Homosexual charwoman
[1][2] symbol representing lesbian made from two interlock astronomic symbols for the planet Venus. In biota, the singular symbol represents the female sex. A lesbian is a homosexual woman. [ 3 ] [ 4 ] The word lesbian is besides used for women in sexual intercourse to their sexual identity or sexual behavior, careless of sexual predilection, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction. [ 4 ] [ 5 ]

Reading: Wikipedia

The concept of “ lesbian ” to differentiate women with a shared intimate orientation evolved in the twentieth century. Throughout history, women have not had the same exemption or independence as men to pursue homosexual relationships, but neither have they met the like harsh punishment as homosexual men in some societies. alternatively, lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless, unless a participant attempts to assert privileges traditionally enjoyed by men. As a result, small in history was documented to give an accurate description of how female homosexuality was expressed. When early sexologists in the late nineteenth hundred began to categorize and describe homosexual demeanor, hampered by a miss of cognition about homosexuality or women ‘s sex, they distinguished lesbians as women who did not adhere to female gender roles. They classified them as mentally ill—a appointment which has been reversed since the late twentieth hundred in the global scientific community. Women in homosexual relationships in Europe and the United States responded to the discrimination and repression either by hiding their personal lives, or accepting the label of outcast and creating a subculture and identity. Following World War II, during a period of social repression when governments actively persecuted homosexuals, women developed networks to socialize with and educate each other. Gaining greater economic and sociable freedom allowed them to determine how they could form relationships and families. With second gear wave feminist movement and the emergence of eruditeness in women ‘s history and sex in the former twentieth century, the definition of lesbian broadened, leading to debate about the term ‘s habit. While research by Lisa M. Diamond identified intimate desire as the core component for defining lesbians, [ 6 ] [ a ] some women who engage in same-sex sexual natural process may reject not only identifying as lesbians but arsenic bisexual as well. early women ‘s self-identification as lesbian may not align with their intimate orientation or sexual behavior. sexual identity is not inevitably the same as one ‘s sexual orientation course or intimate behavior, due to respective reasons, such as the fear of identifying their sexual orientation in a homophobic set up. Portrayals of lesbians in the media suggest that club at large has been simultaneously intrigued and threatened by women who challenge womanly gender roles, adenine well as fascinated and appalled with women who are romantically involved with other women. Women who adopt a lesbian identity share experiences that shape an lookout alike to an heathen identity : as homosexuals, they are unified by the heterosexist discrimination and electric potential rejection they face from their families, friends, and others as a leave of homophobia. As women, they face concerns separate from men. Lesbians may encounter distinct physical or mental health concerns arising from discrimination, prejudice, and minority stress. political conditions and social attitudes besides affect the formation of lesbian relationships and families in outdoors .

lineage and transformation of the term

The son lesbian is derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, home to the 6th-century BCE poet Sappho. [ 3 ] From diverse ancient writings, historians gathered that a group of young women were left in Sappho ‘s charge for their education or cultural edification. [ 7 ] Little of Sappho ‘s poetry survives, but her remain poetry reflects the topics she wrote about : women ‘s casual lives, their relationships, and rituals. She focused on the smasher of women and proclaimed her love for girls. [ 8 ] Before the mid-19th hundred, [ 9 ] the word lesbian referred to any derivative or expression of Lesbos, including a type of wine. [ bel ] In Algernon Charles Swinburne ‘s 1866 poem Sapphics, the term lesbian appears doubly but capitalized both times after twice mentioning the island of Lesbos, and so could be construed to mean ‘from the island of Lesbos ‘. [ 11 ] In 1875, George Saintsbury, in writing about Baudelaire ‘s poetry, refers to his “ lesbian studies ” in which he includes his poem about “ the passion of Delphine ” which is a poem merely about love between two women which does not mention the island of Lesbos, though the other poem alluded to, entitled “ Lesbos ”, does. [ 12 ] Use of the word lesbianism to describe erotic relationships between women had been documented in 1870. [ 13 ] In 1890, the term lesbian was used in a checkup dictionary as an adjective to describe tribadism ( as “ lesbian sexual love ” ). The terms lesbian, invert and homosexual were exchangeable with sapphist and sapphism around the change by reversal of the twentieth hundred. [ 13 ] The practice of lesbian in medical literature became big ; by 1925, the bible was recorded as a noun to mean the female equivalent of a sodomite. [ 13 ] [ 14 ] The development of checkup cognition was a meaning divisor in far connotations of the terminus lesbian. In the middle of the nineteenth century, checkup writers attempted to establish ways to identify male homosexuality, which was considered a significant social trouble in most western societies. In categorizing behavior that indicated what was referred to as “ inversion “ by german sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, researchers categorized what was normal sexual demeanor for men and women, and therefore to what extent men and women varied from the “ arrant male sexual character ” and the “ perfect female intimate character ”. [ 15 ] Far less literature focused on female homosexual behavior than on male homosexuality, as medical professionals did not consider it a significant problem. In some cases, it was not acknowledged to exist. however, sexologists Richard von Krafft-Ebing from Germany, and Britain ‘s Havelock Ellis wrote some of the earliest and more survive categorizations of female same-sex attraction, approaching it as a form of insanity ( Ellis ‘ categorization of “ lesbianism ” as a medical problem is now discredited ). [ 16 ] Krafft-Ebing, who considered lesbianism ( what he termed “ Uranism “ ) a neurological disease, and Ellis, who was influenced by Krafft-Ebing ‘s writings, disagreed about whether sexual inversion was by and large a lifelong discipline. Ellis believed that many women who professed love for early women changed their feelings about such relationships after they had experienced marriage and a “ practical animation ”. [ 17 ] however, Ellis conceded that there were “ on-key inverts ” who would spend their lives pursuing erotic relationships with women. These were members of the “ third sex “ who rejected the roles of women to be implemental, feminine, and domestic. [ 18 ] Invert described the opposite gender roles, and besides the related drawing card to women rather of men ; since women in the priggish period were considered unable to initiate intimate encounters, women who did then with other women were thought of as possessing masculine intimate desires. [ 19 ] The sour of Krafft-Ebing and Ellis was wide read, and helped to create public consciousness of female homosexuality. [ hundred ] The sexologists ‘ claims that homosexuality was a congenital anomaly were by and large well-accepted by homosexual men ; it indicated that their demeanor was not inspired by nor should be considered a criminal vice, as was widely acknowledged. In the absence of any other material to describe their emotions, homosexuals accepted the designation of different or perverted, and used their illegitimate condition to form social circles in Paris and Berlin. Lesbian began to describe elements of a subculture. [ 22 ] Lesbians in western cultures in particular frequently classify themselves as having an identity that defines their individual sex, angstrom well as their membership to a group that shares coarse traits. [ 23 ] Women in many cultures throughout history have had sexual relations with early women, but they rarely were designated as part of a group of people based on whom they had physical relations with. As women have broadly been political minorities in western cultures, the add checkup designation of homosexuality has been cause for the development of a subcultural identity. [ 24 ]

sex and lesbian identity

[28][29] lesbian community flag introduced in social media in 2018, with the benighted orange stripe representing sex variance The impression that sexual action between women is necessary to define a lesbian or lesbian relationship continues to be debated. According to feminist writer Naomi McCormick, women ‘s sex is constructed by men, whose chief indicator of lesbian intimate predilection is intimate experience with other women. The like indicator is not necessity to identify a womanhood as heterosexual, however. McCormick states that emotional, mental, and ideological connections between women are as important or more therefore than the genital. [ 30 ] Nonetheless, in the 1980s, a meaning motion rejected the desexualization of lesbianism by cultural feminists, causing a heated controversy called the feminist sex wars. [ 31 ] Butch and femme roles returned, although not as strictly followed as they were in the 1950s. They became a mood of choose intimate self-expression for some women in the 1990s. once again, women felt safer claim to be more sexually adventurous, and sexual flexibility became more accept. [ 32 ] The focus of the debate often centers on a phenomenon named by sexologist Pepper Schwartz in 1983. Schwartz found that long-run lesbian couples report having less intimate contact than heterosexual or homosexual male couples, calling this lesbian layer death. however, lesbians dispute the study ‘s definition of sexual reach, and introduced other factors such as deeply connections existing between women that make patronize sexual relations redundant, greater intimate fluidity in women causing them to move from heterosexual to bisexual to lesbian numerous times through their lives—or reject the labels entirely. far arguments attested that the study was flawed and misrepresented accurate intimate contact between women, or sexual touch between women has increased since 1983 as many lesbians find themselves freer to sexually express themselves. [ 33 ] More discussion on sex and sexual orientation identity has affected how many women label or view themselves. Most people in western acculturation are taught that heterosexuality is an natural timbre in all people. When a charwoman realizes her amatory and intimate attraction to another womanhood, it may cause an “ existential crisis ” ; many who go through this adopt the identity of a lesbian, challenging what society has offered in stereotypes about homosexuals, to learn how to function within a homosexual subculture. [ 34 ] Lesbians in westerly cultures broadly plowshare an identity that parallels those built on ethnicity ; they have a shared history and subculture, and alike experiences with discrimination which has caused many lesbians to reject heterosexual principles. This identity is alone from gay men and heterosexual women, and much creates tension with bisexual women. [ 23 ] One charge of controversy are lesbians who have had sex with men, while lesbians who have never had sex with men may be referred to as “ gold ace lesbians ”. Those who have had arouse with men may face ridicule from early lesbians or identity challenges with involve to defining what it means to be a lesbian. [ 35 ] Researchers, including sociable scientists, country that often behavior and identity do not match : women may label themselves heterosexual but have sexual relations with women, self-identified lesbians may have sex with men, or women may find that what they considered an immutable intimate identity has changed over clock time. [ 5 ] [ 36 ] Research by Lisa M. Diamond et aluminum. reported that “ lesbian and fluid women were more single than bisexual women in their sexual behaviors ” and that “ lesbian women appeared to lean toward entirely same-sex attractions and behaviors. ” It reported that lesbians “ appeared to demonstrate a ‘core ‘ lesbian orientation. ” [ 6 ] A 2001 article on differentiating lesbians for checkup studies and health research suggested identifying lesbians using the three characteristics of identity only, sexual behavior merely, or both combined. The article declined to include desire or attraction as it rarely has bearing on measurable health or psychosocial issues. [ 37 ] Researchers state that there is no standard definition of lesbian because “ [ deoxythymidine monophosphate ] he term has been used to describe women who have sex with women, either entirely or in addition to sexual activity with men ( i, behavior ) ; women who self-identify as lesbian ( i.e., identity ) ; and women whose sexual preference is for women ( i.e., desire or attraction ) ” and that “ [ deoxythymidine monophosphate ] he lack of a standard definition of lesbian and of standard questions to assess who is lesbian has made it unmanageable to clearly define a population of lesbian women ”. How and where report samples were obtained can besides affect the definition. [ 5 ]

Female homosexuality without identity in western culture


The change meanings of lesbian since the early on twentieth hundred have prompted some historians to revisit historic relationships between women before the wide custom of the discussion was defined by erotic proclivities. discussion from historians caused far questioning of what qualifies as a lesbian relationship. As lesbian-feminists asserted, a sexual component was unnecessary in declaring oneself a lesbian if the primary and closest relationships were with women. When considering past relationships within allow historic context, there were times when love and sex were distinguish and unrelated notions. [ 38 ] In 1989, an academic cohort named the lesbian History Group wrote :

Because of club ‘s reluctance to admit that lesbians exist, a high degree of certainty is expected before historians or biographers are allowed to use the label. evidence that would suffice in any other situation is inadequate here … A woman who never married, who lived with another womanhood, whose friends were largely women, or who moved in know lesbian or desegregate gay circles, may well have been a lesbian. … But this sort of tell is not ‘proof ‘. What our critics want is demonstrable evidence of intimate activity between women. This is about impossible to find. [ 39 ]

Female sex is much not adequately represented in text and documents. Until very recently, much of what has been documented about women ‘s sex has been written by men, in the context of male agreement, and relevant to women ‘s associations to men—as their wives, daughters, or mothers, for case. [ 40 ] Often artistic representations of female sex suggest trends or ideas on broad scales, giving historians clues as to how far-flung or accepted erotic relationships between women were .

