Category Archives: Lesbians

September 12, 2013, 9:44 am

My Lesbian Feminist Vote

christine_quinn_ap_img

Christine Quinn, ex-candidate. Photo credit: Seth Wenig/AP

The New York Times and a group of power feminists seem to think that Christine Quinn lost her bid to be mayor of New York City because of sexism and homophobia. But I don’t.

I do think gender and sexual identity are always factors in politics, as the attacks on Quinn for her appearance, aggressiveness and voice demonstrate (I would like to note, however, that none of those nasty things were said by Bill DeBlasio.) And Quinn was the only candidate blessed with a well-funded group of electoral nihilists that dedicated itself to attacking her without proposing a candidate who was ethically or professionally better qualified.  As Jodi Kantor reports, “a woman seeking power always face[s] perils…the very qualities that had brought her this far — drive, …

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January 15, 2013, 2:47 pm

It’s Queer Work If You Can Get It: The Celebrity Coming Out Speech

Sue Sylvester sez: just announce it, Jodie. Photo credit.

This week, in the aftermath of another Christ on a cracker we already knew banal celebrity coming out speech the action was hot on Tenured Radical‘s Facebook page. I had responded to the irritating status prompt “How are you feeling, Claire?” by writing that I was “feeling”:

…a little puzzled as to why Jodie Foster needed to do the drama queen thing about coming out at the Golden Globes. Since we all knew she was a lesbian, a press release would have been fine.

I have received many likes (I like to be liked) and many comments, only one of which has accused me of unfairly silencing the little lamb. How many ways can I describe my annoyance that Foster chose her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award (for excellence…

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October 11, 2012, 2:39 pm

Lesbian Nation; Or, Why MItt Romney Would Cut Off Federal Funds to Lower Manhattan

In the spring of 2013, my university is going to be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique (W.W. Norton, 1963). It’s particularly fitting that we do it here at the New School for Public Engagement, I think, because a big part of our mission is to reach out to adults and non-traditional students who want to finish a college education that was foreclosed or interrupted. Although Betty Friedan was not that person, her activism and writing nonetheless caused women to finish their educations and get back in the workforce.

Betty Friedan was not so good on lesbians, however, causing people like Kate Millett and Ti-Grace Atkinson to abandon Friedan’s fledgling National Organization for Women in facor of the rock ‘em, sock ‘em world of radical feminism. Hence, let me be perhaps hte first to point out that 2013 will also be the fortieth anniversary of…

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February 26, 2012, 1:33 pm

Sunday Book Review: Hey Daddy, What Was It Like To Be A Lesbian Feminist in the 1970s?

Jeanne Córdova, When We Were Outlaws:  a Memoir of Love and Revolution (Midway, FL: Spinsters, Inc., 2011), 256 pp. $14.95 paper. Citations refer to locations on the ebook version.

“I have always been fascinated by how a noisy swelling called a social movement arrives on the doorsteps of an individual’s life and how she responds to it,” longtime activist, writer and organizer Jeanne Córdova writes in the forward to her memoir When We Were Outlaws. “Most ignore the calling of the unfathomable energies of our times.  For the rest of us — how does one recognize a social movement when it comes calling at your door?” (115)

Today, being legible as queer or trans does not necessarily require a political community or a movement. Large numbers of GLBT folks seem quite eager to be politically indistinguishable from the heteronormative mainstream, preferring to participate in activism …

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January 6, 2012, 10:42 am

Are You Attending the Queer American Historical Association Meeting?

If you see this man, it's Ian Lekus. Tell him he did a great job as chair of the CLGBTH

Although I am not in Chicago, the spirit of the Radical nonetheless walks the halls of the Marriott.

This just in from Ian Lekus, the outgoing chair of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History (CLGBTH):  queer activities at the AHA abound.  I realized that there may be many people who did not receive this alert, since despite all my exhortations, you are still not members.  The lifetime membership is still a smoking’ hot deal at $200 (the equivalent of ten years of regular membership without the price of stamps and envelopes), while memberships for students, unemployed, and retired historians can be purchased for 5$, slightly more than that latte you just bought at Starbucks. (more…)

July 29, 2010, 12:44 pm

If A Lesbian Fell In Hollywood, And No One Were There To Hear Her, Would She Make A Noise?

Our friend at Historiann meditates today on the practice of women’s history and why feminism matters. “Women’s history,” she writes, “is a large and rich enough field that there are histories of women that aren’t particularly feminist, just as the history of women has expanded far beyond the history of just feminist women to include the histories of women who lived before the invention of feminism as a political movement as well as women who weren’t feminists or even worked actively against feminism.” But, she asks: “What would happen if we just stopped writing it? Who in the larger historical profession would notice, or care, or complain?” The answer is not women would care, but feminists would care. “Feminists are the ones who would care if women’s history ceased production. Whether or not they’re women’s historians, feminist historians would notice.”

Tie a thread to …

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July 26, 2010, 1:12 pm

If You Can’t Be Good, Be Careful: Or; Why Is It So Hard To Make Lesbian Movies?

If you want to read the glowing review of Lisa Cholodenko’s lesbian family flick The Kids Are Alright go to A.O. Scott (New York Times, July 8 2010). Michelle Solomon, in The Guardian (July 23 2010), is slightly more reserved, dubbing it a “relationship movie” and noting that the high-profile actresses will allow it to “[avoid] being pigeonholed as a ‘gay movie.’” (Thank god for this, that’s what I say.) If you want to read the intelligent review by a queer scholar, that will actually get into it why this is a lesbian movie, go here for Jack Halberstam’s “The Kids Aren’t Alright” (bullybloggers July 15, 2010).

My review follows: it is a terrible, awful, embarrassing, piece of crap film. I could have had a better time had I saved $11.00 ($22.00 + dinner for two actually); spent the same two hours reviewing some critical, and hideous, months in my own life; and then had a friendly…

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July 11, 2010, 9:18 pm

Extra! Extra! It’s Not Only Healthy To Be Born To A Lesbian Couple, It’s Better than Healthy

In case you have been living under a rock, the big news this week in Gaylesboland is that a federal judge in Massachusetts (otherwise known as the San Francisco of the East) has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the right of the states to regulate marriage. The second biggest news is that the children of lesbian couples are not only as successful as the children of straight people — they are more successful! Whatever that means. According to Time magazine, a longitudinal study out of UC-San Francisco, published in the journal Pediatrics,

found that children raised by lesbian mothers — whether the mother was partnered or single — scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored…

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May 16, 2010, 3:58 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: Timeless Questions Edition

March 7, 2010, 6:07 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: Rockin’ In The UK Edition

This week’s roundup is posted from the London, where your favorite Radical has done six bookshops in 24 hours. The last two were in the company of fellow blogger and Cliopatrician Rachel Leow, of A Historian’s Craft, who also led me on a terrific quickie tour of Cambridge University. We stood on a bridge and watched punters on the Cam, and she gave me the inside dope on the punt racket, which has taken a vicious turn lately. On her advice, as we traipsed through the ancient enclosures, I did not step on the grass. This practice is forbidden to all but fellows of the colleges (I have a friend who was reprimanded for walking on the grass the day prior to taking up his fellowship.) You get a real feel for England’s highly advanced visual practices for staking out hierarchy as you walk the long way around these inviting emerald squares of weedless turf. I imagined, for example, a…

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