Foreign rights : The Lesbian Manifesto by Pauline Londeix
published in April 2008
- political essay -
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The Lesbian Manifesto, a veritable “tool box”, is a book written by a lesbian for lesbians. It calls on each of us to seize the political weapons necessary for questioning one’s identity, one’s history, and for fighting daily, institutionalized “lesbophobia”, as well as the injunction by society to stay invisible.
The Lesbian Manifesto takes the following observation as its starting point: “lesbophobia” is omnipresent in the society in which we live and it has multiple consequences in terms of self-esteem, health, legislation, etc.
Nevertheless, it is out of the question of falling into the victim’s role whose primary consequence would be a de facto crystallization of things instead of bringing about solutions.
Feminists from the 1970s, close to Monique Wittig’s Gouines Rouges (“red dykes”), declared that the lesbians’ struggle was at the crossroads of feminist and gay struggles. Henceforth, this definition must be extended: the lesbians’ struggle is also and equally indissociable from the trans’ struggle, and, furthermore, the struggle of all other oppressed minorities, of the exploited majority.
Acknowledging the past in order to better redefine the current stakes raised by the lesbian issues while providing a maximum number of arms for taking action, herein lies the challenge accepted by The Lesbian Manifesto.
The author has personally experienced different forms of “lesbophobia” and, concerned like others, she has suffered from it. However, far from adopting the posture of a victim, she feels that these issues can be approached only from the angle of politics.
Pauline Londeix was born in 1986 in the Parisian suburbs. Her political commitment took shape starting at a young age in the courtrooms of Bobigny, where with her own eyes she was able to grasp some of the wheels in the judicial machine. Her discovery of the political party circle, with its meetings, debates, and gatherings followed. In 2004, she took part in the collective “School for everyone” (Une école pour tous-tes), by the sides of Christine Delphy and Pierre Tevanian. Her feeling of “solidarity with minorities” thus took shape. Later on, she started attending weekly meetings for Act Up-Paris, to then take up fully being a militant in particular on trans’ issues, homophobia and HIV prevention in the LGBT community.
Now a member of the IDAHO committee, she is an active member and the founder of GLR, a radical lesbian activist group, with the goal of participating in the creation of a large lesbian activist pole.