Basically, "Lesbians are female homosexuals, women affectionately and sexually attracted to women" (Burn 79). More complex definitions exist, encompassing the politics of lesbianism or the self-labeling of lesbians. But the most important thing to acknowledge about lesbians is that "there is no one way" to be one (79). In the United States, lesbians exist within all racial, cultural, and religious life spheres. Where there are women, there will be lesbians.
Burn also identifies a broader definition of lesbian as a woman who not only is erotically attracted to other women but who "sees herself as centrally involved with a community of self-identified lesbians" (91). However, due to social restraints, it is often the case that not all lesbians are at liberty to "involve themselves centrally" in a community of like-minded women. As this essay will demonstrate, women who are attracted to other women in the United States often face many social stigmas as well as government legislation that works against them, inhibiting their most natural inclinations.
[...] So while chores may not be exactly equally divided, they are divided equitably. We used to make every single decision together (so much negotiating!), but now with busy lives with kids, we are more likely to abdicate power to the one in charge of whatever project or chore. We rarely mix finances (no joint checking). (Freedman) Angela's experience at home is somewhat different from Jackie's in that Angela is a stay-at-home mother: I would say that most decisions are made in an egalitarian manner, but we have decided to divide up the tasks in ways that are fair, but not the same. [...]
[...] Lesbians may also experience intense depression as a result of their metaphoric exile from family and friends. Lesbian women who marry men for fear of ostracization from the family sphere are burdened by the “guilt of maintaining a false image” (Burn 88). Conclusion Because of the social consequences of being an out lesbian, many lesbians lead very quiet and private lives, excluding themselves from full participation in the public sphere, and maintaining false roles within the private sphere. These fears contribute to lesbians' limited self-pride, self-exploration, job performance, and overall wellbeing. [...]
[...] The American media promotes overtly homophobic representations of lesbians, generating and fostering stereotypes of women who love women. As such, lesbians in the U.S. continue to struggle for relative normalcy in an often violently heterosexist nation, fearing loss of job security, family, children, community, and credibility. Personal Reflection Angela believes that women's expectation to love men often get in the way of women's acknowledgment of their true sexual tendencies and the formation of their true sexual identities: My partner was married to a man before she came out as a lesbian. [...]
[...] For example, for one attempt, it cost us $718 for the donor specimen and we tried three times. (The average, we were told, is about 7 tries.) This does not include the cost of registering with the cryobank (sperm bank) nor the cost of ordering the full package of information about the donor's medical history and personal attributes. [ ] Once we decided to try, we didn't really talk about giving up and we were able to get pregnant relatively quickly, so we didn't get "worn down" by the process. [...]
[...] Angela experienced similar hardship when she became pregnant with Sofia and wanted her partner to become Sofia's legal guardian as well. [ ] spent several thousand dollars and many hours on an adoption, so that my partner can be our daughter's parent in the eyes of the (Bradley). Social change around lesbians While rights for gay couples may vary from state to state, President Bush is in support of banning same-sex marriages on a federal level, through the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). This possibility has horrified Republicans as well as Democrats. Positive social change affecting lesbians in the U.S. [...]
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