Kurittomat kokemukset. Queer Studies lesbotutkimuksen haasteena

Explosive Experiences – The challenge of queer studies to lesbian studies

Heterosexuality between women and men is usually seen as essential and stabile. In this article the notions of gender and sexuality and their supposed linkage are questioned. The critique of compulsory heterosexuality that developed in the practices of the lesbian movement of the 1970s questioned the essential nature of (hetero)sexuality. The lesbian definition of womanhood called also in question the cultural understanding of gendered bodies. The queer community of the late 1980s with its emphasis on providing a different perspective on sexuality pushed the traditional expectations of gender- or sexuality-based identities to the direction of more fluid and temporary identities. That change poses a severe challenge on identitybased lesbian studies: how to incorporate the new ideas of queer studies into lesbian studies without losing what is vital to it: the sexuality between women?

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