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Gender, love and sex: What can we learn from the ancient Greek poet Sappho? - BBC Ideas

When the "son" is thirteen, the father chooses a golden-haired maiden named Ianthe as the "boy's" bride. The love of the two girls is written sympathetically:.

They were of equal age, they both were lovely, Had learned the ABC from the same teachers, And so love came to both of them together In simple innocence, and filled their hearts With equal longing.

However, as the marriage draws ever closer, Iphis recoils, calling her love "monstrous and unheard of". The goddess Isis hears the girl's moans and turns her into a boy.

References to love between women are sparse. Phaedrus attempted to explain lesbianism through a myth of his own making: Prometheus , coming home drunk from a party, had mistakenly exchanged the genitals of some women and some men — "Lust now enjoys perverted pleasure.

It is quite clear that paiderastia and lesbianism were not held in equally good light, possibly because of the violation of strict gender roles.

Seneca the Elder mentions a husband who killed his wife and her female lover and implies that their crime was worse than that of adultery between a male and female.

The Babyloniaca of Iamblichus describes an Egyptian princess named Berenice who loves and marries another woman. This novelist also states that such love is "wild and lawless".

Another example of the gender-sexual worldview of the times was documented in Lucian 's Dialogues of the Courtesans , in which Megilla renames herself Megillus and wears a wig to cover her shaved head.

She marries Demonassa of Corinth, although Megillus is from Lesbos. Her friend Leaena comments that "They say there are women like that in Lesbos, with faces like men, and unwilling to consort with men, but only with women, as though they themselves were men".

Megillus seduces Leaena, who feels that the experience is too disgusting to describe in detail. In another dialogue ascribed to Lucian, two men debate over which is better, male love or heterosexuality.

One man protested that if male affairs were legitimized, then lesbianism would soon be condoned as well, an unthinkable notion. The apocryphal Apocalypse of Peter describes the punishment of both male and female homosexuals in Hell : [19].

And other men and women being cast down from a great rock fell to the bottom, and again were driven by them that were set over them, to go up upon the rock, and thence were cast down to the bottom and had no rest from this torment.

And these were they that did defile their bodies behaving as women: and the women that were with them were they that lay with one another as a man with a woman.

The canonical New Testament usually mentions homosexuality in only general terms i. Women who'd done this were only mentioned once however.

In medieval Europe, the Christian Church took a stricter view of same-sex relations between women. Penitentials , developed by Celtic monks in Ireland, were unofficial guidebooks which became popular, especially in the British Isles.

These books listed crimes and the penances that must be done for them. For example, " The several versions of the Paenitentiale Theodori , attributed to Theodore of Tarsus , who became archbishop of Canterbury in the 7th century, make special references to lesbianism.

The Paenitentiale states, "If a woman practices vice with a woman she shall do penance for three years". The authors of most medieval penitentials either did not explicitly discuss lesbian activities at all, or treated them as a less serious sin than male homosexuality.

The Old French legal treatise Li livres de jostice et de plet c. It prescribed dismemberment on the first two offences and death by burning for the third: a near exact parallel to the penalty for a man, although what "dismemberment" could mean for a medieval woman is unknown.

There exist records of about a dozen women in the medieval period who were involved in lesbian sex, as defined by Judith Bennett as same-sex genital contact.

All of these women are known through their involvement with the courts, and were imprisoned or executed. In the early fifteenth century, a Frenchwoman, Laurence, wife of Colin Poitevin, was imprisoned for her affair with another woman, Jehanne.

She pleaded for clemency on the grounds that Jehanne had been the instigator and she regretted her sins, and was freed to return home after six months imprisonment.

She was declared the victim of a "diabolical obsession" and placed in the convent's prison for the last 35 years of her life.

In the medieval Arab world, lesbianism [note 3] was considered to be caused by heat generated in a woman's labia , which could be alleviated by friction against another woman's genitalia.

Between and Maimonides , one of the foremost rabbis in Jewish history, compiled his magnum opus, the Mishneh Torah.

It is the only Medieval-era work that details all of Jewish observance, and as regarding lesbianism states: [30]. For women to be mesollelot [women rubbing genitals against each other] with one another is forbidden, as this is the practice of Egypt, which we were warned against: "Like the practice of the land of Egypt A man married a man, and a woman married a woman, and a woman married two men.

