Present Day Amazons

     The Amazons
                     Dateline: 07/26/97

  The Amazons, as we all know, were a group of strong warrior women who ruled their own society, did their own fighting, and farmed their own land. Unfortunately, that is about all that we
know of them. It has long been heavily debated as to whether or not the Amazons were in fact a culture based on lesbianism. In fact, many people believe that the stories of the Amazons were not even based on an actual race of warrior women. Despite the scholarly debates, lesbians have long
accepted the fact that the Amazons might have been in all probability a race of warrior women who embraced lesbianism and
female bisexuality.Despite the number of Hollywood movies made and books written about the Amazons, or at least our modern conception of what the Amazons might have been like, we actually have very few stories remaining of them. What we do know from the stories
about them, however, is that there were actually two separate groups of Amazons. The first group lived in the Western Libya area. We have very few remaining stories of them. The second group which lived in the Black Sea area are the ones commonly know of today and the group referred to by most of the stories we read. This second group is largely the group of Amazons that I will be speaking about in this feature. Men who lived in the Amazon society served in only servile positions. These Amazons mated for three months a year with a near by male tribe called the Gargareans. This, of course speaks nothing to the possibility that the Amazons were a largely lesbian or bisexual race of women as mating was necessary in order to continue
their race. Despite the acceptance of homosexuality in Greek culture, modern interpretations of the Amazon stories are tainted with homophobia and the inability to believe that a race of strong,
independent women could have done the many things that are attributed to them.
  Some scholars have proposed that the Amazons were not lesbians or bisexuals. They say that the Amazons kept men around as sex slaves for the months when they were not mating. They note
the existence of at least a few men in the Amazon culture as proof of this. We do have many stories of Amazons taking male prisoners during war. However, this idea that these men were captured only to become sex slaves ignores several large factors. First of all it is important to remember that Amazons are one of the very few women warrior cultures that we have remaining stories about. If they were going to take prisoners during a war, it would have to be a man simply because they were fighting male troops. Secondly, a warrior becoming unexpectedly
pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease would have been a large set back for the entire tribe. Obviously, a woman who was sick with an STD during a time when there were little or no treatment for them, or a woman who was heavy with child could do little on the battlefield.
Thirdly, the Amazons are said to have conquered many cities. This means that they were not based in one central location. They, like their male counterparts, often lived in camps near the
battleground. Having sex slaves to worry about would have only hurt the Amazons. They
would have had to worry about having more food and water in order to feed the slaves, taking women away from the battle field to watch over the slaves, and carrying along extra materials in
order to house and cloth the slaves. However, a culture based on loving other women would have alleviated all of these problems which would have arisen from having male sex slaves.  It is also commonly believed that Amazons burned off the right or both breasts. This belief is based on the knowledge that people during that time believed that when one part of the body was lost,
it gave its strength to another near by body part. So, the people who believe this version of Amazon history, say that by burning one or both breasts, the arms would have gained their strength and therefor made the women stronger for fighting. Another reason that some Greek
historians give for this mutilation is that the removing a breast, or both breasts would have allowed the women to be more skilled and precise when working with a bow. However, despite this common belief, the Greek art from the time when the Amazons are said to have lived shows the
Amazons as beautiful women with both breasts. Often, they were seen as going topless, an idea which is not far fetched when you consider the nature of their society and the obvious lack of shame when it comes to the female body. Another good point to consider is that breasts are needed in order to feed babies. Obviously, the Amazons put a large emphasis on continuing their race, so the idea that they would
jeopardize their ability to feed these children is hard to believe. Despite the bickering and probably fear over the possibility of that there was a race of proud, strong warrior women who openly
embraced lesbian love, lesbians have long embraced the Amazons as part of our history, our culture. Even if the Amazons were not lesbians for the most part, though statics would remind us that at least some of them were probably lesbians simply by nature, remembering the
Amazons is a source of pride for lesbians and women in general. The Amazons remind us that we can be anything that we want to be
and we can be good at it.
(lesbian life)
(The Mining Company)

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