read online Textbooks Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America – Mariahilff.de

Lillian Faderman tells the compelling story of lesbian life in the th century, from the early s to today s diverse lifestyles Using journals, unpublished manuscripts, songs, news accounts, novels, medical literature, and numerous interviews, she relates an often surprising narrative of lesbian life A key workthe point of reference from which all subsequent studies of th century lesbian life in the United States will begin San Francisco Examiner


10 thoughts on “Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America

  1. Michael Michael says:

    A dated but engaging work of American history, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers charts the rise of lesbian subcultures across the nation over the course of the twentieth century Lillian Faderman begins by considering the forms women s romantic bonds took before the formation of lesbian identity at the turn of the twentieth century, but she soon shifts to tracking how robust lesbian communities were established in the decades following the end of WWI Her research is as meticulous as her prose is c A dated but engaging work of American history, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers charts the rise of lesbian subcultures across the nation over the course of the twentieth century Lillian Faderman begins by considering the forms women s romantic bonds took before the formation of lesbian identity at the turn of the twentieth century, but she soon shifts to tracking how robust lesbian communities were established in the decades following the end of WWI Her research is as meticulous as her prose is clear, and she does an excellent job of consistently differentiating working class and middle class experiences among lesbians Unfortunately, Faderman doesn t much consider racial differences among lesbians in the middle chapters, and the scope of her analysis becomes limited for some time


  2. Abby Abby says:

    for all intents and purposes, this is a good, extensively researched book on the history of lesbianism as it stands in the united states although she does occasionally bring in a bit of history from britain, france and germany so why three stars well, there are a few reasons, firstly and mostly to do with personal taste, and secondly to do with tone inclusivity but before i delve into all of that, let s talk about the book itself a little first i love lillian faderman s conclusion that th for all intents and purposes, this is a good, extensively researched book on the history of lesbianism as it stands in the united states although she does occasionally bring in a bit of history from britain, france and germany so why three stars well, there are a few reasons, firstly and mostly to do with personal taste, and secondly to do with tone inclusivity but before i delve into all of that, let s talk about the book itself a little first i love lillian faderman s conclusion that the only constant truth about the lesbian in america has been that she prefers women, and i think it s a great basis to go off of it s obvious that lillian faderman has put a ton of work into this book, and i greatly admire that even though she references various novels, songs, films, researchers, and psychologists, she speaks to women who have actually lived their lives as women who love women, and who have subsequently had unique experiences because of it that s what s refreshing if we re completely honest, a lot of the time, even researchers don t take into account all of the varied experiences of human life they come up with a majority but faderman doesn t fall to such conclusions her overlying message throughout the novel is that the community of women who love women, and how we interact with the world, is constantly changing just like heterosexuals, there is no one definition for lesbian this book is by no means a massive volume, but it is a very, very extensively researched one as i ve said several times, i m growing predictable however, it doesn t feel dry or academic, even though it does feel and sound professional there is a lot of feminist and academic lingo, but it s used in a way that feels accessible to those who are going into this without much prior knowledge of either history, the gay rights movement, women s rights movement, or anything similar i do feel that faderman has a strange tendency for repetition, however we ll finish a chapter, concluded and all, and then on the very next page she ll launch into what we just discussed it ll only last for a page or two, but it becomes slightly grating it s like, yes, we ve established that how many times do we need to go over a particular aspect we ve already spent a full chapter talking about those are mainly small, nitpickish things the bigger issues, for me, are the ones of inclusion at first, as when faderman is writing about harlem in the 20s, it does feel like she is both open to and understanding of the racism that goes along with the white tourists who come to gawk at oddities in harlem but over time, when we get to themodern chapters like those discussing lesbian feminism and cultural feminism in the 70s, or in the conservative 80s her tone seems almost dismissive there are a lot of quotation marks when discussing the concerns that people of color had towards feminists and gay communities, despite the fact that they re completely valid it s honestly a little irritating there is very little rumination on the organizations that popped up that catered solely to lesbians of color, latina lesbians, asian lesbians, the list goes on and on and while there s a small chapter on lesbianism in the black community during the 20s and the 30s, particularly concerning women like ma rainey, bessie smith, and a leila walker, it doesn t go into as much depth as the other chapters, and it s left at that.next, there s absolutely no inclusion here of transgender lesbian history even when discussing women who passed as men, there is no consideration for the fact that they might have, indeed, truly identified as men there s a ton of conversation on the sexologists definition of lesbianism as sexual inversion, a man trapped in a woman s body, but no reflection aside from a sentence or two on trans women and trans men and then we get onto the stonewall rebellion, and is there any acknowledgment of the fact that trans women, marsha p johnson and sylvia rivera, led the movement, created a space even for those who wereprivileged than they were created a movement that led to gay rights being established no she glosses over the stonewall rebellion without really talking about any of it, in fact what about people like renee richards or when we discuss daughters of bilitis, why don t we mention that in 1973 lesbian beth elliot was ejected from the west coast women s conference because she was a transgender woman, despite having served as vice president of the san francisco chapter of the lesbian organization daughters of bilitis and having edited the chapter s newsletter sisters so while this is an excellent basis for academic research, it does fall short in revealing some of the history of lesbianism, and how it affected women of color, transgender women, and even sometimes anyone who wasn t able bodied, cis, middle class upper class and white i have a lot of respect for faderman and what she accomplishes here, but i still can t help but feel that this volume sorely misses the inclusion of a large number of women who love women


