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National Organization for
The Year Women Found Their Rage
Nobel Peace Prize
for Fight Against Sexual Violence
The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Denis
Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use
of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed
midst of a global reckoning over sexual violence,
including the #Me Too Movement, a woman who was forced
into sexual slavery by the Islamic State and a Congolese
gynecological surgeon were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
in October 2018 for their campaigns to end the use of
mass rape as a weapon of war.
Nadia Murad, 25, became the voice and face of women who
survived sexual violence by the Islamic State. She is a
Yazidi woman from the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, who
was held as a sex slave by ISIS. In 2016, at age 23, she
was made a UN goodwill ambassador for the dignity of
survivors of human trafficking.
Mukwege, 63, a gynecologist and surgeon, has long worked
to treat thousands of women and girls affected by rape
and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo,
a country once called the rape capital of the world.
worked through grave risks to their own lives to help
survivors and bring their stories to the world.
CNN: Nobel Peace Prize for Fight Against Sexual Violence
NY Times: Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Yazidi Activist
and Congolese Doctor
Guardian: Nobel Peace Prize Won by Mukwege and Murad
annual Women's March took place on Saturday, January 20
and Sunday, January 21, 2018 in various US cities,
including Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles,
Philadelphia, Austin, Seattle, and Las Vegas.
same spirit as last year's event, the
Women's March was a demonstration for human rights and
other issues, including women's rights, immigration
reform, healthcare reform, LGBTQ rights, racial equality,
voter empowerment, and sexual harassment.
Since the last protest march, a deluge of revelations
about powerful men abusing women, leading to the #MeToo
movement, has pushed activists to demand deeper social
and political change. Progressive women are eager to
build on the movement and translate their enthusiasm
into electoral victories in this year’s midterm
More than 200,000 protesters attended the march in New
York. 600,000 attended the march in Los Angeles. And
organizers of the Chicago march said 300,000 attended
As with last year's event, much of the protest centered
on President Trump's ongoing disrespectful remarks about
women and minorities.
Melissa Etheridge and Gay Men's Chorus at Women's March
NY Times: Thousands Participate in Women's March
Amazing Signs From the Women's March
CNN: Women's March Draws Big Crowds
Kids Protesting at Women's March
Huff Post: Great Protest Signs From Women's March
CNN: The Future is Female
Saturday, January 21, 2017, more than 2 million people
across the world, led by hundreds of thousands who
overwhelmed the nation's capital, protested the first
full day of President Trump's tenure.
Women's March was a worldwide protest to advocate
legislation and policies regarding human rights and
other issues, including women's rights, immigration
reform, healthcare reform, the natural environment,
LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and
as a Facebook post by a Hawaii grandmother the day after
Hillary Clinton's loss in November's election blossomed
into a massive protest uniting people of all ages, races
and religions who crowded downtown Washington. They
called for a "revolution" as a bulwark against the new
administration and the Republican-led Congress they fear
will roll back reproductive, civil and human rights.
According to a sister march webpage, an estimated 2.6
million people took part in 673 marches in all 50 states
and 32 countries, from Belarus to New Zealand — with the
largest taking place in Washington.
The crowds were so large in some cities that marching
was almost impossible. In Chicago, organizers halted the
march and rallied at Grant Park instead as crowds
swelled to 150,000, although thousands still marched. In
New York City, the number was 400,000, according to
Mayor Bill de Blasio; in Boston, media reported more
than 100,000 people marching in Boston Common. In
Oakland, Calif., police estimated that about 60,000
people took part in the women's march. Local media
reports said that San Francisco’s rally later in the day
may have attracted as many as 100,000.
Women and men across the country participated in a
“Women's March on Washington” in the nation's capital
the day after the inauguration as a rebuke to
President-elect Donald Trump's incendiary remarks about
women and minorities during his presidential campaign.
The undercurrent of the protest was heavily
female-oriented, with women decrying Trump's comments
about women, the uncertain future of access to birth
control and abortion, and the fact that Hillary Clinton
missed becoming the first woman to hold the presidency.
