A number of social and political movements were emerging in the second half of the twentieth century due to the long oppressions and injustice. The feminist movement was one of these movements which stimulated women get their rights and the right place in the society. New ideas and demands took place and women were in a hurry to enjoy all the rights, exploit all the enjoyments which were considered restricted to the men only. This paper discusses the Lesbianism, Identity of women and Politics during the feminist movement.
The purpose and basic reason to discuss this topic is to assess the root causes of the problem and to prevent occurring of such injustices and oppressions in future. Feminist movement of the twentieth century is termed as Identity politics by several sociologists and when we observe the whole movement, their analysis seems to be right. Identity politics refers to an effort to get certain rights or freedom from an ongoing unwanted situation by a community or a group. The feminist movement has been a repudiation to accept the domination of men over the women just because of some biological structural differences. Feminists started arguing the contemporary social structure and questioned the relevancy and rules formed by the patriarchal society. A new term ‘sexism’ came into existence and was vowed to be opposed at any cost, the basic concept behind this step was denial to be used as the medium of pleasure for men (Hollander).
Lesbian feminism was emerged as a result of the continuance of the second wave feminist movement. The idea was strengthened in the second half of the twentieth century and woman like Betty Friedan, one of the famous feminists of that time took the lead of the movement. Lesbianism was widely supported yet widely criticized; Betty referred the lesbianism as “Lavender Menace”. Some active lesbians started organizing others and in furtherance of their mission, they formed organizations. Redicalesbians, a lesbian group advocated their ideology very strongly and wrote “The Woman Identified Woman”. This article argumentatively countered the “lavender menace” and strongly advocated the lesbianism. Rita Mae Brown was one of the leaders of Redicalesbian, who argued that lesbianism is indispensable for the freedom of the women (Echols).
The movement started spreading its wings and women from different parts expressed their interest in the lesbianism. Several groups were formed that worked with dedication to this cause and very soon women openly started living together. A number of magazines were published and women with analogous interests were added to the lesbian groups. They were widely criticized but nothing could stop them and sooner women started living together which was a revolutionary step. Young women Christian association YWCA became a hub for such activates and cities like Los angels, Seattle, and Philadelphia were the first cities to witness such moves. The movement became very forceful during the decade of seventy, thousands of people joined the movement, and a number of people volunteered their services to the movement. In March 1971 a Gay Women’s Resource Center was started for facilitating lesbians in their activities (Atkins).
Atkins, Gary. Gay Seattle: stories of exile and belonging. washington: University of washington press, 2003.
Echols, Alice. Daring to be bad: radical feminism in America, 1967-1975. Minneapolis: university of minnesota press, 2003.
Hollander, Paul. Political pilgrims: Western intellectuals in search of the good society. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2009.