By Tamsin Wilton
Neither women's experiences nor lesbian and homosexual stories bargains an enough theoretical or political base for lesbian scholarship. Lesbian stories: surroundings and time table objective to advertise lesbian reviews as an instructional and political method of either gender and the erotic, and to elucidate the harmful impression of heterosexism throughout quite a number disciplines. Drawing on feminism and queer idea, Tamsin Wilton argues that `lesbian' is a theoretical place which has to be broadly to be had so that it will problem the dominance of the heterosexual point of view. enticing with theoretical and political debates, the booklet strikes past its position of atmosphere an time table for lesbian reviews right into a wider position as source and catalysts for someone attracted to gender and the erotic.
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Additional resources for Lesbian Studies: Setting an Agenda
For lesbians of colour, the experience of homophobia from both whites and people of colour may not be separated from the daily realities of racism from both gays and straights. Many publish their work through specialist independent companies such as Kitchen Table Women of Colour Press. ALLIES WITHIN ACADEME? Within the academy, men and masculinist discourse maintain a familiar hegemony. Historically, the study of ‘homosexuality’ has been dominated by the study of male homosexuality as the paradigmatic ‘norm of deviance’ by which, if at all, the female was to be measured and defined.
The anxiety with which the contributors to the special issue distanced themselves from the label and strove to reassert their specialness, their ontological slipperiness, offers a glimpse into the struggles over naming, privilege and identity from a new and revealing vantage point. A radical deconstructionist/post-structuralist position insists that ‘lesbian’ is a sign as amorphous and shifting as any other, bearing at any one time the multiple and contradictory sets of meanings available for encoding in a particular historical/cultural context.
Lesbian’ is one of the sexual categories by which men have divided up humanity. (Radicalesbians 1970) If the theoretical and political deconstruction of gender renders problematic the notion that anyone can be a woman (or a man), the exposure of the political nature of sexual identities similarly problematises the notion that anyone can be straight, gay or lesbian, while the radical lesbian feminism 38 What is a lesbian? of Wittig merely removes lesbians from the category ‘women’ altogether. While the notion of gender/erotic performativity developed by queer academics such as Judith Butler (1990, 1993) sits easily with feminist gender-cynicism, it removes the political significance of ‘lesbian’ as a site of resistance to male power.