- Political lesbianism
Political lesbianism is a phenomenon within
feminism, primarily Second wave feminism; it includes, but is not limited to, lesbian separatism. Political lesbianism embraces the theory that sexual orientationis a choice, and advocates lesbianismas a positive alternative to heterosexualityfor women. [Julie Bindel, [http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,1177708,00.html Location, location, orientation] , " The Guardian", March 27, 2004]
Beginning in the late 1960s, new wave feminism provided a platform for some women to come out of a perceived suffocating shell of
heterosexualnorms, traditional sexuality, marriageand family life. A life viewed by some feminists as one of hard labor with little consideration and a system that subordinates women. By coming out of dominatingheterosexual relationships, womenare given an opportunity to declare themselves as lesbians with shared interests. As a result, feminism provided an environment in which lesbianism was less about personal pain or anguish but an important political issue.
In a broad sense,
politicallesbianism entails the political identification of women with women, it encompasses a role beyond sexuality but supports eschewing forming relationship with men. It is partly based on the idea that women sharing and promoting a common interest creates a positive and needed energy which is necessary to enhance and elevate the role of women in the society, a development which will be curtailed by the institutions of heterosexuality and sexismif women chose the traditional norms.
Though, there were instances of
discriminationof lesbianism within feminism. Feminism however, ended up providing a needed political platform for lesbianism. In its wake, it also expanded and introduced divergentviews of sexuality. [Ramazanoglu; Routledge, Feminism and the Contradictions of Oppression, Routledge, 1989. pp84]
ocial constructs of sexuality and criticism
Some feminist theory on sexuality evaded
biologicalfixation and embraced socialconstruction as the basis of sexuality. However, this idea posed further questions on the subject of sexuality and lesbianism. If sexuality could be a construction of human naturethen little room is given to understanding the nature of the historical formation of human nature, especially, if the historical nature of man or woman enhanced heterosexuality. [Ramazanoglu; Routledge, Feminism and the Contradictions of Oppression, Routledge, 1989. pp84-86] A lack of theoreticalclarity of lesbianism and sexuality becomes more profound as some researchers view sexuality as much more than choice, though this view is far from proven. Also, if lesbianism becomes a social institution, the avenue for a dominant persona in the relationships may also pose challenge to the original intention of political lesbianism.
* "Love Your Enemy?: The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism and Political Lesbianism", London:Onlywomen Press, 1981, ISBN 0-906500-08-7.
Sheila Jeffries, Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group, et al.; no editor is listed.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Radical feminism — Part of a series on Feminism … Wikipedia
Homosexuality — Sexual orientation Orientations Asexual · Bisexual · Heterosexual · Homosexual … Wikipedia
Lesbian feminism — is a cultural movement and critical perspective, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s (primarily in North America and Western Europe), that questions the position of lesbians and women in society. Some key thinkers and activists are… … Wikipedia
Separatist feminism — is a form of feminism that does not support heterosexual relationships due to a belief that sexual disparities between men and women are irresolvable. Separatist feminists generally do not feel that men can make positive contributions to the… … Wikipedia
Sex-positive feminism — Part of a series on Feminism … Wikipedia
Emmeline Pankhurst — (c. 1913) Born 15 July 1858 Moss Side, Manchester, England, United Kingdom Died 14 June 1928 (aged 69) … Wikipedia
Human female sexuality — This article is about the issues and phenomena pertaining to sexual function and behavior of human females. Human female sexuality encompasses a broad range of issues, behavior and processes, including female sexual identity and sexual behavior,… … Wikipedia
Matriarchy — Gynecocracy redirects here. For the pornographic novel, see Gynecocracy (novel). Matriarch redirects here. For other uses, see Matriarch (disambiguation). Part of a series on … Wikipedia
Nesta Helen Webster — Webster in later life, aged 53. Born Nesta Helen Bevan 24 August 1876(1876 08 24) Trent Park, London Died 16 May 1960 … Wikipedia
Constance Lytton — Lady Constance Georgina Bulwer Lytton Born 12 January 1869(1869 01 12) Vienna Austria Died 2 May 1923 … Wikipedia