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Lesbian feminist literary critic Bonnie Zimmerman frequently analyzes the language used by writers from within the movement, often drawing from autobiographical narratives and the use of personal testimony.
According to Zimmerman, lesbian feminist texts tend to be expressly non-linear, poetic and even obscure.
In her 1988 book, Lesbian Ethics: Towards a New Value, lesbian philosopher Sarah Lucia Hoagland alludes to lesbian separatism's potential to encourage lesbians to develop healthy community ethics based on shared values.
Hoagland articulates a distinction (originally noted by Lesbian Separatist author and anthologist, Julia Penelope) between a lesbian subculture and a lesbian community; membership in the subculture being "defined in negative terms by an external, hostile culture", and membership in the community being based on "the values we believe we can enact here".
In 1970, seven women (including Del Martin) confronted the North Conference of Homophile [meaning homosexual] Organizations about the relevance of the gay rights movement to the women within it.
The delegates passed a resolution in favor of women's liberation, but Del Martin felt they had not done enough and wrote "If That's All There Is", an influential 1970 essay in which she decried gay rights organizations as sexist.
Additionally, lesbian feminism advocates lesbianism as a rational result of alienation and dissatisfaction with these institutions.Lesbian feminism, much like feminism, lesbian and gay studies, and queer theory, is characterized by the ideas of contestation and revision.At the same time, one of the key themes of lesbian feminism is the analysis of heterosexuality as an institution.Faderman also believes that lesbian feminists who acted to create separatist institutions did so to "bring their ideals about integrity, nurturing the needy, self-determination and equality of labor and rewards into all aspects of institution-building and economics".The practice of Lesbian separatism sometimes incorporates concepts related to queer nationalism and political lesbianism.