By Denise Thompson
A severe research of feminist writings on sexuality from an intensive feminist and lesbian feminist perspective. A must-read for any severe feminist philosopher.
Read or Download Reading between the Lines: A Lesbian Feminist Critique of Feminist Accounts of Sexuality PDF
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Extra resources for Reading between the Lines: A Lesbian Feminist Critique of Feminist Accounts of Sexuality
The fact that higher education was (and is) prohibitively expensive—she mentioned one woman who paid $420 for two part-time courses, and $1,000 full-time, in the late fifties or early sixties (p. 317)—seemed a matter of small moment to Friedan, just another obstacle to be overcome with guts and determination. But even white American women, whose ‘middle-class’ status was wholly dependent on their husbands’ earning power, would be hard put to exercise the higher education option if their husbands refused to provide the money.
What also placed lesbianism beyond criticism and discussion was the noisy denial which the claim aroused whenever it was made, or rather, whenever it was seen to be made, which was most occasions on which the issue of lesbian visibility within the women’s movement was raised. The denial usually took the form of a demand that the hapless defender of lesbianism cease and desist from undermining the feminist credentials of heterosexual feminists. The effect was silence on the question of lesbianism’s potential to subvert ‘patriarchy’, combined with a gracious acceptance of it as just a ‘different’ form of sexual activity.
She said that Much lesbianism, especially of the transvestite kind, may be understood as revolt against the limitations of the female role of passivity, hypocrisy and indirect action… All forms of lesbianism involve an invention of an alternative way of life…[as long as it is accompanied by] the ability to choose lesbianism in an honourable, clear-eyed fashion, rejecting shame and inferiority feelings as a matter of principle. She concluded by remarking that ‘too often [the lesbian] is as blinded by spurious notions of normality as her critics are’.