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[personal profile] tuulia
Amazon's "look inside" feature is useful. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers looks like the kind of American lesbian history I need, but looking inside it has convinced me not to buy it for money.

This is a decision governed by various concerns. In the introduction, the book managed to both put the word transsexual into quotation marks (twice) and to exclude bisexuality from a list of possible non-lesbian expressions of sexuality between women. Before that, the Contents had mentioned chapters called 'Kinder, Kuche and Kirche and the "bisexual" compromise', 'Why Some Lesbians Accepted the Congenital Invert Theory' (I suspect the answer won't be "because it fit"), and 'The Roots of Bisexual Experimentation'.

I wouldn't have condemned the contents on the basis of chapter headings without having had a peek at the text itself, but all taken together it seems the book is likely to tell me I don't exist, at least not on the terms I've accepted for myself. I can put up with that to an extent, because you have to, but I don't intend to pay for the privilege. I'm also disinclined to give money to authors who seem to insist the same of trans men. Note, I myself am bisexual and cis.

I realize conceptions of same-sex affairs and of people who take part in them are subject to change and varied across cultural lines, and that the very idea of a lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual woman, or even "woman", hasn't always been the same. I just prefer books which don't question the legitimacy of identity from a monosexist point of view while pretending scholarly objectivity, and I've grown rather sensitive to the signs.

This is still the best book I've found on my book crawl to deal with fin de si├Ęcle/early 20th century lesbian culture in the US, so I'll look it up in the library.

In other news, I may have to rethink some of my NaNoWriMo idea seeds, since several of them seem to have already been collected together in a 1930s book called Strange Brother. I covet that book, because it would have first-hand living descriptions of some of the settings I wanted to use, but it doesn't seem to be very readily available.

October 2016


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