Willa Cather's Sexual Preference

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Willa Cather's Sexual Preference

A highly discussed subject about Willa Cather is whether or not she was a

lesbian. There are arguments for every side of the topic, but given the

amount of information we have, its clarity, and the vagueness of the

period itself, all of it can be used for every side.

One aspect that people questioning Cather's sexual preference concerns

gender identity greatly. This gender labeling system that everyone is

familiar with is very simple and logically sound, but not true to all

points of nature. It creates stereotypes, and stereotypes by definition

are attributes to certain things thought to encompass all that share its

label. The common idea that is bred into everyone's minds during childhood

is that girls act girly and boys act like boys. Girls that play with dolls

and have tea parties are girls, and when they grow up they will like boys.

Boys that play with trucks and army stuff are boys, and when they grow up

they will like girls. But, if girls play with trucks, they will grow up to

be boys and like girls, and boys that play with dolls will grow up to be

girls and like boys. This image generates the idea that these children

will grow up trying to be something they're not.

This mainstream way of thinking has flowed into gender roles, including

roles of the lesbian community. According to these unknown rule makers

that happen to be everywhere like Big Brother, there are butches and there

are femmes. Butches are not attracted to other butches, and vice versa.

Hence, butches take the male role and femmes take the female role,

reproducing a heterosexual couple. Because of his dominant ideology, women

who identify as both or neither are ridiculed and scorned by their own

community. Those that are both are seen as freaks of nature. The set

structure says you must be one or the other.
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