The Admonishment of Vegetarian Great Aunt

Auteur S.E. Wieringa
The abbess of a Buddhist temple in Singapore- admonished the present .author in 1983 to 'keep telling our stories' in order to survive. Whose stories? Stories of women living in same-sex relations, such as the abbess herself. She belonged to a vegetarian sisterhood whose members had fled communist China. In most countries women who reject heterosexual marriage or who live in same-sex relations are marginalised. But in some (historical) societies these abjected women come centre stage. What can an analysis of women living in institutionalised same-sex relations teach us about gender diversity and sexual multiplicity? And are these lessons relevant for the present period and for other societies as well? Tolerance for sexual and gender diversity and other forms of tolerance are related. Studying the cultural epistemes of one form of tolerance can therefore shed light on other forms of (in) tolerance as well. Based on this analysis a diversity scale is presented in which Indonesia and the Netherlands are compared.
Saskia Wieringa (1950) is professor by special appointment of Gender and Women's Same-Sex Relations Crossculturally at the University of Amsterdam. She is the director of the International Information Centre and Archive for the Women's Movement in Amsterdam. Her PhD thesis (University of Amsterdam, 1995) was published as Sexual Politics in Indonesia.
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