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Women's Studies
WS 102
Tina Davidson

WS 102 LESBIANISM FEB 4 Heterosexuality - Emerged in 1890 as a medical term - Referred to non-procreative sex (sex for pleasure) between men and women Over usage of “gay” makes lesbian women seem invisible Queer - Once a derogatory term used for marking/describing/marginalized sexual identity as wrong/problematic - Became activist term to describe also lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning Queer Theory - From 1960s, inspired by widespread homophobic attitude and Stonewall riots - Most focus on homosexuals living in urban areas - Judith Butler began this History - In Victorian era (late 1800s), same sex relationships (Boston marriages [surplus of women, living life with no husband meant poverty]) between women were permitted and sometimes encouraged even with a sexual aspect for middle-class women - Victorian era believed women didn’t have sexual behavior, two men together were problematic - Homosexuality made Greek warriors more motivated to win in fights - 1920’s sexology defined 2 types of homosexuality:  The invert: incurable, true homosexual, the problem, played opposite sex gender roles (a feminine man)  The pervert: borderline personality, could be cured, normal person, can be persuaded into heterosexuality and homosexuality - Pop culture presented homosexuality ending in suicide, madness, or jail  Forced homosexuals to create subcultures (ex. Homosexual bars) WWII and Lesbian subculture - Helped create new opportunities for lesbian culture because men - Homosocial environments (full of same sex people) like in the army and factories - Wasn’t accepted by society as a whole - Lesbian military witchhunts: believed lesbians were interested in manly military Post WWII: fear of the abnormal - Post- WWII/Cold War Era 1960s, Homosexuality seen as dangerously deviant and homosexuals evicted from government jobs - “fruit machine”  to determine sexuality: test administered to everyone to see if homosexual.  Hooked up to monitor, show homosexual and heterosexual pornographic images and measure brain activity to see if attracted to same sex.  If found homosexual, were fired from job.  Short lived. WS 102
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