Ancient Greece and Rome

Women in ancient Greece were sequestered with one another, and men were segregated similarly. In this homosocial environment, erotic and sexual relationships between males were common and recorded in literature, artwork, and doctrine. identical little was recorded about homosexual activeness between greek women. There is some speculation that like relationships existed between women and girls- the poet Alcman used the term aitis, as the womanly form of aites —which was the official terminus for the younger participant in a pederastic kinship. [ 41 ] Aristophanes, in Plato ‘s Symposium, mentions women who are romantically attracted to other women, but uses the term trepesthai ( to be focused on ) alternatively of eros, which was applied to other erotic relationships between men, and between men and women. [ 42 ] historian Nancy Rabinowitz argues that ancient Greek crimson vase images which portray women with their arms around another woman ‘s shank, or leaning on a woman ‘s shoulders can be construed as expressions of quixotic desire. [ 43 ] a lot of the daily lives of women in ancient Greece is unknown, in particular their expressions of sex. Although men participated in pederastic relationships outside marriage, there is no clear evidence that women were allowed or encouraged to have same-sex relationships before or during marriage deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as their marital obligations were met. Women who appear on greek pottery are depicted with affection, and in instances where women appear only with early women, their images are eroticized : washup, touching one another, with dildo placed in and around such scenes, and sometimes with imagination besides seen in depictions of heterosexual marriage or pederastic seduction. Whether this amorousness is for the spectator or an accurate representation of animation is unknown. [ 41 ] [ 44 ] Rabinowitz writes that the miss of interest from 19th-century historians who specialized in Greek studies regarding the daily lives and sexual inclinations of women in Greece was due to their social priorities. She postulates that this miss of interest led the field to become over male-centric, and was partially responsible for the limited information available on female topics in ancient Greece. [ 45 ] Women in ancient Rome were similarly subject to men ‘s definitions of sex. Modern scholarship indicates that men viewed female homosexuality with hostility. They considered women who engaged in sexual relations with other women to be biological oddities that would attempt to penetrate women—and sometimes men—with “ heinously enlarged ” clitorises. [ 46 ] According to learner James Butrica, lesbianism “ challenged not only the Roman male ‘s position of himself as the exclusive giver of intimate pleasure but besides the most basic foundations of Rome ‘s male-dominated culture ”. No historical documentation exists of women who had other women as sex partners. [ 47 ]

early modern Europe

A front and back illustration of a Renaissance-era hermaphrodite showing a person with female facial features, breasts, and what appears to be a small penis or large clitoris. She wears a small hood and open robe tied multiple times around the legs. Where it opens in the front, the apparent rear appearance shows it to be perhaps a shell of some kind, as one with her body. Two squares are missing from her the back of her head and torso. She has no buttocks. lesbianism and hermaphroditism, depicted here in an engrave circa 1690, were very similar concepts during the Renaissance. Female homosexuality has not received the like negative answer from religious or criminal authorities as male homosexuality or adultery has throughout history. Whereas sodomy between men, men and women, and men and animals was penal by death in England, acknowledgment of intimate contact between women was nonexistent in medical and legal text. The earliest law against female homosexuality appeared in France in 1270. [ 48 ] In Spain, Italy, and the Holy Roman Empire, sodomy between women was included in acts considered affected and punishable by burning to end, although few instances are recorded of this taking stead. [ 49 ] The earliest such murder occurred in Speier, Germany, in 1477. Forty days ‘ penance was demanded of nuns who “ ride ” each early or were discovered to have touched each other ‘s breasts. An italian nun named Sister Benedetta Carlini was documented to have seduced many of her sisters when possessed by a Divine liveliness named “ Splenditello ” ; to end her relationships with other women, she was placed in solitary confinement parturiency for the last 40 years of her life. [ 50 ] Female homosexuality, however, was so coarse in english literature and field that historians suggest it was stylish for a period during the Renaissance. [ 51 ] Ideas about women ‘s sex were linked to contemporary understand of female physiology. The vagina was considered an inbound adaptation of the penis ; where nature ‘s perfection created a man, frequently nature was thought to be trying to right itself by prolapsing the vagina to form a penis in some women. [ 52 ] These sex changes were late thought to be cases of hermaphrodites, and hermaphroditism became synonymous with female same-sex desire. medical retainer of hermaphroditism depended upon measurements of the clitoris ; a longer, engorged clitoris was thought to be used by women to penetrate early women. penetration was the focus of concern in all sexual acts, and a charwoman who was thought to have indocile desires because of her congested clitoris was called a “ lesbian ” ( literally, one who rubs ). [ 53 ] not alone was an abnormally engorged clitoris thought to create lusts in some women that led them to masturbate, but pamphlets warning women about masturbation leading to such outsize organs were written as cautionary tales. For a while, masturbation and lesbian sexual activity carried the like mean. [ 54 ] class distinction, however, became linked as the fashion of female homosexuality passed. Tribades were simultaneously considered members of the lower class trying to ruin pure women, and representatives of an gentry bribe with orgy. satirical writers began to suggest that political rivals ( or more frequently, their wives ) engaged in tribadism in order to harm their reputations. Queen Anne was rumored to have a passionate relationship with Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, her closest adviser and confidante. When Churchill was ousted as the queen ‘s favored, she purportedly spread allegations of the queen having affairs with her bedchamberwomen. [ 55 ] Marie Antoinette was besides the submit of such speculation for some months between 1795 and 1796. [ 56 ]

Female husbands

androgyny appeared in checkup literature enough to be considered park cognition, although cases were rare. homoerotic elements in literature were permeant, specifically the masquerade of one gender for another to fool an unsuspecting charwoman into being seduced. such plot devices were used in Shakespeare ‘s Twelfth Night ( 1601 ), The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser in 1590, and James Shirley ‘s The Bird in a Cage ( 1633 ). [ 57 ] Cases during the Renaissance of women taking on male persona and going undetected for years or decades have been recorded, though whether these cases would be described as transvestism by homosexual women, [ 58 ] [ 59 ] or in contemporary sociology characterised as transgender, is debated and depends on the person details of each subject. If discovered, punishments ranged from death, to time in the pillory, to being ordered never to dress as a valet again. Henry Fielding wrote a tract titled The Female Husband in 1746, based on the life sentence of Mary Hamilton, who was arrested after marrying a woman while masquerading as a man, and was sentenced to public worst and six months in imprison. similar examples were procured of Catharine Linck in Prussia in 1717, executed in 1721 ; Swiss Anne Grandjean married and relocated with her wife to Lyons, but was exposed by a womanhood with whom she had had a previous affair and sentenced to clock time in the stocks and prison. [ 60 ] queen Christina of Sweden ‘s tendency to dress as a man was well known during her time, and excused because of her baronial birth. She was brought up as a male and there was guess at the time that she was a hermaphroditic. flush after Christina abdicated the enthrone in 1654 to avoid marriage, she was known to pursue romantic relationships with women. [ 61 ] Some historians view cases of cross-dress women to be manifestations of women seizing exponent they would naturally be unable to enjoy in feminine attire, or their way of making feel out of their desire for women. Lillian Faderman argues that western society was threatened by women who rejected their feminine roles. Catharine Linck and other women who were accused of using dildo, such as two nuns in 16th century Spain executed for using “ material instruments ”, were punished more hard than those who did not. [ 48 ] [ 60 ] Two marriages between women were recorded in Cheshire, England, in 1707 ( between Hannah Wright and Anne Gaskill ) and 1708 ( between Ane Norton and Alice Pickford ) with no comment about both parties being female. [ 62 ] [ 63 ] Reports of clergymen with lax standards who performed weddings—and wrote their suspicions about one member of the marriage party—continued to appear for the adjacent hundred. Outside Europe, women were able to dress as men and go undetected. Deborah Sampson fight in the american Revolution under the mention Robert Shurtlieff, and pursued relationships with women. [ 64 ] Edward De Lacy Evans was born female in Ireland, but took a male name during the ocean trip to Australia and lived as a man for 23 years in Victoria, marrying three times. [ 65 ] Percy Redwood created a scandal in New Zealand in 1909 when she was found to be Amy Bock, who had married a woman from Port Molyneaux ; newspapers argued whether it was a sign of insanity or an implicit in character flaw. [ 66 ]

re-examine quixotic friendships

Black and white photo of two women sitting in a hammock in turn of the 20th century dresses; one reclines and the other sits on her lap and wraps her arm around the other, both staring at each other. familiarity between women was fashionable between the 17th and 19th centuries, although sex was rarely publicly acknowledged. ( Photograph circa 1900. ) During the 17th through 19th centuries, a woman expressing passionate love for another womanhood was fashionable, accepted, and encouraged. [ 63 ] These relationships were termed romantic friendships, Boston marriages, or “ bathetic friends ”, and were common in the U.S., Europe, and specially in England. documentation of these relationships is possible by a large volume of letters written between women. Whether the relationship included any genital component was not a matter for public converse, but women could form strong and exclusive bonds with each early and even be considered pure, innocent, and chaste ; a similar relationship with a man would have destroyed a womanhood ‘s reputation. In fact, these relationships were promoted as alternatives to and practice for a woman ‘s marriage to a man. [ 67 ] [ d ] One such relationship was between Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who wrote to Anne Wortley in 1709 : “ cipher was so wholly, so faithfully yours … I put in your lovers, for I do n’t allow it possible for a world to be so sincere as I am. ” [ 69 ] Similarly, English poet Anna Seward had a devoted friendship to Honora Sneyd, who was the subject of many of Seward ‘s sonnets and poems. When Sneyd married despite Seward ‘s protest, Seward ‘s poem became angry. however, Seward continued to write about Sneyd farseeing after her death, extolling Sneyd ‘s beauty and their affection and friendship. [ 70 ] As a youthful womanhood, writer and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft was attached to a charwoman named Fanny Blood. Writing to another woman by whom she had recently felt denounce, Wollstonecraft declared, “ The roses will bloom when there ‘s peace in the breast, and the expectation of living with my Fanny gladdens my kernel : —You know not how I love her. ” [ 71 ] [ vitamin e ]
An engraved drawing of Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, known as the "Ladies of Llangollen". They are shown sitting in a private library wearing smoking jackets, with a cat in the foreground sitting in a chair.
The two women had a relationship that was hailed as devoted and virtuous, after eloping and living 51 years together in Wales. The Ladies of Llangollen, Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby.The two women had a relationship that was hailed as devoted and pure, after eloping and living 51 years together in Wales. possibly the most celebrated of these quixotic friendships was between Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, nicknamed the Ladies of Llangollen. Butler and Ponsonby eloped in 1778, to the relief of Ponsonby ‘s family ( concerned about their reputation had she run away with a homo ) [ 73 ] to live together in Wales for 51 years and be thought of as eccentrics. [ 74 ] Their story was considered “ the epitome of virtuous romantic friendship ” and inspired poetry by Anna Seward and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. [ 75 ] Diarist Anne Lister, captivated by Butler and Ponsonby, recorded her affairs with women between 1817 and 1840. Some of it was written in code, detailing her sexual relationships with Marianna Belcombe and Maria Barlow. [ 76 ] Both Lister and Eleanor Butler were considered masculine by contemporary news reports, and though there were suspicions that these relationships were sapphist in nature, they were however praised in literature. [ 68 ] [ 77 ] romanticist friendships were besides democratic in the U.S. Enigmatic poet Emily Dickinson wrote over 300 letters and poems to Susan Gilbert, who by and by became her sister-in-law, and engaged in another romantic agreement with Kate Scott Anthon. Anthon broke off their kinship the lapp calendar month Dickinson entered self-imposed lifelong privacy. [ 78 ] Nearby in Hartford, Connecticut, african American freeborn women Addie Brown and Rebecca Primus left attest of their passion in letters : “ No kisses is like youres ”. [ 79 ] In Georgia, Alice Baldy wrote to Josie Varner in 1870, “ Do you know that if you touch me, or speak to me there is not a heart of character in my body that does not respond with a thrill of delight ? ” [ 80 ] Around the turn of the twentieth hundred, the development of higher education provided opportunities for women. In all-female surroundings, a culture of amatory avocation was fostered in women ‘s colleges. Older students mentored younger ones, called on them socially, took them to all-women dances, and sent them flowers, cards, and poems that declared their deathless beloved for each other. [ 81 ] These were called “ smashes ” or “ spoons ”, and they were written about quite honestly in stories for girls aspiring to attend college in publications such as Ladies Home Journal, a children ‘s magazine titled St. Nicholas, and a collection called Smith College Stories, without negative views. [ 82 ] Enduring loyalty, devotion, and love were major components to these stories, and sexual acts beyond kissing were systematically lacking. [ 81 ] Women who had the option of a career alternatively of marriage labeled themselves New Women, and took their newfangled opportunities very badly. [ f ] Faderman calls this period “ the last breath of purity ” before 1920 when characterizations of female affection were connected to sex, marking lesbians as a singular and much unflatteringly-portrayed group. [ 81 ] specifically, Faderman connects the increase of women ‘s independence and their begin to reject strictly prescribed roles in the victorian era to the scientific designation of lesbianism as a type of aberrant intimate demeanor. [ 83 ]

