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Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the ClosetLesbian and Gay Displacement$
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Cheshire Calhoun

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199257663.001.0001

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Separating Lesbian Theory from Feminist Theory

Separating Lesbian Theory from Feminist Theory

Chapter:
(p.25) 2 Separating Lesbian Theory from Feminist Theory
Source:
Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet
Author(s):

Cheshire Calhoun (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199257663.003.0002

This chapter focuses largely on lesbian feminist theorizing in the 1980s. It is argued that feminist theorizing on gender oppression has worked to conceal, rather then reveal, lesbian specificity. An attempt is made to determine what it is in feminist thinking that makes it difficult to see the lesbian in the feminist subject of woman, so that she is regarded as a ‘not‐woman’, and also as the quintessential form of feminist revolt against patriarchy because she refuses to be heterosexual. It is argued that this placement of resistance to patriarchy at the heart of what it means to be a lesbian is wrong.

Keywords:   feminist theory, gender oppression, heterosexuality, lesbian theory, patriarchy

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