General Question

ainialyaman's avatar

Are feminism and lesbianism related?

Asked by ainialyaman (19points) October 25th, 2007

I had a question regarding being a feminist! If you are a feminist does that mean you are lesbian?

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10 Answers

GD_Kimble's avatar

Not even remotely.

GD_Kimble's avatar

In fairness, my answer is incomplete. Solely speaking FROM MY EXPERIENCE…

The vast majority of lesbians that I have known would consider themselves feminists. However, feminism doesn’t automatically denote homosexuality. This is part of a mistaken notion that feminism exists in a purely adversarial role in regard to men. The most fire-breathing feminists I have known have been fiercely heterosexual, and some: happily married to adoring husbands. For that matter, many feminists are MEN of any, and all sexual preference.
Feminism is much more about sociology/psychology… and much less about sexuality. It’s about how you think, not whom you sleep with.

occ's avatar

Hi, thanks for asking this question. There are a lot of misconceptions about feminism, and I think many people are confused about the difference between feminism and lesbianism. being a feminist does not mean you are a lesbian. I identify as a feminist but not as a lesbian, and I define feminism as a belief that women and men are equal and should be treated equally, and that women have the same rights as men. Feminism, for me, also includes a willingness to examine the power dynamics that exist between women and men in our society. I believe that men can be feminists as well, and have a number of male friends who would say that they are feminists.

susanc's avatar

Thank you to occ and GD Kimble from an old, old feminist, who learned all this
the hard way – that is, starting from utter cluelessness. These are good,
clean, thoughtful answers. Ainialyman, thanks for asking it here, and keep working it out. If you like novels, try Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook; if you don’t, try
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex. These are old books (now) but they help to
make sense of all these currents of thought.

joli's avatar

Here’s a funny one for you. I was dating a man in his late 30’s. We were having a conversation one evening when I mentioned my feminist viewpoint on a subject, and named it as such. He told me I couldn’t possibly be a feminist because I have a child. I was laughing for weeks over that one! The true meaning of feminism is a bit mixed up these days. (I hate to say lost, but in some circles, it sadly is.)

susanc's avatar

This is so discouraging. All a feminist is is a person, not necessarily a woman, who
believes women are human. Not tools, not slaves, not beasts of burden, not toys:
people. That’s it. Aside from that, they can be any other way any other humans can be.
Short, tall, ugly, lovely, stupid, brilliant, poor, rich, kind, mean, ignorant, learned. That’s the only commonality: the belief that women are human and have the rights of human beings. Got it? Good.

joli's avatar

Discouraging? Yes. However, baby steps are steps in the right direction. Don’t hold your breath. My daughter has freedom we never imagined.

susanc's avatar

Yes and why does she have it? Because a lot of women who are old or dead now
demanded it and fought for it and were called lesbians as a horrible insult (!) and denied jobs and childcare because they made themselves unpopular tll other people caught on. The blessing is that younger women can take it for granted that they are fully human and walk out of high school expecting more. Are they getting more? In terms of equal pay for equal work, no. In terms of doing a little less of the housework, yes. In terms of educational opportunity, yes. In terms of dignity, yes. I am
proud of your daughter. Good for her, and good for you.

oratio's avatar

Jesus christ, why would a woman change her sexuality on the basis that she wants a fair and equal world? Nobody becomes lesbian. You are or you are not. If you think that feminism makes people gay, then you imply that you can make them straight by changing their opinion in social political issues.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

uh, duh! of course it does
my husband and i are both lesbians

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