lesbian identity and gender function in historical western culture

construction of lesbian identity

Reproduction of a German magazine cover with the title "Die Freundin" showing a nude woman sitting on a horse, looking behind her. Die Freundin magazine between 1924 and 1933. Berlin ‘s thriving lesbian community in the 1920s publishedmagazine between 1924 and 1933. For some women, the realization that they participated in behavior or relationships that could be categorized as lesbian caused them to deny or conceal it, such as professor Jeannette Augustus Marks at Mount Holyoke College, who lived with the college president, Mary Woolley, for 36 years. Marks discouraged young women from “ abnormal ” friendships and insist happiness could only be attained with a man. [ 24 ] [ guanine ] other women, however, embraced the distinction and used their singularity to set themselves apart from heterosexual women and cheery men. [ 85 ] From the 1890s to the 1930s, American heiress Natalie Clifford Barney held a weekly salon in Paris to which major artistic celebrities were invited and where lesbian topics were the focus. Combining greek influences with contemporary french amorousness, she attempted to create an update and idealized adaptation of Lesbos in her salon. [ 86 ] Her contemporaries included artist Romaine Brooks, who painted others in her circle ; writers Colette, Djuna Barnes, social host Gertrude Stein, and novelist Radclyffe Hall. Berlin had a vibrant homosexual culture in the 1920s, and about 50 clubs existed that catered to lesbians. Die Freundin ( The Girlfriend ) magazine, published between 1924 and 1933, targeted lesbians. Garçonne ( aka Frauenliebe ( Woman Love ) ) was aimed at lesbians and male transvestites. [ 87 ] These publications were controlled by men as owners, publishers, and writers. Around 1926, Selli Engler founded Die BIF – Blätter Idealer Frauenfreundschaften ( The BIF – Papers on Ideal Women Friendships ), the first lesbian publication owned, published and written by women. In 1928, the lesbian bar and cabaret guide Berlins lesbische Frauen ( The Lesbians of Berlin ) by Ruth Margarite Röllig [ 88 ] further popularized the german capital as a center of lesbian activity. Clubs varied between big establishments that became tourist attractions, to modest neighborhood cafe where local women went to meet other women. The cabaret song “ Das lila Lied “ ( “ The lavender Song ” ) became an anthem to the lesbians of Berlin. Although it was sometimes tolerated, homosexuality was illegal in Germany and law enforcement used let gatherings as an opportunity to register the names of homosexuals for future mention. [ 89 ] Magnus Hirschfeld ‘s Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, which promoted tolerance for homosexuals in Germany, welcomed lesbian participation, and a billow of lesbian-themed write and political activism in the german feminist movement became apparent. [ 90 ]
In 1928, Radclyffe Hall published a fresh titled The Well of Loneliness. The fresh ‘s plat centers around Stephen Gordon, a womanhood who identifies herself as an invert after reading Krafft-Ebing ‘s Psychopathia Sexualis, and lives within the homosexual subculture of Paris. The novel included a foreword by Havelock Ellis and was intended to be a call for allowance for inverts by publicizing their disadvantages and accidents of being born inverted. [ 91 ] Hall subscribed to Ellis and Krafft-Ebing ‘s theories and rejected Freud ‘s hypothesis that same-sex attraction was caused by childhood trauma and was curable. The promotion Hall received was ascribable to unintended consequences ; the fresh was tried for obscenity in London, a spectacularly disgraceful event described as “ the crystallizing here and now in the construction of a visible modern English lesbian subculture ” by professor Laura Doan. [ 92 ] Newspaper stories honestly divulged that the book ‘s content includes “ sexual relations between lesbian women ”, and photograph of Hall often accompanied details about lesbians in most major print outlets within a cross of six months. [ 93 ] Hall reflected the appearance of a “ mannish ” woman in the 1920s : short cropped hair, tailored suits ( frequently with pants ), and monocle that became widely recognized as a “ uniform ”. When british women supported the war attempt during the First World War, they became familiar with masculine clothing, and were considered patriotic for wearing uniforms and pants. Postwar masculinization of women ‘s invest became associated primarily with lesbianism. [ 94 ]
In the United States, the 1920s was a decade of social experiment, peculiarly with sex. This was heavily influenced by the writings of Sigmund Freud, who theorized that sexual desire would be sated unconsciously, despite an individual ‘s wish to ignore it. Freud ‘s theories were much more permeant in the U.S. than in Europe. With the well-publicized notion that intimate acts were a region of lesbianism and their relationships, sexual experiment was far-flung. large cities that provided a nightlife were vastly popular, and women began to seek out intimate venture. Bisexuality became chic, particularly in America ‘s beginning homosexual neighborhoods. [ 95 ] No placement saw more visitors for its possibilities of homosexual nightlife than Harlem, the predominantly african american english section of New York City. White “ slummers ” enjoyed sleep together, nightclubs, and anything else they wished. Blues singers Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, and Gladys Bentley sang about affairs with women to visitors such as Tallulah Bankhead, Beatrice Lillie, and the soon-to-be-named Joan Crawford. [ 96 ] [ 97 ] Homosexuals began to draw comparisons between their newly recognized minority condition and that of african Americans. [ 98 ] Among african american english residents of Harlem, lesbian relationships were common and allow, though not overtly embraced. Some women staged lavish marry ceremonies, even filing licenses using masculine names with New York City. [ 99 ] Most homosexual women, however, were married to men and participated in affairs with women regularly. [ 100 ] Across town, Greenwich Village besides saw a growing homosexual community ; both Harlem and Greenwich Village provided furnish rooms for unmarried men and women, which was a major component in their development as centers for homosexual communities. [ 101 ] The tenor was different in Greenwich Village than Harlem, however. Bohemians —intellectuals who rejected victorian ideals—gathered in the Village. Homosexuals were predominantly male, although figures such as poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and social host Mabel Dodge were known for their affairs with women and forwarding of tolerance of homosexuality. [ 102 ] Women in the U.S. who could not visit Harlem or live in Greenwich Village for the first time were able to visit saloons in the 1920s without being considered prostitutes. The universe of a public space for women to socialize in bars that were known to cater to lesbians “ became the unmarried most important public demonstration of the subculture for many decades ”, according to historian Lillian Faderman. [ 103 ]

The Great Depression

The primary coil component necessary to encourage lesbians to be public and seek early women was economic independence, which virtually disappeared in the 1930s with the Great Depression. Most women in the U.S. found it necessary to marry, to a “ front “ such as a cheery world where both could pursue homosexual relationships with populace delicacy, or to a man who expected a traditional wife. independent women in the 1930s were by and large seen as holding jobs that men should have. [ 104 ] The sociable position made very humble and close-knit communities in large cities that centered around bars, while simultaneously isolating women in early locales. talk of homosexuality in any context was socially forbid, and women rarely discussed lesbianism even amongst themselves ; they referred to openly brave people as “ in the Life ”. [ 105 ] [ planck’s constant ] Freudian psychoanalytical hypothesis was permeant in influencing doctors to consider homosexuality as a neurosis afflicting unfledged women. homosexual subculture disappeared in Germany with the rise of the Nazis in 1933. [ 107 ]

World War II

Two women assembling a section of a wing for a WWII fighter plane. Women ‘s experiences in the knead power and the military during World War II gave them economic and social options that helped to shape lesbian subculture .An upside down black triangle. Women who did not conform to the Nazi ideal of a woman were considered asocial, imprisoned, and identified with a black triangle. Lesbians were deemed antisocial. The attack of World War II caused a massive turbulence in people ‘s lives as military mobilization engaged millions of men. Women were besides accepted into the military in the U.S. Women ‘s Army Corps ( WACs ) and U.S. Navy ‘s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service ( WAVES ). unlike processes to screen out male homosexuals, which had been in rate since the creation of the american english military, there were no methods to identify or screen for lesbians ; they were put into put gradually during World War II. Despite common attitudes regarding women ‘s traditional roles in the 1930s, freelancer and masculine women were directly recruited by the military in the 1940s, and frailty discouraged. [ 108 ] Some women were able to arrive at the recruit station in a man ‘s suit, deny always having been in love with another woman, and be easily inducted. [ 108 ] Sexual activeness, however, was forbidden, and blue discharge was about sealed if one identified oneself as a lesbian. As women found each other, they formed into tight groups on basis, socialized at service clubs, and began to use code words. historian Allan Bérubé documented that homosexuals in the arm forces either consciously or subconsciously refused to identify themselves as homosexual or lesbian, and besides never spoke about others ‘ orientation course. [ 109 ] The most masculine women were not necessarily common, though they were visible so they tended to attract women interested in finding early lesbians. Women had to broach the subject about their concern in other women cautiously, sometimes taking days to develop a park understand without asking or stating anything outright. [ 110 ] Women who did not enter the military were aggressively called upon to take industrial jobs left by men, in order to continue home productivity. The increase mobility, sophism, and independence of many women during and after the war made it possible for women to live without husbands, something that would not have been feasible under different economic and sociable circumstances, far shaping lesbian networks and environments. [ 111 ] Lesbians were not included under Paragraph 175 of the german Criminal Code, which made homosexual acts between males a crime. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ( USHMM ) stipulates that this is because women were seen as subordinate to men, and the Nazi state of matter feared lesbians less than cheery men. however, many lesbians were arrested and imprisoned for “ antisocial ” behavior, [ iodine ] a tag which was applied to women who did not conform to the ideal Nazi double of a charwoman ( fudge, clean, kitchen oeuvre, child raise, and passivity ). These women were identified with an inverted black triangle. [ 113 ] Although lesbianism was not specifically criminalized by Paragraph 175, some lesbians reclaimed the black triangle symbol as gay men reclaimed the pink triangle, and many lesbians besides reclaimed the pink triangle. [ 112 ]

