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Eureka --at Roy Glashan's Library. Journey of Discovery to Port Phillip [edited by W. Desmond Humphreys; E. 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.
Physical and therefore emotional satisfaction was considered impossible without a natural phallus. Male intervention into relationships between women was necessary only when women acted as men and demanded the same social privileges. Lesbianism became almost exclusive to French literature in the 19th century, based on male fantasy and the desire to shock bourgeois moral values. Reflecting French society, as well as employing stock character associations, many of the lesbian characters in 19th-century French literature were prostitutes or courtesans: personifications of vice who died early, violent deaths in moral endings.
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. Some women, such as Marguerite Yourcenar and Mary Renault , wrote or translated works of fiction that focused on homosexual men, like some of the writings of Carson McCullers. All three were involved in same-sex relationships, but their primary friendships were with gay men.
As the paperback book came into fashion, lesbian themes were relegated to pulp fiction. Many of the pulp novels typically presented very unhappy women, or relationships that ended tragically. Marijane Meaker later 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.
Postal Service. Following the Stonewall riots, lesbian themes in literature became much more diverse and complex, and shifted the focus of lesbianism from erotica for heterosexual men to works written by and for lesbians. Serious writers who used lesbian characters and plots included Rita Mae Brown 's Rubyfruit Jungle , which presents a feminist heroine who chooses to be a lesbian. Further changing values are evident in the writings of Dorothy Allison , who focuses on child sexual abuse and deliberately provocative lesbian sadomasochism themes.
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 plot devices as early as in A Florida Enchantment featuring Edith Storey. Hollywood films followed the same trend set by audiences who flocked to Harlem to see edgy shows that suggested bisexuality.
However, the development of the Hays Code in censored most references to homosexuality from film under the umbrella term "sex perversion". Because of the Hays Code, lesbianism after was absent from most films, even those adapted with overt lesbian characters or plot devices.
Biopic Queen Christina in , starring Greta Garbo , veiled most of the speculation about Christina of Sweden's affairs with women. The reason censors stated for removing a lesbian scene in 's The Pit of Loneliness was that it was, "Immoral, would tend to corrupt morals". After MacLaine's character admits her love for Hepburn's, she hangs herself; this set a precedent for miserable endings in films addressing homosexuality.
Gay characters also were often killed off at the end, such as the death of Sandy Dennis ' character at the end of The Fox in If not victims, lesbians were depicted as villains or morally corrupt, such as portrayals of brothel madames by Barbara Stanwyck in Walk on the Wild Side from and Shelley Winters in The Balcony in Lesbians as predators were presented in Rebecca , women's prison films like Caged , or in the character Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love The first film to address lesbianism with significant depth was The Killing of Sister George in , which was filmed in The Gateways Club , a longstanding lesbian pub in London.
It is the first to claim a film character who identifies as a lesbian, and film historian Vito Russo considers the film a complex treatment of a multifaceted character who is forced into silence about her openness by other lesbians. Personal Best was criticized for engaging in the cliched plot device of one woman returning to a relationship with a man, implying that lesbianism is a phase, as well as treating the lesbian relationship with "undisguised voyeurism".
An era of independent filmmaking brought different stories, writers, and directors to films. Desert Hearts arrived in , to be one of the most successful. It received mixed critical commentary, but earned positive reviews from the gay press. In the film, a lesbian actress named Valerie, who was killed in such a manner, serves as inspiration for the masked rebel V and his ally Evey Hammond, who set out to overthrow the dictatorship.
Television began to address homosexuality much later than film. Local talk shows in the late s first addressed homosexuality by inviting panels of experts usually not gay themselves to discuss the problems of gay men in society. Lesbianism was rarely included.
The first time a lesbian was portrayed on network television was the NBC drama The Eleventh Hour in the early s, in a teleplay about an actress who feels she is persecuted by her female 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".
Invisibility for lesbians continued in the s when homosexuality became the subject of dramatic portrayals, first with medical dramas The Bold Ones , Marcus Welby, M. These shows allowed homosexuality to be discussed clinically, with the main characters guiding troubled gay characters or correcting homophobic antagonists, while simultaneously comparing homosexuality to psychosis, criminal behavior, or drug use. Another stock plot device in the s was the gay character in a police drama. They served as victims of blackmail or anti-gay violence, but more often as criminals. Beginning in the late s with N.
