :frowning:

Maybe just add, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”, the Northeners version of “Bless their hearts”.:smiley:

You won’t find a more generous, caring, and open-minded soul in this wicked world than the one residing in my missus. I am convinced she is some sort of angel sent to save me from myself. I aspire to be as good as she is and to love my fellow humans unconditionally–and then crush them swiftly when they have indicated that is what they want, as she does. We’re good people. But get us alone or isolated with close family and you’re likely to hear anything. Nothing malicious, but politically incorrect often for the pure guilty pleasure of being politically incorrect. Naughtiness for its own sake. A situation like the OP would absolutely be in play, and nobody would assume malevolence. Verbal shorthand has a place. Sometimes you find out where that place isn’t through trial and error.

Although it has no positive or negative connotations for me, I’ve always hated the sound of the word “lesbian” and would rather say the female in question looks gay.

I don’t know - 'Is the specs document on the interface done yet, my little love dumpling" has a certain ring to it.


Funny - I feel the exact opposite way.

I think using the word “stereotypical” renders the rest of this statement a bit redundant.

“She looks like a lesbian.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Well, she’s having sex with another woman.”

We usually refer to "sensible shoes. "

There was that time a couple of Lesbians tried going to court to seek a protected designation of origin, or something, against all the wannabe lesbians all over the world.

Reminds me of a true story drinking in Manhattan’s West Village. My buddy would not stop hitting on this woman until I had to point out she was wearing a “I [heart] Vagina” T-shirt.

“I can’t believe the BBC would just put “lesbos” in a headline like… OH!”

And definitely don’t express surprise if she ever mentions her husband/boyfriend, or begin a question with “hey, as a lesbian…” unless you really, really know for sure she does happen to be one.

“Short hair and no makeup” covers… about 90% of my former female classmates, most of whom are definitely heterosexual, and all of whom are what used to be called “middle aged”.

I don’t see the problem, but of course some will figure out a way to be offended.

Frankly I’ve always wondered why so many seem to go out of their way to make themselves unattractive.
If you’re gay, you’re gay, fair enough, but why would you go out of your way to make yourself an unattractive gay person.

I’m sure I’ll get roasted for that , but I’d like to know.

Selective retrospection at its worst: noticing ugly dykes and effeminate gay men.