Making Girls into Women: American Women’s Writing and the Rise of Lesbian Identity (Series Q)

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Gay or not, our desires are oriented and re-oriented throughout our lives Credit: Ignacio Lehmann. In fact, the straight-identified men Ward studied for her book sometimes found themselves in situations that sparked the desire for homosexual sex: fraternities, deployments, public restrooms, etc. Ward thinks this question is the next frontier of queer thought. When I first said I chose to be gay, a queer American journalist challenged me to name the time and date of my choice.

But this is an absurd way to look at desire. You might as well ask someone to name the exact moment they began liking Chaucer or disliking Hemingway. When did I begin to prefer lilies to roses?

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What time did the clock read at the exact moment I fell in love with my partner? All of our desires are continually being shaped throughout our lives, in the very specific contexts in which we discover and rehearse them. These desires suggested to me a queer identity, which I at first reluctantly accepted and then passionately embraced. This new identity in turn helped reinforce and grow new gay desires within me. Granted, none of this means that there were no genetic or prenatal factors that went into the construction of my or any other sexual orientation.

It just means that even if those factors exist, many more factors do too. So why not encourage conversations about those other things? Early gay rights activists compared sexuality to religion - a crucial part of our life that we should be free to practise however we like Credit: Ignacio Lehamann. So what are we to do with the Born This Way rhetoric? There are several reasons for this.

The evidence to date offers no consensus that the Born This Way argument is the beginning and end of the story.

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We should stop pretending that it does. For that matter, why play their game and pretend the only forms of difference that deserve justice are those we were born with? Finally, I would argue that the Born This Way narrative can actively damage our perceptions of ourselves. In my sophomore year of college, I attended a Gay Student Alliance event at a nearby campus. It was the last meeting before Thanksgiving break, and the theme was coming out to your families.

This is just who I am! Because we are beautiful and fabulous. Ward sees this as a self-hating narrative. Perhaps it is time to look to the beginning of the gay rights movement. Gay and lesbian activists, says Ward, used to draw on religion parallels to argue for inclusion. But there are still legal protections for them.

The Collective united the women that were dissatisfied with racism in white feminist movement and sexism in civil rights movement. In its "Statement", the Combahee River Collective defined itself as a left-wing organization leaning towards socialism and anti-imperialism. The organization also claimed that unlike some white feminist groups or NBFO, the Collective members are in "solidarity with progressive Black men and do not advocate the fractionalization" and emphasizing that "the stance of Lesbian separatism Other organizations under the stance of black lesbian feminism include Salsa Souls Sisters , formed in in New York City and considered to be the oldest black besbian feminist organization; and Sapphire Sapphos, formed in in Washington, DC.

The more recent art form used to express black lesbian feminist ideas is film. The Rape Documentary , a documentary that explores how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia. For Simmons, a sexual assault survivor herself, the film was also an exploration of how rape impacted her Black feminist lesbian journey. Chicana lesbian feminism emerged from the Chicana feminism movement in the late s and early s. We are the colored in a white feminist movement.

American Women's Writing and the Rise of Lesbian Identity

We are the feminists among the people of our culture. We are often the lesbians among the straight. We do this bridging by naming ourselves and by telling our stories in our own words.


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As Moraga explains in her prose Loving in the War Years: Lo que nunca paso por sus labios : "in this country, lesbianism is a poverty — as is being brown, as is being a woman, as is being just plain poor. The danger lies in ranking the oppressions. The danger lies in failing to acknowledge the specificity of the oppression. The danger lies in attempting to deal with oppression purely from a theoretical base. Without an emotional, heartfelt grappling with the source of our own oppression, without naming the enemy within ourselves and outside of us, no authentic, non-hierarchical connection among oppressed groups can take place.

Chicana lesbian feminists challenge traditional forms of knowledge production, and introduce new ways of knowledge creation through new forms of writing. At the same time, Chicana lesbian feminists today navigate and struggle across a variety of discursive contexts as activist, academics, feminists, and artists.

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Through their literature and art, Chicana lesbian feminists explore their body lived experiences , a fundamental aspect in the construction of lesbian identity. Chicana lesbian feminists bring into the discussion the conflicts with the concept of la familia , the new familias they create, and their right to choose their own sexuality. Juanita M. Chicana lesbian feminists confront their lesbian identity with their Chicano identity. In short, even if the defiant woman is not a lesbian, she is purported to be one; for, like the lesbian in the Chicano imagination, she is una Malinchista. Like the Malinche of Mexican history, she is corrupted by foreign influences which threaten to destroy her people.

The choice is never seen as her own.

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See also: Political lesbianism and Queer by choice.

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Main article: Separatist feminism. See also: Queer nationalism. Lesbian erasure Feminism movements and ideologies Feminist views on sexual orientation Heteropatriarchy Lesbophobia Lesbian Feminist Circle Lesbian science fiction List of lesbian periodicals, journals, newsletters, and magazines, past and present Sappho Was a Right-on Woman. Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose Chicago Women's Liberation Union.

Retrieved May 28, Cambridge, UK: Polity. Research Initiative on International Activism. University of Technology Sydney. Archived from the original on May 26, Retrieved March 23, Feminist Studies. Da Capo Press. A Dictionary of Gender Studies. Oxford University Press. Hoagland, Sarah Lucia, and Julia Penelope. Onlywomen Press, November Learning from Lesbian Separatism. Lesbian Ethics: Towards a New Value. Institute for Lesbian Studies. Palo Alto, California. The New York Times. Retrieved 1 February Fellowship for Intentional Community. Retrieved 21 December Lesbian Land 1st ed. Word Weavers.

Retrieved Basic Books, The Guardian, UK. Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Bitch Media. University of Colorado. Retrieved March 24, Retrieved on Archived from the original on Retrieved 21 November Queer Theory: An Introduction. Armitage Encyclopedia of Women's Health.