why non-lesbians cannot use the slur "dyke"

history of the word "dyke"

the word dyke has been speculated to have many different origins, but one i kept seeing was that the word dyke was used to refer masculine homosexual women, for looking like men. the original term was “bulldyke” and then later shortened to dyke.

the word dyke was used in many different novels to put down lesbian women for how they dressed and who they loved, as we all know at that time homosexuality was a crime.

this word was used by not only straight people but homosexual men who wanted to put lesbians down for sometimes dressing like them, and so it became a slur as it was used against lesbians for their lack of attraction to men and attraction to women.

this slur originates from LACK of attraction to men AND attraction to women. the slur was created to specifically put down lesbians for their attraction and lack of attraction. this doesn’t mean it couldn’t be used against any other sexualities but this is the origin.


here are some important tweets to know about while learning why not to say "dyke".

above is a picture of a tweet by joulesie on twitter that states ""dyke" is not a slur towards women loving other women. it's a slur punishing a lesbian's complete rejection of male affection & attention. & that's why only lesbians can reclaim it"

above is a picture of a tweet by cheripeye on twitter that states "by saying that bi wlw can't say "dyke" we're not saying bi women aren't oppressed, we're not saying you don't get mistaken for a lesbian and calls slurs. all we're saying is to not use a slur that isn't yours."


this part of the carrd is focusing on the things non-lesbians say and/or think when told they cannot say dyke.

(this part is not saying all non-lesbians say this stuff but more a collection of things non-lesbians have frequently said to justify saying dyke)

what a lesbian says: "you cannot use dyke because it means lesbian"
what a non-lesbian might say: "we're oppressed too"

what they might actually mean: "i think this slur's definition isn't just connected to lesbians"

what a lesbian says: "we don't want you to say it because it makes us uncomfortable"
what non-lesbian might say: "you're gatekeeping"

what they might actually mean: "this is a word i want to say because i want to be in the club"

what you are doing

(intentionally or not)

simply put, you are being lesbophobic. you are showing contempt towards all lesbians and hurting all lesbians. you are blatantly ignoring lesbians' feelings, and whenever you use "dyke", it feels like we're not valid. (we already feel that)

p. s. if a lesbian tells you that you have the "dyke pass" don't listen to them because even if your friend says its okay, it's still harmful to the community.

what we want from you

we want respect.
we want to have dignity.
we want to be heard.
we want to be validated.
we want to have pride.
we want to be happy.

we want you to stand up for us.
we want you to acknowledge our feelings.
we want you to show your support.

other important & educational links!!