At the Borders of Queer Nation
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Can you?
I was in a class once where there was a serious discussion of whether you could be feminist without being lesbian. I'm pretty sure that we decided you could. However, the class was mostly not lesbian, and generally all identified as feminist, so I guess they were only putting in votes for their own existence and authenticity. However, there have been a number of women who feel that existing heterosexually is existing for men, and if one really cares about women, one doesn't go home at night to sleep with the enemy. "Many lesbians feel that bisexual women's asociations with men disqualify them completely from political alliances or comradeship with lesbians." (Rust 1995:61) After all, "Since sexuality was a political choice, and lesbianism the politically correct choice, any other kind of sexuality was considered counter-revolutionary."(Newitz and Sandell 1994) Lesbian feminism in some senses created an asexual lesbian, the woman-centered-woman, as the political ideal: "what has been accepted in lesbian feminism is not the lesbian, but the Lesbian - the politically/sexually/culturally correct being, the carrier of the lesbian feminist conciousness."(Phelan 1989:57)(emphasis in original) But bisexuals choose the wrong thing, when they choose sex instead of politics1: the parts of their identities did not mesh into a "seamless web of the expression of the self."(Phelan 1989:103)
  1. I mean this, not as the choice that bisexuals might make, but as how it would be perceived.

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