Postwar years

A drawn illustrated magazine cover of a woman in half shadow with short, wavy hair holding a harlequin mask under the title "The Ladder" and the date "October 1957" underneath it. The Ladder, mailed to hundreds of women in the San Francisco area, urged women to take off their masks. The 1957 first version of, mailed to hundreds of women in the San Francisco area, urged women to take off their masks. Following World War II, a countrywide bowel movement pressed to return to pre-war club ampere quickly as possible in the U.S. [ 114 ] When combined with the increasing national paranoia about communism and psychoanalytical theory that had become permeant in medical cognition, homosexuality became an undesired feature of employees working for the U.S. government in 1950. Homosexuals were thought to be vulnerable targets to blackmail, and the government purged its employment ranks of open homosexuals, beginning a far-flung attempt to gather intelligence about employees ‘ private lives. [ 115 ] State and local governments followed suit, arresting people for congregating in bars and parks, and enacting laws against cross-dress for men and women. [ 116 ] The U.S. military and government conducted many interrogations, asking if women had ever had sexual relations with another charwoman and basically equating even a erstwhile experience to a condemnable identity, thereby badly delineating heterosexuals from homosexuals. [ 117 ] In 1952, homosexuality was listed as a pathological emotional affray in the American Psychiatric Association ‘s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. [ 118 ] The watch that homosexuality was a curable nausea was wide believed in the aesculapian community, general population, and among many lesbians themselves. [ 119 ] Attitudes and practices to ferret out homosexuals in public service positions extended to Australia [ 120 ] and Canada. [ 121 ] A incision to create an umbrage of “ gross indecency ” between females was added to a bill in the United Kingdom House of Commons and passed there in 1921, but was rejected in the House of Lords, apparently because they were concerned any attention paid to intimate misbehave would besides promote it. [ 122 ]

Underground socializing

identical little information was available about homosexuality beyond aesculapian and psychiatric text. Community meet places consisted of bars that were normally raided by police once a calendar month on average, with those arrested exposed in newspapers. In response, eight women in San Francisco met in their living rooms in 1955 to socialize and have a safe topographic point to dance. When they decided to make it a regular meeting, they became the beginning organization for lesbians in the U.S., titled the Daughters of Bilitis ( DOB ). The DOB began publishing a cartridge holder titled The Ladder in 1956. Inside the front man cover of every issue was their deputation argument, the first of which stated was “ education of the variant ”. It was intended to provide women with cognition about homosexuality—specifically relating to women and celebrated lesbians in history. however, by 1956, the term “ lesbian ” had such a negative think of that the DOB refused to use it as a form, choosing “ version ” rather. [ 123 ] The DOB ranch to Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, and The Ladder was mailed to hundreds—eventually thousands—of DOB members discussing the nature of homosexuality, sometimes challenging the estimate that it was a illness, with readers offering their own reasons why they were lesbians and suggesting ways to cope with the condition or club ‘s answer to it. [ 119 ] british lesbians followed with the publication of Arena Three beginning in 1964, with a similar deputation. [ 124 ]
A brightly painted book cover with the title Though marketed to heterosexual men, lesbian pulp fiction provided an identity to isolate women in the 1950s .

Butch and femme dichotomy

As a observation of categories of sex sol precipitously defined by the government and society at bombastic, early lesbian subculture developed rigid gender roles between women, particularly among the working class in the U.S. and Canada. For working class lesbians who wanted to live as homosexuals, “ A functioning pair … meant dichotomous individuals, if not male and female, then butch and femme ”, and the only models they had to go by were “ those of the traditional female-male [ roles ] ”. [ 125 ] Although many municipalities enacted laws against cross-dress, some women would socialize in bars as butches : dressed in men ‘s clothe and mirroring traditional masculine behavior. Others wore traditionally feminine clothing and assumed the function of femmes. Butch and femme modes of socialization were so integral within lesbian bars that women who refused to choose between the two would be ignored, or at least ineffective to go steady anyone, and butch women becoming romantically involved with early butch women or femmes with early femmes was unacceptable. [ 125 ] Butch women were not a knickknack in the 1950s ; even in Harlem and Greenwich Village in the 1920s some women assumed these personae. In the 1950s and 1960s, however, the roles were permeant and not limited to North America : from 1940 to 1970, butch/femme barricade culture flourished in Britain, though there were fewer course distinctions. [ 126 ] They further identify members of a group that had been marginalized ; women who had been rejected by most of club had an inside position of an exclusive group of people that took a gamey amount of cognition to function in. [ 127 ] Butch and femme were considered coarse by american lesbians of higher social standing during this period. many wealthier women married to satisfy their familial obligations, and others escaped to Europe to live as expatriates. [ 128 ]

Lesbian-themed fabrication

regardless of the miss of information about homosexuality in scholarly text, another forum for learning about lesbianism was growing. A paperback book titled Women’s Barracks describing a charwoman ‘s experiences in the Free French Forces was published in 1950. It told of a lesbian relationship the writer had witnessed. After 4.5 million copies were sold, it was consequently named in the House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials in 1952. [ 129 ] Its publisher, Gold Medal Books, followed with the novel Spring Fire in 1952, which sold 1.5 million copies. Gold Medal Books was overwhelmed with mail from women writing about the capable count, and followed with more books, creating the genre of lesbian pulp fabrication. [ 130 ] between 1955 and 1969 over 2,000 books were published using lesbianism as a topic, and they were sold in corner drugstores, discipline stations, bus stops, and newsstands all over the U.S. and Canada. Most were written by, and about all were marketed to heterosexual men. Coded words and images were used on the covers. rather of “ lesbian ”, terms such as “ strange ”, “ twilight ”, “ queer ”, and “ third gear arouse ”, were used in the titles, and cover art was constantly lubricious. [ 131 ] A handful of lesbian pulp fabrication authors were women writing for lesbians, including Ann Bannon, Valerie Taylor, Paula Christian, and Vin Packer/Ann Aldrich. Bannon, who besides purchased lesbian pulp fiction, late stated that women identified the substantial iconically by the shroud art. [ 132 ] Many of the books used cultural references : name places, terms, describing modes of dress and other codes to detached women. As a result, pulp fiction helped to proliferate a lesbian identity simultaneously to lesbians and heterosexual readers. [ 133 ]

Second-wave feminist movement

The social inflexibility of the 1950s and early 1960s encountered a backfire as social movements to improve the stand of african Americans, the poor, women, and gays all became outstanding. Of the latter two, the gay rights motion and the feminist movement connected after a violent confrontation occurred in New York City in the 1969 Stonewall riots. [ 134 ] What followed was a bowel movement characterized by a billow of gay activism and feminist consciousness that far transformed the definition of lesbian. The sexual rotation in the 1970s introduced the differentiation between identity and intimate behavior for women. many women took advantage of their fresh social freedom to try new experiences. Women who previously identified as heterosexual tried sex with women, though many maintained their heterosexual identity. [ 135 ] however, with the second coming of second curl feminist movement, lesbian as a political identity grew to describe a social philosophy among women, much overshadowing sexual desire as a defining trait. A belligerent feminist constitution named Radicalesbians published a manifesto in 1970 entitled “ The Woman-Identified Woman “ that declared “ A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion ”. [ 136 ] [ joule ] competitive feminists expressed their condescension with an inherently male chauvinist and patriarchal company, and concluded the most effective way to overcome sexism and attain the equality of women would be to deny men any might or pleasure from women. For women who subscribed to this philosophy—dubbing themselves lesbian-feminists —lesbian was a term chosen by women to describe any woman who dedicated her overture to social interaction and political motivation to the benefit of women. sexual desire was not the defining characteristic of a lesbian-feminist, but rather her focus on politics. independence from men as oppressors was a central dogma of lesbian-feminism, and many believers strove to separate themselves physically and economically from traditional male-centered polish. In the ideal club, named lesbian Nation, “ womanhood ” and “ lesbian ” were exchangeable. [ 138 ] Although lesbian-feminism was a significant chemise, not all lesbians agreed with it. Lesbian-feminism was a youth-oriented drift : its members were chiefly college educated, with experience in New Left and radical causes, but they had not seen any achiever in persuading radical organizations to take up women ‘s issues. [ 139 ] Many older lesbians who had acknowledged their sex in more conservative times felt maintaining their ways of coping in a homophobic world was more allow. The Daughters of Bilitis folded in 1970 over which direction to focus on : feminism or gay rights issues. [ 140 ] As equality was a precedence for lesbian-feminists, disparity of roles between men and women or butch and femme were viewed as patriarchal. Lesbian-feminists eschewed sex function play that had been permeant in bars, a well as the perceive male chauvinism of brave men ; many lesbian-feminists refused to work with gay men, or take up their causes. [ 141 ] however, lesbians who held a more essentialist see that they had been born homosexual and used the form “ lesbian ” to define intimate attraction, much considered the separatist, angry opinions of lesbian-feminists to be damaging to the cause of gay rights. [ 142 ] In 1980, poet and essayist Adrienne Rich expanded upon the political meaning of lesbian by proposing a continuum of lesbian being based on “ woman-identified experience ” in her test “ Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence “. [ 143 ] All relationships between women, Rich proposed, have some lesbian component, careless if they claim a lesbian identity : mothers and daughters, women who work together, and women who nurse each early, for exercise. Such a perception of women relating to each early connects them through time and across cultures, and Rich considered heterosexuality a circumstance forced upon women by men. [ 143 ] respective years earlier, DOB founders Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon similarly relegated sexual acts as unnecessary in determining what a lesbian is, by providing their definition : “ a womanhood whose primary erotic, psychological, emotional and social sake is in a member of her own arouse, even though that sake may not be overtly expressed ”. [ 144 ]

outside western polish

Middle East

Arabic-language historical records have used assorted terms to describe sexual practices between women. [ 145 ] A park one is “ sahq ” which refers to the act of “ rubbing. ” lesbian practices and identities are, however, largely lacking from the diachronic record. The common term to describe lesbianism in Arabic nowadays is basically the same terminus used to describe men, and thus the differentiation between male and female homosexuality is to a certain extent linguistically obscured in contemporary fagot converse. [ 145 ] Overall, the study of contemporary lesbian know in the region is complicated by office dynamics in the postcolonial context, shaped even by what some scholars refer to as “ homonationalism, ” the practice of politicize understanding of sexual categories to advance particular national interests on the domestic and international stage. [ 146 ] Female homosexual behavior may be show in every culture, although the concept of a lesbian as a woman who pairs entirely with other women is not. Attitudes about female homosexual behavior are dependent upon women ‘s roles in each society and each culture ‘s definition of sex. Women in the Middle East have been historically segregated from men. In the 7th and 8th centuries, some extraordinary women dressed in male attire when gender roles were less rigorous, but the sexual roles that accompanied european women were not associated with Islamic women. The Caliphal court in Baghdad featured women who dressed as men, including false facial haircloth, but they competed with other women for the attentions of men. [ 147 ] [ 148 ] According to the 12th-century writings of Sharif al-Idrisi, highly healthy women were more likely to be lesbians ; their intellectual art put them on a more evening par with men. [ 147 ] Relations between women who lived in harems and fears of women being sexually intimate in turkish baths were expressed in writings by men. Women, however, were by and large silent and men likewise rarely wrote about lesbian relationships. It is ill-defined to historians if the rare instances of lesbianism mentioned in literature are an accurate historical record or intended to serve as fantasies for men. A 1978 treatise about repression in Iran asserted that women were completely silenced : “ In the whole of iranian history, [ no womanhood ] has been allowed to speak out for such tendencies … To attest to lesbian desires would be an inexcusable crime. ” [ 147 ] Although the authors of Islamic Homosexualities argued this did not mean women could not engage in lesbian relationships, a lesbian anthropologist in 1991 visit Yemen and reported that women in the township she visited were unable to comprehend her romanticist relationship to another woman. Women in Pakistan are expected to marry men ; those who do not are ostracized. Women, however, may have intimate relations with early women a long as their wifely duties are met, their private matters are continue quietly, and the charwoman with whom they are involved is somehow related by class or coherent matter to to her fan. [ 149 ] Individuals identifying with or otherwise engaging in lesbian practices in the region can face kin ferocity and social persecution, including what are normally referred to as “ honor killings. ” The justifications provided by murderers relate to a person ‘s perceived sexual immorality, loss of virginity ( outside of satisfactory frames of marriage ), and target female victims chiefly. [ 150 ]

