Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Lavender Menace

Stonewall was a moment charnière in the gay liberation movement as Montreal Simon and Slap Upside The Head wrote last month.

For lesbians, a different type of watershed moment took place for the US women's liberation movement when Betty Friedan was quoted about

... the threat that she believed associations with lesbianism posed to NOW and the emerging women's movement. Friedan, and some other straight feminists as well, worried that the association would hamstring feminists' ability to achieve serious political change, and that stereotypes of "mannish" and "man-hating" lesbians would provide an easy way to dismiss the movement. Under her direction, NOW attempted to distance itself from lesbian causes – up to omitting the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis from the list of sponsors of the First Congress to Unite Women in November 1969.

Friedan's remarks and the decision to drop DOB from the sponsor list led lesbian feminist Rita Mae Brown to angrily resign her administrative job at NOW in February 1970. On March 15 1970, straight radical feminist Susan Brownmiller quoted Friedan's remarks about the "lavender menace" and dismissed her worries as "A lavender herring, perhaps, but no clear and present danger" in a New York Times Magazine article.

While those events are long past, there are christian fundamentalist haters who still fan the flames of gynophobia with regard to lesbians. For example, this blogger with impeccable hater connections to a number of religious rightwing political astro-turfing organizations, is an unabashed cheer-leader for the testerical actions of Marshall G. Abbott, aka "Deputy Sheriff Pepper".

No comments:

Post a Comment