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WOMEN
 

National Organization for Women

 

Women's March

 

On 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.

 

The 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 workers' rights.

 

What began 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

 

Women's Rights

 

As a 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".

 

Sheila Jeffreys defines lesbian feminism as having seven key themes:

--Emphasis on women's love for one another
--Separatist organizations
--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 inequality)

Essay by Adrienne Rich: Compulsory Heterosexuality & Lesbian Existence
AutoStraddle: Female Friends Forever

Wikipedia: Womyn
Article: Lesbian Separatism
Wikipedia: Lesbian Feminism

About Relationships: Lesbian Life

Is Feminism a Dirty Word?

Info: Definition of Lesbian
 

Womyn: Feminist 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 issues.

 

 

Lesbian Continuum

"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 sexuality.

 


--To deny women their own sexuality: destruction of sexuality displayed throughout history in sacred documents.

--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 things.

--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.

 

 

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