Hundreds of Cities Joined Women's March
Women's March was Therapy
Badass Signs From Women's March
Voices and Portraits From Women's March
Photos From Women's Marches Around the World
women to leave their husbands, kill their children,
practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become
group, women have long suffered many of the same acts of
oppression endured by LGBTQ individuals. Women have
experienced countless inequities and injustices over the
years. Women have been the victims of discrimination,
harassment, and violence. Issues of women's rights are
very much parallel with LGBTQ rights.
Lesbian feminism is a cultural movement and critical
perspective, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s
(primarily in North America and Western Europe), that
questions the position of lesbians and women in society.
Some key thinkers and activists are Charlotte Bunch,
Rita Mae Brown, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Marilyn
Frye, Mary Daly, Sheila Jeffreys and Monique Wittig.
Historically lesbianism has been closely associated with
feminism, going back at least to the 1890s. "Lesbian
feminism" is a related movement that came together in
the early 1970s out of dissatisfaction with second-wave
feminism and the gay liberation movement.
In the words of lesbian feminist Sheila Jeffreys,
"Lesbian feminism emerged as a result of two
developments: lesbians within the Women's Liberation
Movement began to create a new, distinctively feminist
lesbian politics, and lesbians in the Gay Liberation
Front left to join up with their sisters".
Jeffreys defines lesbian feminism as having seven key
--Emphasis on women's love for one another
--Community and ideas
--Idea that lesbianism is about choice and resistance
--Idea that the personal is the political
--Rejection of social hierarchy
--Critique of male-supremacy (which eroticises
Essay by Adrienne Rich: Compulsory Heterosexuality &
AutoStraddle: Female Friends Forever
Herstory Project: Feminism and Lesbianism
Article: Lesbian Separatism
Wikipedia: Lesbian Feminism
Relationships: Lesbian Life
Is Feminism a Dirty Word?
Info: Definition of Lesbian
How Toxic Masculinity Harms Women
and Lesbian Separatism
"Womyn" is an alternate spelling of the word "woman."
The term is sometimes used by some feminist and lesbian
separatist groups as a nonsexist spelling of "woman" in
order to deliberately avoid the suffix "man." The term
has been tied to the concept of feminism as a form of
the word "woman" without patriarchal connotations. The
term is sometimes used in labeling certain academic
programs, categories of literature, concert events,
festivals, interest groups, support groups, and
communities/communes related to feminist or lesbian
"Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" is a
1980 essay by Adrienne Rich, published in her 1986 book
Blood, Bread, and Poetry.
Rich argues that heterosexuality is a violent political
institution making way for the "male right of physical,
economical, and emotional access" to women. She urges
women to direct their energies towards other women
rather than men, and portrays lesbianism as an extension
of feminism. Rich challenges the notion of women's
dependence on men as social and economic supports, as
well as for adult sexuality and psychological
completion. She calls for what she describes as a
greater understanding of lesbian experience, and
believes that once such an understanding is obtained,
these boundaries will be widened and women will be able
to experience the "erotic" in female terms.
In order to gain this physical, economical, and
emotional access for women, Rich lays out a framework
developed by Kathleen Gough (both a social
anthropologist and feminist) that lists "eight
characteristics of male power in archaic and
contemporary societies." Along with the framework given,
Rich sets to define the term lesbianism by giving two
separate definitions for the term. Lesbian existence,
she suggests, is “both the fact of the historical
presence of lesbians and our continuing creation of the
meaning of that existence. The other, lesbian continuum,
refers to the overall "range - through each woman’s life
and throughout history - of woman-identified
experiences, not simply the fact that a woman has had or
consciously desired genital sexual experience with
another woman." Below are the characteristics in which
male power has demonstrated the suppression of female
--To deny women their own sexuality: destruction of
sexuality displayed throughout history in sacred
--Forcing male sexuality upon women: rape, incest,
torture, a constant message that men are better, and
superior in society to women.
