Lesbianism is the new black

Ever since Sharon Stone’s character in “Basic Instinct” reveled in her bisexuality, the United States has suffered from a low-grade fever of lesbianism-chic. In this queer summer (think Supreme Court, Episcopal Church and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”) the mild outbreak of lesbianism-cool has reached West Nile-level feverishness. Unfortunately, this trend is not a manifestation of gay liberation and American open-mindedness; most of this girl-on-girl action is merely meant to satisfy the sexual fantasies of straight American men and women.

The most promiscuous displays of lesbianism in our pop-culture milieu today – from “Girls Gone Wild” videos to the suddenly mainstreamed Jenna Jamison and her girl-on-girl pornographic films – are blatantly geared toward straight men and their sexual fantasies. Even the ridiculously choreographed “deep” kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears only has one explanation: catching the attention (and dollars) of horny MTV-watchers.

Given that Madonna and Spears’ fan base is primarily female, their kiss highlights another interesting development: Straight women are starting to catch the fever as well. What else can explain a straight, female, Minneapolis-based disc jockey coolly listing girls she would like to have sex with, or the activities in some University sororities, where several “I am not gay, I am just having fun” sisters are engaging in make-out sessions?

Yet, why do many of these same turned-on women and men balk when other aspects of lesbianism – such as gay marriage, child adoption and domestic partnership benefits – are placed on society’s agenda? Real lesbians are still waiting for the lifestyle rights that faux-lesbians Spears and Madonna enjoy. It seems that the lesbian fever has no room for real-world gay and its real-life complications.

As long as gay actions allow straight and hedonistic men and women to get their rocks off, it’s cool and chic. However, once it becomes political and demands some concessions from society, lesbianism is as welcome as two men making out at a Vikings game.