Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism/ Suzanne Pharr/ p.87-91

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“What does a woman have to do to get called a lesbian? Almost anything… anything that steps out of role, anything that asserts the rights of women, anything that doesn’t indicate submission and subordination.

Pharr recognizes the accusations that women face if they decide to step out of this typical “role” we have. Pharr also discusses the role homophobia plays in a woman’s life (and a little bit in male’s lives); she talks how sexual identity is not clearly understood and how some people just cannot accept those for who they are essentially. She continues on to tell that sexual identity is more than just the “sex” part of it; Pharr also examines and states very definite and dramatic statements like “Lesbians look like all women and all women look like lesbians”. I agree with most of what Pharr examines in her writing. This stereotype that people expect women, men, lesbians, bisexual, homosexuals, etc to fall in is not necessarily how it is.

“It is very difficult for one to be denied the life of a sexual being, whether expressed in sex or in physical affection, and to feel complete, whole. For our loving relationships with humans feed the life of spirit and enable us to overcome our basic isolation and to be interconnected with humankind.”

I agree with Pharr’s overarching them of how women who step out of this role we are expected to have in society, we get pin pointed on just who we are. This goes for women who are lesbians, as well as heterosexual women; lesbian women are pin pointed on being “man haters” due to their sexual orientation. Feminists are deemed man haters; those who work for women’s rights and believe in them are thought to be ‘man haters’. Pharr’s opinion on such matters made sense to me, they made me angry; Pharr’s views also made me realize how I have seen this type of generalization and labeling go on and how the next time, I would say something.
Near the end Pharr asks,

“…What does one do in effort to keep from being called a lesbian? She steps back into line, into the role that is demanded of her, tries to behave in a way that doesn’t threaten the status of men…”

and it makes me realize just how society has put such a negativity of the pure word of lesbian or gay. You don’t see any labeling people ‘straight’ and being offended. Who gets to make such harsh decision-making of whats good and whats bad? Whats negative and whats acceptable? Isn’t it about loving thy neighbor? NOT, love thy neighbor…but only if their straight.

“…only successful work against sexism must include work against homophobia.”

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