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Lipstick On My Lab Coat

I am currently brainstorming an article about how Dana Scully from the X-Files was an inspiration for me (to be a scientist and a strong, intelligent woman). I have been doing some background reading of blog posts, webpages and a thesis on Scully, what she represented and how she inspired countless young female X-Files fans. Scully and the X-Files were big topics for online fan forums.

I too am a great fan of Detective Olivia Benson from Law and Order – Special Victims Unit. This strong female character also had a great influence on me (although it was less career focused and more a realisation of my sexuality (my fascination with Olivia set me on a path to discovering my lesbian sexuality)). There are many blog posts, websites and fanfic stories discussing Olivia being an inspiration for women and also a subject of lesbian desire.

I find it interesting that…

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Lipstick On My Lab Coat

Lesbian femme scientist pin-up girl from the I Heart Brooklyn Girls Calendar 2009. Awesome! Retro styled, femme woman presenting the sexy side of science. A bit of fun, not too serious. Could this be an image to use for getting lesbian women interested in science?

Links
I Heart Brooklyn Girls

I Heart Brooklyn Girls Blog

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I am currently in the research phase of writing a fictional novel set in 18th century India. I know this has nothing to do what so ever with science and lesbian scientists, but in my readings I have come across the progressive Hindu view on love, including same-sex love.

In the article, Same-sex weddings,Hindu traditions and Modern India in the Feminist Review, Ruth Vanita discusses how in modern progressive Hinduism and medieval Hindu texts there is acceptance of same-sex love. This acceptance is based on the idea that love is the product of attachments formed in former lives and that these attachments persist from one birth to another (rebirth) and that marriage is supposed to outlast one lifetime. That a couple in love, whether same or opposite sex, of a different class or caste, must have been lovers in a former life and that they are destined to be together. Through this belief, same-sex couples in love and wishing to marry achieve some acceptance. Some Hindu practitioners/scholars have suggested that same sex couples must have been cross sex couples in a former life and that marriage is the union of two spirits/souls and the spirit is sexless.

Although I am primarily an atheist (with some spiritual beliefs) and am skeptical about the concept of reincarnation, rebirth and past lives, the concept of love outlasting a lifetime and that two souls/spirits have been previously in love is an extremely romantic and wonderful view, even of it is not physically possible. And this concept and way to explain same sex love touches a cord with me. The feminist in me however doesn’t totally like the idea that same sex lovers were cross sex lovers in a past live, for the reason to explain same sex love in the concept of heterosexual love, but nonetheless this is an interesting concept.

I think that it is an extremely positive thing, that one of the world’s largest religions has, in some sections, an accepting view of same sex love. It would be great if Christianity and Islam were to develop a more accepting view (there are some areas of Christianity and Islam (Sufism) that appear to be a bit more accepting that other areas of these religions).

References
Vanita, R (2009) Same-sex weddings,Hindu traditions and Modern India, Feminist Review 91:47-60

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Sexualisation of Lady Scientists – can it be positive?.

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I am myself. I chose to say that I am a lesbian. Yes that is what I am, but I also want to feel comfortable with how I express and define my sexuality. As a feminist I am a little loathed to use terms such as ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ as they are mostly societal constructs. But as a scientist, I acknowledge that there are traits that are influenced my female and male hormones and underlying genetic differences. I don’t like to define myself completely as a woman in a feminine way, but I have to once again acknowledge that I am feminine in how I ‘display’ myself. I like to wear dresses and make-up and look like a lady! But not because society says I should, but because that is what I LIKE and identify with. I know I have been somewhat socially conditioned when I was a girl and young woman – which I rebelled against a little – I didn’t wear dress for about a year and I loathed pink, but as I grew up I embraced being a woman and was proud to be a woman. I wear pants and dresses, but sometimes when I am really in touch with my own lesbianism and identity, I want to wear dresses a lot and be all feminine and girly. Loving my lady and being in touch with my sexuality makes me want to be more girly. I consider myself a ‘semi-femme’ as I identify and like the lesbian/queer expression of femininity, but the definition that femme relates to attraction to butches and the butch-femme convention/interaction/dynamic doesn’t fit with me. I’m not really attracted to butches and I don’t think the femme identity has to be defined by necessitated by interplay with the butch identity. This is my own personal view and how I choose to identify if I want.

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Reading femme lesbian blogs and identifying as a ‘semi-femme’ – a term I feel fits how I see myself, gives me a positive feeling of affirmation, camaraderie, self-expression and pride. It makes me feel proud to be a lesbian who wears dresses and make up and is womanly. And finding out that there are femmes who are into vintage and rockabilly stuff is great – because I like this too! Although, what is truly awesome and joyful is going to a rockabilly meet with my and sharing this interest with her. Well I am going to endeavour to wear more vintage and rockabilly clothes and have pride!

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I don’t want to sound biased. A butch could also encourage lesbians’ interest in science. I just identify more with femme and lipstick lesbians – in my own identity and who I am attracted to. But that said, I do not define myself wholly as that – I AM MYSELF!

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