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Lesbian Quotes

Lesbian Activism:

“We are always in a political movement, but not always in a political movement phase of a political culture” (Sarah Hoagland, 1996).

Lesbianism as resistance:

“For a woman to be a lesbian in a male-supremacist, capitalist, misogynist, racist, homophobic, imperialist culture, such as that of North America, is an act of resistance” (Cheryl Clarke, 1981)

Lesbian Chic:

“The recent flurry of articles on hip lesbians…isn’t about documentation…it’s about creation: building a better lesbian, one palatable enough for mainstream consumption…to gain legitimacy and be taken seriously in the 1990s, cultures outside the mainstream must prove they are free of the disruptive nature and threatening intent of activisms past…” (Judith Schwartz, quoted in Cragin, 1997)

Lesbian Feminism:

“Lesbian feminism proceeds from an analysis of gender interests which situates lesbians primarily as women rather than homosexuals, thus distinguishing it from gay theory which proceeds from an analysis of sexual identity and interests (a difference noted by Eve Sedwick). [Lesbian feminism] also bases itself in the primacy of identity, distinguishing it further from queer theory which lays primary emphasis on actions and performance.” (Bonnie Zimmerman, 1996).

Lesbian Feminists

“Lesbians of the 70s, can be divided into lesbian feminists and feminist lesbians. The former usually ‘came out’ after being exposed to feminism and had a history of heterosexuality. The latter were usually lifelong or long-time lesbians with little or no heterosexual history, who integrated feminism into their identity. These differing paths to lesbianism were an important factor behind the ideological contests and the lesbian civil wars of the 70s” (Y. Retter, 1998).

“Lesbian feminists are the bad girls who fail to love the male frame of mind that currently dominates gay and lesbian studies” (Sheila Jeffreys, 1994).

Lesbian History

“As a woman, as a lesbian, as a Jew, much of what I call history, others will not. But answering that challenge of exclusion is the work of a lifetime” (Joan Nestle, 1987).

“Lesbian history is under-researched and undertheorized” (Martha Vicinus, 1994).

Lesbian Invisibility:

“Between the time of Sappho and the birth of Natalie Clifford Barney (between ca 613 bc and 1876 ad) lies a ‘lesbian silence’ of twenty-four centuries” (Bertha Harris In Our Right To Love, 1978).

“Without a visual identity, we have no community, no support network, no movement. Making ourselves visible is a political act, making ourselves visible is a continual process.” (Joan E. Biren in Visual Communication, 1983).

Lesbian Persistence:

“Lesbian supression is so strong that if it weren’t inherent in some, it would have dissappeared [!]” (Marilyn Frye, 1996).

Lesbian separatism:

“Separatism is an exhausting act of faith and because of insistent pressure on [one] to repent, it requires almost daily reaffirmation” (Janet Dixon in Hemmings and Cant, 1988).

Lesbian intensity:

” One year as a lesbian is like three years in the het world” (Leslie Rand, recovering heterosexual, 1996).

Cultural Feminism/Lesbianism:

“Cultural feminism represents a retreat from the difficulties of political struggle into the self-validation that community-building offers. It further substitutes the fantasy of a united sisterhood for political theory” (Alice Echols, quoted in Howard, 1997).

Queer Theory and Politics:

“The wholesale embracing of theatrical metaphor [in queer theory] denies the historicity of all lesbian roles, and their specific meanings at different historical times” (Martha Vicinus, 1994)

Related Thoughts


Intersections of Oppression:

“The concept of the simultaneity of oppression is still the crux of a Black feminist understanding of political reality…and is one of the most significant ideological contributions of Black feminist thought” (Barbara Smith, 1983, xxxii).

“The modifier ‘multiple’ refers not only to several, simultaneous oppressions, but to the multiplicative relationships among them as well” (Deborah King, 1988).

About Lesbians:

“In Anglo-Saxon Countries it seems…that female homosexuality means rather more than Sapphic lyricism, since it somehow acts as a stimulus to the social and political organization of women…” (Carl Jung in Civilization in Transition, 1922).

By Lesbians About Women:

“As a writer, I am not defferential. Writing without apology and without trivializing the writing because one is a woman is a major contribution” (Andrea Dworkin, in Jenefsky, Without Apology, 1998)

About Resistant Women:

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat…” (Rebecca West)

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