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BREAKING: Women using earbuds to commit grave misandries upon innocent men

Oh noes!

Oh noes!

So this little screenshot is making the rounds on the internet. It’s from 4chan, so who knows if the guy posting it is sincere. But I’ve seen similar, albeit less histrionic, complaints from other would-be pickup artistes in the past.

Guess what, dude. Some of those women wearing earbuds aren’t even listening to music. They just wear them to avoid creepy dudes like you.

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Posted on May 17, 2014, in a woman is always to blame, all about the menz, boner rage, creepy, entitled babies, evil sexy ladies, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, playing the victim, PUA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 263 Comments.

  1. Creepers gonna creep, no matter how much my face says “do not approach.” I’d rather spend time educating men not to harass than have to be scary 24/7.

  2. Oh, I totally agree that a sweeping culture shift would be 1000000000000x better than scaring men away from harassing people! There needs to be all kinds of education and discussions going on in ever arena. I’m so sorry if I implied otherwise. I think it’s too easy to go from “self-defense is useful” to ‘it’s our sole responsibility to protect ourselves”, which is kind of just victim blaming. I just mean that in the push-comes-to-shove situations, I feel ready to push back and I really believe in supporting other women too. It would be much better if we just didn’t have to push back.

  3. @Michelle

    “One thing I’ll say about my past experience – it has taught me compassion, and the need to stand up for others who are being bullied and harassed. (…)

    So, that is one good thing that came of my abuse. But it didn’t come from my abusers, and I’m never going to thank THEM for it.”

    Right on. I read a story recently about a woman who thanked her abusive rapist father for abusing her, as it taught her compassion ‘n all. I thought that kind of forgiveness is a bit much, especially since he did not ask for it (because he did nothing wrong, of course).

    Yes, there can be healing and growth — I can personally attest to that. I was sexually abused as a young child, which taught me enough fear and self-protection to escape subsequent attempts at abuse later on. But it did not prepare me for being raped, twice, by men whom I knew and trusted as a young woman.

    One can grow despite and through it, however. I’ve been married for a long time to a decent man (the importance of genuinely decent men — not to be confused with Nice Guys (TM)) cannot be overstated) and have adult children now (who don’t know my story, and, gods willing, never will — some wounds are not to be open in front of our closest relatives; like you, I never told my parents either, so as not to upset them; my husband is the only person who knows).

    Virtual hugs.

  4. Arh, this thread. All the hugs/non-contact support of choice for Ally and Michelle.

    I’m not surprised you were hypervigilant as a child Ally (though “hyper” may not be accurate given your upbringing), but it is very interesting (/awful) that most trans women experience the same thing.

    I have pretty much spent my whole life feeling unsafe, for reasons. I hate and resent it so much I cannot describe it, and have to tightly harness my anger when cis guys are completely clueless.

    I actually am terrible at confrontation but do give off physical confidence and I’m sure that helps. I’ve only been harassed a couple of times, and I was really proud of myself when a guy followed me back to work and kept trying to touch me/picked a flower and tried to give it to me and I kept calmly saying “do not touch me. I do not want the flower. I don’t care that you want to give it to me, you need to leave me alone.” He was not happy when he brought god into it and I told him I gave negative fucks about god. :P

    What was less cool is that it took one of the big guys at work to make him leave after I left him in reception, and people thought it was funny. How fucking funny would it have been if I had been going home rather than work? Jesus.

  5. Manospherians would characterize that post as a “victim puke” and waiting 6 months to approach a crush as “hopelessly beta”. A “true PUA” would probably find a way to disconnect the mark from her earbuds, LOL.

  6. but getting yourself/whoever you’re trying to protect out of the situation in one piece is almost always going to be the primary goal.

    Speaking of this, I am having a go at learning parkour (the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing).

    I am lucky enough to have never been in a situation where I needed to escape, and am just doing it for fun and fitness. It’s very dominated by young men, but I can see how it could be a very useful skill for women, if they are physically capable. I know I’d much rather run away than try to fight someone.

  7. Kim: Excellent, soon you will be reenacting Banlieue 13.

  8. That is a great clip. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to do that? Though preferably without the nasty men chasing you.

  9. Buttercup Q. Skullpants

    Awesome chase scene – though you’d have to be really familiar with the building layouts before blindly jumping down strange ventilation shafts.