One episode of Police Woman earned protests by the National Gay Task Force before it aired for portraying a trio of murderous lesbians who killed retirement home patients for their money. In the middle of the s, gay men and lesbians began to appear as police officers or detectives, facing coming out issues.
CBS production made conscious attempts to soften the characters so they would not appear to be lesbians. Law shared the first significant lesbian kiss [note 18] on primetime television with Michele Greene , stirring a controversy despite being labeled "chaste" by The Hollywood Reporter. Though television did not begin to use recurring homosexual characters until the late s, some early situation comedies used a stock character that author Stephen Tropiano calls "gay-straight": supporting characters who were quirky, did not comply with gender norms, or had ambiguous personal lives, that "for all purposes should be gay".
Recurring lesbian characters who came out were seen on Married The episode was instead the week's highest rated. Publicity surrounding Ellen's coming out episode in was enormous; Ellen DeGeneres appeared on the cover of Time magazine the week before the airing of " The Puppy Episode " with the headline "Yep, I'm Gay".
Parties were held in many U. Even still, "The Puppy Episode" won an Emmy for writing, but as the show began to deal with Ellen Morgan's sexuality each week, network executives grew uncomfortable with the direction the show took and canceled it. Dramas following L. Law began incorporating homosexual themes, particularly 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 sexuality and gender. In the fourth season of Buffy , Tara and Willow admit their love for each other without any special fanfare and the relationship is treated as are the other romantic relationships on the show.
What followed was a series devoted solely to gay characters from network television. Showtime 's American rendition of Queer as Folk ran for five years, from to ; 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 advertising paid off as the show became the network's highest rated, doubling the numbers of other Showtime programs after the first season.
The invisibility of lesbians has gradually eroded since the early s. This is in part due to public figures who have caused speculation and comment in the press about their sexuality and lesbianism in general. The primary figure earning this attention was Martina Navratilova , who served as tabloid 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 sexuality as she did her athletic achievements.
Navratilova spurred what scholar Diane Hamer termed "constant preoccupation" in the press with determining the root of same-sex desire. Other public figures acknowledged their homosexuality and bisexuality, notably musicians k. In , 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.
Between and , Mademoiselle , Vogue , Cosmopolitan , Glamour , Newsweek , and New York magazines featured stories about women who admitted sexual histories with other women. 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 s and s, joined with the distant memory of lesbians as they appeared in the s: unattractive and militant.
In short, lesbians became more attractive to general audiences when they ceased having political convictions. A resurgence of lesbian visibility and sexual fluidity was noted in with celebrities such as Cynthia Nixon and Lindsay Lohan commenting openly on their relationships with women, and reality television addressing same-sex relationships. Psychiatrists and feminist philosophers write that the rise in women acknowledging same-sex relationships is due to growing social acceptance, but also concede that "only a certain kind of lesbian—slim and elegant or butch in just the right androgynous way—is acceptable to mainstream culture".
Although homosexuality among females has taken place in many cultures in history, a recent phenomenon is the development of family among same-sex partners. Before the s, the idea that same-sex adults formed long-term committed relationships was unknown to many people. Unlike heterosexual relationships that tend to divide work based on sex roles, lesbian relationships divide chores evenly between both members.
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Studies have also reported that emotional bonds are closer in lesbian and gay relationships than heterosexual ones. Family issues were significant concerns for lesbians when gay activism became more vocal in the s and s. Custody issues in particular were of interest since often courts would not award custody to mothers who were openly homosexual, even though the general procedure acknowledged children were awarded to the biological mother. They found that children's mental health, happiness, and overall adjustment is similar to children of divorced women who are not lesbians.
Sexual orientation, gender identity , and sex roles of children who grow up with lesbian mothers are unaffected. Differences that were found include the fact that divorced lesbians tend to be living with a partner, fathers visit divorced lesbian mothers more often than divorced nonlesbian mothers, and lesbian mothers report a greater fear of losing their children through legal means. Improving opportunities for growing families of same-sex couples has shaped the political landscape within the past ten years.
A push for same-sex marriage or civil unions in western countries has replaced other political objectives. As of [update] , ten countries and six U. The ability to adopt domestically or internationally children or provide a home as a foster parent is also a political and family priority for many lesbians, as is improving access to artificial insemination.
