Life Imitates the Volokh Conspiracy:

Last Summer, I asked,

Can anyone who knows something about modern Greece tell me what (if anything) the inhabitants of Lesbos -- Lesvos in modern Greek, I believe -- think about the term "lesbian"? Do they perceive it as annoying? Offensive? Amusing? Is there no dominant view on the subject? ...

A separate question, which might make some point, but which I stress is analytically distinct from the empirical questions I ask above: Say that the inhabitants of Lesbos find the term offensive. Should others, including lesbians, try to shift to a different term? Or should they go ahead with the term that they've used for a long time?

This Spring brings this lawsuit (from the AP):

Three islanders from Lesbos ... have taken a gay rights group to court for using the word lesbian in its name.

One of the plaintiffs said Wednesday that the name of the association, Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece, "insults the identity" of the people of Lesbos, who are also known as Lesbians.

"My sister can't say she is a Lesbian," said Dimitris Lambrou. "Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos," he said.

[Lambrou and two women] are seeking to have the group barred from using "lesbian" in its name ....

Lambrou said the word lesbian has only been linked with gay women in the past few decades. "But we have been Lesbians for thousands of years," said Lambrou, who publishes a small magazine on ancient Greek religion and technology that frequently criticizes the Christian Church....

"Lesbian" as an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (a term closely linked to the term "geographical designation" that Lambrou uses)? OK, not quite, but still, intellectual property scholars should take note. Thanks to How Appealing for the pointer.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Lesbian-on-Lesbian Action:
  2. Life Imitates the Volokh Conspiracy: