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National Organization for
Saturday, January 21, 2017, more than 2 million people
across the world, led by hundreds of thousands who
overwhelmed the nation's capital, protested the first
full day of President Trump's tenure.
Women's March was a worldwide protest to advocate
legislation and policies regarding human rights and
other issues, including women's rights, immigration
reform, healthcare reform, the natural environment,
LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and
as a Facebook post by a Hawaii grandmother the day after
Hillary Clinton's loss in November's election blossomed
into a massive protest uniting people of all ages, races
and religions who crowded downtown Washington. They
called for a "revolution" as a bulwark against the new
administration and the Republican-led Congress they fear
will roll back reproductive, civil and human rights.
According to a sister march webpage, an estimated 2.6
million people took part in 673 marches in all 50 states
and 32 countries, from Belarus to New Zealand — with the
largest taking place in Washington.
The crowds were so large in some cities that marching
was almost impossible. In Chicago, organizers halted the
march and rallied at Grant Park instead as crowds
swelled to 150,000, although thousands still marched. In
New York City, the number was 400,000, according to
Mayor Bill de Blasio; in Boston, media reported more
than 100,000 people marching in Boston Common. In
Oakland, Calif., police estimated that about 60,000
people took part in the women's march. Local media
reports said that San Francisco’s rally later in the day
may have attracted as many as 100,000.
Women and men across the country participated in a
“Women's March on Washington” in the nation's capital
the day after the inauguration as a rebuke to
President-elect Donald Trump's incendiary remarks about
women and minorities during his presidential campaign.
The undercurrent of the protest was heavily
female-oriented, with women decrying Trump's comments
about women, the uncertain future of access to birth
control and abortion, and the fact that Hillary Clinton
missed becoming the first woman to hold the presidency.
Hundreds of Cities Joined Women's March
Women's March was Therapy
Badass Signs From Women's March
Voices and Portraits From Women's March
Photos From Women's Marches Around the World
group, women have long suffered many of the same acts of
oppression endured by LGBTQ individuals. Women have
experienced countless inequities and injustices over the
years. Women have been the victims of discrimination,
harassment, and violence. Issues of women's rights are
very much parallel with LGBTQ rights.
Lesbian feminism is a cultural movement and critical
perspective, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s
(primarily in North America and Western Europe), that
questions the position of lesbians and women in society.
Some key thinkers and activists are Charlotte Bunch,
Rita Mae Brown, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Marilyn
Frye, Mary Daly, Sheila Jeffreys and Monique Wittig.
Historically lesbianism has been closely associated with
feminism, going back at least to the 1890s. "Lesbian
feminism" is a related movement that came together in
the early 1970s out of dissatisfaction with second-wave
feminism and the gay liberation movement.
In the words of lesbian feminist Sheila Jeffreys,
"Lesbian feminism emerged as a result of two
developments: lesbians within the Women's Liberation
Movement began to create a new, distinctively feminist
lesbian politics, and lesbians in the Gay Liberation
Front left to join up with their sisters".
Jeffreys defines lesbian feminism as having seven key
--Emphasis on women's love for one another
--Community and ideas
--Idea that lesbianism is about choice and resistance
--Idea that the personal is the political
--Rejection of social hierarchy
--Critique of male-supremacy (which eroticises
Essay by Adrienne Rich: Compulsory Heterosexuality &
AutoStraddle: Female Friends Forever
Article: Lesbian Separatism
Wikipedia: Lesbian Feminism
Relationships: Lesbian Life
Is Feminism a Dirty Word?
and Lesbian Separatism
"Womyn" is an alternate spelling of the word "woman."
The term is sometimes used by some feminist and lesbian
separatist groups as a nonsexist spelling of "woman" in
order to deliberately avoid the suffix "man." The term
has been tied to the concept of feminism as a form of
the word "woman" without patriarchal connotations. The
term is sometimes used in labeling certain academic
programs, categories of literature, concert events,
festivals, interest groups, support groups, and
communities/communes related to feminist or lesbian
"Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" is a
1980 essay by Adrienne Rich, published in her 1986 book
Blood, Bread, and Poetry.
Rich argues that heterosexuality is a violent political
institution making way for the "male right of physical,
economical, and emotional access" to women. She urges
women to direct their energies towards other women
rather than men, and portrays lesbianism as an extension
of feminism. Rich challenges the notion of women's
dependence on men as social and economic supports, as
well as for adult sexuality and psychological
completion. She calls for what she describes as a
greater understanding of lesbian experience, and
believes that once such an understanding is obtained,
these boundaries will be widened and women will be able
to experience the "erotic" in female terms.
In order to gain this physical, economical, and
emotional access for women, Rich lays out a framework
developed by Kathleen Gough (both a social
anthropologist and feminist) that lists "eight
characteristics of male power in archaic and
contemporary societies." Along with the framework given,
Rich sets to define the term lesbianism by giving two
separate definitions for the term. Lesbian existence,
she suggests, is “both the fact of the historical
presence of lesbians and our continuing creation of the
meaning of that existence. The other, lesbian continuum,
refers to the overall "range - through each woman’s life
and throughout history - of woman-identified
experiences, not simply the fact that a woman has had or
consciously desired genital sexual experience with
another woman." Below are the characteristics in which
male power has demonstrated the suppression of female
--To deny women their own sexuality: destruction of
sexuality displayed throughout history in sacred
--Forcing male sexuality upon women: rape, incest,
torture, a constant message that men are better, and
superior in society to women.
--Exploiting their labor to control production: women
have no control over choice of children, abortion, birth
control and furthermore, no access to knowledge of such
--Control over their children: lesbian mothers seen as
unfit for motherhood, malpractice in society and the
courts to further benefit the man.
--Confinement: women unable to choice their own
wardrobe (feminine dress seen as the only way), full
economic dependence on the man, limited life in general.
--Male transactions: women given away by fathers as
gifts or hostesses by the husband for their own benefit,
pimping women out.
--Cramp women’s creativeness: male seen as more
assimilated in society (they can participate more,
culturally more important).
--Men withholding attainment of knowledge: “Great
Silence” (never speaking about lesbian existence in
history), discrimination against women professionals.
│ LGBTQ Information Network │ Established 2017 │