Therefore, [one who does this] is not forbidden to the priesthood because of harlotry, and a woman is not prohibited to her husband by this, since it is not harlotry.

But it is appropriate to administer to them lashings of rebellion [i. And a man should be strict with his wife in this matter, and should prevent women known to do this from coming to her or from her going to them.

Female homoeroticism, however, was so common in English literature and theatre that historians [ who? In early modern England, female homosexual behaviour became increasingly culturally visible.

Some historians, such as Traub, have argued that this led to increasing cultural sanctions against lesbian behaviours. The literature of the time attempted to rationalise some women's lesbian activities, commonly searching for visible indications of sapphic tendencies.

Despite the onlookers' failure to see anything unusual about the woman, the lion identified her as "no true Virgin". For instance, there was probably a lesbian subculture amongst dancers and prostitutes in eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Paris, and in eighteenth-century Amsterdam.

Laws against lesbianism were suggested but usually not created or enforced in early American history. In , John Cotton proposed a law for Massachusetts Bay making sex between two women or two men a capital offense, but the law was not enacted.

However, in in Plymouth Colony , Sarah White Norman and Mary Vincent Hammon were prosecuted for "lewd behavior with each other upon a bed"; their trial documents are the only known record of sex between female English colonists in North America in the 17th century.

Close intimate relationships were common among women in the midth century. This was attributed to strict gender roles that led women to expand their social circle to other women for emotional support.

These relationships were expected to form close between women with similar socioeconomic status. Though women developed very close emotional relationships with one another, marriage to men was still the norm.

Yet there is evidence of possible sexual relationships to develop beyond an emotional level. Documents from two African-American women use terms describing practices known as "bosom sex.

Late 19th century and early 20th century saw the flourish of " Boston marriages " in New England. The term describes romantic friendship between two women, living together and without any financial support by men.

Many lasting romantic friendships began at women's colleges. This kind of relationship actually predates New England's custom, there being examples of this in the United Kingdom and continental Europe since the 18th century.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries also saw an increase in lesbian visibility in France , both in the public sphere and in representations of lesbians in art and literature.

Fin de siecle society in Paris included bars, restaurants and cafes frequented and owned by lesbians, such as Le Hanneton and le Rat Mort, Private salons, like the one hosted by the American expatriate Nathalie Barney , drew lesbian and bisexual artists and writers of the era, including Romaine Brooks , Renee Vivien , Colette , Djuna Barnes , Gertrude Stein , and Radclyffe Hall.

One of Barney's lovers, the courtesan Liane de Pougy , published a best-selling novel based on their romance called l'Idylle Saphique Many of the more visible lesbians and bisexual women were entertainers and actresses.

Some, like the writer Colette and her lover Mathilde de Morny , performed lesbian theatrical scenes in cabarets that drew outrage and censorship.

Descriptions of lesbian salons, cafes and restaurants were included in tourist guides and journalism of the era, as well as mention of houses of prostitution that were uniquely for lesbians.

Toulouse Lautrec created paintings of many of the lesbians he met, some of whom frequented or worked at the famed Moulin Rouge. The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations, when members of the gay i.

LGBT community fought back when police became violent during a police raid in the early morning hours of June 28, , at the Stonewall Inn , located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan , New York City.

Political lesbianism originated in the late s among second wave radical feminists as a way to fight sexism and compulsory heterosexuality see Adrienne Rich 's essay Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.

Sheila Jeffreys , a lesbian, helped to develop the concept when she co-wrote "Love Your Enemy? They argued that women should abandon support of heterosexuality and stop sleeping with men, encouraging women to rid men "from your beds and your heads.

The Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group definition of a political lesbian is "a woman identified woman who does not fuck men". They proclaimed men the enemy and women who were in relationships with them collaborators and complicit in their own oppression.

Heterosexual behavior was seen as the basic unit of the patriarchy 's political structure, with lesbians who reject heterosexual behavior therefore disrupting the established political system.

When elected she was in a heterosexual marriage. Lesbian feminism , which was most influential from the mids to the mids primarily in North America and Western Europe , encourages women to direct their energies toward other women rather than men, and often advocates lesbianism as the logical result of feminism.

