Suzanne Bellamy (1948-2022)
Suzanne Bellamy was a much respected and highly creative lesbian artist. Here is a link to an authorised biography with bibliography of her key works. Here is a link to a video of Susan Bellamy’s satirical performance of Lost Culture of Women’s Liberation, the Pre-Dynastic Phase 1969-74. A link to a highly personal obituary written by Susan Hawthorne, author, poet and collaborator, is here. And here is a link to a version of her essay on her muse, Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf: Lesbian Readings, Eileen Barrett and Patricia Cramer (eds), NYU Press 1997.
Many Australian lesbian feminists feel privileged to have been able to buy some of her works, which enjoy pride of place in their homes.
Jack Draper, Wollongong (Wadi Wadi country of the Dharawal nation) artist and lesbian feminist activist, at a WDI (Women’s Declaration International) webinar explains Article 1 of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights and why the definition of woman must be based on sex, using her art works to illustrate the importance of sex-based rights. Jack’s website is email@example.com.
Reaffirming that the rights of women are based upon the category of sex
States should maintain the centrality of the category of sex, and not ‘gender identity’, in relation to women’s and girls’ right to be free from discrimination.
(a) For the purposes of this Declaration, the term “discrimination against women’’ shall mean “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field’’. (CEDAW, Article 1).
States should understand that the inclusion of men who claim to have a female ‘gender identity’ into the category of women in law, policies and practice constitutes discrimination against women by impairing the recognition of women’s sex-based human rights. States should understand that the inclusion of men who claim to have a female ‘gender identity’ in the category of women results in their inclusion in the category of lesbian, which constitutes a form of discrimination against women by impairing the recognition of the sex-based human rights of lesbians.
(b) States ‘‘shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men’’. (CEDAW, Article 3).
This should include the retention in law, policies and practice of the category of woman to mean adult human female, the category of lesbian to mean an adult human female whose sexual orientation is towards other adult human females, and the category of mother to mean a female parent; and the exclusion of men who claim to have a female ‘gender identity’ from these categories.
(c) States should “condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women’’. (CEDAW, Article 2).
This should include the elimination of that act and practice of discrimination against women which comprises the inclusion of men who claim to have a female ‘gender identity’ in the category of women. Such inclusion erodes women’s rights to safety, dignity and equality.
(d) States should ensure that the words ‘woman’, the word ‘girl’, and the terms traditionally used to refer to women’s body parts and bodily functions on the basis of sex continue to be those used in constitutional acts, legislation, in the provision of services, and in policy documents when referring to persons of the female sex. The meaning of the word ‘woman’ shall not be changed to include men.’