Home » Society and Culture » Women's Issues

The Liberation Of Lesbians

Dec 7, 2007
Evidence of lesbianism in history is very sketchy. Not to say it didn't exist but that it was largely ignored.

Men were, traditionally, the keepers of literature and women were seen as either the property of men or objects of sexual desire. What they chose to do amongst themselves was seen as irrelevant and too far beneath men for them to take any notice. Therefore, examples are few and far between.

It was popular opinion that women were generally more affectionate towards each other anyway and this probably helped to obscure lesbianism through the years. It is also possible that women are more drawn to pair bonding with smaller social networks. Without the need for the larger subculture that accompanies gay men, lesbianism has remained behind closed doors for a long time.

The earliest recorded legal reference to lesbianism was in the French laws of 1720 stating that a woman 'shall lose her member on two offences and on the third offence must be burned'. It is unclear as to how a woman can 'lose her member' but without any literal examples it is impossible to tell whether this actually happened or not.

There are a few examples throughout history of women being condemned to death for loving other women but this was not widespread, or it went unrecorded. During the American Civil War it is believed that over 400 women disguised themselves as men to fight for their country. Their deception was only exposed on death.

Particularly since Victorian times there is much more recorded evidence of the secret life of lesbians. With the advent of freak shows and travelling circuses, several women throughout history have made their name by dressing as men.

However, this also occurred a great deal in everyday life with many men being discovered as women only on the event of their death. It was reported that even the wife and adopted children of the 'husband' were not aware of the sexual differences.

Ma Rainey is a well known figure in entertainment circles and was said to be bi-sexual. She took a young Bessie Smith under her wing in 1912 and they sang the blues together. Bessie Smith made a very successful career for herself singing blues and, it is said, strongly influenced the likes of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.

Although still not widely accepted outside of their own social circle, gay and lesbian relationships were coming more and more into the open by the 1920's. Infamous lesbian Eva Kotchever, alias Eve Addams, opened a tea room with a sign over the door which read 'Men are admitted but not welcome'. Notorious for the decadent manner of business carried on at the tea rooms, police carried out a raid in 1926. Kotchever was charged with writing an obscene collection of short stories called Lesbian Love.

Thankfully, these days a person is not defined by their sexuality, except by the ignorant minorities. Lesbianism is more widely accepted and women now have the same rights as man to live the life they want without prejudice.
About the Author
Equal rights activist Shaun Parker looks at how the perception of lesbian lives has changed over the years. To find out more please visit http://www.libertas.co.uk/
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 193
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources