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Old 08-25-2011, 11:13 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueRiver View Post
Gay Lib originally included all Gay women and men.
I think it's important to remember that most of the women who joined lesbian feminism in the 70's came from entirely heterosexual backgrounds. Many of the women who IDed as lesbians pre-Stonewall remained suspicious of lesbian feminism because it rejected the biological model of sexual orientation and butch/femme roles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trueRiver View Post
Some of the RadFem Lesbians objected to the label Gay as they said it did not apply to them, to be a lesbian was not anywhere near the same as to be a Gay man.
The point seems to have been that lesbian feminists wanted to organize separately from gay men and straight feminists, because they felt marginalized by both communities. They felt that both movements wanted them to participate and organize for things that were essentially not in their immediate interests as lesbians, for the sake of solidarity.

One of the "worst kept secrets" of lesbian feminism was that many women involved continued to relate to men on a sexual and partnership level, while publically dismissing such associations. The central driving force behind lesbian feminist organizing was the belief that any woman can be a lesbian - that sexual orientation is a learned response, going sometimes as far as insisting that for example not choosing to engage a "sister" sexually because you did not find them attractive was discriminating and women should "re-train" themselves to put patriarchal ideals of beauty behind them and engage in sex for the sake of solidarity.

Understandably, many women eventually left the movement to marry men, among them some of the most vocal advocates of "every fuck is a rape". People change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trueRiver View Post
Then in the mid 1980s we had the flagrant heterophobic hatefest of the RadFem Lesbians, who denied their own 'sisters' the right to choose partners of both sexes.
Many of the women who had continued associating with gay men or joined the lesbian feminist movement only to leave disillusioned a few years later came together in the 80s with their gay brothers in the wake of the AIDS crisis. They insisted that it was time to put divisions in the gay lib behind and unite over AIDS issues. Many lesbian feminists declined the invitation, insisting that AIDS had nothing to do with them and this was yet another attempt to co-opt their energy to support a cause with little practical relevance to their lives. During the 80s, lesbian feminists and queer feminists continued to divide over issues like pornography, bisexuality, prostitution, SM, butch/femme etc., sometimes referred to as the Sex Wars. With such deeply controversial topics, I think it's understandable that arguments overheated and sweeping generalisations were made on both sides.

So what I'm trying to say is that you should let go of the hate . A lot of good things came out of lesbian feminism - it's hard to imagine the concept of "queer" ever coming to life without their critique of essentialist understanding of sexual orientation.
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Last edited by BlackUnicorn; 08-25-2011 at 11:23 AM.
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