The text was published in the exhibition catalogue ‘Anna-Stina Treumund’, Ed. Rael Artel. Tartu Art Museum, 2017.
“Entering the search term “lesbian feminism” into Estonian Google will give you less than ten results. They can be roughly divided into two categories: either anti-feminist rants on anonymous message boards or text fragments about the history of feminist movements in the West. Although internet search results are not a trustworthy source, this experiment still shows the remarkable invisibility of lesbian feminism. Looking at the fragmented sources that map the developments of LGBTQI politics and feminism in Estonia, lesbian feminism seems to fall between two camps. The sources on LGBT histories emphasise the pioneering role of lesbian organising: for example, they identify the Estonian Lesbian Union, founded in 1990, as the first organization representing sexual minorities, but don’t mention the points of intersection between the lesbian movement and feminism. In writings about the developments of feminism, on the other hand, lesbian subjectivity is placed in the background. One example is a recent article by Redi Koobak that uses extensive oral interviews to analyse the development and dynamics of feminism in Estonia. The article also talks about the formation of different feminist positions and offers important and critical self-reflection on the class- and nationality based composition of the feminist movement, but completely ignores the issue of how feminist politics is shaped by sexual difference. Keeping in mind that Estonian society has recently been polarised over the debate about the gender neutral civil partnership law and that an important strand within feminist politics has been solidarity with the LGBT movement, this blind spot seems surprising. To put it briefly, we are left with the impression that the lesbian movement contains feminists and that the feminist movement contains lesbians and bisexuals, but the lesbian feminist position is not articulated.”
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