you think you're pretty special, dontcha?

it's no small secret that i was never one of those L word watching lesbians. ok, ok... that's a lie. i definitely watched the show, pursuant only to lesbian code 764C, wherein all lesbians are required by law to watch the only all lesbo, all the time (except for kit and her lame manny plot line) show on television. but being the huge TV snob that i am (seriously, i have like RULES as to which television shows i find worthy and which i consider "for the masses" and therefore beneath me), the L word was never my cuppa tea. having said all of that, i'm going to launch into an exploration of a lesbian phenomenon that i'd like to call...


for those of you who don't watch the show (aka the 4 straight people reading this), shane is the L word's resident lothario. she's hot, she's lanky, and apparently she smells like sex on a stick, because everywhere this chick goes, babes are falling all over themselves to get a piece. shane is even so hot that in one episode, she causes major family drama when she sleeps with a bride on her wedding day... and her two sisters/bridesmaids... and her mother (this episode, while terrible and ridiculous, looked like a television masterpiece when compared to the badness that ilene chaiken and co. threw at us season 6). as you might imagine, having this magical ability to attract women has gone to shane's head. she's an incurable cheater, she's constantly avoiding women she's used and abused, and she thinks everyone wants to take a ride on the shane-train.

she thinks she's hot shit.

enter SHANE SYNDROME. for some reason, lesbians have a tendency to enjoy a period in their lives wherein they revel in their own hotness, and in many shane-esque ways, decide that they're such a hot commodity that they can do whomever and whatever they want. SHANE SYNDROME is an ongoing epidemic in our community. here are the symptoms to watch for:
  • the shane-over: bye bye, basketball shorts. peace out, slicked back ponytail. so long, cargo pants. the shane-over is the first indicator that a lesbian is on her way to thinking her shit doesn't stink. she ditches the trappings of "regular" lesbians, and begins to dress in a manner fitting of her self-perceived sexual prowess. in today's "are you a hipster? no, i'm just a lesbian" scene, this means wearing plaid, cool hats, funky shoes, and rocking a badass short dykecut. as lesbians revamp their wardrobe, they're suddenly transformed, and enter into the second stage of self-congratulatory shaneness...
  • girlfriend? who?: little lezzie A has recently given herself a cute new look. she's rocking some great style, and, suddenly, girls who would have never given her the time of day are taking a second and third glance. the only problem? little lezzie A has been dating little lezzie B for a few years/months/whatever. but NOW, LL B is keeping LL A from "tasting the lesbian rainbow," so to speak. how is LL A supposed to get out there and mack on chicks like a 14 year old boy at summer camp with LL B being so suffocatingly present? enter step three...

  • play on, playette: naturally, LL A has kicked LL B to the curb (hopefully for LL B, before LL A has cheated, which is dependant on the severity of LL A's SHANE SYNDROME). citing reasons like "i love you but i need space" or some other such BS, LL A is single and ready to mingle. with a hot look and newly discovered freedom, LL A proceeds to spread her seed all over town, making out with anything and everything with boobs. other girls may think she's hot, but LL A KNOWS she's hot... and can't be bothered with things like "feelings" when there's an endless stream of girls just begging to be taken advantage of. by now, LL A has come down with a full on case of SHANE SYNDROME.

i've witnessed this cycle countless times, with many friends/acquaintances/frenemies/exes/friends-of-friends, and i've hypothesized that SHANE SYNDROME is part of the coming out process. as we begin to explore and understand our sexuality, in many ways, we're also constantly coming to terms with who we are and who we want to be. we abandon societal "rules" about what makes a woman a woman, and we pave our own path about what it means to be a sexual being. along with this self-discovery and acceptance, comes a newfound freedom and realization that being a lesbian can be fun! we're no longer relegated to traditional sexual roles wherein only men are allowed to be virile, vag-chasing egomaniacs, and we realize, "HEY! i can do whatever i want! i am hot shit!"

this is not a bad thing. nothing is sexier than a healthy dose of self-confidence (heck, i'll even take a hint of cockiness, personally). the problem that i've seen over and over is that many lesbians, once struck with SHANE SYNDROME, get so wrapped up in their own hotness that they lose sight of the reality that, while they may be attractive, enjoyable and likable, they are not, in fact, god's gift to earth. that's your friend's gf you just made out with? eh. you can't be bothered to care that lying and cheating might hurt someone else? pish posh. you're HOT and can do whatever you want!
of course, most lesbians come to the understanding that they're not infallible goddesses at some point in their lives, usually with the help of a good woman who can keep their errant ways in check, or by being out-shaned by somebody with an even more ill-conceived sense of self worth. nonetheless, there are plenty of shanes still roaming around. to them, i can only say this:

stop being such a douchebag.


rachel morgan

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