Separating Lesbian Theory from Feminist Theory

Cheshire Calhoun

in Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780199257669
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598906 | DOI:
 Separating Lesbian Theory from Feminist Theory

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This chapter focuses largely on lesbian feminist theorizing in the 1980s. It is argued that feminist theorizing on gender oppression has worked to conceal, rather then reveal, lesbian specificity. An attempt is made to determine what it is in feminist thinking that makes it difficult to see the lesbian in the feminist subject of woman, so that she is regarded as a ‘not‐woman’, and also as the quintessential form of feminist revolt against patriarchy because she refuses to be heterosexual. It is argued that this placement of resistance to patriarchy at the heart of what it means to be a lesbian is wrong.

Keywords: feminist theory; gender oppression; heterosexuality; lesbian theory; patriarchy

Chapter.  11436 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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