The Americas

Some autochthonal peoples of the Americas conceptualize a third base gender for women who dress as, and fulfill the roles normally filled by, men in their cultures. [ 151 ] [ 152 ] In other cases they may see sex as a spectrum, and use different terms for womanly women and masculine women. [ 153 ] however, these identities are rooted in the context of the ceremonial and cultural lives of the finical Indigenous cultures, and “ merely being gay and indian does not make person a Two-Spirit. ” [ 154 ] These ceremony and social roles, which are conferred and confirmed by the person ‘s elders, “ do not make common sense ” when defined by non-Native concepts of sexual predilection and gender identity. [ 152 ] Rather, they must be understood in an autochthonal context, as traditional religious and social roles held by the person in their Indigenous community. [ 154 ] [ 152 ] [ 155 ] In Latin America, lesbian consciousness and associations appeared in the 1970s, increasing while several countries transitioned to or reformed democratic governments. Harassment and intimidation have been coarse even in places where homosexuality is legal, and laws against child corruption, ethical motive, or “ the well ways ” ( faltas a la moral o las buenas costumbres ), have been used to persecute homosexuals. [ 156 ] From the Hispanic position, the battle between the lesbophobia of some feminists and the misogyny from brave men has created a difficult path for lesbians and associated groups. [ 157 ] Argentina was the first latin american area with a gay rights group, Nuestro Mundo ( NM, or Our World ), created in 1969. Six largely mysterious organizations concentrating on gay or lesbian issues were founded around this time, but persecution and harassment were continuous and grew worse with the dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla in 1976, when all groups were dissolved in the Dirty War. lesbian rights groups have gradually formed since 1986 to build a cohesive community that works to overcome philosophic differences with heterosexual women. [ 158 ] The latin american lesbian apparent motion has been the most active voice in Mexico, but has encountered exchangeable problems in potency and cohesion. While groups try to promote lesbian issues and concerns, they besides face misogynous attitudes from brave men and homophobic views from heterosexual women. In 1977, Lesbos, the first lesbian administration for Mexicans, was formed. respective incarnations of political groups promoting lesbian issues have evolved ; 13 lesbian organizations were active agent in Mexico City in 1997. ultimately, however, lesbian associations have had little influence both on the homosexual and feminist movements. [ 159 ] In Chile, the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet forbade the creation of lesbian groups until 1984, when Ayuquelén ( “ rejoice of being ” in Mapuche ) was first gear founded, prompted by the very public beating death of a woman amid shouts of “ curse lesbian ! ” from her attacker. The lesbian movement has been closely associated with the feminist bowel movement in Chile, although the kinship has been sometimes strained. Ayuquelén worked with the International Lesbian Information Service, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, and the Chilean brave rights group Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual ( Movement to Integrate and Liberate Homosexuals ) to remove the sodomy police inactive in storm in Chile. [ 157 ] lesbian awareness became more visible in Nicaragua in 1986, when the Sandinista National Liberation Front expelled brave men and lesbians from its midst. State persecution prevented the geological formation of associations until AIDS became a concern, when educational efforts forced sexual minorities to band together. The first lesbian organization was Nosotras, founded in 1989. An campaign to promote visibility from 1991 to 1992 provoked the government to declare homosexuality illegal in 1994, effectively ending the movement, until 2004, when Grupo Safo – Grupo de Mujeres Lesbianas de Nicaragua was created, four years before homosexuality became legal again. [ 160 ] The meetings of feminist lesbians of Latin America and the Caribbean, sometimes shortened to “ lesbian meetings ”, have been an important forum for the exchange of ideas for latin american lesbians since the late 1980s. With rotating hosts and semiannual gatherings, its independent aims are the universe of communication networks, to change the position of lesbians in Latin America ( both legally and socially ), to increase solidarity between lesbians and to destroy the existing myths about them. [ 161 ]


Cross-gender roles and marriage between women has besides been recorded in over 30 african societies. [ 162 ] Women may marry early women, raise their children, and be by and large thought of as men in societies in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Kenya. The Hausa people of Sudan have a term equivalent to lesbian, kifi, that may besides be applied to males to mean “ neither party insists on a detail intimate function ”. [ 163 ] Near the Congo River, a female who participates in solid emotional or sexual relationships with another female among the Nkundo people is known as yaikya bonsángo ( a woman who presses against another woman ). lesbian relationships are besides known in matrilineal societies in Ghana among the Akan people. In Lesotho, females prosecute in what is normally considered sexual demeanor to the western world : they kiss, sleep together, rub genitals, participate in cunnilingus, and maintain their relationships with early females vigilantly. Since the people of Lesotho believe sex requires a penis, however, they do not consider their demeanor intimate, nor label themselves lesbians. [ 164 ] In South Africa, lesbians are raped by heterosexual men with a finish of punishment of “ abnormal ” demeanor and reward of social norms. [ 165 ] The crime was first identified in South Africa [ 166 ] where it is sometimes supervised by members of the woman ‘s family or local community, [ 167 ] and is a major subscriber to HIV infection in south african lesbians. [ 165 ] “ corrective rape ” is not recognized by the south african legal system as a hate crime despite the fact that the south african Constitution states that no person shall be discriminated against based on their social status and identity, including sexual predilection. [ 168 ] [ 169 ] [ 170 ] Legally, South Africa protects homosexual rights extensively, but the government has not taken proactive action to prevent corrective rape, and women do not have much religion in the patrol and their investigations. [ 171 ] [ 172 ] corrective rape is reported to be on the rebel in South Africa. The south african nonprofit “ Luleki Sizwe “ estimates that more than 10 lesbians are raped or gang-raped on a weekly basis. [ 173 ] As made public by the Triangle Project in 2008, at least 500 lesbians become victims of corrective rape every class and 86 % of bootleg lesbians in the westerly Cape live in fear of being sexually assaulted. [ 171 ] Victims of corrective rape are less likely to report the crime because of their society ‘s negative beliefs about homosexuality. [ 171 ]


A historic shunga woodblock printing from Japan depicting two women having sexual activity. China before westernization was another society that segregated men from women. historical chinese polish has not recognized a concept of sexual orientation course, or a model to divide people based on their same-sex or opposite-sex attractions. [ 174 ] Although there was a significant culture surrounding homosexual men, there was none for women. Outside their duties to bear sons to their husbands, women were perceived as having no sex at all. [ 175 ] This did not mean that women could not pursue sexual relationships with other women, but that such associations could not impose upon women ‘s relationships to men. rare references to lesbianism were written by Ying Shao, who identified same-sex relationships between women in imperial courts who behaved as husband and wife as dui shi ( pair feed ). “ aureate orchid Associations ” in Southern China existed into the twentieth hundred and promoted courtly marriages between women, who were then allowed to adopt children. [ 176 ] Westernization brought new ideas that all intimate behavior not resulting in reproduction was aberrant. [ 177 ] The liberty of being employed in silk factories starting in 1865 allowed some women to style themselves tzu-shu nii ( never to marry ) and live in communes with other women. other chinese called them sou-hei ( self-combers ) for adopting hairstyles of marital women. These communes passed because of the Great Depression and were subsequently discouraged by the communist government for being a relic of feudal China. [ 178 ] In contemporary chinese company, tongzhi ( lapp goal or liveliness ) is the term used to refer to homosexuals ; most chinese are reluctant to divide this classification farther to identify lesbians. [ 179 ] In Japan, the term rezubian, a japanese pronunciation of “ lesbian ”, was used during the 1920s. westernization brought more independence for women and allowed some japanese women to wear pants. [ 180 ] The cognate tomboy is used in the Philippines, and particularly in Manila, to denote women who are more masculine. [ 181 ] Virtuous women in Korea prioritize motherhood, chastity, and virginity ; outside this oscilloscope, very few women are free to express themselves through sex, although there is a growing organization for lesbians named Kkirikkiri. [ 182 ] The term pondan is used in Malaysia to refer to gay men, but since there is no diachronic context to reference lesbians, the term is used for female homosexuals a well. [ 183 ] As in many asian countries, open homosexuality is discouraged in many sociable levels, indeed many Malaysians lead double over lives. [ 184 ] In India, a 14th-century indian text mentioning a lesbian couple who had a child as a consequence of their sexual love is an exception to the general silence about female homosexuality. According to Ruth Vanita, this invisibility disappeared with the release of a film titled Fire in 1996, prompting some theaters in India to be attacked by religious extremists. Terms used to label homosexuals are much rejected by indian activists for being the result of imperialist influence, but most hold forth on homosexuality centers on men. Women ‘s rights groups in India continue to debate the authenticity of including lesbian issues in their platforms, as lesbians and fabric focus on female homosexuality are frequently suppressed. [ 185 ]


The Kinsey Report

The most extensive early study of female homosexuality was provided by the Institute for Sex Research, who published an in-depth reputation of the sexual experiences of american english women in 1953. More than 8,000 women were interviewed by Alfred Kinsey and the staff of the Institute for Sex Research in a book titled Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, popularly known as character of the Kinsey Report. The Kinsey Report ‘s dispassionate discussion of homosexuality as a shape of human sexual behavior was rotatory. Up to this study, only physicians and psychiatrists studied sexual behavior, and about constantly the results were interpreted with a moral watch. [ 186 ] Kinsey and his staff reported that 28 % of women had been aroused by another female, and 19 % had a intimate liaison with another female. [ 187 ] [ kilobyte ] Of women who had intimate contact with another female, one-half to two-thirds of them had orgasmed. Single women had the highest preponderance of homosexual bodily process, followed by women who were widowed, divorced, or separated. The lowest occurrence of sexual natural process was among marry women ; those with previous homosexual have reported they married to stop homosexual action. [ 189 ] Most of the women who reported homosexual bodily process had not experienced it more than ten-spot times. Fifty-one percentage of women reporting homosexual experience had lone one partner. [ 190 ] Women with post-graduate education had a higher preponderance of homosexual experience, followed by women with a college education ; the smallest happening was among women with education no higher than eighth grade. [ 191 ] however, Kinsey ‘s methodology was criticized. [ 192 ] [ 193 ] Based on Kinsey ‘s scale where 0 represents a person with an entirely heterosexual reception and 6 represents a person with an entirely homosexual one, and numbers in between represent a gradient of responses with both sexes, 6 % of those interviewed ranked as a 6 : entirely homosexual. apart from those who ranked 0 ( 71 % ), the largest percentage in between 0 and 6 was 1 at approximately 15 %. [ 194 ] however, the Kinsey Report remarked that the ranking described a time period in a person ‘s life, and that a person ‘s orientation may change. [ 194 ] Among the criticisms the Kinsey Report received, a particular one addressed the Institute for Sex Research ‘s tendency to use statistical sampling, which facilitated an over-representation of same-sex relationships by early researchers who did not adhere to Kinsey ‘s qualifications of data. [ 186 ]

