Welcome back from Spring Break! To get back into the swing of the semester, why not attend a talk by AMS faculty member Dr. Lauren Gutterman? Dr. Gutterman’s talk, entitled “Will the Real Lesbian Please Stand Up?” The Moral Imperatives of Lesbian Feminism, is a part of the Center for Women and Gender Studies Faculty Development Speaker series, and will be in CLA, Room 1.302E at 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd. We’ve included a description of the talk below, and we hope to see you there.
Lesbian feminist writing in the 1970s helped to create a larger, more visible lesbian community than ever before. At the same time, however, this writing—including manifestos, memoirs, fiction and poetry—helped delimit the boundaries of that community and identify those who would not be a part of the “Lesbian Nation.” Among these exiles were wives who slept with women and were unwilling to divorce their husbands. Faced with fictional and non-fictional portraits of wives who desired women as self-hating, lacking in courage, and suffering from false-consciousness, wives who wanted to express the concerns and affective ties that kept them within marriage struggled to make their voices heard within lesbian (and) feminist publications. While a few women were able to tell more complicated or ambivalent stories about their marriages and same-sex desires, lesbian feminist activists and writers in the 1970s and early 1980s largely cast such women as vestiges of the past. Indeed, by making divorce an imperative for women who identified as lesbians and portraying those who remained married despite their same-sex desires as anachronisms, lesbian feminists pushed lesbian and married women’s worlds further apart.