Based on their social priorities, British scholars interpreted ancient Greece as a westernized, white, and masculine society, and essentially removed women from historical importance. Many lesbians reclaimed the pink triangle, though it was only applied by the Nazis to gay men. These women were labeled with a black triangle. 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. In fact, these relationships were promoted as alternatives to and practice for a woman's marriage to a man. Berlin had a vibrant homosexual culture in the s: History of lesbianism The varied meanings of lesbian since the early 20th century have prompted some historians to revisit historic relationships between women before the wide usage of the word was defined by erotic proclivities.
Unlike processes to screen out male homosexuals, which had been in place since the creation of the American military, there were no methods to identify or screen for lesbians; they were put into place gradually during World War II. Even after Christina abdicated the throne in to avoid marriage, she was known to pursue romantic relationships with women. There is some speculation that similar relationships existed between women and girls. They considered women who engaged in sexual relations with other women to be biological oddities that would attempt to penetrate women—and sometimes men—with "monstrously enlarged" clitorises. The DOB began publishing a magazine titled The Ladder in ; inside the front cover of every issue was their mission statement, the first of which stated was "Education of the variant". 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. Women who previously identified as heterosexual tried sex with women, though many maintained their heterosexual identity. 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 Ellis' categorization of "lesbianism" as a medical problem is now discredited. Others wore traditionally feminine clothing and assumed a more diminutive role as femmes. Hermaphroditism appeared in medical literature enough to be considered common knowledge, although cases were rare. 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. Lesbian began to describe elements of a subculture. These women were labeled with a black triangle. The onset of World War II caused a massive upheaval in people's lives as military mobilization engaged millions of men. Because of society's reluctance to admit that lesbians exist, a high degree of certainty is expected before historians or biographers are allowed to use the label. Homosexuals were thought to be vulnerable targets to blackmail , and the government purged its employment ranks of open homosexuals, beginning a widespread effort to gather intelligence about employees' private lives. Queen Anne was rumored to have a passionate relationship with Sarah Churchill , Duchess of Marlborough, her closest adviser and confidante. In some cases, it was not acknowledged to exist. No historical documentation exists of women who had other women as sex partners. 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. Satirical writers began to suggest that political rivals or more often, their wives engaged in tribadism in order to harm their reputations. Many women took advantage of their new social freedom to try new experiences. Community meeting places consisted of bars that were commonly raided by police once a month on average, with those arrested exposed in newspapers. The existence of a public space for women to socialize in bars that were known to cater to lesbians "became the single most important public manifestation of the subculture for many decades", according to historian Lillian Faderman. Independent women in the s were generally seen as holding jobs that men should have. Perhaps the most famous of these romantic friendships was between Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, nicknamed the Ladies of Llangollen.
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