Feminism In The 1970's

885 Words 4 Pages
Lesbian Feminism and the Politics of Difference in the 1970’s started off describing Audre Lorde, a truly pivotal character in the black, lesbian, and feminist movements of her time. The self-described “black, lesbian, feminist, poet, warrior, mother” was born to Caribbean immigrant parents in Harlem in 1934. Through her upbringing, Lorde thrived in poetry, a strength that would follow her into adulthood. She used his to her advantage as she progressed through the working class throughout her life. Lorde believed in “strength in difference”. Examples of this were shown prevalent, from lesbianism within 1950’s communities, interracial marriage and childbearing, lesbian marriage and childbearing, and being involved in an interracial lesbian relationship. …show more content…
Following in Lorde’s footsteps was Dorothy Allen. She was born in 1949 in South Carolina to a single, white mother. Despite surviving poverty and domestic and sexual abuse, Allen fell victim to oppression due to her sexual orientation, most specifically because of its scarcity within the south. However, she attributes her survival to her socioeconomic class’ ability to thrive within the struggle. In agreeance with Lorde, Allen also believed that lesbian feminism had tunnel vision, focusing solely on white, middle-class privilege. Building upon this concept was Allen’s idea that without personal growth political and social change is impossible. In addition, she applauded the idea of sisterhood and what it had done within the lesbian feminism community, such as the construction of refuges or community centers, but argues that the sisterhood concept should be much less demanding. This vocalization eventually helped lead to the destruction of a “lesbian norm” and allowed the group to flourish within the public sphere. Most notably, lesbianism was removed from the list of mental illnesses and lesbian women could live and raise children in plain …show more content…
Created by Ana Simo and ACT-UP women, the members were frustrated that lesbian rights were falling on the back burner to AIDS and gay rights movements. Their first movement was comprised of multicultural initiatives within New York state schools, as they launched Children of the Rainbow, a program that acknowledged gay families within the community. It received heavy backlash however, and was deemed “dangerously misleading lesbian and homosexual propaganda”. As time passed, these backlashes increased in hate, eventually peaking at the murders of Hattie Mae Cohens and Brian Mock. Following the crime, the Lesbian Avengers held a memorial in which their symbol would be launched. This memorial included fire eating, an act that took place at every Lesbian Avengers movement following. In 1993, the Lesbian Avengers launched a Dyke March, attempting to ensure the protection of lesbian rights within gay protests. This action and its media coverage led to the expansion of over 60 chapters within the US, Europe and Latin America. In 1996, Lesbian Avengers held the Civil Rights Organizing Project, also known as Freedom Summer, a support system for homosexuals that resided within isolated and rural areas. Their beliefs throughout the project were stemmed around the idea of being “anything but invisible”, echoing the ideology of Audre Lorde and Dorothy

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