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Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the ClosetLesbian and Gay Displacement$
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Cheshire Calhoun

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199257663.001.0001

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The Shape of Lesbian and Gay Subordination

The Shape of Lesbian and Gay Subordination

(p.75) 4 The Shape of Lesbian and Gay Subordination
Feminism, the Family, and the Politics of the Closet

Cheshire Calhoun (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

It is argued that lesbian and gay subordination differs substantially in form from gender and racial oppression. In particular, it does not materialize in a disadvantaged place that would sharply reduce the access of lesbians and gay men as a group to basic social goods. Instead, lesbians and gays are systematically displaced to the outside of civil society so that they have no legitimized place, not even a disadvantaged one. The displacement occurs because of the requirement that all citizens adopt at least the appearance of a heterosexual identity as a condition of access to the public sphere. Various aspects of this displacement are addressed in detail.

Keywords:   disadvantage, gay subordination, gender oppression, heterosexuality, lesbian subordination, racial oppression

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