Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sunday's Women: Lesbian Life Today

1981ish (copyright 1979 but includes updates to '81), from Beacon Press
Sasha G. Lewis
Sunday's Women: Lesbian Life Today
Original and purchase price unknown
Worn paperback

I enjoyed this book less than Sappho Was a Right-On Woman, from almost a decade earlier.  It feels like there are more assumptions made without support, as in the idea of "neoadolescence" affecting length of relationships.  There's much less about bi women, just one slighting comment.  It was interesting to see that lesbians were starting to explore legal avenues, as with wills, but it was sad to read that the closet was still a default, because it was so dangerous to some women's careers, motherhood, and even lives to be out.  The idea of marriage between women was still far-fetched enough to be put in quotes.  In some ways lesbians had made progress since '72, but violence and prejudice were becoming more common.  This update mentions not only Anita Bryant but the Moral Majority.

Not that the book is entirely dated.  The comments on "political correctness" and technology would be equally pertinent a decade or three later.  I don't know if it's the difference in authors or the times, but I prefer the fresh optimism of the early '70s to the frustrations and fears of the early '80s.  Luckily, things would get better, but first they'd deteriorate further, as the impact of AIDS on straight culture led to increased homophobia.  I'm not sure when the next "contemporary lesbian" book I own is, maybe not till we get up to Dykes to Watch out For.

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