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Women had to broach the subject about their interest in other women carefully, sometimes taking days to develop a common understanding without asking or stating anything outright. Henry Fielding wrote a pamphlet titled The Female Husband in , based on the life of Mary Hamilton , who was arrested after marrying a woman while masquerading as a man, and was sentenced to public whipping and six months in jail. She was brought up as a male and there was speculation at the time that she was a hermaphrodite. Whereas sodomy between men, men and women, and men and animals was punishable by death in Britain, acknowledgment of sexual contact between women was nonexistent in medical and legal texts. Most women in the U. However, postwar masculinization of women's clothing became associated with lesbians. Ellis believed that many women who professed love for other women changed their feelings about such relationships after they had experienced marriage and a "practical life". When Sneyd married despite Seward's protest, Seward's poems became angry. The terms lesbian, invert and homosexual were interchangeable with sapphist and sapphism around the turn of the 20th century. However, Seward continued to write about Sneyd long after her death, extolling Sneyd's beauty and their affection and friendship. Perhaps the most famous of these romantic friendships was between Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, nicknamed the Ladies of Llangollen. Even after Christina abdicated the throne in to avoid marriage, she was known to pursue romantic relationships with women. Many women took advantage of their new social freedom to try new experiences.
However, by the term "lesbian" had such a negative meaning that the DOB refused to use it as a descriptor, choosing "variant" instead. Documentation of these relationships is possible by a large volume of letters written between women. Even after Christina abdicated the throne in to avoid marriage, she was known to pursue romantic relationships with women. In fact, these relationships were promoted as alternatives to and practice for a woman's marriage to a man. Perhaps the most famous of these romantic friendships was between Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, nicknamed the Ladies of Llangollen. The novel included a foreword by Havelock Ellis and was intended to be a call for tolerance for inverts by publicizing their disadvantages and accidents of being born inverted. When British women participated in World War I, they became familiar with masculine clothing, and were considered patriotic for wearing uniforms and pants. Enigmatic poet Emily Dickinson wrote over letters and poems to Susan Gilbert, who later became her sister-in-law, and engaged in another romantic correspondence with Kate Scott Anthon. The Daughters of Bilitis folded in over which direction to focus on: Independence from men as oppressors was a central tenet of lesbian-feminism, and many believers strove to separate themselves physically and economically from traditional male-centered culture. Butch and femme As a reflection of categories of sexuality so sharply defined by the government and society at large, lesbian subculture developed extremely rigid gender roles between women, particularly among the working class in the U. The onset of World War II caused a massive upheaval in people's lives as military mobilization engaged millions of men. The earliest law against female homosexuality appeared in France in In the middle of the 19th century, medical writers attempted to establish ways to identify male homosexuality, which was considered a significant social problem in most Western societies. Until very recently, much of what has been documented about women's sexuality has been written by men, in the context of male understanding, and relevant to women's associations to men—as their wives, daughters, or mothers, for example. Gold Medal Books was overwhelmed with mail from women writing about the subject matter, and followed with more books, creating the genre of lesbian pulp fiction. As women have generally been political minorities in Western cultures, the added medical designation of homosexuality has been cause for the development of a subcultural identity. Some of it was written in code, detailing her sexual relationships with Marianna Belcombe and Maria Barlow. These were members of the " third sex " who rejected the roles of women to be subservient, feminine, and domestic. However, sexologists Richard von Krafft-Ebing from Germany, and Britain's Havelock Ellis wrote some of the earliest and more enduring categorizations of female same-sex attraction , approaching it as a form of insanity. When Churchill was ousted as the queen's favorite, she purportedly spread allegations of the queen having affairs with her bedchamberwomen. It told of a lesbian relationship the author had witnessed. In the absence of any other material to describe their emotions, homosexuals accepted the designation of different or perverted, and used their outlaw status to form social circles in Paris and Berlin. Older students mentored younger ones, called on them socially, took them to all-women dances, and sent them flowers, cards, and poems that declared their undying love for each other. Nicholas , and a collection called Smith College Stories, without negative views. Many women took advantage of their new social freedom to try new experiences.
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