In the 70s, 80s and even the 90s, when someone would say to a lesbian, “Wow, you don’t look like a lesbian,” it meant that such lesbian was a failure. In fact, the worst thing a person could do was to say, “You don’t look like a lesbian,” to a lesbian in front of other lesbians, because the other lesbians would immediately revoke her lesbian card and cast her out of their entourage for not being dykey enough.
“You have brought shame to us. You are the weakest link. Goodbye!”
“No! No! I swear I am a lesbian. I’ll shave my head and challenge gender norms! I’ll replace the ‘e’ in ‘women’ with a ‘y.’ I’ll spell ‘girl’ with no ‘i’ and five ‘r’s! I’ll be as non-mainstream as you want me to be! Hell, I’ll even pretend I like Ani DiFranco! What do I have to do to prove that I am a lesbian?”
“Too late! You’re not a real lesbian! Begone, poser!”
Nowadays, when a person says to a lesbian, “Wow, you don’t look like a lesbian,” it is seen as a compliment. To be super duper nice, you can say “you don’t look like a lesbian” to a lesbian in front of other lesbians. She will protest, but secretly she will be flattered. Additionally, her social status will rise.
(Nowadays, the only thing a lesbian has to do to prove that she is “lesbian enough” is to be attracted to women. Imagine that.)
This recent development has been a boon to lesbians who have pretty much remained the same even after they discovered that they like women. These are the same ones who would have received suspicious looks back in the day.
“What’s that straight girl doing here? Did she get lost?”
However, this tide reversal has led to an inverted lesbian version of “Revenge of the Nerds.” See, some lesbians who fit in have now gone all Mean Girls on the former cool kids, the lesbians who don’t fit in. Some lesbians who fit in will in fact blame many of society’s ills on lesbians who don’t fit in.
“It’s because of your decision to have bizarre hair that the rest of us don’t have any rights!”
“If you would stop wearing baggy pants and stop swaggering like a man, maybe Sally Kern would stop beating the Bible and invite us over for dinner.”
These unhinged exchanges generally take place on Craigslist. Fitting-in lesbians will get all dykey and curse out non-fitting-in lesbians on Craigslist, because Craigslist provides anonymity and allows fitting-in lesbians the freedom to become non-fitting-in raging dykes.