Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Lesbian-Baiting

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Lesbian-Baiting is a term defined as a tactic that uses the negative connotation of the word “lesbian” to instill fear and/or embarrassment upon women who are fighting for women’s rights. Lesbian-baiting is a discouragement method that hinders women from supporting what they believe in by using the term “lesbian” in relation to that woman, thus keeping women “in-line”. Opposition to women’s rights can come from a variety of sources; men can use their economic power (boss) or support (working husband) to inhibit women from supporting the women’s movement. The people who use this tactic rely on the constant homophobia in everyday life. Therefore, without homophobia, there would not be the option to use this tactic; it simply would not work. In response to Pharr’s article “Homophobia”, I agree immensely with the statement that “homophobia is a weapon of sexism”. If people would let go of past perceptions of the “right” (heterosexual) and the “wrong” (homosexual), then the women’s right’s movement could keep moving forward. By letting lesbian-baiting keep you from supporting what you believe in as a person is indirectly agreeing that heterosexual is the only one, correct sexuality. Until homophobia is almost eradicated then the women’s rights movement will always be at the mercy of those who oppose it such as men and society in general. Pharr talked about how homophobia is directly associated with sexism, because those who “have” homophobia are participating in a form sexism called heterosexism. I believe that the women’s rights movement is not only dependent upon the end of sexism but the end of prejudices all together. Prejudices, in general, have allowed for numerous harmful ideas and ultimately actions. Prejudices have also been a major component in the regression that has happened in the women’s right’s movement since the second wave.

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