The History of Lesbians1) Where was the term lesbian first used?A) LesothoB) GreeceC) RomeD) Lebanon
The History of Lesbians2) What did the Greeks mean when they said lesbian?A) A colony of lepersB) Worshippers of LetoC) Worshippers of the Letoides (children of Leto, Apollo and Artemis)D) Residents of the island of Lesbos
The History of Lesbians3) Later on, what did the term lesbian refer to?A) Members of the cult of SapphoB) Women of LesbosC) Men ofwas a Greek poet, and lesbian came to refer to the numerous Sappho Lesbos women that would come to live with herD) Residents of islands surrounding Lesbos, including the main island of Lesbos
The History of Lesbians4) How did the term lesbian change again after this?A) Women that had relations with both men and womenB) Women that lived exclusively with other womenC) Women and men that loved like SapphoD) Women that exclusivelylove poetry, and to be a lesbian simply Sappho wrote very passionate loved other women meant to “love as Sappho loved”
Other interesting stuff!5) What animal was first used in a Boston subwayposter in 1973 to signify the lesbian community?A) SquirrelB) TigerC) RhinocerosA lavender coloured rhino was used. It is a docile animal, but will becomeD) Scorpionferocious when challenged.
Exploration of Rich• Feminist theory can no longer tolerate lesbianism asan alternative lifestyle• Failure to acknowledge restrictive societal forces• Heterosexuality doesnt require anexplanation, whereas lesbian sexuality does
What does this mean?◦ Heterosexuality was constructed over the course ofhistory by men who held economic and political power ◦ heterosexuality not a preference, but compulsory◦ Heterosexuality as political institution ◦ not something natural◦ Broader definition of Lesbian existence andcontinuum ◦ include various woman-identified experiences and acknowledge lesbians’ historical presence ◦ embrace different forms of relations between women
Exploration of Lorde◦ Being Black and lesbian = 2 front struggle◦ Accepting differences and call for unity◦ Heterosexism and homophobia major obstacles topolitical organization◦ Social understanding of normality◦ Delusion: Black lesbians as apolitical
Linkages◦ Homophobia as a political stumbling block for women◦ Lesbianism is not a disease◦ Women working together to end oppression ◦ heterosexism and homophobia◦ Acknowledging women’s sexual identities throughopen communication
“The Lesbian Phase”◦ Explore the idea of lesbian relationships as being partof an immature sexual stage ◦ Interview high school and college level students ◦ Sample group: 14 - 25 ◦ What do they think of lesbian sex? ◦ Why do they think that there is a “lesbian phase”? ◦ Why do some women go through a “lesbian phase”?
Modern Implications◦ Tila Tequila – Shot at Love
Modern ImplicationsDo you see Tila Tequila’s show as “progressive” andpositive as it increases the presence oflesbians/bisexuals in the media? What are theimplications of raising public awareness throughmedia?
Modern Implications• We’re interested in Jenny’s (Chaz’ girlfriend)experience.• Lesbians are criticized for the use of dildos. Is thisreflected in Bono’s relationship with his girlfriend?• How is Bono’s experience an example of Irigaray’sargument that women have plural sexualities?• Is this just another spectacle?
DiscussionAccording to Rich, both men and women tend to “searchfor love and tenderness” in other women becausewomen are commonly the “earliest sources ofemotional caring and physical nurture.”However, findings from Statistics Canada state thatthere is an increasing number of single parentfamilies, where the father is the single parent andcaregiver. What are the implications of this for Rich’sassumptions?
DiscussionSociety has a need to clearly label differentsexualities, as reflected in our game. With this inmind, do you think it will ever be possible to eliminatethese labels (such ashomosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality) and insteadrefer to simply human sexuality? ◦ If so, what will need to happen for this to occur, and what changes will this affect? ◦ If not, what barriers are there that prevent this from happening?