As with Gay Liberation , the lesbian feminist understanding of the lesbian potential in all women was at odds with the minority-rights framework of the Gay Rights movement.

Many women of the Gay Liberation movement felt frustrated at the domination of the movement by men and formed separate organisations; some who felt gender differences between men and women could not be resolved developed " lesbian separatism ", influenced by writings such as Jill Johnston 's book Lesbian Nation.

Disagreements between different political philosophies were, at times, extremely heated, and became known as the lesbian sex wars , [65] clashing in particular over views on sadomasochism , prostitution and transgenderism.

The Lesbian Avengers began in New York City in as "a direct action group focused on issues vital to lesbian survival and visibility.

Newsweek reporter Eloise Salholz, covering the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation , believed the Lesbian Avengers were so popular because they were founded at a moment when lesbians were increasingly tired of working on issues, like AIDS and abortion, while their own problems went unsolved.

Category:LGBT culture. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.

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The poet Sappho of Lesbos or Lesvos lived in B. Sappho was an intellectual and poet who wrote many love poems to other women.

Although much of her poetry has been destroyed by religious fundamentalists, the few poems of Sappho that remain speak clearly to her love and infatuation with women.

Her writings is very erotic, something uncommon, especially for women of that era. And it's clear from her writings that she loved men and women.

She wrote very frankly about her love and attraction to women. She may have been the first woman to do so and hence, received scorn and criticism, both in her day and after her death.

In fact, much of her poetry was either destroyed, edited or fragmented by moralists trying to cover up her blatantly erase the mentions of lesbianism in her words.

Literary scholars have tried to recreate her works, but much of it remains lost. In , the literary world rejoiced at the discovery of two new poems by Sappho.

Sappho lived in a time when women were not thought to be intellectuals nor sexual beings—especially without the participation of a man.

How two women could be erotically connected was baffling. Plato referred to her as the 10th muse. Some of her writing did survive.

To this day we use the term lesbian to refer to women who love women because of the life of Sappho. In the study of lesbian history, we often start with Sappho, because she is the first lesbian that we have documentation that existed.

Of course, there have always been women-loving women in all cultures and times.

Greek Homonationalism: Entanglement of Sexual Politics with Issues of Race and Nationalism in the Case of Lesbian and Gay Movements and Queer Activist. Some destinations in Greece are considered to be gay-friendly places and receive many gay and lesbian tourists every summer. Generally, the. dec 22 athens greece lesbian gay bisexual and transgender lgbt persons and activists protest outside the | Stockfoto bei imago images. Running Wild: A Steamy Lesbian Romance in Ancient Greece (English Edition) eBook: Clarke, Laurel: tjejjourentekla.se: Kindle-Shop. Jan 27, - This Pin was discovered by Céline I. Discover (and save!) your own Pins on Pinterest.

The Lesbian Avengers began in New York City in as "a direct action group focused on issues vital to lesbian survival and visibility.

Newsweek reporter Eloise Salholz, covering the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation , believed the Lesbian Avengers were so popular because they were founded at a moment when lesbians were increasingly tired of working on issues, like AIDS and abortion, while their own problems went unsolved.

Category:LGBT culture. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.

Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article needs additional citations for verification.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed.

January Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs attention from an expert in History.

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January See also: Sexuality in ancient Rome and Homosexuality in ancient Rome. Greek Homosexuality. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Historical Reflections. London: Pimlico. Retrieved 29 November The Apocryphal New Testament. Clarendon Press, Retrieved 7 August Retrieved Journal of the History of Sexuality.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Capital Laws from to ". Journal of Homosexuality. The Haworth Press. Retrieved 5 February The New York Times.

New York. Retrieved November 26, Tatler no. Fred B. New York University Press. The Journal of Asthma Research. Archived from the original on OutHistory Gender and History.

Women in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved October 11, US Department of Interior. Retrieved January 21, North Jersey Media Group Inc.

January 21, Archived from the original on May 30, The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October Retrieved 12 May Signs ; 5, — Archived from the original on March 26, Editors Janet Baus, Su Friedrich.

LGBT history. In journalism In policing History of same-sex unions Queer erasure bisexual lesbian.