The Hite Report

Twenty-three years late, in 1976, sexologist Shere Hite published a report on the sexual encounters of 3,019 women who had responded to questionnaires, under the title The Hite Report. Hite ‘s questions differed from Kinsey ‘s, focusing more on how women identified, or what they preferred preferably than experience. Respondents to Hite ‘s questions indicated that 8 % preferable sex with women and 9 % answered that they identified as bisexual or had sexual experiences with men and women, though they refused to indicate preference. [ 195 ] Hite ‘s conclusions are more based on respondents ‘ comments than quantifiable data. She found it “ striking ” that many women who had no lesbian experiences indicated they were concern in sex with women, peculiarly because the motion was not asked. [ 196 ] Hite found the two most meaning differences between respondents ‘ have with men and women were the stress on clitoral stimulation, and more emotional participation and orgasmic responses. [ 197 ] Since Hite performed her learn during the popularity of feminism in the 1970s, she besides acknowledged that women may have chosen the political identity of a lesbian .

population estimates

Lesbians in the U.S. are estimated to be about 2.6 % of the population, according to a National Opinion Research Center review of sexually active adults who had had same-sex experiences within the past year, completed in 2000. [ 198 ] A view of same-sex couples in the United States showed that between 2000 and 2005, the number of people claiming to be in same-sex relationships increased by 30 % —five times the rate of population increase in the U.S. The study attributed the startle to people being more comfortable self-identifying as homosexual to the union politics. [ fifty ] The government of the United Kingdom does not ask citizens to define their sex. however, a view by the UK Office for National Statistics ( ONS ) in 2010 found that 1.5 % of Britons identified themselves as gay or bisexual, and the ONS suggests that this is in trace with other surveys showing the number between 0.3 % and 3 %. [ 200 ] [ 201 ] Estimates of lesbians are sometimes not differentiated in studies of same-sex households, such as those performed by the U.S. census, and estimates of total cheery, lesbian, or bisexual population by the united kingdom government. however, polls in Australia have recorded a roll of self-identified lesbian or bisexual women from 1.3 % to 2.2 % of the sum population. [ 202 ]



In terms of medical issues, lesbians are referred to as women who have sexual activity with women ( WSW ) because of the misconceptions and assumptions about women ‘s sex and some women ‘s hesitance to disclose their accurate sexual histories evening to a doctor. [ 203 ] many self-identified lesbians neglect to see a doctor because they do not participate in heterosexual bodily process and want no parturition command, which is the originate agent for most women to seek reference with a gynecologist when they become sexually active. [ 204 ] As a solution, many lesbians are not screened regularly with Pap smears. The U.S. government reports that some lesbians neglect seeking checkup cover in the U.S. ; they lack health indemnity because many employers do not offer health benefits to domestic partners. [ 205 ] The consequence of the lack of medical information on WSW is that medical professionals and some lesbians perceive lesbians as having lower risks of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases or types of cancer. When women do seek medical attention, checkup professionals often fail to take a complete medical history. In a 2006 study of 2,345 lesbian and bisexual women, alone 9.3 % had claimed they had ever been asked their intimate orientation by a doctor. A third base of the respondents believed disclosing their sexual history would result in a negative reaction, and 30 % had received a negative reaction from a aesculapian professional after identifying themselves as lesbian or bisexual. [ 206 ] A patient ‘s complete history helps aesculapian professionals identify higher risk areas and corrects assumptions about the personal histories of women. In a similar view of 6,935 lesbians, 77 % had had intimate contact with one or more male partners, and 6 % had that contact within the former year. [ 206 ] [ thousand ] Heart disease is listed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the count one cause of end for all women. Factors that add to gamble of heart disease include fleshiness and smoke, both of which are more prevailing in lesbians. Studies show that lesbians have a higher body mass and are broadly less refer about burden issues than heterosexual women, and lesbians consider women with higher soundbox masses to be more attractive than heterosexual women do. Lesbians are more likely to exercise regularly than heterosexual women, and lesbians do not broadly exercise for aesthetic reasons, although heterosexual women do. [ 208 ] Research is needed to determine particular causes of fleshiness in lesbians. [ 205 ] [ 206 ] miss of differentiation between homosexual and heterosexual women in medical studies that concentrate on health issues for women skews results for lesbians and non-lesbian women. Reports are inconclusive about happening of summit cancer in lesbians. [ 206 ] It has been determined, however, that the lower pace of lesbians tested by regular Pap smears makes it more unmanageable to detect cervical cancer at early stages in lesbians. The hazard factors for developing ovarian cancer rates are higher in lesbians than heterosexual women, possibly because many lesbians lack protective factors of pregnancy, abortion, contraceptives, front feed, and miscarriages. [ 209 ] Some sexually transmitted diseases are communicable between women, including human papillomavirus ( HPV ) —specifically genital warts — squamous intraepithelial lesions, trichomoniasis, syphilis, and herpes simplex virus ( HSV ). transmittance of particular sexually convey diseases among women who have sex with women depends on the sexual practices women engage in. Any object that comes in contact with cervical secretions, vaginal mucous membrane, or menstrual blood, including fingers or penetrative objects may transmit sexually transmit diseases. [ 210 ] Orogenital liaison may indicate a higher risk of acquiring HSV, [ 211 ] evening among women who have had no prior arouse with men. [ 212 ] bacterial vaginosis ( BV ) occurs more frequently in lesbians, but it is ill-defined if BV is transmitted by intimate contact ; it occurs in celibate vitamin a well as sexually active women. BV often occurs in both partners in a lesbian relationship ; [ 213 ] a holocene study of women with BV found that 81 % had partners with BV. [ 214 ] Lesbians are not included in a class of frequency of human immunodeficiency virus ( HIV ) transmission, although transmission is possible through vaginal and cervical secretions. The highest rate of transmission of HIV to lesbians is among women who participate in intravenous drug function or have sexual sexual intercourse with bisexual men. [ 215 ] [ 216 ]


Since checkup literature began to describe homosexuality, it has much been approached from a opinion that sought to find an implicit in abnormal psychology as the solution induce, influenced by the theories of Sigmund Freud. Although he considered bisexuality built-in in all people, and said that most have phases of homosexual drawing card or experiment, exclusive same-sex attraction he attributed to stunted development resulting from trauma or parental conflicts. [ 217 ] [ n ] much literature on mental health and lesbians centered on their depression, substance pervert, and suicide. Although these issues exist among lesbians, discussion about their causes shifted after homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 1973. alternatively, social ostracism, legal discrimination, internalization of negative stereotypes, and circumscribed support structures indicate factors homosexuals face in western societies that much adversely affect their mental health. [ 219 ] Women who identify as lesbian report feeling significantly different and isolate during adolescence. [ 219 ] [ 220 ] These emotions have been cited as appearing on average at 15 years old in lesbians and 18 years old in women who identify as bisexual. [ 221 ] On the whole, women tend to work through developing a self-concept internally, or with early women with whom they are intimate. Women besides limit who they divulge their intimate identities to, and more much see being lesbian as a option, as opposed to gay men, who work more externally and see being gay as outside their command. [ 220 ] anxiety disorders and depressive disorder are the most common mental health issues for women. Depression is reported among lesbians at a rate similar to heterosexual women, [ 222 ] although generalized anxiety disorder is more likely to appear among lesbian and bisexual women than heterosexual women. [ 219 ] [ o ] Depression is a more significant problem among women who feel they must hide their sexual orientation course from friends and family, or know compounded heathen or religious discrimination, or wear relationship difficulties with no support system. [ 224 ] Men ‘s shape of women ‘s sex has proven to have an effect on how lesbians see their own bodies. Studies have shown that heterosexual men and lesbians have different standards for what they consider attractive in women. Lesbians who view themselves with male standards of female beauty may experience lower self-esteem, eating disorders, and higher incidence of depression. [ 208 ] More than half the respondents to a 1994 survey of health issues in lesbians reported they had suicidal thoughts, and 18 % had attempted suicide. [ 225 ] A population-based survey completed by the National Alcohol Research Center found that women who identify as lesbian or bisexual are less probably to abstain from alcohol. Lesbians and bisexual women have a higher likelihood of reporting problems with alcohol, adenine well as not being satisfied with discussion for kernel maltreatment programs. [ 226 ] Many lesbian communities are centered in bars, and drinking is an activity that correlates to community engagement for lesbians and bisexual women. [ 227 ]

Media representation

Lesbians portrayed in literature, film, and television often shape contemporary think about women ‘s sex. The majority of media about lesbians is produced by men ; [ 228 ] women ‘s publishing companies did not develop until the 1970s, films about lesbians made by women did not appear until the 1980s, and television shows portraying lesbians written by women merely began to be created in the twenty-first century. As a result, homosexuality—particularly dealing with women—has been excluded because of symbolic annihilation. When depictions of lesbians began to surface, they were much linear, simplify stereotypes. [ 228 ]


