Lesbian

The Lesbian Avengers

Carrie Moyer
“Lesbians! Dykes! Gay Women! We want revenge and we want it now.” If you had been a woman at the 1992 New York Gay Pride March, a flyer with those words might have been shoved into your sweaty hand. Keep reading: “We're wasting our lives being careful. Imagine what your life could be. Aren't you ready to make it happen?” That flyer was printed and distributed by the thousands by six lesbians, A...
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The Riot Grrrl Revolution

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In early 1990s Olympia, Washington, the rebellion and riffs of the punk scene were adopted in a boisterous, unabashed display of feminine insurrection – riot grrrl. The Pacific Northwest was noted for its do-it-yourself culture, which was a breeding ground for self-published magazines, grunge and alternative music, and underground art. In college towns particularly, young women began to form an...
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Wonder Woman

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  Wonder Woman has been a feminist icon, taking political action on the 1972 cover of with Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine under the heading “Wonder Woman for President.” This wasn’t the first time she ran for president – the 1943 cover of the original Wonder Woman comic book featured the same scenario. Wonder Woman has also been a longstanding queer icon throughout her history, becoming the first s...
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Latina Feminism(s)

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Latina feminism(s) describes a range of historical political collaborations among Latinas and culturally specific Latina-led political struggles for gender and social justice in the United States. “Latina” is an umbrella term for women living in the United States whose families have current or historical ties to Spanish-speaking regions of the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Nort...
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Taking Health Into Their Own Hands

Boston Women's Health Collective
In 1969, a group of women who were disillusioned with the paternalism of the medical establishment came together as the Boston Women's Health Collective. They pooled their knowledge in small working groups and produced a series of pamphlets which became Women and Their Bodies in 1971 and then Our Bodies, Ourselves, published in 1973, to inform women about a variety of health-related topics includi...
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Feminist Manifestos

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The manifesto has been an important genre for feminist writers because the form enables women’s voices to be heard at their most provocative, independent, irreverent, and demanding. Feminist manifestos are often short and pointed declarations of identity and politics that use radical rhetoric to upend the status quo of gender and sex. Whether they take the form of letters, brochures, pamphlets, or...
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Eco-Feminism

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Feminist thinkers, focused on moving toward sex equality, turned their attention to the root causes of sexism and the oppression of women. In the process, thinkers and authors such as Carol Adams, Josephine Donovan, Greta Gaard, Vandana Shiva, Val Plumwood, Susan A. Mann and Marti Kheel unearthed common ground between feminists, environmentalists, and animal activists, connecting with and advancin...
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Undocuqueer Movement

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The UndocuQueer movement is a powerful network of queer undocumented immigrant activists organizing for the rights of undocumented youth and their families. UndocuQueer activists came to the U.S. as infants or children. UndocuQueers struggle for the right to work, live, and love in the country in which they were raised and educated. Without documentation, even those who have earned college degrees...
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ACT UP

The posters in the University of Rochester AIDS Education Collection are presented here for research purposes only, and may be protected by copyright either according to US law or according to the laws applicable in their countries of origin. Any further reproduction of the materials may require copyright or other rights clearance and is the sole responsibility of the user.
ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) founded in New York City in 1987, is a direct action organization working to end the AIDS crisis. At its height there were 140 ACT UP chapters internationally. Through a democratic structure rooted in Affinity Groups, Working Groups and regular Monday night meetings, often of hundreds of people,  ACT UP achieved transformative breakthroughs for people with ...
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Intersectionality

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Discrimination and oppression are not singular systems. Instead, multiple factors simultaneously interact to produce systems of injustice and inequality. Race, gender expression, class position, sexuality, religion, nationality, age, and ability are some of the factors that interact and produce intersectional, simultaneous, and complex structures, manifestations, and processes of discrimination ag...
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Gloria Anzaldúa: Light in the Dark

Gloria Anzaldua
Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004) is one of the most influential Chicana feminist thinkers of the twentieth century. Her visionary writing is key to the development of lesbian/queer theory and for theorizing writing by women of color. Once a member of the Feminist Writers Guild, Anzaldúa’s groundbreaking book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, published in 1987, rocked Women & Gender S...
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Fire Island

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The beach resort communities of Cherry Grove and the Fire Island Pines play a central part in US gay social and political life. Cherry Grove is the first lesbian and gay resort community. Located on the Atlantic ocean, 70 miles from New York City, they were first claimed as gay territory as far back as the first half of the twentieth century: the 1930s saw the arrival of lesbian and gay the...
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Lesbian Lit

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Lesbian Literature includes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that feature same sex women’s love, relationships, and themes. While there is a history of lesbian literature before the 20th century—most notably Sappho of Lesbos—most of the literature offered only subtle lesbian themes. The first explicit lesbian novel published in English, The Well of Loneliness (1928) by Radclyffe Hall was deemed obs...
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Borderlands, A Feminist Concept

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Soon after Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza was published (1987), the notion of ‘borderlands’ began to gain currency as key feminist theoretical concept with import across disciplines in the U.S. and beyond. It has indeed been recognized as the most important concept that the field of Latina/o Studies has contributed to cultural studies in the United States, Europe, and ...
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Feminist Publishing: Women’s and Gender Studies Journals

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Feminist publishing was a key element that allowed the early women’s studies movement to emerge, and the 1970s were, without a doubt, a ground-breaking time for feminist publishing. Women’s studies and feminist journals were a key index of the burgeoning field, as demonstrated by the following chronology. Feminist Studies, the first academic journal in women’s studies, was established in 1972, as ...
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Compulsory Heterosexuality

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Compulsory heterosexuality is a term popularized by poet Adrienne Rich in her 1980 essay, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.” Compulsory heterosexuality is a system of oppression that denies people’s sexual self-determination by presenting heterosexuality as the sole model of acceptable sexual and romantic relationship. Like other forms of social control, compulsory heterosexuality...
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Sex and the Body

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  As an integral component of the notion of the “the personal is political,” many feminists highlighted the importance of women’s sexuality as part of a broader political transformation. While scholars and activists like Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin emphasized understanding sexuality as a critical component of women’s oppression, drawing attention to issues like sexual assault and...
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Women’s Lib (Feminism 101)

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Feminism, the feminist movement, the women’s liberation movement, or women’s lib are movements designed to transform models of power that facilitate the social, political, and economic sexist exploitation and oppression of women. Feminism is not only about women being equal to men. It is also interested in challenging the prevalence of rape and domestic violence—think Bill Cosby, Emma Sulko...
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Equal Rights Amendment

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The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is really very simple: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” It suggests the basic principle of equal humanity. And, it is shocking that ERA remains only a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Equality between the sexes is not part of the Constitution. (more…)
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