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Go Play. Places to see, ways to wander, and signature experiences. Panagia Agia Sion. Petrified Forest of Lesbos. The Commander of Lesvos Monastery.

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During the Middle Ages it belonged to the Byzantine Empire. In , the Byzantine Empress Irene was exiled to Lesbos after her deposition, and died there.

In the 10th century, it was part of the theme of the Aegean Sea , while in the late 11th century it formed a dioikesis under a kourator in Mytilene.

After the Fourth Crusade — the island passed to the Latin Empire , but was reconquered by the Empire of Nicaea sometime after The cities of Mytilene and Methymna have been bishoprics since the 5th century.

By the early 10th century, Mytilene had been raised to the status of a metropolitan see. Methymna achieved the same by the 12th century.

The oldest artifacts found on the island may date to the late Paleolithic period. The largest habitation is found in Lisvori — BC part of which is submerged in shallow coastal waters.

There are also several archaic, classical Greek and Roman remains. Vitruvius called the ancient city of Mytilene "magnificent and of good taste".

Remnants of its medieval history are three impressive castles. Lesbos is the birthplace of several famous people.

In archaic times, Arion developed the type of poem called dithyramb , the progenitor of tragedy, and Terpander invented the seven note musical scale for the lyre.

Phanias wrote history. The seminal artistic creativity of those times brings to mind the myth of Orpheus to whom Apollo gave a lyre and the Muses taught to play and sing.

When Orpheus incurred the wrath of the god Dionysus he was dismembered by the Maenads and of his body parts his head and his lyre found their way to Lesbos where they have "remained" ever since.

Pittacus was one of the Seven Sages of Greece. In classical times Hellanicus advanced historiography, Theophrastus , the father of botany, succeeded Aristotle as the head of the Lyceum.

Aristotle and Epicurus lived there for some time, and it is there that Aristotle began systematic zoological investigations. In modern times the poet Odysseus Elytis , descendant of an old family of Lesbos, received the Nobel Prize.

Twelve historic churches on the island were listed together on the World Monuments Fund 's Watch List of the Most Endangered Sites in the world. The churches range in date from the Early Christian Period to the 19th century.

Exposure to the elements, outmoded conservation methods, and increased tourism are all threats to the structures. The following are the 12 churches: [14].

Lesbos is a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. As a part of the Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Lesbos was created out of part of the former Lesbos Prefecture.

At the same reform, the current municipality of Lesbos was created out of the 13 former municipalities on the island: [15]. The economy of Lesbos is essentially agricultural in nature, with olive oil being the main source of income.

Tourism in Mytilene , encouraged by its international airport and the coastal towns of Petra , Plomari , Molyvos and Eresos , contribute substantially to the economy of the island.

Fishing and the manufacture of soap and ouzo , the Greek national liqueur , are the remaining sources of income.

In English and most other European languages, including Greek , the term lesbian is commonly used to refer to homosexual women. This use of the term derives from the poems of Sappho , who was born in Lesbos and who wrote with powerful emotional content directed toward other women.

In , three of the islanders litigated unsuccessfully a court case against the LGBT community of Greece. The islander group had requested a legal injunction to ban groups from using the word lesbian in their names, which the petitioners claim violated their human rights as it is "insulting" and disgraces them around the world.

Due to its proximity to the Turkish mainland, Lesbos is one of the Greek islands most affected by the European migrant crisis starting in Refugees of the Syrian Civil War came to the island in multiple vessels every day.

After that, living conditions deteriorated and the possibility for movement on to Europe dimmed. Moria Refugee Camp is the largest of the refugee camps and holds twice as many people as it was designed to accommodate.

On September 9, , thousands of migrants fled from the overcrowded refugee camps, after fire broke out at the camp of Moria.

At least 25 firefighters, with 10 engines, were battling the flames both inside and outside the facility. The Greek government maintains that that the fires were started deliberately by migrants protesting that the camp had been put in lockdown due to a coronovirus outbreak amongst the migrants in the camp.

On September 16, , four Afghan men were formally charged with arson for allegedly starting the fire. Two other underage migrants allegedly involved in starting the fire were held in police detention on the mainland.

The main football clubs in the island are Aiolikos F. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Lesbo.

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