Lesbian Culture

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Running heads: CULTURE OF LESBIAN 1



Feminismis a unifying factor which connects most women in the world. Peopleuses different means to advocate for feminism with each having aspecific theme of supporting the concept. This paper presents waysin which two authors present their view to their audience on theconcept of lesbianism. The paper focuses on the work of Audre Lordeand Alison Bechdel. The work of the authors that is cover is a NewSpelling of My Name and The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For,respectively. The paper compares and contrasts how these writerspresent their information and the effectiveness of theirpresentation.


Inher writing, Bechdel uses a comic style to address the issue oflesbianism. The author turns the typical life of a lesbian into acuriosity with the aim of understanding how life in such arelationship is similar to the life in other interactions (Gonda,2013).In contrast, in the Lorde’s book, the writer uses a tone that issurrounded by frustrations in trying to get the solutions forquestions which cannot be answered. She considers the questions asanswerable because each lesbian must find their personal answer.According to Bechdel, humor is the best approach for addressing thechallenges that the lesbians face while trying to get married. Sheallows anger to grow from inside and ejects it inform of humor whileaddressing such a dark subject in her society. An example is whenBechdel sees two women who are exchanging gifts. One gives her frienda book containing the wisdom of menopause while in return, she givesher partner a lingerie of Victoria Secretes.

Inthe story of Lorde, the writer gives the narration of her life as akind of beginning for other black lesbians. The author hopes that thelesbians will be able to draw their identity from her work. Shepresents many lesbians in her work with the main intention of givingout her personal life openly without fear in a racial society. Hermain purpose is not to create contention and promiscuity as otherreaders would view. In contrast, Bechdel uses different characterswho are mostly lesbians living in cities. These characters arefeaturing in a storyline of soap opera and commentaries of eachtopic. The writer represents the popular culture of lesbians as animportant generation.

Lordeticks name as she develops her story. At the end, she offers thereader with a list of names of prominent women like DeLois. Lordeintroduces these secondary characters and uses them to stage herstrength as the narrator of the story. The writing of Lorde observesthe general mode of writing, where she uses a continuous prose toreach her audience. Bechdel uses a unique feature of expressingherself through other characters. She stresses her message by the useof graphics at the end of the book. These graphics are emphasizingsome message such as flashback and serial monogamy. The graphics arealso used to improve the interests of the reader in the text and toeliminate the monotony of reading.


Bothauthors are dominated by strength. This is a common unifying factorfor both writers in their struggles for feminism and equal rights ingeneral. The author, in her humorous tone, is portraying herstrengths since she addresses a serious issue such as that of womenfalling in love, in a comic manner. Similarly, at the beginning ofher narration, Lorde states that she has always wanted to be both awoman and a man to include the richest part of her father and mother(Gonda,2013).She has the desires of sharing with her parents, what she refer to asvalley and mountains, meaning her sadness and joy. The women authorsmust have obtained their strength from the many women who havepreviously advocated for feminism. This is the reason why the twoauthors, Bechdel and Lorde have received particular attention fromreputable organizations and some officials of various governments.

Bothwriters use similar approaches to address a common issue which isprevalent in their society. Lorde explores her personal life to dealwith the issue of lesbianism. The writer reviews her childhood andthe time that she comes to New York City. She also reviews herinitial encountance with a feminist poet and her introduction to thepolitical scene of women. The story is developed through school and aclose examination of her sisters and her mother, lovers, andco-workers. Bechdel approaches the matter of lesbianism also from asimilar point. The writer confesses that she was brought up by a gayfather, who later committed suicide shortly after she comes out ofthe lesbianism (Gonda,2013).In her book, she wanted to represent the social movement from thesubjectivity of sexuality.

Effectivenessof the Writers’ Delivery

Theauthors use specific methods of presenting their ideas to theaudience. They both use their personal life to develop theirnarration. In addition, Lorde makes use of a serious and a frustratedtone. On the other hand, Bechdel uses a humorous tone which isaccompanied by graphics to emphasize her message. These methods havebeen effective to the writers especially when giving a narration froma personal experience. This makes the reader get the reality of thenarratives.


Both Audre Lorde and Allison Bechdel are standing out in stronglyaddressing the issue of lesbianism and feminism in general. The twowriter are forming the part of feminism movement which continues tofight for equal right for women in the society. These writers arealso using their art to explain the concept of lesbianism to helppeople with similar characteristic as theirs in understanding andappreciating themselves.


Gonda,C. (2013). Lesbian feminist criticism.&nbspPlainand Sellers, A History of Feminist Literary Criticism,175: 88.