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Lesbian Bar Talk

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Abstract

In contrast to gay men, lesbians have been und err epre sented in Japanese society¯a global phenomena, according to Moonwomon-Baird. She argues that “lesbian practice is regarded as marked behavior, but goes unremarked much more than is true of gay male practice, even in this era of both friendly and hostile societal discourse on queers.”1 Watanabe Mieko, a pioneer lesbian scholar, poet and writer, argues that lesbianism in Japan has been historically marginalized and less documented as compared to male homosexuality.2 Not only are the lives of lesbians in Japan invisible, but also research in queer studies excludes lesbianism for the most part. The crucial reason, as Thorne and Coupland point out, is the patriarchy that supports “the more general social disempowerment of all women” and “exerts pressure on gay women to remain invisible and voiceless.”3 Chalmers blames “the androcentrism of most heterosexual social science disciplines,” which do not recognize women as a separate entity. Japanese aca demia folds women into the term hito (person/people).4 Chirrey puts it simply: “The existence of lesbianism is at best marginalized and at worst suppressed.”? On top of all this, the financial disadvantage of lesbian/straight women, who are paid less than gay/straight men, contributes to this phenomenon.

Keywords

Sexual Minority Person Pronoun Japanese Language Linguistic Practice Direct Style 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Birch Moonwomon-Baird, “Toward the Study of Lesbian Speech,” in Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender and Sexuality, ed. Anna Livia and Kira Hall (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 202.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Sharon Chalmers, Emerging Lesbian Voices from Japan (London and New York: Routledge Curzon, 2002), 31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 5.
    Deborah A. Chirrey, “Women Like Us: Mediating and Contesting Identity in Lesbian Advice Literature,” in Language, Sexualities, and Desires: Cross-cultural Perspectives, ed. Helen Sauntson and Sakis Kyratzis (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 231.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Mary Bucholtz, “Bad Examples: Transgression and Progress in Language and Gender Studies,” in Reinventing Identities: The Gendered Self in Discourse, ed. Mary Bucholtz, A. C. Liang, and Laurel A. Sutton (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 6.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Cheris Kramarae, Muriel Schultz, and William O’Barr, eds., Language and Power (Beverly Hills, London, and New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 1984), 11.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, Shinjuku Boys (New York: Women Makes Movies, 1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 14.
    Mala S. Kleinfeld and Noni Warner, “Lexical Variation in the Deaf Community Relating to Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Signs,” in Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender and Sexuality, ed. Anna Livia and Kira Hall (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 58–84.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Anna Livia, “Disloyal to Masculinity: Linguistic Gender and Liminal Identity in French,” in Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender and Sexuality, ed. Anna Livia and Kira Hall (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 349–368.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    Nancy Achilles, “The Development of the Homosexual Bar as an Institution,” in Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, ed. Henry Abelove, Michele Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin (New York and London: Routledge, 1993), 175–182.Google Scholar
  10. 26.
    Kelly Hankin, The Girls in the Back Room (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, 2002).Google Scholar

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© Hideko Abe 2010

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