The Erasure of Lesbians
When, towards the end of the last century, the historic force of feminist consciousness met the primeval juggernaut of lesbian attraction, it fueled the explosive Second Wave. These invisible forces sparked and fueled our declaration of war on patriarchy.
Since they never paid attention to us, the patriarchy wasn’t looking when that fateful meeting occurred, when we Lesbians – the “army of lovers (that) cannot fail” – first claimed our identity loudly, proudly and unabashedly.
The women’s liberation movement was just what Lesbians needed to make their place. Consciousness raising sessions revealed the oppressive structure all women faced. Feminists recognized and named patriarchy, the rule of men, as the creator of hierarchy that would determine all social values. For the first time, all isms were linked. As Audre Lorde once said, “there is no hierarchy of oppression”.
Lesbians took on leadership in creating women’s culture, theory, feminist book stores, rape crisis centers, battered women’s…
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