    That’s great that you’re learning parkour, Kim. It looks like it would be great for all-around agility, strength, balance, and coordination, and useful if you needed to back out of a tight situation quickly. What are some of the beginning skills they teach you?

    The only time in my life I’ve ever punched somebody is when I spent two minutes in a boxing ring with the CEO of our company. They were the longest, most awkward two minutes of my life. It felt so deeply wrong to go against all my ingrained beliefs and hit another person, let alone my employer. All I could think about was don’t get fired, don’t get fired

  10. I’m very sorry I offended you. I did not mean to say that you are a “little femme victim.” I was using it as an example of appearance, and appearances can be deceiving. I should have just used random names, instead of the names of posters here. I apologize.

    The point is, these jerks will *see* a feminine-appearing prey, and then be faced with a feminine-appearing surprise. The more who embody that surprise, the better. The more of us who turn out to be lions in sheep’s clothing, the less wolves will attack the sheep.

    Being raised military, I tend to see this in a strategic light, and being a not-physically-active person, I have to choose my strategy wisely. I have not needed to actually HIT a person in over two decades, now. The stance and the face and the sheer surprise have been enough. However, should the need to actually hit arise, I do have the will and the know-how. And I also value the strategy of the “sneaky,” and mucking up the enemies’ plans. Covert ops, for the win! Also, know your allies. On whom can you depend? Who will take the enemy’s side? Gathering allies to the cause of anti-abuse/anti-rape/anti-CREEP is important.

    Getting out safely definitely IS the primary goal, in the moment. Now, I can’t run much. Therefore, my options are pretty much fight or freeze. You do whatever works for you, in that particular situation. Another option is distraction, giving you the opportunity to escape. The last thing I want is a footrace, with an undistracted guy chasing me. Unless the jerk is even less physically fit/coordinated than I am, I will lose. But if he’s temporarily distracted, I can get around the corner and find a hidden place, or maybe an alternate route that he can’t see, and be fine.

    Heck, sometimes, I’ll shout, “HALLELUIAH! PRAISE THE LORD! It’s a MAN!” just to mess with them. It scares them away, too, and no physical contact is needed. This technique was taught to me by a very religious woman, who told me it got a better result than yelling “Help! Rape!” On the street, if you yell “Help!” many people will activate their “Not my problem” code and ignore you. But if you make a scene that makes them think you are a spectacle to watch, they’ll watch, and see the person abusing you, and the abuser will see that he’s being watched, and it will often lead to an end of that particular attack.

    These are strategies for an “on the street/stranger” attack. Your strategies will probably differ when dealing with a known abuser, because they know where you live, and can retaliate later.

    Remember, battles are fought in moments. Wars are fought long-term. And it takes lots of battles to end a war.

    I do think that the more of us who learn to defend ourselves, the more we will “confuse the enemy.” No, men are not the enemy. Jerks are the enemy. And confusing them is very good. Thus, varied responses mess up their scripts, and I like messing up their scripts. It’s a cumulative effect, though, and it will take time to turn even a few of them. Still, I hold on to hope for the future. If even *one* jerk learns to stop, then it’s worth it.

    Not every woman can or wants to learn defense, and NO ONE should feel they are obligated to do so. Just as no survivor of abuse/rape/attack is obligated to report it, if they feel they will be doubly-victimized by the authorities to whom they are reporting. We’re individuals, with individuals strengths and weaknesses and needs. We complement each other.

    As for the history of abuse, I completely understand keeping it a secret from family and friends. I did, for a long time. But after a while, when the whole family was well away from the jerks, I did tell my family. It helped them to understand me, better. Also, once my niece and nephew hit their teens, I started talking to them about it. I told them that if they are ever bullied, they can come to me for support, because I understand it. Talking to someone who’s never gone through it can be extremely frustrating, but they are guaranteed that I will never ask, “What were you wearing,” or “did you tease them,” or “were you inviting,” or any of those BS questions.

    I’m putting my story out there, to make more survivors feel safe and supported. That is my choice for my own experience. YMMV.

    Sorry for the long post. I just didn’t see how to break it all up.

  11. Kim – that is great! Hopefully, you’ll only ever use it for fun and fitness, but doesn’t it feel good to know that you *can* be an expert at escape, should the need arise? For that matter, should you ever need to chase down a perp, you’d be awesome at that, too.

