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Lesbian Feminism

SOCI 414A: Feminist Theorizing
by

Tony Chang

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of Lesbian Feminism

Woman-Identified Woman
LESBIAN FEMINISM
THEORETICAL GOALS

Creation of a symbolic system that affirms cultural idealization of females

New gender definitions central to lesbian feminist collective identity

Redefine experiences as resistance to male violence
2.) The Women's Liberation Movement
1.) Second-wave feminism
ORIGINS
SOCI 414A: Feminist Theorizing
Presenters: Carmina, Tony, Raphael, Melissa, Berny, Jenny
Most influencial in the 1970s and early 1980s (primarily in North America and Western Europe)
Largely emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s in response to the exclusion of lesbians during:
WHAT IS LESBIAN FEMINISM?
Cultural movement and critical perspective questioning the position of lesbians and women in society
Particularly challenges and refutes heteronormativity
CENTRAL THEORETICAL PREMISES
LIMITATIONS & CRITIQUES
Feminism and lesbianism is well summarized with a classic slogan” feminism is the theory and lesbianism is the practice”
QUESTIONS?
THANK YOU!

Heterosexuality is an institution
Compulsive Heterosexuality
Capitalistic Reasons
A social construct that is created by men to erase lesbian existence
Patriarchy promotes social inequality
Lesbian is not Sexual but Political
rejects concept of female-masculinity
male oppression
Lesbian Continuum: woman identification
Only lesbians can be true feminists, since only they can be fully independent of men, which in turn downgrades all other feminists.
RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
Gibson, A., & Macleod, C. (2012). (Dis)allowances of lesbians' sexual identities: Lesbian identity construction in racialised, classed, familial, and institutional spaces. Feminism & Psychology, 22(4), 462-481.
Rich, Adrienne. (1993). Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence. The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, edited by Henry Abelove, Michele Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin. New York: Routledge.
Main Arguments:

social basis and the political repercussions of heterosexuality and homosexuality
CENTRAL THEORETICAL PREMISES (Cont'd)
The problem of lesbianism seen as a biological “abnormality”

Political Lesbians

Butch-Femme

Examples:
Note: Heteronormativity= the assumption that everyone is "straight" and society should be structured to serve heterosexual needs
KEY THEORISTS & ACTIVISTS
Charlotte Brunch
Rita Mae Brown
Adrienne Rich
Audre Lorde
Marilyn Frye
Mary Daly
Sheila Jeffreys
Monique Wittig
Adrienne Rich
POLITICAL GOALS
implicit and explicit negotiation of identities (in opposition to male domination)
"Personal is Political": Challenging prevailing representations of women in all spheres of life
aim for equality in sexual relationships
Resulting in a new, distinctly feminist lesbian politics established
gender and sex are conceptually interdependent categories
ISSUES ADDRESSED AND CRITICIZED:
Opposing views of feminism which discredit notions of gender equality (e.g. cultural feminism)
Struggles to fight homophobia (compulsory heterosexuality) and patriarchy
CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIOLOGY
Sex vs Gender
lesbianism as a political stance
VIDEO CLIP: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
VIDEO CLIP:
FEMINIST FAIRYTALES- CINDERELLA
WARM-UP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1.) What message do you think this video is trying to convey?

2.) In particular, what is the video
trying to "challenge"?
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1.) What does her confinement represent
metaphorically?

Full transcript