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By Cheshire Calhoun

Has feminism failed lesbianism? What matters belong on the most sensible of a lesbian and homosexual political time table? This arguable new ebook solutions those query via an in-depth exam of lesbian and homosexual subordination.

Feminism, the kinfolk, and the Politics of the Closet seeks to firmly position sexual orientation politics inside of feminist thought and outline the important political matters confronting lesbian and homosexual males. Cheshire Calhoun reviews the analytic frameworks hired inside feminism that render invisible the variations among lesbian and heterosexual ladies to be able to deliver the research of lesbian existence from the margins to the heart of feminist conception. all through, Calhoun strives to maneuver lesbian and homosexual politics clear of matters of sexual laws and towards issues of the displacement of gays and lesbians from either the general public sphere of obvious citizenship and the non-public sphere of romance, marriage, and relatives. This impassioned problem to present feminist idea is needs to interpreting for these within the components of political concept, gender reviews, sociology, and women's reports, in addition to someone desirous about the placement of gays and lesbians in state-of-the-art political arena.

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Extra info for Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet: Lesbian and Gay Displacement

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That is, it would need to put into clear view the difference between being a lesbian who resists heterosexuality, who resists being a woman, and who resists loving men rather than women and being a feminist who resists the same things. In what follows, I will be continuing the argument introduced in Chapter 1, that, like patriarchy and capitalism, gender oppression and lesbian and gay 10 Radicalesbians, ‘The Woman Identified Woman’, in Radical Feminism, ed. Anne Koedt et al. (New York: Quadrangle, 1973), 240–5.

II. Which Heterosexuality? I said at the beginning that one main reason why lesbian issues tend to collapse into feminist issues is that the most well-developed model of heterosexuality available to lesbian feminist theorizing is one that takes heterosexuality to be both product and essential support of patriarchy. The 32 Wittig makes a point similar to this in ‘One is Not Born a Woman’, in The Straight Mind, 10. 40 Lesbian and Gay Displacement Radicalesbians, Monique Wittig, Charlotte Bunch, Adrienne Rich, and more recently Marilyn Frye33 all take this view.

One misses a good deal of what it means to live life as a lesbian as well as much of the political significance of lesbian practices by doing so. 11 Heterosexism may simply take new forms adapted to fit changed social conditions. Thus, it is a mistake for feminists to assume that work to end gender subordination will have as much payoff for lesbians as it would for heterosexual women. Only a political strategy that keeps clearly in mind the distinction between gender oppression and lesbian and gay subordination— as well as the potential for conflict between feminist and lesbian political strategies—could have such a payoff.

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