    Where do you even get training in parkour?

  12. @BQS – I hope your boss didn’t hold it against you. What a situation! He should not have put you into that situation.

    There is a reason for those old-timey tales of the prince entering the jousting matches incognito, because no one wanted to go up against him, knowingly.

  13. Completely OT, but I just had to share this with someone: This is the latest posts on http://shitrichcollegekidssay.tumblr.com

    “Lower class people probably aren’t going to be literature enough or aware enough to write a grant thesis that’s going to be funded.”

    Yeah, real “literature” of you, there.

    Aaaannd, I finally figured out block quotes. I think.

  14. The point is, these jerks will *see* a feminine-appearing prey, and then be faced with a feminine-appearing surprise. The more who embody that surprise, the better. The more of us who turn out to be lions in sheep’s clothing, the less wolves will attack the sheep.

    Being raised in this reality, no. Again, what if you don’t or can’t look feminine? Do you not see the problem with how you’re framing this?

  15. Well, there is the Australian Parkour Association here, and they have groups in all major cities. They run classes every weekend in Brisbane, which is where I went to. I assume there would be something similar in other countries. As I said, it’s dominated by young men, which can be a bit intimidating to join in, but the people organising it were super nice, and one of the 2 instructors of my class was a woman.

    I went to their “First Timers” class and it was focussed on safety and some basic moves. They taught – how to jump and land, how to roll, a couple of vaults, balancing on a rail and how to get up and down, quadrapedals (moving on hands and feet) and wall running.

    I wasn’t able to do a lot of it because I am not very fit, but all the younger people in the class seemed to have no trouble. I don’t think you need to be particularly agile to do the basic moves.

    Also, I spent the previous week at a gym trialling their program, and the parkour was sooo much more fun.

  16. cassandrakitty

    Yeah, this idea that if feminine-looking women will just scare enough men sexual harassment will decrease is magical thinking nonsense. And also a way of shifting responsibility back to the targets and away from the predators, which really isn’t OK.

  17. It seems entirely unrealistic to think change will happen if more “feminine” women take a stand against aggressors. The fact of the matter is most of the time those men choosing to cross boundaries do it in a way that doesn’t automatically initiate a “fight or flight” response. Most of the time, they pretend they are being perfectly reasonable even though they are setting off multiple red flags. It would be unrealistic to suggest in those situations that a person should become aggressive towards them. I tend to hope they take the hint eventually, while trying not to antagonize them into becoming aggressive. I don’t have an issue if a woman wants to be more aggressive, but I personally am not going to do that unless the situation absolutely calls for it. One reason for that is how would I then justify my response, say to the police or something when I take some kind of pre-emptive strike at someone? Hell, women get enough grief as it is that we simply aren’t nice enough towards random strangers and aren’t considering their feelings. I dunno, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I have the same reaction when a friend (a guy) suggests that I call the cops when I feel threatened. It just isn’t reasonable. Am I going to do that every time I feel threatened and then have to justify to a cop what those red flags were, which to people unfamiliar with the all-to-common feeling of unease are less likely to comprehend as “real” threats?

  18. Plus, most creeps aren’t going for looks, they’re going for perceived vulnerability. Like Cupsinique said, a lot of ‘em start with small boundary violations (gotta love plausible deniability) so they can escalate from there.

  19. Buttercup Q. Skullpants

    Parkourers’ (is that the right term?) jumping skills are so impressive. I always wonder how they can absorb multiple landings on concrete without blowing out their joints. I love the pure ethos of the sport – use your body, use what’s around you, move through your environment in the most efficient, compact, graceful way. It’s become a lot more popular in the last few years. Hope you’re enjoying the classes, Kim!

    I always wanted to try it, but I’m tall and have a flaky left knee, which is the same reason I gave up on being Olga Korbut back in the second grade. Still, I can watch the videos and dream.

  20. @hellkell

    Being raised in this reality, no. Again, what if you don’t or can’t look feminine? Do you not see the problem with how you’re framing this?

    If you don’t look feminine, then you are not the target about which I am speaking. And that is not a problem.

    I am talking about how feminine-appearing people can change the game. I am not, by any means, saying that anyone OUGHT to appear feminine. Nor am I denying that non-feminine-appearing people are harassed.

