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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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Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@Ally

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

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

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.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@brooked

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

You can? ::makes puppy eyes::

Ally S
6 years ago

@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.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@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 😀

katz
6 years ago

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?

Ally S
6 years ago

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.

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

@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.

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

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

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@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 😀

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

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

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.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

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!”

Fade
6 years ago

@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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