--Exploiting their labor to control production: women
have no control over choice of children, abortion, birth
control and furthermore, no access to knowledge of such
--Control over their children: lesbian mothers seen as
unfit for motherhood, malpractice in society and the
courts to further benefit the man.
--Confinement: women unable to choice their own
wardrobe (feminine dress seen as the only way), full
economic dependence on the man, limited life in general.
--Male transactions: women given away by fathers as
gifts or hostesses by the husband for their own benefit,
pimping women out.
--Cramp women’s creativeness: male seen as more
assimilated in society (they can participate more,
culturally more important).
--Men withholding attainment of knowledge: “Great
Silence” (never speaking about lesbian existence in
history), discrimination against women professionals.
Feminist Views on Sexual Orientation
Conflict in the Feminist/Lesbian Movement in the 60s
Dispute Between Radical Feminism and Transgenderism
Lesbians Fight Against TERFs
Queer Women of the Suffragette Movement
Lesbianism and Feminism
Suffragette History and Lesbian Drama
Suffragettes and Lesbians
Recognizing the Contribution of Lesbian Suffragettes
Queer Badass Suffragettes Made History
Rift Between Lesbians
While lesbians have always certainly been an active part
of the overall feminist movement (including the women's
liberation movement, the suffragette movement, and other
political efforts to achieve women's right to vote and
other women's equality issues), lesbians have not always
been accepted or well-received in feminist circles. This
dispute has sometimes been described as a culture clash
between feminists and lesbians and sheds light on the
conflict of values, priorities, and lifestyles between
the two groups.
emergence of queer theory in the 1990s was built upon
certain principles of lesbian feminism, including the
critique of compulsory heterosexuality, the
understanding of gender as defined in part by
heterosexuality, and the understanding of sexuality as
institutional instead of personal. Despite this, queer
theory is largely set in opposition to lesbian feminism.
Whereas lesbian feminism is traditionally critical of
BDSM, butch/femme identities and relationships,
transgenderism, transsexuality, pornography, and
prostitution, queer theory tends to embrace them.
theorists embrace gender fluidity and subsequently have
critiqued lesbian feminism as having an essentialist
understanding of gender that runs counter to their
stated aims. Lesbian feminists have critiqued queer
theory as implicitly male-oriented and a recreation of
the male-oriented Gay Liberation Front that lesbian
feminists initially sought refuge from.
Because of its focus on equality in sexual
relationships, lesbian feminism has traditionally been
opposed to any form of BDSM that involve perpetuation of
Bisexuality is rejected by some lesbian feminists as
being a reactionary and anti-feminist backlash to
lesbian feminism. A number of women who were at one time
involved in lesbian feminist activism came out as
bisexual after realizing their attractions to men. A
widely studied example of lesbian-bisexual conflict
within feminism was the Northampton Pride March during
the years between 1989 and 1993, where many feminists
involved debated over whether bisexuals should be
included and whether or not bisexuality was compatible
with feminism. Common lesbian feminist critiques leveled
at bisexuality were that bisexuality was anti-feminist,
that bisexuality was a form of false consciousness, and
that bisexual women who pursue relationships with men
were "deluded and desperate." However, tensions between
bisexual feminists and lesbian feminists have eased
since the 1990s, as bisexual women have become more
accepted within the feminist community.
lesbian feminists views vary, there is a specific
lesbian feminist canon which rejects transgenderism,
transsexuals and transvestites, positing trans people
as, at best, gender dupes or functions of a discourse on
mutilation; or at worst, shoring up support for
traditional and violent gender norms. This is a position
marked by intense controversy.
TERF was developed to label this type of feminist
attitude towards transgender people. The acronym
means Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminist.
These views on transgenderism and transsexuality have
been criticized by many in the LGBTQ and feminist
communities as transphobic and constituting hate speech
against transsexual men and women. Lesbian feminism is
sometimes associated with opposition to sex reassignment
surgery; some lesbian feminist analyses see sex
reassignment surgery as a form of violence akin to BDSM.
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