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Gender tensions at the Lesbian and Gay Centre


An article in the January 1985 issue of the Birmingham which suggested that more male members were needed to get involved in the , resulted in the following letter from Bridget Malin which was published in the following issue.

The article in the last issue of the newsletter calling upon male members to attend the Centre was sexist in the extreme, anti-lesbian and most offensive. As a member of the Committee I disassociate myself from it - totally.

Although I do see that the intention is to gain support to keep the Centre open, its expression and sentiment are so naïve at best, and degrading and despicable at worst, that the message for me and I suspect some other women, is, men and their sexism never change so we will give the Centre a miss.

Men and women do not start from the same point, the power differential in favour of men, is vast.Homosexuality is not the great leveller, it just gives us some common ground to work on. Male homosexuals are oppressed for their homosexuality - full stop.Lesbians are oppressed, and how, because they are women and then because they dare to define their own sexuality, not fitting at all snugly into the stereotype that men insist they take on.

Think about it for five minutes. Just sit and think about it, then maybe you will be able to see a little further than defining this letter as the rantings of a and realise that the basis of this protest is hard, cold FACT.


Bridget Malin

Contributed by: Bridget Malin, 62

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