Beriss, M. (2022). But I’m a Separatist!: Homonormativity, Queer Utopia, and Lesbian Separatism. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2587
This thesis investigates what to do in the face of rising homonormativity in the present day. With the advent of same-sex marriage, there are now certain gay people who have state approved relationships. While this indicates progress, it also affirms that the state can approve of sexuality – and, of course, not approve of sexuality. American mainstream queer politics in the 21st century become largely assimilationist (with a focus on same-sex marriage, gay/trans people in the military, etc.). I examine first how a national sexuality creates a divide between good and bad citizens, and how this mainstream queer politics only works to deepen that divide. With that understanding, the work then moves to examine the movement of lesbian separatism. In response to being largely excluded from the second wave feminist movement as well as the beginning of the gay right movements in the 70s, lesbians created spaces exclusively for themselves. This was a deeply flawed movement as it was based on the radical feminist idea that patriarchy was the only axis of oppression that needed to be addressed. They failed in their endeavor to end patriarchy, but we can still learn something from their work: namely, that imagining a better world – for example, one without patriarchy – is the only way to get us there. Trying to bend the borders that govern who is and is not included in the nation state will never bring us to a point of liberation.