Category:LGBT culture. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Homosexual woman.
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For other uses, see Lesbian disambiguation. Further information: History of lesbianism. Further information: Homosexuality in ancient Greece and Homosexuality in ancient Rome. Further information: Butch and femme. See also: Lesbian literature. Further information: LGBT rights by country or territory.
Avoid contact with a partner's menstrual blood and with any visible genital lesions. Cover sex toys that penetrate more than one person's vagina or anus with a new condom for each person; consider using different toys for each person. Use a barrier e. Use latex or vinyl gloves and lubricant for any manual sex that might cause bleeding. Further information: Media portrayal of lesbianism. Further information: Lesbian literature. Further information: LGBT parenting. LGBT portal. Inhabitants of Lesbos claimed the use of lesbian to refer to female homosexuality violated their human rights and "disgrace[d] them around the world".
Retrieved on February 3, Faderman , p. Faderman, , p. The student's grandmother reported the teachers to the authorities, who were skeptical that their actions were sexual in nature, or that they extended beyond the bounds of normal friendship: "Are we to say that every woman who has formed an intimate friendship and has slept in the same bed with another is guilty?
Where is the innocent woman in Scotland? The view that Roosevelt's relationship with Hickok may have been sexual, therefore deserving of the lesbian label, created controversy among Roosevelt's biographers. Faderman , pp.
I just loved Thelma. The compiler of the study reported on 23 of her colleagues, indicating there was an underground lesbian community in the conservative city. Bullough remarked that the information was being used to support the attitude that lesbians were not abnormal or maladjusted, but it also reflected that women included in the study strove in every way to conform to social gender expectations, viewing anyone who pushed the boundaries of respectability with hostility.
Bullough wrote, "In fact, their very success in disguising their sexual orientation to the outside world leads us to hypothesize that lesbianism in the past was more prevalent than the sources might indicate, since society was so unsuspecting. It does not mean compulsory sexual activity with women. Kinsey, pp. Gates, Gary [October ]. King, p. As Freud's views were the foundation of psychotherapy, further articles agreed with this, including one in that asserted that homosexuals are actually heterosexuals that play both gender roles, and homosexuals are attempting to perpetuate "infantile, incestuous fixation s " on relationships that are forbidden.
Cochran, et al. She has been used as an embodiment of same-sex desire, and as a character in fictions loosely based on her life. Castle, pp. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies , 4 3 , pp. Capsuto, p. Oxford Reference. Retrieved December 10, National Academies Press. Retrieved October 16, Charles Julius Hempel ; J. Emerson Kent. Poetry Foundation. Academic Commons. Retrieved on January 7, November Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures. Garland Publishing. Retrieved April 11, Diamond Sexual Fluidity.
Harvard University Press. Retrieved July 20, Retrieved 16 January Retrieved Fernie, L. Women Make Movies Home Video, The Independent. Retrieved 8 September Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Highwater Press. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. The New York Times. Retrieved 28 July Retrieved October 17, Unfortunately, depending on an oral tradition to impart our ways to future generations opened the floodgates for early non-Native explorers, missionaries, and anthropologists to write books describing Native peoples and therefore bolstering their own role as experts.
These writings were and still are entrenched in the perspective of the authors who were and are mostly white men. Arco iris diferentes. Siglo XXI. In Spanish p. Retrieved April 16, Pink Blood: Homophobic Violence in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto, Journal of Poverty. October 31, November 7, Contemporary Sexuality. Tukey — ". Office for National Statistics. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved January 12, July Retrieved on January 9, Centers for Disease Control.
Terry Castle also lists the Book of Ruth as an example of early lesbianism in literature Castle, p. Spring Fire , Introduction. Epstein, R. Vanity Fair. Retrieved 13 September Why women are leaving men for other women , CNN. Retrieved on April 23, After the short, sharp shocks of the first few Fifty Shades of Grey trailers, the latest one is rather short but sweet. Which is probably just as well since the film is being released around on the world on the weekend of St Valentine's Day.
We still get plenty of glimpses of whips and masks, but the emphasis here is on the feelings of the gorgeous pair. Christian even introduces Anastasia to his dear old mum, played by Marcia Gay Harden and we get a glimpse of Rita Ora as his sister.