By: Christie Hall
There are very few well documented cases of lesbianism in the
United States before the twentieth century. This is because ...
Is lesbianism simply the act of two women
being sexually active with each other? Or
perhaps a lesbian is a woman with femi...
Throughout history in the
      United States, women were
pic   expected and even
      encouraged to form bonding
      f...
Sexually obsessed men often think of
female/female relationships as also being
sexually obsessed. Men also have
assumed th...
Romantic Friendships can develop. Sexual or
not, there is evidence of deep and desperate
love between women as far back as...
   Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) was the first “out”
    lesbian whom was well known for her
    uncompromising persona. Her...
In the 18th century, there   add pic
is much evidence in
letters of same-sex love
between women. Their
fear of being caugh...
   Add something.   These letters, being
                     as mysterious as
                     they were, blurred a
...
By the late 19th
century, women had
more jobs available to
them. They could
essentially be self
sufficient without the
   ...
This new found freedom helped begin the
early feminist movement. Women support
groups gathered to help network and
provide...
Beginning in the 19th century, two
monogamous women who were not financially
dependent on men could live together in what
...
In the late 19th century, some women were
known to dress as men. This was typically not
meant to be playful gender bending...
Early sexologists viewed lesbianism as a
medical problem that needed to be researched
and cured. They grouped gay men’s me...
   Add pic
By the 20th century, men
became even more
threatened by women
gaining power and
successes that they
essentiall...
A LESBIAN IN THE EARLY   AND HERE WE ARE
20TH CENTURY…            NOW...
It is important to remember that not all
feminists are lesbians. And that not all lesbians
are feminists. Great amounts of...
History Of Lesbianism In The U
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  • Sculpture located outside of the Vienna Parliament Building
  • This is a photograph of Gertrude Stein writing.
  • History Of Lesbianism In The U

    1. 1. By: Christie Hall
    2. 2. There are very few well documented cases of lesbianism in the United States before the twentieth century. This is because there seemed to be a great silence surrounding this lifestyle. However, lesbianism did exist. It simply existed in different settings and arrangements than we know of today.
    3. 3. Is lesbianism simply the act of two women being sexually active with each other? Or perhaps a lesbian is a woman with feminist ideas and beliefs? Does a woman need to be sexually active with another woman in order to be a “card carrying” lesbian? These are questions for the individual to ask themselves.
    4. 4. Throughout history in the United States, women were pic expected and even encouraged to form bonding friendships with other females. These bonds were especially important since men didn’t feel the necessity to cater to a woman’s emotional needs.
    5. 5. Sexually obsessed men often think of female/female relationships as also being sexually obsessed. Men also have assumed that women who have sex with women are simply replicating hetero-sex in their bedroom activities. However, history has shown us that women often look to other women as an emotional and supportive bond or perhaps a romantic friendship.
    6. 6. Romantic Friendships can develop. Sexual or not, there is evidence of deep and desperate love between women as far back as the 18th century in the United States.
    7. 7.  Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) was the first “out” lesbian whom was well known for her uncompromising persona. Her lifetime companion was Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967). Stein led a controversial life and wrote controversial works. She even had an art salon in Paris, being that she was an art collector, and popular within the art community.
    8. 8. In the 18th century, there add pic is much evidence in letters of same-sex love between women. Their fear of being caught caused them to write in beautiful yet mysterious coded letters to one another. Women sought other women for emotional reasons and as a way of freedom from their oppressive lives with men.
    9. 9.  Add something. These letters, being as mysterious as they were, blurred a lot of factual information on whether or not a sexual relationship occurred. Does it matter if we know their sexual histories?
    10. 10. By the late 19th century, women had more jobs available to them. They could essentially be self sufficient without the Women no longer help of men. needed to marry a man for their financial or emotional needs.
    11. 11. This new found freedom helped begin the early feminist movement. Women support groups gathered to help network and provide help for this new way of life. These women could possibly have been inspired by the French Revolution.
    12. 12. Beginning in the 19th century, two monogamous women who were not financially dependent on men could live together in what is known as a Boston Marriage. Society believed these were ideal situations since it was assumed they were asexual unions, yet it is unknown on whether these were sexually active partnerships. Society also appreciated this set-up because it essentially keep the feminist women “quiet” and out of the way.
    13. 13. In the late 19th century, some women were known to dress as men. This was typically not meant to be playful gender bending, because it served a political purpose at the time to claim they were men trapped in a women’s body. Feminists eventually shunned this idea, since they saw it was an “easy way out” of the exhausting fight for sexual rights and women’s liberation.
    14. 14. Early sexologists viewed lesbianism as a medical problem that needed to be researched and cured. They grouped gay men’s medical studies as well as lesbian medical studies into the same category, which was a poor comparison since the social situations surrounding the sexes were vastly different.
    15. 15.  Add pic By the 20th century, men became even more threatened by women gaining power and successes that they essentially changed their opinions of women having close friendships with other women. Thereby changing society’s view on same-sex friendships.
    16. 16. A LESBIAN IN THE EARLY AND HERE WE ARE 20TH CENTURY… NOW...
    17. 17. It is important to remember that not all feminists are lesbians. And that not all lesbians are feminists. Great amounts of social equality have occurred thanks to the women’s movement. Yet, we still have a very long way to go.

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