    The issue, to me, was how to feminine-appearing people, who are harassed, deal with it?

    So, no, I guess I don’t see the problem in how I’m framing this. I really don’t think I’m denying you, yet you read it as me denying you, and I don’t understand why that is, and therefore, I can’t fix it.

    Somehow, we’re miscommunicating, so I’m going to withdraw from the discussion, to avoid upsetting you any more.

  21. @cassandrakitty

    Yeah, this idea that if feminine-looking women will just scare enough men sexual harassment will decrease is magical thinking nonsense. And also a way of shifting responsibility back to the targets and away from the predators, which really isn’t OK.

    Magical thinking? Maybe. I think of it as hope.

    Responsibility? No. Empowerment to take the option, if you can and wish to? Yes.

    Speaking as someone who has been victimized for a long time, any argument that works to empower me, I’ll take.

    If it doesn’t work for you, then don’t take it.

    That’s my last on this topic.

  22. Now, this parkour stuff sounds really great. I want to look it up and see if there are any options, locally.

  23. @michelle

    If you don’t look feminine, then you are not the target about which I am speaking. And that is not a problem.

    I am talking about how feminine-appearing people can change the game. I am not, by any means, saying that anyone OUGHT to appear feminine. Nor am I denying that non-feminine-appearing people are harassed.

    The issue, to me, was how to feminine-appearing people, who are harassed, deal with it?

    Um, sorry if I don’t understand you?

    But non-feminine women are harassed too? And they are also a target for street harassment, so it seems weird to not talk about it :/

    So, no, I guess I don’t see the problem in how I’m framing this. I really don’t think I’m denying you, yet you read it as me denying you, and I don’t understand why that is, and therefore, I can’t fix it.

    Just lots of the ways you’ve been phrasing things makes it come across as putting the responsibility on women to avoid street harassment by looking scary as opposed to putting it on men to stop harassing women.

    Magical thinking? Maybe. I think of it as hope.

    Responsibility? No. Empowerment to take the option, if you can and wish to? Yes.

    Speaking as someone who has been victimized for a long time, any argument that works to empower me, I’ll take.

    If it doesn’t work for you, then don’t take it.

    Ehhhh. idk a lot of this is rubbing me the wrong way ^-^

    1) yeah, but thinking it will help won’t really. And if you slip into the way of thinking that women can prevent street harassment by acting a certain way you can start blaming them, even though I don’t know if (or think that) you will. But I think you’ve kind of been giving off that tone in this thread.

    2) personal preference, but I hate the word ‘empowerment’.

    3) yeah, but you were kind of unclear earlier in the thread about it actually being a personal choice.

    idk if what I’m saying made sense. ^-^

  24. cassandrakitty

    I am a very feminine-looking woman, and yet a. I am still aware that looking unfeminine can actually make you more rather than less likely to be targeted for harassment by men and b. I don’t think framing this conversation in a way that excludes women who aren’t femme is helpful. At all.

    I also don’t find believing things that are not true particularly empowering.

  25. I’ve had an extensive history of misogynistic harassment despite presenting as very butch. I think that says a lot.

  26. IIRC, the “Don’t be That Guy” campaign in Canada was largely successful. What about a campaign against street harassment/sexual harassment based on that framework? Does anyone think something like that could be successful in improving things?

  27. cassandrakitty

    I think that a campaign that starts with “harassers, stop doing that” rather than “potential harassment targets, figure out how to discourage people from harassing you” is always going to be more effective than the other way around. For street harassment in particular I think something like Don’t Be That Guy is a good start. Realistically, most harassers know that the victims don’t like it, but they may be assuming that a lack of negative commentary from the other men around them means that men as a group are just fine with their behavior. Getting the idea that their behavior is regarded with contempt by the community as a whole out there seems like a step in the right direction.

  28. Parkourers’ (is that the right term?) jumping skills are so impressive. I always wonder how they can absorb multiple landings on concrete without blowing out their joints

    The term they use is traceur. I think it will be a while before I can use it without feeling silly.

    As far as I have been able to work out so far, is that they make sure they don’t bend their knees more than 90 degrees when landing, and to, as much as possible, convert the downward momentum into horizontal momentum by rolling.

    That sucks about your knee.

    Does anyone think something like that could be successful in improving things?

    I reckon a lot of guy are under the illusion that they are being complimentary and girls always like it, so maybe there is room for education there.

