Review of “Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance” by Cheryl Clarke

This article written by Cheryl Clarke, is the first article I have read thus far speaking out against lesbianism.  As she is a very fervent speaker on the topic, her tone appears to be very angry and zealous.  Like many women, Clarke is facing a circumstance that somewhat repudiates her from the world; she is an AFRICAN AMERICAN, LESBIAN WOMAN.  She speaks of it as being an act of resistance in terms of living in a “male-supremacist, capitalist, misogynist, racist, homophobic, imperialist culture.” (Clarke 242)  Lesbians have been depicted as feminine evil.  One statement that stood out to me was Adrienne Rich’s sentiment towards lesbian women and how they “refused to comply with the behavior demanded of women”.  In that sense, lesbians appear to have been renegades since the beginning; long before activists of any kind began speaking out against a male dominated world.  This perspective alone makes one consider how strong these women have been.

On the basis of feminism, lesbianism shares similar ideologies.  They are both breaking both silence and secrecy in the world; challenging the roles of women and what is expected of them by society.  Prior to reading this, I never would have thought it to be a correlation.  Well, it is obvious that both belong to an oppressed group; African American lesbian, African American women…..women.

This article exposes sexual oppression, but also liberation of all people.  She speaks on behalf of the lesbian but also exposes racial oppression and male dominance.  There is a corrupted relationship between male and female that she discusses.  It was interesting how she talked about lesbians breaking all the rules; how it is already hard being an African American lesbian, but if you decide to love another woman that is not within your race, then this causes another problem.  The average lesbian is already living dangerously, but in this case, a little bit too dangerous.  Then she goes on to speak about how black lesbians must start to resist from the white man’s sexist laws…


About sydneybrown

Literary courses at Spelman College ask us students to "acquire skills in the critical reading and analysis of diverse forms of literature from fiction and drama to poetry, autobiography and historical texts." This blog will furnish you with thoughts concerning various readings assigned by Dr. Sherman in the First Year Composition class SENG 103-09 at Spelman College. Engage in active learning...
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