In summation to Sappho ‘s accomplishments, [ p ] literary historian Jeannette Howard Foster includes the Book of Ruth, [ 230 ] and ancient fabulous tradition as examples of lesbianism in classical literature. greek stories of the heavens often included a female number whose virtue and virginity were uncorrupted, who pursued more masculine interests, and who was followed by a dedicate group of maidens. Foster cites Camilla and Diana, Artemis and Callisto, and Iphis and Ianthe as examples of female fabulous figures who showed noteworthy devotion to each other, or defied gender expectations. [ 231 ] The Greeks are besides given citation with spreading the fib of a fabulous subspecies of women warriors named Amazons. En-hedu-ana, a priestess in Ancient Iraq who dedicated herself to the sumerian goddess Inanna, has the distinction of signing the oldest-surviving sign poetry in history. She characterized herself as Inanna ‘s spouse. [ 232 ] For ten-spot centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, lesbianism disappeared from literature. [ 233 ] Foster points to the particularly hard-and-fast view that Eve —representative of all women—caused the downfall of world ; original drop the ball among women was a particular concern, particularly because women were perceived as creating life. [ 234 ] During this meter, women were largely ignorant and not encouraged to engage in intellectual avocation, so men were responsible for shaping ideas about sex. [ 235 ] In the 15th and 16th centuries, french and english depictions of relationships between women ( Lives of Gallant Ladies by Brantôme in 1665, John Cleland ‘s 1749 pornography Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, L’Espion Anglais by versatile authors in 1778 ), writers ‘ attitudes spanned from amused tolerance to arousal, whereupon a male character would participate to complete the act. physical relationships between women were often encouraged ; men felt no threat as they viewed sexual acts between women to be accepted when men were not available, and not comparable to fulfillment that could be achieved by sexual acts between men and women. [ 236 ] At worst, if a charwoman became enamored of another charwoman, she became a tragic calculate. physical and consequently emotional atonement was considered impossible without a natural phallus. male intervention into relationships between women was necessary only when women acted as men and demanded the lapp social privileges. [ 237 ]
lesbianism became about exclusive to french literature in the nineteenth hundred, based on male fantasy and the desire to shock bourgeois moral values. [ 239 ] Honoré de Balzac, in The Girl with the Golden Eyes ( 1835 ), employed lesbianism in his report about three people living amongst the moral degeneracy of Paris, and again in Cousin Bette and Séraphîta. His work influenced novelist Théophile Gautier ‘s Mademoiselle de Maupin, which provided the foremost description of a physical type that became associated with lesbians : tall, wide-shouldered, slim-hipped, and athletically tend. [ 240 ] Charles Baudelaire repeatedly used lesbianism as a root in his poem “ Lesbos ”, “ Femmes damnées 1 ” ( “ Damned Women ” ), and “ Femmes damnées 2 ”. [ 241 ] Reflecting french society, ampere well as employing broth character associations, many of the lesbian characters in 19th-century french literature were prostitutes or courtesans : personifications of vice who died early on, violent deaths in moral endings. [ 238 ] Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘s 1816 poem “ Christabel “ and the novelette Carmilla ( 1872 ) by Sheridan Le Fanu both present lesbianism associated with vampirism. [ 242 ] Portrayals of female homosexuality not only formed european awareness about lesbianism, but Krafft-Ebing cited the characters in Gustave Flaubert ‘s Salammbô ( 1862 ) and Ernest Feydeau ‘s Le Comte de Chalis ( 1867 ) as examples of lesbians because both novels feature female protagonists who do not adhere to social norms and express “ contrary sexual feel ”, although neither participated in same-sex desire or sexual behavior. [ 243 ] Havelock Ellis used literary examples from Balzac and several french poets and writers to develop his framework to identify sexual inversion in women. [ 244 ] gradually, women began to author their own thoughts and literary works about lesbian relationships. Until the publication of The Well of Loneliness, most major works involving lesbianism were penned by men. Foster suggests that women would have encountered suspicion about their own lives had they used same-sex sexual love as a subject, and that some writers including Louise Labé, Charlotte Charke, and Margaret Fuller either changed the pronouns in their literary works to male, or made them equivocal. [ 245 ] Author George Sand was portrayed as a fictional character in respective works in the nineteenth hundred ; writer Mario Praz credited the popularity of lesbianism as a theme to Sand ‘s appearance in Paris company in the 1830s. [ 246 ] [ q ] Charlotte Brontë ‘s Villette in 1853 initiated a genre of boarding school stories with homoerotic themes. [ 248 ] In the twentieth hundred, Katherine Mansfield, Amy Lowell, Gertrude Stein, H.D., Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf, and Gale Wilhelm wrote popular works that had same-sex relationships as themes. Some women, such as Marguerite Yourcenar and Mary Renault, wrote or translated works of fabrication that focused on homosexual men, like some of the writings of Carson McCullers. All three were involved in same-sex relationships, but their elementary friendships were with gay men. [ 249 ] Foster further asserts 1928 was a “ point class ” for lesbian-themed literature ; in addition to The Well of Loneliness, three early novels with lesbian themes were published in England : Elizabeth Bowen ‘s The Hotel, Woolf ‘s Orlando, and Compton Mackenzie ‘s satirical fresh Extraordinary Women. [ 250 ] Unlike The Well of Loneliness, none of these novels were banned. [ 251 ] [ radius ] As the paperback book book came into fashion, lesbian themes were relegated to pulp fabrication. Many of the pulp novels typically presented very infelicitous women, or relationships that ended tragically. Marijane Meaker late wrote that she was told to make the relationship end badly in Spring Fire because the publishers were concerned about the books being confiscated by the U.S. Postal Service. [ 254 ] Patricia Highsmith, writing as Claire Morgan, wrote The Price of Salt in 1951 and refused to follow this directing, but alternatively used a pseudonym. [ 255 ] Following the Stonewall riots, lesbian themes in literature became much more divers and building complex, and shifted the focus of lesbianism from pornography for heterosexual men to works written by and for lesbians. Feminist magazines such as The Furies, and Sinister Wisdom replaced The Ladder. good writers who used lesbian characters and plots included Rita Mae Brown ‘s Rubyfruit Jungle ( 1973 ), which presents a feminist heroine who chooses to be a lesbian. [ 256 ] Poet Audre Lorde confronts homophobia and racism in her works, and Cherríe Moraga is credited with being primarily responsible for bringing Latina perspectives to lesbian literature. far changing values are discernible in the writings of Dorothy Allison, who focuses on child sexual mistreat and intentionally provocative lesbian sadomasochism themes. [ 257 ]


lesbianism, or the suggestion of it, began early in filmmaking. The same constructs of how lesbians were portrayed—or for what reasons—as what had appeared in literature were placed on women in the films. Women challenging their feminine roles was a device more easily accepted than men challenging masculine ones. Actresses appeared as men in male roles because of diagram devices a early as 1914 in A Florida Enchantment featuring Edith Storey. In Morocco ( 1930 ) Marlene Dietrich kisses another woman on the lips, and Katharine Hepburn plays a serviceman in Christopher Strong in 1933 and again in Sylvia Scarlett ( 1936 ). Hollywood films followed the lapp tendency set by audiences who flocked to Harlem to see edgy shows that suggested bisexuality. [ 258 ] Overt female homosexuality was introduced in 1929 ‘s Pandora’s Box between Louise Brooks and Alice Roberts. however, the growth of the Hays Code in 1930 censored most references to homosexuality from movie under the umbrella term “ sex perversion ”. german films depicted homosexuality and were distributed throughout Europe, but 1931 ‘s Mädchen in Uniform was not distributed in the U.S. because of the word picture of an adolescent ‘s sleep together for a female teacher in boarding school. [ 259 ]
Still shot from the film The Children’s Hour, but it is transparent why lesbianism, or homosexuality, was never spoken approximately in, but it is transparent why Shirley MacLaine ‘s character hangs herself. Because of the Hays Code, lesbianism after 1930 was absent from most films, even those adapted with overt lesbian characters or plat devices. Lillian Hellman ‘s play The Children’s Hour was converted into a heterosexual love triangle and retitled These Three. Biopic Queen Christina in 1933, starring Greta Garbo, veiled most of the meditation about Christina of Sweden ‘s affairs with women. [ 259 ] Homosexuality or lesbianism was never mentioned outright in the films while the Hays Code was enforced. The reason censors stated for removing a lesbian scene in 1954 ‘s The Pit of Loneliness was that it was, “ base, would tend to corrupt morals ”. [ 260 ] The code was relaxed slightly after 1961, and the following year William Wyler remade The Children’s Hour with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine. After MacLaine ‘s character admits her love for Hepburn ‘s, she hangs herself ; this set a precedent for hapless endings in films addressing homosexuality. [ 261 ] Gay characters besides were much killed off at the end, such as the end of Sandy Dennis ‘ character at the end of The Fox in 1968. If not victims, lesbians were depicted as villains or morally bribe, such as portrayals of whorehouse madames by Barbara Stanwyck in Walk on the Wild Side from 1962 and Shelley Winters in The Balcony in 1963. Lesbians as predators were presented in Rebecca ( 1940 ), women ‘s prison films like Caged ( 1950 ), or in the quality Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love ( 1963 ). [ 262 ] Lesbian vampire themes have reappeared in Dracula’s Daughter ( 1936 ), Blood and Roses ( 1960 ), Vampyros Lesbos ( 1971 ), and The Hunger ( 1983 ). [ 263 ] Basic Instinct ( 1992 ) featured a bisexual murderer played by Sharon Stone ; it was one of several films that set off a storm of protests about the word picture of gays as predators. [ 264 ] The first film to address lesbianism with significant depth was The Killing of Sister George in 1968, which was filmed in The Gateways Club, a longstanding lesbian public house in London. It is the inaugural to claim a film character who identifies as a lesbian, and film historian Vito Russo considers the film a building complex treatment of a many-sided character who is forced into silence about her openness by other lesbians. [ 265 ] Personal Best in 1982, and Lianna in 1983 treat the lesbian relationships more sympathetically and show lesbian sex scenes, though in neither film are the relationships felicitous ones. Personal Best was criticized for engaging in the clichéd plot device of one womanhood returning to a relationship with a man, implying that lesbianism is a phase, a well as treating the lesbian relationship with “ undisguised voyeurism ”. [ 266 ] More ambiguous portrayals of lesbian characters were seen in Silkwood ( 1983 ), The Color Purple ( 1985 ), and Fried Green Tomatoes ( 1991 ), despite explicit lesbianism in the reservoir material. [ 267 ] An era of autonomous filmmaking bring different stories, writers, and directors to films. Desert Hearts arrived in 1985, to be one of the most successful. Directed by lesbian Donna Deitch, it is loosely based on Jane Rule ‘s fresh Desert of the Heart. It received shuffle critical comment, but earned positive reviews from the cheery crusade. [ 268 ] The late 1980s and early 1990s ushered in a series of films treating gay and lesbian issues badly, made by gays and lesbians, nicknamed New Queer Cinema. [ 269 ] Films using lesbians as a subjugate included Rose Troche ‘s avant garde romantic drollery Go Fish ( 1994 ) and the first film about african american lesbians, Cheryl Dunye ‘s The Watermelon Woman, in 1995. [ 270 ] naturalism in films depicting lesbians developed further to include romance stories such as The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love and When Night Is Falling, both in 1995, Better Than Chocolate ( 1999 ), and the social sarcasm But I’m a Cheerleader ( besides in 1999 ). [ 271 ] A braid on the lesbian-as-predator root was the add complexity of motivations of some lesbian characters in Peter Jackson ‘s Heavenly Creatures ( 1994 ), the Oscar-winning biopic of Aileen Wuornos, Monster ( 2003 ), and the exploration of fluid sex and gender in Chasing Amy ( 1997 ), Kissing Jessica Stein ( 2001 ), and Boys Don’t Cry ( 1999 ). [ 272 ] The film V for Vendetta shows a dictatorship in future Britain that forces lesbians, homosexuals, and early “ unwanted ” people in society to be systematically slaughtered in Nazi concentration camps. In the film, a lesbian actress named Valerie, who was killed in such a manner, serves as inspiration for the mask rebel V and his ally Evey Hammond, who set out to overthrow the dictatorship .


The first stage production to feature a lesbian kiss and candid delineation of two women in love is the 1907 yiddish fun God of Vengeance ( Got fun nekome ) by Sholem Asch. Rivkele, a young charwoman, and Manke, a prostitute in her father ‘s whorehouse, fall in sleep together. On March 6, 1923, during a performance of the play in a New York City dramaturgy, producers and draw were informed that they had been indicted by a Grand Jury for violating the Penal Code that defined the presentation of “ an lewd, indecent, base and impure theatrical production. ” They were arrested the adopt day when they appeared before a evaluate. Two months late, they were found guilty in a jury test. The producers were fined $ 200 and the cast received suspend sentences. The looseness is considered by some to be “ the greatest drama of the yiddish theater ”. [ 273 ] [ 274 ] God of Vengeance was the inspiration for the 2015 turn Indecent by Paula Vogel, which features lesbian characters Rifkele and Manke. [ 275 ] [ 276 ] Indecent was nominated for the 2017 Tony Award for Best Play and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. Broadway musical The Prom featured lesbian characters Emma Nolan and Alyssa Greene. In 2019, the product was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. A performance from The Prom was included in the 2018 Macy ‘s Thanksgiving Day Parade and made history by showing the first same-sex kiss in the parade ‘s air. [ 277 ] [ 278 ] Jagged Little Pill featured lesbian character Jo, who is dealing with her religious mother ‘s disfavor. [ 279 ]


