The feminist phrase "what is personal is political" applies not only to feminists but to lesbians as well. The phrase has come to mean that distinctions between the personal and the public realms are fallacious (Humm 204). But can the phrase also be applied to lesbians--particularly young lesbians--who do not identify themselves as feminists?
Women who love women still face discrimination in Catholicism-dominant Philippines, and the lesbian movement has been fighting this discrimination since the 1980s alongside their heterosexual feminist counterparts. Although most lesbians readily subsume themselves under the women's movement, they still have distinct concerns that can be addressed only by breaking out into another movement. Young lesbian advocates who started this struggle in the 1980s and 1990s have been lying low these days, focusing on other aspects of their personal lives and contributing to the political struggle when time permits. And while the younger lesbians have entered the scene to continue what was started, they basically come and go--a phenomenon that began at the start of this decade.
Today's society is indeed less strict and forbidding when it comes to homosexuality. With the rise of new technology and more intelligent social mores, Filipino lesbians and bisexual women--especially the younger ones--seem to have more "weapons of adaptation" in their arsenal today such as organised lesbian groups, exclusive parties, chat rooms, SMS communication, and independent publications on print and the web to strengthen and expand their community. Young lesbians are not afraid to speak their minds out about their sexuality--they come out as early as high school, explore the lesbian nightlife while still in college, including women-only dance parties and designated 'women's bars,' and discuss common issues over the Internet with other lesbians from around the world.
But do these young lesbians use these tools to enhance and push forward their feminist ideals? Do they have such feminist ideals?…