Holy generalizations, Batwoman!

Are all women either girlie girls or lesbians?

Published July 17, 2006 4:10PM (EDT)

In her weekly Los Angeles Times column Meghan Daum uses the debut of a gay Batwoman comic to riff on a new "sexual identity crisis." She claims that there are currently only two ways to be female -- you're either a girlie girl or a lesbian.

"You either get the Botox, the boob job, the bikini wax and baby doll dresses, or you take the radical step of looking and acting like a fully formed, grown-up female," she writes. "Once upon a time, these fully formed creatures were called 'real women.' Now they're called lesbians. This is especially true in cases in which the women in question are not known to actually be lesbians. What do Hillary Rodham Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Christiane Amanpour, Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart have in common? It's not that they're accomplished, independent, talented, ambitious or rich, it's that they're all secretly gay!"

I'm a big fan of Daum's writing, and she is undoubtedly being tongue-in-cheek here, but I found this column unconvincing.I just didn't buy her argument that in the current cultural mindset, "a heterosexual woman who has her act together simply does not exist in nature." (No matter that I can think of 234 off the top of my head -- Julianne Moore, Felicity Huffman, Queen Latifah, Cat Power, Edie Falco, Anna Wintour, Katie Couric and Mo'Nique, just to name a few of the famous ones. And don't forget the new Wonder Girl.) In real-life, do people really break down women into these two categories? What do lesbians think of Daum's theory? And what, exactly, does all of this have to do with Batwoman?

By Lori Leibovich

Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.

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Broadsheet Hillary Rodham Clinton Lgbt Love And Sex Martha Stewart