Marilyn Frye on Lesbian Feminism

It has been the political policy of lesbian feminists to present ourselves publicly as persons who have chosen lesbian patterns of desire and sensuality. Whether as individuals we feel ourselves to have been born lesbians or to be lesbians by decision, we claim as morally and politically conscious agents a positive choice to go with it: to claim our lesbianism, to take full advantage of its advantages. This is central to our feminism: that women can know their own bodies and desires, interpret their own erotic currents, create and choose environments which encourage chosen changes in all these; and that a female eroticism that is independent of males and of masculinity is possible and can be chosen. We claim these things and fight in the world for all women’s liberty to live them without punishment and terror, believing also that if the world permits self-determined female eroticism, it will be a wholly different world.

From “Lesbian Feminism and the Gay Rights Movement: Another View of Male Supremacy, Another Separatism” in The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory by Marilyn Frye (Crossing Press, 1983).

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