  29. Man, I wish I had the stamina for parkour. Unfortunately, the first/last time I tried it had me whimpering when I stood up and sat down for a couple days afterward… and I have a pretty good pain tolerance.

    Never letting athletic cis boys convince me that I just need to believe in myself ever again. My body just couldn’t keep up, and it brings out the ED in me like whoa.

    RE: Ally

    I’ve had an extensive history of misogynistic harassment despite presenting as very butch.

    Yup. Ditto, though I think I’m a little too “pretty” in appearance to be perceived as butch. But last time I got groped and kissed by Creepy Tim, I was wearing a workshirt, combat boots, and blue jeans. These days, I only get read as male in the freakin’ dark.

  30. With regard to street harassment and other creepy behaviors in public, I think a big problem is the bystander effect. I think public awareness campaigns can be utilized for this, along with other targets. It really irks me that so many people will just ignore the other humans around them to such an extent that they don’t even recognize or register distress. I’m not saying that everyone should feel obligated to step in, but if they are aware of a situation then they should tell someone who can. I don’t feel like it’s that hard to sort of pay peripheral attention to the people around you and care about their general well-being, I don’t think that’s asking too much right?* That’s why I like that show “What Would You Do.” It is heartening to see that a good portion of the people actually do respond, but some of those episodes really show that there are some gaps in our social tolerance.

    *This is not directed at anyone in particular, just humanity in general…like come on folks, we’re a social species and our success as a species has been because we actually try to look out for each other.

  31. I have been both butch and femme looking in my life time and have never been harassed. I don’t think it matters what you look like either. I can’t say it has to do with where you live, because I have plenty of stories from women I know who live in the same area as I do. A friend of mine experienced street harassment of the kind where they yelled very unkind things to her about her weight. This has happened to her on multiple occasions (of course always when she is not with other people).

    We all know the real reason that these people do what they do. They are doing it because they want to make someone else feel fear, degraded, singled-out, ashamed,etc. It doesn’t matter what form the harassment takes, it all has the same motivation behind it. I don’t think society will be able to change the motivations of these people, it’s up to them I would think. But, we can make sure that they can’t get away with it in multiple socially agreed upon ways.

  32. Leisha Young

    So true, I wear them on the train every day (even if not listening to anything) to stop people feeling they can approach me about pretty much anything. The other tactic is to close your eyes and pretend your asleep.

    As for the cold-approaching, there is a section in the free MX magazine that everyone reads on the train in Australia where people can post anonymous encounters whilst describing that person and ask them out for coffee (if the person is interested they can contact the magazine to get their details), if they’re not, or simply haven’t seen the comment they don’t…it saves everyone a huge amount of embarrassment and doesn’t victimise anyone.

    The reality is though guys, that if a woman is interested in you (even one you encounter randomly on public transport), you will know it, because she will give off signs. If there are no signs I would take it that she really isn’t interested and move on with your life.

    …but hey, look who I’m talking to, the guys on this blog would already know that.

  33. Ugh, no. Feminine women in general are not ‘femme’. Feminine lesbians are femme. It is an identity with a very specific meaning within lesbian culture. Stop using it as a *hip ‘n’ edgy* alternative to feminine.

  34. @AM

    Thanks for pointing that out. I’m a lesbian and I’m not a fan of non-lesbian women using those terms, yet I completely missed that upthread.

  35. @Ally + AM

    I missed it, but I didn’t even know it was a word :P Figured it was just an abbreviation.

  36. It is a word. The first definition is simply “woman” but has since taken on other meanings.

  37. Yeah, “femme” and “butch” are terms belonging to lesbians. It’s not well known, but that’s because non-lesbians have appropriated the hell out of those terms – sometimes out of ignorance, sometimes out of entitlement.

  38. @Ally

    K.

    I am a lesbian, and never even knew either of those terms were belonging to lesbians :/ I feel like I got born out of the loop :p

  39. @Marie

    I understand. For a while I had no idea those were lesbian terms, either. I remember still identifying as bi and using “butch” and “femme” for myself and assuming that they were only synonyms for “masculine” and “feminine”.

  40. @Ally

    that’s what I’d always assumed they were, too.

