Throughout history and mainstream media the glorification and sexualization of lesbians and bisexual women is ever present and sits on the verge of coming of age culture. The hyper-sexualization of queer women, especially femme embodying queer women drowns out the reality and authenticity of true intimate connections made by queer women.

Fetishising girl-on-girl pornography has appropriated and distorted the female sexuality to a degree that’s overtly sexual and shallow, solely for the pleasure of a male audience. Which led me to believe my love for women was never valid. I never thought I could have a relationship with a woman because I had never seen one. To my knowledge, bisexual pleasure existed solely for the male gaze. And I suppose I always believed all women loved other women, but the validation from loving a man was greater.

Being in a culture that only values femininity as a sexual phenomenon results in heterosexual women falsely fetishizing the lesbian experience in hopes of being rewarded and accepted by the male gaze.

So when I saw my straight girlfriends kiss other girls, and grind on each other – that was normal! I realised the hyper-sexualization of female relationships is relentless.

When men ask me “How does porn suppress you?” , when my sense of dysphoria is a creation of the very idea of femininity cultivated by this ever-present misogyny, all I have to say is, Check. Your. Privilege.  

By Meghana Ashok

Meghana Ashok is a graphic Designer transitioning into Industrial Design and on her way to specializing in Sustainable Design with a focus on materials. As of recently most of her illustrative work focuses on an exploration of sexuality and Identity. 

Meghana writes, “I think right now in the world, there isn’t enough real. There aren’t enough people experiencing the world without expectations. Those expectations building around us, scratch that, me, puts me in a cage, and I guess I’m just tired of the expectations. Most of my work is really my journey of changing my self-narrative and expectations. I’m reframing, and art helps with that. It helps with creating a world where I can believe and imagine. It’s a diary of sorts. I had a conversation with someone the other day, and the conclusion of it was – everyone does everything for selfish reasons. That’s conflicting you see, because I feel like my art means nothing if it’s just for me. I want other people to experience it, to think about it, but then again conflict propagates change. I don’t think I’ve found a life purpose or a medium. Right now, all I can say is that I’m trying to leave the world a better place, for selfish reasons obviously, and right now, it seems like art is the language I’ve picked up along the way. So if you’re interested, maybe you’d like to watch me stumble, at the very least I hope it’ll be entertaining.”

You can find her on: @andromedacyanide 

One thought on “Dysphoria

  1. I am so proud of this piece! This has embodied the struggles that every woman goes through, and your artwork goes so gracefully with the writing. Keep at it! You are doing great!


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