Critical Reading Response: Does a Lesbian Need a Vagina Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle? or, Would the “Real” Lesbian Please Stand Up!

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  • Topic: Lesbian, Butch and femme, Stereotype
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  • Published : October 8, 2012
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Critical Reading Response:
Does A Lesbian Need a Vagina Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle? Or, Would the “Real” Lesbian Please Stand Up!

In society a person's appearance and label help us categorize and give us a general understanding of who that person is. Of course there are stereotypes that play a part in all of this. However, it is almost impossible to escape seeing as how people are identified by others is usually based on stereotypes. This week's reading ties in with this exactly.

A point was brought up that I found to be quite simple which most people (myself included) would agree with, but is not always the first explanation that would come to a person's mind. The way in which we understand and view what a lesbian is, is influenced by race, class privilege, ethnicity, age, the wanting to conform, and various other factors that weigh in (Crow & Gotell, 316). We are influenced by everything that surrounds us, including race, class, privilige, etc. We may not be conscious or aware of it all the time, but it is always there. It is how we understand most of the world, make decisions, and how you and society behaves/interacts with one another. As this argument was mentioned a few paragraphs later once again it got me to think that the way I, a born and raised Canadian understand and view the notion of a lesbian is probably different from a perosn born and raised in another country. Take the Philippines for example. The Phillipines (in the past and currently) almost always portray lesbians as stereotypically masculine and butch lesbians in films, and other media. Whereas Canada, comaparatively does not have so much of that stereotype in the media. But what if we did not have lesbians that fit into the “norms” of lesbianism? What and who would this affect?

The reading brought up another good point that I agree with on one hand, but am quite perplexed with on the other as it not simple as black and white. The lesbian uniform that are put on by the lesbians who...
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