Can problematic kinks or fetishes be used in a progressive way?
It happened in New York on Saturday, December 12, at a march held in freezing sleet in support of abortion and child-care centers. It had been called by a new group, the Women’s Strike Coalition, organized by Betty Friedan. Betty, Gloria, Flo Kennedy and Kate [Millet] were slated to speak, and they had just climbed up on the flatbed truck parked in front of Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s residence, when a speckling of pale purple—like pointillist dabs of paint—began to glow here and there in the crowd. Some women—no one was sure how many—were wearing and distributing lavender armbands to the entire crowd. They were also handing out leaflets explaining why “we’re ALL wearing lavender lesbian armbands today.”
"It is not one women’s sexual experience that is under attack," the leaflet said. "It is the freedom of all women to openly state values that fundamentally challenge the basic structure of patriarchy. If they succeed in scaring us with words like ‘dyke’ or ‘lesbian’ or ‘bisexual,’ they’ll have won. AGAIN. They’ll have divided us. AGAIN. Sexism will have triumphed. AGAIN… they can call us all lesbians until such a time as there is no stigma attached to women loving women. SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL!!!"”