The Need to Abolish Marriage

I have a radical lesbian feminist position on marriage which is well expressed by the US lesbian legal theorist Ruthann Robson (1992) who argues for the general abolition of marriage saying that ‘lesbian survival is not furthered by embracing the law’s rule of marriage. Our legal energy is better directed at abolishing marriage as a […]


Sex tourism: do women do it too?

This article examines a recent tendency amongst researchers of sex tourism to include women within the ranks of sex tourists in destinations such as the Caribbean and Indonesia. It argues that a careful attention to the power relations, context, meanings and effects of the behaviours of male and female tourists who engage in sexual relations […]


Challenging the Child/Adult Distinction in Theory and Practice on Prostitution

This article argues that contemporary concern about ending child prostitution is misdirected in its strategy. Some theorists and activists, even the ILO, are seeking to create a distinction between adult and child prostitution as if child prostitution could be ended whilst adult prostitution remains intact. The motivation for the distinction relies upon trends in the […]


Globalizing Sexual Exploitation: sex tourism and the traffic in women

Today there are many forces at work in the normalization of the international sex industry (Jeffreys, 1997). The sex industry has become immensely profitable, providing considerable resources, not just to individuals and networks involved in trafficking women but to governments who have come to depend on sex industry revenue. One aspect of the industry in […]


Bisexual Politics: a superior form of feminism?

In this article, I shall examine the ideas and practices of the bisexual movement that has developed in the Western world in the last decade. I shall offer a lesbian feminist critique. Bisexual theorists and activists have formulated critiques of lesbian feminism at their conferences and in anthologies of their writings. Lesbian feminists have been […]


Transgender Activism: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective

Feminist analysis of transsexualism such as that of Janice Raymond has seen it as a deeply conservative phenomenon in which surgical mutilation is employed to maintain the genders of male dominance and female subordination. Transsexualism has a new face in the nineties in “transgenderism” which employs queer and postmodern theory to render transsexualism progressive. This […]


Representing the Prostitute

Can feminists theorize prostitution if they have never worked as prostitutes? Feminist analysis would be very partial if we could only speak of that which we had personally experienced. In the absence of personal experience feminist theorists can rely upon other women’s accounts and upon the exercise of their own critical political intelligence. In the […]


Heterosexuality: a “Feminism and Psychology” reader

Feminist theorizing on heterosexuality has taken place in rather a stop/start fashion over the last 20 years. The punishments which are regularly visited upon those who seek to draw heterosexuality out of the protective camouflage of “nature” or “just the way things are”, and into the spotlight of political analysis can be considerably – and […]


The Queer Disappearance of Lesbians: sexuality in the Academy

This article suggests that the developing field of lesbian and gay studies shows a likelihood to discriminate against the interests of lesbians and certainly against lesbian feminist theory, through the incorporation of a ‘queer’ perspective. Recent writings in the field suggest that ‘queer’ theory and politics are and should be based on the celebration of […]


Book reviews – meat and pornography

Carol J. Adams: The Sexual Politics of Meat. Oxford: Polity, 1990. 256pp. John Stoltenberg: Refusing to Be a Man. London: Fontana, 1990. 240pp.   The connection between these two books is that they are both saying something hugely unacceptable. Both books have received vicious reviews, especially from those ‘lefty’ alternative types that you might have expected to be sympathetic […]