January 30, 2009
‘Lesbianism is a choice’ – Julie Bindel
Controversial journalist Julie Bindel has today reignited the issue of revolutionary feminism in a newspaper article, arguing that lesbianism is a political decision rather than an innate characteristic, and inviting heterosexual feminists to “join the ranks”.
In the Guardian article My Sexual Revolution Bindel charts the history of the Revolutionary Feminists of the 1970s, who redefined lesbianism as a rejection of men rather than a desire for women.
The Revolutionary Feminists published a booklet called ‘Love Your Enemy’ in which they wrote ‘all feminists can and should be lesbians. Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not fuck men. It does not mean compulsory sexual activity with women.’
The booklet received widespread criticism, from heterosexual and homosexual women, and its radically anti-male stance was blamed by some for the ongoing trashing of both feminism and lesbianism in the media.
In My Sexual Revolution Bindel writes of her own experiences as a young lesbian feminist in the 1980s, and her perception of lesbianism as an escape from a claustrophobic heterosexual life.
“To me, political lesbianism continues to make intrinsic sense because it reinforces the idea that sexuality is a choice, and we are not destined to a particular fate because of our chromosomes,” writes Bindel. “I also suspect that it is very difficult to spend your daily life fighting against male violence, only to share a bed with a man come the evening.”
Bindel concludes the article by asking feminists to abandon heterosexuality:
“We live in a culture in which rape is still an everyday reality, and yet women are blamed for it, as it is viewed as an inevitable feature of heterosexual sex. Domestic violence is still a chronic problem for countless women in relationships with men. Women are told we must love our oppressors, while, as feminists, we fight to end the power afforded them as a birthright.
“Come on sisters, you know it makes sense. Stop pretending you think lesbianism is an exclusive members’ club, and join the ranks. I promise that you will not regret it.”
The L Word Theme (parody)
We love this parody of the L Word theme by Laura Catlow.
July 11, 2012