Women’s groups today would fail if they denied the existence of lesbians or tried to prevent lesbians from joining. Back in 1970, lesbians had to fight for inclusion. Betty Friedan of Feminine Mystique fame had labeled lesbians the Lavender Menace because she felt they threatened the nascent women’s movement.
What did the lesbos of yore do? They said “fine… you want a Menace? We will give you a damn Menace.”
But how to be most menacing? Bake sale? Folk-music festival?
Hell no…they stormed the Second Congress to Unite Women and make themselves heard.
Seventeen wonder-dykes made t-shirts emblazoned with the words Lavender Menace on them and took over the meeting. At a pivotal moment, these women stood up, took off their shirts and defiantly showed their lesbian chests to the world.
Now the Lavender Menace doesn’t really exist much today. In fact, if you go to a women’s rights conference and show your chest to a bunch of women, you might get some some numbers (if you are a woman of course).
Certain aspects of the Lavender Menace still lives on today. My mother still thinks that lavender is the gay color, which explains the bright purple sweater I inherited ages ago…