DePaul Paper on Lesbianism

DePaul Paper on Lesbianism - Lesbianism and its Acceptance...

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Lesbianism and its Acceptance An average woman would most likely describe a kiss between two women as passionate, soft, and gentle. An average man would probably describe a similar kiss as hot, erotic, and a complete turn-on. This is usually how today’s society has come to view lesbianism. The fantasized version of lesbian has become the number one male form of eroticism. And, why don’t people protest against this? Why are there females locking lips at parties for attention? Why is it overlooked when two women are walking down the street holding hands and occasionally involved in a soft kiss? Simple, it’s considered ok and usually overlooked. Lesbianism is much more acceptable in society because of the inferiority of women, a certain overlooked sub-culture, and the desired eroticism portrayed of two women by the greater male audience. There is also grave opposition to lesbianism since it contradicts the norms of society, and always has been since the Lesbian liberation and feminism were brought into play. There is a strong judgment about romantic friendships between females, although redefined by today’s standards, but that was the closest description or category of lesbianism in the early years. Emma Donaghue’s book, Passions between Women , made great headway into the erotic lives of women. She discussed how the material written by men was “clearly intended primarily to excite or shock their audience or to denigrate women, others were simply puzzled” (Edsall 221); though both female and male writers showed a genuine understanding and appreciation for the relationships. Lilian Faderman’s study of friendships between women suggested that it was celebrated until the twentieth century. Until these friendships were viewed as ‘lesbian’ and ‘perverse,’ they were socially acceptable in the Anglo-European culture.
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The trend is coming back these days with exploitation of women in the media (Diggs 1). Adam stated that their 1778 elopement, “was considered not only socially permissible but even desirable….Women envied them because they seemed not to have to be bothered with what many eighteenth century females considered the duty and burden of sex. Romantic men admired them because they seemed to keep by choice ‘the crown of their virtue’; they lived together because they were too spiritually pure to be sullied by the ‘physical’ (5).” William Taylor and Christopher Lasch describe such friendships as ‘sororial relations,’ according to Diggs (1). In the early nineteenth century Taylor and Lasch were the first to acknowledge this kind of relationship and eventually recognize it as a certain constituent of social acceptance that followed such behavior. Since, at this point, women were viewed as passionless these sorts of relationships were completely ordinary. Concern about intimate friendships with schoolboys met with anxiety, whereas the same
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course LGBT 101 taught by Professor Shannon during the Fall '08 term at DePaul.

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DePaul Paper on Lesbianism - Lesbianism and its Acceptance...

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