  41. Yup, butch and femme have been a part of lesbian culture for over a century and have appeared in the edges of popular culture throughout those years. It’s usually associated with the fifties and sixties because those decades were the heyday of the lesbian pulp novel, which was the first time contemporary US lesbian culture was chronicled to any real degree. I’m Lesbian pulp fiction geek and can recommend titles if anyone is interested.

    For anyone interested in reading about lesbian history, I heartily recommend the popular history book “Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America”. It was published in 1991, so you’re going to have cut it some slack for not being trans inclusive.

    Most lesbians kind of roll with the cultural appropriation thing. It would be nice if people said girlie or feminine instead of femme, and didn’t describe any women with short hair in pants as butch, but that’s life. On a positive note, the term “lipstick lesbian” seems to have gone out of fashion, which is good thing because I hate that term with power of a thousand suns.

  42. @brooked

    . I’m Lesbian pulp fiction geek and can recommend titles if anyone is interested.

    You can? ::makes puppy eyes::

  43. @brooked

    Another incorrect usage of those terms that really bothers me is the equating of “butch” and “masculine”. Being butch is in a way supposed to completely break away from all masculine associations and instead serve as a distinct expression of lesbian womanhood. It gets really annoying when some guys actually refer to themselves as “butch”. Ugh.

  44. @Brooked

    Also, I know that fade is looking for recs of media (in this case books) with queer disabled ladies (no cure plots), so if any of them have disabled women in them, that’d be great :D

  45. and didn’t describe any women with short hair in pants as butch

    I’m pretty sure most women have short hair in their pants ;)

    Does anyone have preferred terms for not-necessarily-lesbian women who present in more stereotypically “masculine” ways?

  46. Well, I’m not sure if this label is comprehensive enough for all non-lesbian expressions of “masculinity”, but I think “tomboyish” is pretty good. I could be way off the mark, though.

  47. @Marie

    I don’t know if “puppy eyes” mean you want me to go on at great length about lesbian fiction, but I’m going assume it does because I don’t want discuss mass murder right now.

    I grew up in the 70s and 80s, which was the last golden age of lesbian invisibility. Gay characters were male, usually sexless middle aged feminine men with sad lives or The Village People. Amusingly, the first movie I saw with a lesbian was 1978’s A Different Story, which was about a lesbian (Meg Foster) and gay man (Perry King) who have an unexpected pregnancy after drunken sex, and end up falling in love despite all prejudice they face as a straight couple. Her ex-girlfriend is portrayed as an unstable jealous emotional wreck who ends up pulling a gun on them, while his ex-boyfriend is a sexual predator incapable of love. Not making that up.

    Most lesbian youngsters were drawn to gay icons such as David Bowie, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Oscar Wilde. Since there was slim pickings in terms of gay ladies, I, like most bookish teen lesbians, sneak-read the classic tragic lesbian novel, Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness. I just ignored the sad ending, focused on how cool the “invert” Stephan was. She served in a WWI female ambulance corp, fenced, had lady sex and owned a horse (Raferty!).

    I also stumbled through Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barne, whose novel Nightwood is brilliant and highly recommended. I eventually found popular novels such as Ruby Fruit Jungle,
    Bastard Out of Carolina and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Fun fact: Fried Green Tomatoes is the reason why 1/3 of the cats owned by lesbians was named Idgie in the early 90s. Lesbian fiction was found in the Gay section, it was easy to find due to the uniformly hideous cover art, until the awesome, goddess-like Jeanette Winterson gained enough critical stature to earn lesbian fiction respectability and capable graphic designers.

    I didn’t discover the odd world of Lesbian Pulp Fiction (LPF) until the internet brought us together. The word “pulp” refers to the cheap paper and book production that led to an influx of inexpensive magazines, comic books and paperbacks starting in 1930s. Thanks to eBay, I have ~40 book library which is endlessly fascinating and entertaining to me, despite the fact that most of the books are admittedly terrible.

    Here’s a good essay:
    Appearance as Political: Using Lesbian Pulp Fiction as Historical Source

    http://sitemaker.umich.edu/lesbianhistories/browse_the_essays&mode=single&recordID=0000c0a8de10000007d224020000012bc85576ea124a7236&nextMode=list

    In terms of sexual content, the history of pulps reflect the changing legal definitions of obscenity. I prefer the books that predate the mid-1960s Supreme Court decisions that allowed publishers to release “erotic novels” with very explicit language and nude photo covers. I need a painted cover of sexy clothed women staring conspiratorially at each other, while the cover text breathlessly describes “the forbidden love in the twilight world of the third sex…”. There is plenty of lusty thoughts and even more sex in the earlier pulps, but writers had to use euphemisms for every word other than “breast” and it’s adorable.

