By Cheshire Calhoun
Has feminism failed lesbianism? What concerns belong on the best of a lesbian and homosexual political schedule? This arguable new publication solutions those query via an in-depth exam of lesbian and homosexual subordination.
Feminism, the family members, and the Politics of the Closet seeks to firmly position sexual orientation politics inside of feminist idea and outline the crucial political matters confronting lesbian and homosexual males. Cheshire Calhoun reviews the analytic frameworks hired inside of feminism that render invisible the variations among lesbian and heterosexual ladies on the way to deliver the research of lesbian existence from the margins to the heart of feminist idea. all through, Calhoun strives to maneuver lesbian and homosexual politics clear of issues of sexual rules and towards issues of the displacement of gays and lesbians from either the general public sphere of seen citizenship and the non-public sphere of romance, marriage, and family members. This impassioned problem to present feminist notion is needs to interpreting for these within the components of political conception, gender reviews, sociology, and women's reports, in addition to a person eager about the placement of gays and lesbians in ultra-modern political arena.
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Extra info for Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet: Lesbian and Gay Displacement
7 Making clear the difference between lesbians and gay men meant that lesbian feminists’ focus had to be on the experience of lesbians in a patriarchal culture, not on their experience as deviants in a heterosexist culture. 8 Early radical feminists were quite explicit about this, claiming that lesbians are the truly woman-identified women. Contemporary lesbian feminists, recognizing that lesbians may share patriarchal attitudes toward women, resist such grand claims. But even if lesbian-feminism is no longer at risk of equating being lesbian with being a true feminist, the danger remains that it may equate lesbian issues with feminist issues.
Many cultures regard sexual interaction between men as compatible with being heterosexual. Some cultures, notably ancient Greece have valorized what we see as man–boy homosexuality, ranking it over what we see as heterosexuality. Other cultures, for example in New Guinea and Melanesia, have prescribed sexual interaction between men and boys as a necessary transition to heterosexual adulthood. Similarly, there has never been a universal taboo on same-sex romantic intimacies. Native American and some African cultures have institutionalized what to our eyes look like same-sex marriages.
For additional discussion of the creation of an apparently natural gender identity through repetitive gender performances see her ‘Imitation and Gender Insubordination’, in Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories, ed. Diana Fuss (New York: Routledge, 1991), 13–31. 28 Quote of the week from Allan Berube in ‘City on a Hill’, UCSC, 4 June, 1992, vol. 26 (30), 10. In ‘Sexism’ (The Politics of Reality), Marilyn Frye similarly comments that ‘[h]eterosexual critics of queers’ “role-playing” ought to look at themselves in the mirror on their way out for a night on the town to see who’s in drag.
Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet: Lesbian and Gay Displacement by Cheshire Calhoun