can i say "dyke"?
you can't say "dyke"
For one reason or another, you have been brought to this page because you CANNOT say "dyke".
Whether it's because you are attracted to men, you aren't a lesbian or whatever other reason, the lesbian community asks you kindly to NOT say "dyke".
you can say "dyke"
You are a lesbian and have no attraction to men, thus meaning you can use the word "dyke"!
However, don't feel like you are obliged to! Some lesbians are not comfortable with using the word and that's fine too! However, some would like to reclaim it!
why non-lesbians can't say "dyke"!
Homophobes don't tend to think about whether or not someone is a lesbian before calling them a dyke, so I understand your confusion.
However, the term originally was used against lesbians to target their lack of attraction to men AND their attraction to women AND the fact that they are not straight. Unless you meet all three of those requirements AND identify as a lesbian, you cannot use the word dyke as it was designed to hurt or target you.
why lesbians ARE allowed to say "dyke"!
Slurs are words that are designed to target a specific group. For instance, "dyke" is a slur against lesbians, the f slur is a slur against gay men and the n word is a slur against Black people.
You may then wonder why ANYONE could be allowed to say these words, whether they're part of that community or not.
Well, that is simply known as reclaiming slurs. When lesbians say "dyke", it makes the word less damaging and scary in their mind. Plus, it takes away the negative effects of the slur. For instance, if a homophobe wanted to call me a dyke, it would still be bad but it would have much less of an impact considering me and other lesbians have reclaimed that slur into our own normal language, instead of just seeing it as an insult whenever we hear it.
However, this does NOT mean non-lesbians can say it, as the wors is not designed to hurt them and thus they don't need to reclaim it.