Graciela's Reviews > To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done For America - A History

To Believe in Women by Lillian Faderman
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's review
Mar 23, 2012

really liked it

This book contains a lot of good "unknown" information regarding same sex relationships which most suffragists involved themselves in. There's a lot of excerpts from original letters written by Susan B Anthony among others - directed to their loved one. After taking a class about Women's history in America - I realized that women in the 18o0's were encouraged to participate in same sex romantic relationships. This of course was a result of the division of spheres 1. men 2. women. The women sphere had to create a network composed of women only - Mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, cousins etc. Men and women were kept separated and were not to mingle until they were unionized by marriage. Women began to attend colleges and were forced to move out of town in order to attend. Older women students would take care of younger female ones, often ending up in romantic relationships. Such relationships lasted a lifetime, marriage didn't stop the letters from coming. Romantic relationships were useful for these women - it was only when such relationships seemed sexual that they were looked at as a problem.
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