W S 203 Chapter 10: Chapter 10-OGTL

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Women's Studies
W S 203
Alissa Kristine Stoehr

Chapter 10-Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers • Lesbians and the 1980s o Increase in pornography-both gay and straight; however, in reality, it seemed that lesbians were having sex at an infrequent pace; not always about sex or penetration; affectionate holding or petting o Female sexuality has been socially constructed around reacting rather than acting o Lesbian sexuality within committed relationships is complicated because relationships between women are stronger when background, status, and commitment level are equal between them; capacity for intimacy is diminished when there is unequal power o Lesbian bed death-disappearance of sex in ongoing lesbian relationships o Pam’s story-p. 248 o Cultural feminism-belief that women’s culture and values are different from and better than those of males; minimize the importance of sex in relationships with the idea that men have exaggerated its importance o What about lesbians who had a sexual appetite and felt sexually repressed by other lesbians? o 2 goals of lesbians who broke away from lesbian-feminism ▪ address lesbian sexuality in terms of both long-term and more casual relationships ▪ increase the duration and intensity of lesbian sexual pleasure ▪ liberate lesbians from the sexual limitations that had been imposed on them as females; these limitations hindered the freedom that lesbians needed for true social equality o Cultural feminists rallied against porn (1970) ▪ U.S. Supreme Court declared that pornography was not harmful, not a factor in crime, and was actually beneficial because it served to educate and release inhibitions ▪ Drafted a model law that was adopted in Minneapolis, MN declaring pornography a form of sexual discrimination and making traffickers in pornography legally liable; later found to be unconstitutional ▪ Felt betrayed by lesbians who were promoting sexual freedom ▪ Did not believe that until women are free to explore their own sexuality in their own way, they will never be free ▪ Believed that sexual freedom came at too great a cost; validated patriarchy ▪ Believed that lesbian sex must be consistent with the best of lesbian ethics; insisted that lesbians should permit themselves only those sexual interests that reflect superior female ideals ▪ Wanted to deconstruct harmful sexual desires of women that were socially constructed ▪ Feared that lesbian sexual radicals were putting too much of an emphasis on sexuality and deluding themselves and other women into believing that male images, fantasies, and habits were also desirable for women ▪ Declared that sexual radicals had internalized the messages of the enemy by advocating those very sexual practices that were the psychological foundations of patriarchy ▪ Found support with the National Organization of Women
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