One of the submissions to the privilege carnival that I couldn’t use was an interview with Alison Bechdel, who you probably know from Dykes to Watch Out For. Though the interview didn’t fit in with the privilege carnival, I wanted to make you all aware of it anyway, because it’s a nice long interview and really interesting. Get the Alison Bechdel interview here.
My Google Reader was all abuzz today about Ellen Degeneres and Portia Rossi on Oprah, so I decided to check out the appearance. Now I know Oprah’s kind of schmaltzy anyway, and I’m sure she had the best of intentions, but the episode kind of struck me the wrong way from the opening segment. Oprah talks about a photoshoot where Portia walked into the room and Ellen’s eyes lit up, and how beautiful that was, and how she said “Hey Baby,” and how cute that was, etc. It had a very animals-in-a-zoo feel to me. “Look at the lesbians in their natural habitat!” Yes, Ellen’s eyes lit up when Portia walked into a room, because it’s her wife. I’m just saying.
Just a head’s up: Lesbian Book Club version 2.0, so to speak, is up and running over at Goodreads here. The site is much more user-friendly, and the new version makes it easy to participate and gives you an option of e-mail updates if you want to know when someone’s started a new post. If you’re someone who was interested in LBC, who signed up over at the original boards but found it frustrating, or if you haven’t heard about it yet but would like to read and discuss lesbian fiction with us, please come on over. We’re discussing Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters this round, but I’ll be adding new features soon including a thread where you can talk about whatever lesbian fiction you’ve read or are reading and maybe some games or challenges.
I was just in the shower, thinking (like you do) about lesbian stereotypes. I think that there’s at least some assumption that if you’re a gay girl, you might have been a tomboy growing up, or you really get along with “the guys.” And for some lesbians, I know this is true, but I never fit into that mold. I didn’t have any really close guy friends as a kid – sure, I had a few male friends, but I never connected with them in any significant way. I had fairly “girly” interests, and I’ve always been touchy feely and liked long conversations. Not that there aren’t men like that, but not so many in elementary and middle school. My best friends were always girls, and I got along well with girls. But when I young and assumed that I was straight, and when I was a bit older and identified as bisexual, I always figured that once I was in a serious relationship with a guy, he would be my best friend. That was what I was looking for, and it never occurred to me that it wouldn’t just… happen.
Now I know there are exceptions, and there are plenty of lesbians who relate well with men but prefer women romantically, and plenty of straight women who don’t have any men friends but connect with their romantic partner. However, the example that comes to mind is my parents, who indeed were best friends throughout thirteen years of marriage and fifteen years and counting of divorce. My mom has always been heterosexual and she’s always had close male friends. It didn’t occur to me that the same wouldn’t happen for me, but in my only serious relationship with a man, it really was a “Men are from Mars” situation. We were just speaking different languages.
Since then, I’ve always thought that women are preferable as romantic partners because you can fall in love with your best friend. And I think there’s something to that – if your best friend is always a certain gender, and you’ve never been particularly close to the other gender, you’re probably at least somewhat unlikely to suddenly become best friends with someone of the other gender because you get into a romantic relationship with them. So maybe it’s not that unusual when a girly girl becomes a lesbian. After all, doesn’t it make a certain amount of sense?
Lesbian book club reminder: the poll is up now for round three and will be open until Sunday afternoon. Please vote! Also, feel free to start discussing for round two if you read the book.
See here. If you haven’t registered for the boards yet, you’ll need to do that first. Dates for Rounds Three-Six are set including open and close of book suggestion periods, open and close of the poll for which book to read, and open of discussion period. This will make it a little easier to know when to go to the boards – just stick these dates in your calendar and show up as needed.
We’ve chosen a book for round two: Your Name Written on Water by Irene Gonzalez Frei. We’d love to have you reading along with us, whether you’ve joined the club yet or not! You can see the information for this round here as soon as you sign up for the message board. Round Two discussion starts Friday, November 28th, and you can get the book on Amazon for a little over ten dollars new. Hope to see you on the boards!
Reminder: if you’re in the lesbian book club, go to the boards under “Book Suggestions” and click on the poll to vote for our round two book. Poll closes tomorrow and we only have six votes so far. You can vote for up to three books in the poll, and a vote doesn’t mean you’re committing to read.
Hey there, book club members and those who want to join! The poll for our round two book is up here. You’ll need to sign up for the message board if you haven’t already. Again, this is a guilt-free bookclub, so you’re welcome to sign up and vote even if you aren’t sure whether you’ll be able to read this round, or will only read certain books. We want to be laid back about this and encourage folks to read when they can. Poll is up until next Monday.
I’ve been a big fan of Adrienne Rich since my sophomore year of college in Baltimore, and my copy of The Fact of a Doorframe is much-loved indeed. I recently discovered Marilyn Hacker, whom I am absolutely in love with. She makes me think of a female Ferlinghetti, which is fabulous. But I just realised that those two, plus Audre Lourde (also amazing) are the only lesbian poets I know. Anyone have a favourite to share?
ps – If you’re in the book club, suggestions close and poll goes up at the end of the weekend. Get those suggestions in!
I’ve noticed several recent comments about the lesbian book club. So far we have seven members signed up to the boards, and I think about ten said they wanted to join, so if you haven’t created an account for the boards yet, they are here. We had three people discussing our last book (which is not bad for a first round!) and I’m hoping maybe five or six will join us next round. So here’s what you can do if you want to get involved.
1) Go to the boards, sign up, and suggest a book in the “Book Suggestions” thread. If we get suggestions, then I’ll make a poll and we can pick what we want to read first. If we don’t, then I’ll just do a poll with a few suggestions of my own.
2) I want everyone to be able to read, so if you’re interested but it will be difficult for you financially to buy a book every couple of months, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the locale of the library you use. If you’re in two systems (for example, city and county, or city and university) tell me that as well. I’ll check before I create the poll, and I won’t divulge your information to the group but I will note which books are more and less available.
3) If you have a blog, know a message board for lesbians (or LGBT in general), etc., please spread the word! I’m not super clued-in on this, so I haven’t really known how to promote, but I’d love to.
4) I will make an announcement on this blog when the poll is open, as well as when we pick a book and when discussion starts. I don’t want to crowd the blog with bookclub stuff, but it’s good to let new people know and I know it’s a pain to check the board all the time while it’s not very busy. I missed a comment myself until just now (Sorry, Leigh!)
And now, back to your regularly schedule programming.