television began to address homosexuality much later than film. local talk shows in the late 1950s first addressed homosexuality by inviting panels of experts ( normally not gay themselves ) to discuss the problems of gay men in society. Lesbianism was rarely included. The inaugural time a lesbian was portrayed on network television receiver was the NBC drama The Eleventh Hour in the early 1960s, in a teleplay about an actress who feels she is persecuted by her female film director, and in distress, calls a psychiatrist who explains she is a latent lesbian who has deep-rooted guilt about her feelings for women. When she realizes this, however, she is able to pursue heterosexual relationships, which are portrayed as “ healthy ”. [ 280 ] invisibility for lesbians continued in the 1970s when homosexuality became the subject of dramatic portrayals, first base with aesculapian drama ( The Bold Ones, Marcus Welby, M.D., Medical Center ) featuring chiefly male patients coming out to doctors, or staff members coming come out of the closet to early staff members. These shows allowed homosexuality to be discussed clinically, with the main characters guiding disturb gay characters or correcting homophobic antagonists, while simultaneously comparing homosexuality to psychosis, criminal behavior, or drug manipulation. [ 281 ] Another stock plot device in the 1970s was the gay character in a police drama. They served as victims of blackmail or anti-gay violence, but more much as criminals. Beginning in the late 1960s with N.Y.P.D., Police Story, and Police Woman, the manipulation of homosexuals in stories became much more prevailing, according to Vito Russo, as a response to their higher profiles in homosexual activism. [ 282 ] Lesbians were included as villains, motivated to murder by their desires, internalized homophobia, or concern of being exposed as homosexual. One episode of Police Woman earned protests by the National Gay Task Force before it aired for portraying a trio of homicidal lesbians who killed retirement home patients for their money. [ 283 ] NBC edited the episode because of the protests, but a sit-in was staged in the head of NBC ‘s offices. [ 284 ] In the center of the 1970s, gay men and lesbians began to appear as police officers or detectives facing coming out issues. This did not extend to CBS ‘ innovative show Cagney & Lacey in 1982, starring two female police detectives. CBS production made conscious attempts to soften the characters so they would not appear to be lesbians. [ 285 ] In 1991, a bisexual lawyer portrayed by Amanda Donohoe on L.A. Law shared the first significant lesbian kiss [ s ] on primetime television with Michele Greene, stirring a controversy despite being labeled “ chaste ” by The Hollywood Reporter. [ 287 ]
A photograph of Ellen DeGeneres with her 1997 Emmy Award. [288] Ellen DeGeneres with her Emmy Award in 1997. Her coming out in the media, equally well as her situation comedy, “ ranks, hands down, as the individual most public exit in brave history ”, changing media portrayals of lesbians in western culture. Though television receiver did not begin to use recurring homosexual characters until the late 1980s, some early situation comedies used a stock fictional character that generator Stephen Tropiano calls “ gay-straight ” : supporting characters who were far-out, did not comply with sex norms, or had ambiguous personal lives, that “ for all purposes should be gay ”. These included Zelda from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Miss Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies, and Jo from The Facts of Life. [ 289 ] In the mid-1980s through the 1990s, sitcoms frequently employed a “ coming out ” episode, where a acquaintance of one of the stars admits she is a lesbian, forcing the cast to deal with the issue. Designing Women, The Golden Girls, and Friends used this device with women in particular. [ 290 ] Recurring lesbian characters who came out were seen on Married… with Children, Mad About You, and Roseanne, in which a highly publicized sequence had ABC executives afraid a telecast kiss between Roseanne and Mariel Hemingway would destroy ratings and laying waste ad. The sequence was rather the workweek ‘s highest rated. [ 291 ] By far the situation comedy with the most meaning affect to the trope of lesbians was Ellen. Publicity surrounding Ellen ‘s coming out sequence in 1997 was enormous ; Ellen DeGeneres appeared on the cover of Time cartridge holder the week before the dissemination of “ The Puppy Episode “ with the headline “ Yep, I ‘m cheery ”. Parties were held in many U.S. cities to watch the sequence, and the opposition from conservative organizations was intense. WBMA-LP, the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, even refused to air the beginning run of the sequence, citing button-down values of the local wake hearing, which earned the station some infamy and anger in the LGBT community. flush still, “ The Puppy Episode ” won an Emmy for write, but as the prove began to deal with Ellen Morgan ‘s sex each week, network executives grew uncomfortable with the management the show took and canceled it. [ 292 ] Dramas following L.A. Law began incorporating homosexual themes, peculiarly with continuing storylines on Relativity, Picket Fences, ER, and Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, both of which tested the boundaries of sex and sex. [ 293 ] A display directed at adolescents that had a particularly potent fad following was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the fourthly season of Buffy, Tara and Willow admit their love for each other without any particular flourish and the relationship is treated as are the early romanticist relationships on the show. [ 294 ] What followed was a series devoted entirely to gay characters from net television. Showtime ‘s american interpretation of Queer as Folk run for five years, from 2000 to 2005 ; two of the main characters were a lesbian couple. Showtime promoted the series as “ No Limits ”, and Queer as Folk addressed homosexuality graphically. The aggressive advertise paid off as the show became the network ‘s highest rated, doubling the numbers of other Showtime programs after the first season. [ 295 ] In 2004, Showtime introduced The L Word, a dramatic series devoted to a group of lesbian and bisexual women, running its final temper in 2009 .

other aspects

lesbian chic and popular culture

Cover of Vanity Fair magazine from August 1993 showing k.d. lang reclining in a barber chair with eyes closed and holding a compact mirror. She has shaving foam on her chin and is wearing an open-collar white shirt, black and white striped tie, dark color pinstripe vest and cuffed pants, and black lace boots. Supermodel Cindy Crawford is holding a straight razor to lang's chin while lang's head rests on her breast. Crawford is wearing a one-piece black bathing suit and high heel black boots, with head thrown back as her long hair cascades down her back. Vanity Fair that marked the arrival of lesbian chic as a social phenomenon in the 1990s. The August 1993 cover ofthat marked the arrival of lesbian chic as a social phenomenon in the 1990s. lesbian visibility has improved since the early 1980s. This is in separate due to populace figures who have drawn speculation from the populace and gloss in the iron about their sex and lesbianism in general. The chief trope earning this attention was Martina Navratilova, who served as yellow journalism fodder for years as she denied being lesbian, admitted to being bisexual, had very public relationships with Rita Mae Brown and Judy Nelson, and acquired as much press about her sex as she did her athletic achievements. Navratilova spurred what scholar Diane Hamer termed “ constant preoccupation ” in the wardrobe with determining the etymon of same-sex desire. [ 296 ] other public figures acknowledged their homosexuality and androgyny, notably musicians k.d. lang and Melissa Etheridge, and Madonna ‘s pushing of intimate boundaries in her performances and publications. In 1993, lang and self-professed heterosexual supermodel Cindy Crawford posed for the August cover of Vanity Fair in a provocative arrangement that showed Crawford shaving lang ‘s face, as lang lounged in a barber ‘s chair wearing a pinstripe suit. [ 297 ] The prototype “ became an internationally recognized symbol of the phenomenon of lesbian chic ”, according to Hamer. [ 298 ] The year 1994 marked a raise in lesbian visibility, peculiarly appealing to women with womanly appearances. between 1992 and 1994, Mademoiselle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Newsweek, and New York magazines featured stories about women who admitted intimate histories with other women. [ 299 ] One analyst reasoned the recurrence of lesbian chic was due to the often-used homoerotic subtexts of gay male subculture being considered off-limits because of AIDS in the late 1980s and 1990s, joined with the distant memory of lesbians as they appeared in the 1970s : unattractive and militant. In short circuit, lesbians became more attractive to general audiences when they ceased having political convictions. [ 300 ] All the attention on feminine and glamorous women created what culture analyst Rodger Streitmatter characterizes as an unrealistic persona of lesbians packaged by heterosexual men ; the vogue influenced an increase in the inclusion of lesbian material in pornography aimed at men. [ 301 ] A revival of lesbian visibility and sexual fluidity was noted in 2009, with celebrities such as Cynthia Nixon and Lindsay Lohan commenting openly on their relationships with women, and world television addressing same-sex relationships. Psychiatrists and feminist philosophers write that the arise in women acknowledging same-sex relationships is due to growing social toleration, but besides concede that “ alone a certain kind of lesbian—slim and elegant or butch in just the good androgynous way—is acceptable to mainstream culture ”. [ 302 ]

Families and politics

Although homosexuality among females has taken place in many cultures in history, a late phenomenon is the development of family among same-sex partners. Before the 1970s, the idea that same-sex adults formed long-run commit relationships was unknown to many people. The majority of lesbians ( between 60 % and 80 % ) report card being in a long-run relationship. [ 303 ] Sociologists credit the high gear number of copulate women to gender character socialization : the dip for women to commit to relationships doubles in a lesbian union. Unlike heterosexual relationships that tend to divide work based on sex roles, lesbian relationships divide chores evenly between both members. Studies have besides reported that emotional bonds are closer in lesbian and homosexual relationships than heterosexual ones. [ 304 ] class issues were significant concerns for lesbians when cheery activism became more outspoken in the 1960s and 1970s. custody issues in detail were of interest since often courts would not award hands to mothers who were openly homosexual, even though the general routine acknowledged children were awarded to the biological mother. [ 305 ] [ 306 ] several studies performed as a leave of custody disputes viewed how children grow up with same-sex parents compared to one mothers who did not identify as lesbians. They found that children ‘s mental health, happiness, and overall adaptation is exchangeable to children of disassociate women who are not lesbians. intimate orientation, sex identity, and sex roles of children who grow up with lesbian mothers are unmoved. Differences that were found include the fact that divorced lesbians tend to be living with a partner, fathers visit divorced lesbian mothers more much than divorced nonlesbian mothers, and lesbian mothers report a greater fear of losing their children through legal means. [ 305 ] Improving opportunities for growing families of same-sex couples has shaped the political landscape within the past ten years. A press for same-sex marriage or civil unions in western countries has replaced other political objectives. As of 2012, ten countries and six U.S. states offer same-sex marriage ; civil unions are offered as an choice in some european countries, U.S. states and individual municipalities. The ability to adopt domestically or internationally children or provide a home as a foster parent is besides a political and family priority for many lesbians, as is improving access to artificial insemination. [ 307 ]

Lesbians of color

Lesbians of semblance have often been a marginalize group, including african American, Latina, Asian, Arab, and early non-Caucasian lesbians ; [ 308 ] and experienced racism in summation to homophobia and misogyny. [ 309 ] Some scholars have noted that in the past the prevailing lesbian community was largely composed of white women and influenced by american culture, leading some lesbians of color to experience difficulties integrating into the community at big. many lesbians of color have stated that they were frequently systematically excluded from lesbian spaces based on the fact that they are women of color. [ 310 ] Additionally, these women face a unique set of challenges within their respective racial communities. many feel abandoned, as communities of color often view homosexual identity as a “ white ” life style and see the toleration of homosexuality as a reverse in achieving equality. [ 309 ] Lesbians of color, specially those of immigrant populations, often hold the opinion that their intimate orientation course identity adversely affects assimilation into the dominant acculturation. Historically, women of color were much excluded from participating in lesbian and cheery movements. Scholars have stated that this exception came as a resultant role of the majority of whites dismissing the intersections of gender, slipstream, and sex that are a core part of the lesbian of color identity. Lesbians that organized events were by and large white and middle-class, and largely focused their political movements on the issues of sexism and homophobia, quite than class or race issues. The early lesbian feminist movement was criticized for excluding race and class issues from their spaces and for a miss of focus on issues that did not benefit white women. [ 308 ] Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith, and Cherrie Moraga are cited as major theorists within the versatile lesbians of color movements for their insistence on inclusion body and equality, from both racial communities and white lesbian communities. [ 308 ] The many intersections surrounding lesbians of color can frequently contribute to an increased need for genial health resources. Lesbians of color are more likely to experience a act of psychological issues due to the diverse experiences of sexism, racism, and homophobia as a part of their being. [ 311 ] Mental health providers, such as therapists, often use heteronormative standards to gauge the health of lesbian relationships, and the relationships of lesbian women of color are often subjects of opinion because they are seen as the most pervert. [ 311 ] Within racial communities, the decision to come out can be costly, as the threat of loss of support from class, friends, and the community at large is probable. Lesbians of discolor are much exposed to a range of adverse consequences, including microaggression, discrimination, menace, and violence. [ 310 ]

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