Corporations Sponsor Extreme Porn Advocate in Attack on Lesbians for Lesbian Visibility Week

GlaxoSmithKline manufacturing site. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

DIVA Magazine’s astonishing attack on lesbians this Lesbian Visibility Week is supported by a number of corporations who must be held to account.

This year’s Lesbian Visibility Week has seen a number of heterosexual males being hailed as ‘lesbian’ icons. Perhaps one of the worst examples of this comes from DIVA Magazine’s Lesbian Visibility Week. Boldly wearing their rainbow colours on their sleeve, the bio acknowledges that they are “Recognising, celebrating and supporting Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Women across the UK”.

Because in this day and age, lesbians are apparently allowed nothing to themselves, not even a single week dedicated to accomplished lesbian women. To make matters worse, ‘Jane Fae’ appears on their list of ‘women who have made great strides for the LGBTQI community generally’.

Jane Fae is known primarily for advocating against regulations on pornography, in particular ‘extreme’ acts. Under their previous name of John Ozimek, they published a ‘survival guide’ on how to avoid prosecution in case extreme porn became illegal.

This would perhaps not be noteable beyond another footnote in the ongoing war against women in favour of men with fetishists, were it not for the fact that this Lesbian Visibility Week is sponsored by a number of corporations.

The key sponsor is London Women’s Clinic, a private healthcare centre known for helping single women and lesbians conceive. In 2014 they were found to have failed to carry out a number of vital screening procedures which resulted in a woman who visited their clinic having a baby with birth defects.

Listed amongst ‘supporting sponsors’ include pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. GSK has been implicated in a number of bribery and corruption scandals, and been forced to pay record fines for failures over their medical products. The emergence of queer theory has been a godsend to the pharmaceutical industry which stands to make millions from the many people being turned into patients for life.

Also standing to benefit from increasing self-consciousness over appearance is Procter & Gamble among whose brands include names such as Gillette and Always. The latter of which recently removed the Venus symbol – widely recognised to represent ‘female’ – from their packaging.

Perhaps more surprising was to see high-street brands such as TESCO and TSB endorsing the list. One wonders, on reflection, whether they are entirely aware of what they signed up for. DIVA’s Lesbian Visibility website contains an overt message to lesbians that they will not be allowed to maintain their own separate advocacy. 

It asserts that lesbians are not under threat, except from lesbians themselves who seek to defend their boundaries and identity against those who would co-opt lesbianism for themselves.

[T]he only threat to lesbian identities is those who believe “lesbian” is for them alone to define, and seek to exclude anyone who doesn’t fit their gender-essentialist view of what it means to be a lesbian. That kind of narrow, prejudiced thinking, we believe, means that fewer and fewer women-loving women feel comfortable claiming a lesbian identity.

​For those frustrated by this kind of toxic thinking, we hope you can take heart from the women on the following pages. These women are emblematic of what it means to be a lesbian in 2020. They are open-hearted, accepting, tenacious and talented, and show that lesbian is not a label to be ashamed of, but one to reclaim, celebrate and shout about.

The statement clearly suggests that lesbians who protest the inclusion of heterosexual males and ‘queer’ females within the category of lesbian are making the very idea of being lesbian appear shameful. There is supreme irony in this being an attack on lesbians within a denial that lesbians are under attack.

For as long as history has been dominated by men, women have faced oppression from those who would keep them meek and submissive. Lesbians present a threat to this social order by rejecting men as sexual and romantic partners, and thus are targets of particularly venomous rage by entitled males. Sadly even those organisations proclaiming to advocate for lesbians have become captured by the very men who have sought to oppress them since time immemorial. 

The push to include both males and those who feel sexual attraction to males within the category of lesbian is a clear expression of contempt for women, and those corporations supporting such misogyny need to be held to account. A full list of the organisations backing DIVA Magazine’s Lesbian Visibility Week appears below:

Headline Sponsor

  • London Women’s Clinic

Supporting Sponsors

  • Greene King
  • Mygwork
  • P&G
  • TESCO
  • GSK
  • KANTAR
  • State Street
  • TSB

Supporting Partners

  • glaad
  • Inter Media UK
  • London Stock Exchange Group
  • L’Oreal
  • Stonewall
  • Touchstone
  • UK Black Pride

Supported by

  • atk
  • ATKINS
  • Diversity Role Models
  • European Pride Organisers Association
  • Gettyimages
  • Kaleidoscope International Trust
  • LGBT Foundation
  • LGBTQ+ Mind
  • Mermaids
  • Peter Tatchell Foundation
  • Pride In London
  • Schools Out UK
  • Stonewall Housing
  • tagg Magazine

Brought to you by

  • DIVA Media Group
About Dan Fisher 56 Articles
Editor-in-Chief of Uncommon Ground Media

2 Comments

  1. Excellent article. DIVA’s ongoing gaslighting of lesbians is shameful. And the organizations and businesses supporting these lies need to be held to account. Lesbians will take our organizations back or start new ones. We will not accept the ridiculous and homophobic assertion that men can be lesbians.

    • Well bloody said!!

      For context I’m 23 and grew up with half my life being told I need to get a boyfriend and the other half being told I need to let “trans lesbians” penetrate my “cotton ceiling” (knickers) or I’m “transphobic”. :eyeroll: The homophobia never ends. Now that it’s trendy to be pro-trans and homophobic and not have a brain to speak out, lesbians (and gays, recently learnt “gay trans men” are using the term cotton ceiling to refer to actual gay men’s refusal to date these straight women) are suffering for it. So to see this comment is very refreshing.

      Still going to marry a lovely woman and continue teaching teen lesbians it’s perfectly natural to, and that they have every right to, have boundaries!

      Great article, Dan. I learnt very useful information from it, thank you for writing.

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