Arlene Stein's Sex And Sensibility

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Arlene Stein’s book “Sex and Sensibility” is a literary masterpiece that develops the framework of content that was essential towards explaining the rise of the lesbian movement; though solid in its message, Stein’s bias is recognized throughout the text, she was cognizant of issues and factors that affected the movement but she fails to piece together the entire spectrum. Stein captures three fundamental factors displayed throughout the text: (1). The recognition of new sexual identities and their associated orientations (2). The separation of the Feminist and Lesbianist movements, and (3). The differentiation of the “Old Gay” and “New Gay”lesbian identities. Though these factors are important, she consistently neglects specific fragments…show more content…
Depending on the social atmosphere, an individual surrounds themselves in, will determine their orientation and identity at that particular time, she asserts herself as bisexual, reinforcing the “new gay” identity. Lastly, the third woman in the chapter demonstrates the notion of non-conformity, that, though she identifies as lesbian, her identity does not conform to any particular binary system. (Stein 1997, p 47-65) Stein’s display of these individuals is intriguing; the three stories relate to the recurring theme of intersectionality, that all three individuals identify as lesbian but have different definitions of being a…show more content…
Similarly, with the perception of the feminist movement, the majority is a Caucasian and middle-class sector, both groups seem to undermine the importance of other identities.
This entire situation reeks of irony; a particular aspect that I believe both the feminist and lesbianist movements seem to neglect is that both movements (regardless of profound differences) were responsible for drawing awareness to each other’s sector and because of this, allowed both movements to describe their motives and bring increased awareness to issues regarding women’s rights.
Overall, Stein is brilliant in presenting the toil and hardships of the lesbian movement’s ascent to prominence, but she fails to notice various identities and individuals who played a part in the movement’s rise as well as their strides for notoriety; she is biased in her perception, only speaking from the eyes of a middle-class, Caucasian woman. She flaunts independence and notoriety but excluding various identities and movements, her style of writing is best described by her character, willing for change yet change for her own benefit, I describe her as a mainstream feminist and lesbianist only supporting the ideals of mainstream
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