By Diane Helene Miller
Many people have grown up with the language of civil rights, but infrequently contemplate how the development of civil rights claims impacts those people who are attempting to reach them. Diane Miller examines arguments lesbians and homosexual males make for civil rights, revealing the methods those arguments are either progressive--in phrases of supporting to win complaints looking simple human rights--and limiting--in phrases of framing representations of homosexual males and lesbians.
Miller contains case reports of lesbians within the army and in politics into her argument. She discusses intimately the studies of Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, who was once dishonorably discharged from the nationwide protect after 27 years of provider while she published that she was once a lesbian, and Roberta Achtenberg, who was once nominated by way of Clinton for the activity of Assistant Director of Housing and concrete improvement and have become the 1st homosexual or lesbian to stand the affirmation procedure. Drawing on those instances and their results, Miller evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of privileging civil rights ideas within the fight for homosexual and lesbian rights.
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Additional resources for Freedom to Differ: The Shaping of the Gay and Lesbian Struggle for Civil Rights
For example, some lesbian feminists ar e committed t o develop ing an d valuin g a space alon g th e margin s o f societ y fro m whic h t o chal lenge patriarcha l institution s an d develop a cultur e o f thei r own . Suc h efforts ma y be located o n a spectrum o f possibilities , bounded o n on e en d by absolut e separatis m an d o n th e othe r b y th e goa l o f complet e assimila tion. The mainstream lesbian and gay rights movement ofte n fall s nearer th e latter end , striving t o attai n equalit y withi n existin g institutions .
T he ter m gay, like the mor e clinica l designatio n homosexual, ostensi bly refer s t o bot h me n an d w o m e n wit h a n eroti c o r affectiona l orientatio n toward member s o f thei r ow n sex , while gay liberation refers t o th e attain ment o f freedo m an d equalit y fo r al l suc h individuals . However , man y books tha t clai m t o focu s o n "gay " issues i n fac t concer n themselve s solel y with me n o r incorporat e onl y a passin g clai m t o inclusivity , wit h n o rea l attention t o lesbia n specificity .
T he discours e o f 'cornin g out ' ha s clearly serve d it s purposes , bu t wha t ar e it s risks? " (Butle r 1993 , 308) . Or , more colloquiall y put : " T h e goo d new s is , we finall y exis t t o peopl e othe r than ourselves . T he ba d new s is , on wha t terms? " (Hollibaug h 1993 , 27). T h e questio n i s a provocative one , for lesbian s an d gay s hav e ofte n real ized tha t wherea s hiddennes s o r "closetedness " ha s it s liabilities , it als o b e stows a certai n freedo m fro m regulation , alon g wit h opportunitie s fo r self naming an d self-preservation , tha t woul d b e impossibl e unde r condition s o f visibility.