Wednesday, April 20, 2005

4/12/05 GLBT issues and Rights of Womyn

i found this lecture quite interesting. i took a class last semester on womyn in politics which ended up being a class more on feminism. we talked at great lengths about the different waves of feminism. i think this helped me a lot in understanding the different issues brought up in the readings. we read the 'homes of single women' by anthony. in the speech, she focused on other issues than just suffrage, particulary the point that the need to create a single home out of want and need is a universal desire and it is the only logical step to take if the womyn did not want to be "ruled". she also discusses this issues of marriage and why a womyn wouldnt want to marry in the first place, she wouldnt have legal status and not allowed to divorce. unfortunatly i think anthony's speech perpetuates the stereotype that if you dont want to be with a man, and you are on your own, then you are not sexually desirable. in the example where a womyns male friends come to visit her in her single household, they do not think of her sexually, but simply as equal. looking back at this with a twentieth century perspective, this is almost counter productive and gives birth to the fact that if you dont want to be with a man, then a female "becomes" more masculine. this speech more or less exemplifies that single, independent womyn during that time were not considered real womyn, but the minority.

smith rosenbergs essay 'discourses of sexuality and subjectivity' was interesting as well. this looks at the evolution of the womyns movement, particularly in the 1920s. in the 20s, there are more womyn cutting their hair and wearing shorter dresses, specifically the flappers. however despite this new look and attitude, it was primarily a heterosexual time, meaning that it was for the pleasure of the men. this, s-r, said created a conflict between the conservative and more liberal womyn and weakened the movement. womyn were trying to embrace sexuality, but some believed it was for the wrong reasons. on the other hand, this article also looks at the powerful, independent womyns role throughout the movement. s-r also believes that a womyn in this situation needs to be masculine. which in society during those times see as sick. one person, krafft, that she quotes said that these womyn were "sick", whereas another person, ellis, said that he understood what they were doing, yet thought it would cause an increase in homosexuality.

what bothers me about all of this articles is just that issue, that in the 19th and early 20th century, womyn would be stripped of their sexual identity, deemed a a sexual pervert and a man hater if she desired to be on her own. its just too broad of a generalization that its completely rediculous and unfair.

the articles on political lesbians and the radical lesbians were really shocking to me. the womyn identified womyn article sounded extremely militant to me. i think i remember hearing that it was written in the 1970s. this was a time when the second wave of feminism was really getting serious and most womyn believed that being a womyn meant separating yourself from the patriarchal society. it was a pretty strong essay, saying that any womyn that showed any male characteristics, including independence then she must be a lesbian, because she can not be both a womyn and empowered. this ties into the political lesbian issue, which i feel was described as a womyn that disagreed with the patriarchal society. looking at it from a third wave feminist stand point, i hate how ingnorant this way of thinking is. sexuality is something separate from political philosophy. there are situations where the two meet, however they should not necessarily be cause and effect issues.


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