    The average LPF was poorly written and unfailingly followed specific genre tropes. A painfully innocent lass from a troubled home goes to a school/workplace/city where she is vulnerable and alone. She has sexual chemistry with a female friend but doesn’t go lesbian until an older, sophisticated, super sexy, predatory woman seduces her, often with the help of liquor or demon weed. Our heroine has a hot and heavy relationship with her seducer and/or friend(s) until those relationships blows up, leaving her brokenhearted. She had an epiphany that even though lesbian relationships start off passionately, they are actually doomed, dysfunctional and/or wrong, which is why all lesbians end up sad and alone. Our heroine sinks into despair until the last few pages, when a male ex-boyfriend/suitor/boss swoops in and asks/tells/orders her to marry him. She gasps “really [insert male name], you’d have me after that happens?”, he says “yes darling!”, plants a kiss, then picks her up and carries her off to heterosexuality. Female characters who are still lesbian when the novel end are always left crying alone, often becoming alcoholics, committing suicide, put in prison, murdered by another lesbian, or, in one memorably terrible novel, struck dead by lightning.

    While I love the kitschy awful ones, there are some honest to goodness well-written books, some even written by actual lesbians no less. In the 1940s Patricia Highsmith wrote scripts for super hero and romance comics, until 1950, when her first novel Strangers on a Train was published and adapted for film by Alfred Hitchcock. Despite her fame, she released her second novel The Price of Salt under a pseudonym because of the lesbian content. It great, kicks most of the clichéd tropes to the curb and everyone should read it. Todd Hayne’s film adaption starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara will come out in 2015 and make me the happiest women in the world.

    The other high point of the LPF genre are five novels by Ann Bannon that are commonly referred to as The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. I recommend starting with the second book of the series, I Am a Women, because it a lot better then the first and introduces Beebo, the cult classic archetypal butch. Beebo books also do an admirable job of avoiding the genre’s depressing tropes.

    Several famous authors cranked out LPN under pseudonyms, including Robert Block, Robert Silverburg, Marion Zimmer Bradley. Here are few of the better and more beloved LPF titles for anyone who is still reading this TL;DR beast.

    Spring Fire by Vin Packer (Marijane Meaker)
    Girls in 3B by Valerie Taylor
    Another Kind of Love by Paula Christian

    An excellent anthology:
    Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Sexually Intrepid World of Lesbian Paperback Novels 1950-1965

    For the justly beloved awesome pulp cover art:
    Strange Sisters: The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction 1949-1969.

    http://www.strangesisters.com

    http://vintagesleazepaperbacks.wordpress.com/category/lesbian-pulp-fiction/


    I think Fade is only going to find disabled queer women in contemporary fiction, I’ll see if I can dig up some recommendations.

  48. Sorry for the length, I just didn’t have the energy to edit it down.

  49. @brooked

    I don’t know if “puppy eyes” mean you want me to go on at great length about lesbian fiction

    Well, it did, so you guess right :D

    thanks for the recs. I’ll try to write em down

  50. RE: Marie

    Also, I know that fade is looking for recs of media (in this case books) with queer disabled ladies (no cure plots)

    Unfortunately, I don’t have any queer disabled ladies yet, but my Tree That Wasn’t series stars a wheelchair user and her neighbor, who has mental trouble related to seeing constant angry spirits. You’ve already read Fierce and the Fair, which has queer ladies. My superhero Zambi is also a queer lady, with extra frustration due to being trans on top of it.

  51. Also, I know that fade is looking for recs of media (in this case books) with queer disabled ladies (no cure plots)

    Has she read Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens yet? It’s not her best book, but she manages to make a deliberate effort to include all different kinds of young women without it feeling like “representation Pokemon”. To paraphrase one review, “I’ve never had so much fun being hit over the head with a message!”

  52. @lbt

    Unfortunately, I don’t have any queer disabled ladies yet, but my Tree That Wasn’t series stars a wheelchair user and her neighbor,

    bookmarked for future readings XD

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