Failure to see the difference between the heterosexual feminist’s and the lesbian’s relation to the institution of heterosexuality may well result in mislocating lesbian politics. From a feminist point of view, sexual interaction, romantic love, marriage, and the family are all danger zones because all have been distorted to serve male interests. It thus does not behoove feminist politics to begin by championing the importance of sexual interaction, romantic love, marriage, and the (couple-based) family. But it does behoove lesbian politics to start in precisely these places. Her recognition as a social being, and thus as an individual with socio-politico-legal standing, depends upon the female-female couple being recognized as a primary social unit. That in turn cannot be done without directly challenging the reservation of the primary structures of the private sphere for heterosexuals. Just as the heart of male privilege lies in the “right” of access to women, so the heart of heterosexual privilege lies in the “right” of access to sexual-romantic-marital-familial relationships.
Juan Carreño de Miranda, Eugenia Martinez Vallejo (Clothed), 1680
Juan Carreño de Miranda, Eugenia Martinez Vallejo (Nude), 1680