  3. Mo Mo says:

    I read this when I was in my early 20 s, way before Ellen and Rosie and Margaret Cho and The L Word and Will and Grace were out and about I was glued to thisit s amazing to me that now there s an entire gay TV channel That was unimaginable just 15 years ago We still have a long way to go, but wow


  4. Sara Jaye Sara Jaye says:

    Lots of really interesting facts, but troublingly glides over less enfranchised lesbian communities.


  5. Christopher Saunders Christopher Saunders says:

    Lilian Faderman s Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers examines the development of lesbian culture in 20th Century America From the early 20th Century, where intimate friendships between women were seen as acceptable, often even encouraged, through the Puritanical backlash that developed later and forced lesbians underground the codification of homosexuality as mental illness that led to stigma, shame and heartache media and pop culture treating lesbians as deviants doomed to self destruction and de Lilian Faderman s Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers examines the development of lesbian culture in 20th Century America From the early 20th Century, where intimate friendships between women were seen as acceptable, often even encouraged, through the Puritanical backlash that developed later and forced lesbians underground the codification of homosexuality as mental illness that led to stigma, shame and heartache media and pop culture treating lesbians as deviants doomed to self destruction and despair and their awakening following the civil rights and feminist movements Books of this nature can often seem dry and sociological, but Faderman deftly avoids that by focusing as much on individuals as broader cultural trends Thus we see a wide and fascinating array of gay women, from feminists and suffragettes who barely hide their sexuality to Eisenhower s wartime aide who talked him out of purging his staff of lesbian secretaries, those who suffered in silence and those who embraced their identity and refused to be silent An excellent, accessible look at queer culture


  6. Wendy Wendy says:

    VERY briefly at the moment, I will say this Faderman s research is interesting, and the history of lesbianism in the 20th Century US is a good reminder of where we came from and how far we still have to go But I take exception to Faderman s suggestion that romantic friends what women who likely lived as lesbians before the term came into popular usage were sweet and romantic with each other, but asexual Despite female socialization, I find it difficult to believe that women who lived toge VERY briefly at the moment, I will say this Faderman s research is interesting, and the history of lesbianism in the 20th Century US is a good reminder of where we came from and how far we still have to go But I take exception to Faderman s suggestion that romantic friends what women who likely lived as lesbians before the term came into popular usage were sweet and romantic with each other, but asexual Despite female socialization, I find it difficult to believe that women who lived together as romantic friends would rarely, if ever, engage in sex They might not have talked about it, they might not have written about it, but sex has been very powerful throughout the ages for all genders.Speaking of genders, I also take great exception to Faderman s barely concealed scoffing at the idea of transgenderism and transsexualism She seems to think that it is only a gender biased kind of socialization that makes people feel they are in the wrong body, and this kind of attitude is apparent throughout the book I think she tries to be objective, but she does not succeed


  7. Dana Dana says:

    I found Faderman to be stuck in middle class gender biases, which may work for explaining some histories, but left others drenched in rehashed stereotypes.


  8. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    The only constant truth about The Lesbian in America has been that she prefers women. 3.5 5I truly wanted to like this book The first part was invaluably informative, especially when it came to giving me context about historical figures and works that I had already thought myself passingly familiar with I also acquired a great deal of evidence that heterosexuality was formally invented in the late 19th c early 20th c., which will be very useful in the arguments that are inevitably to come The only constant truth about The Lesbian in America has been that she prefers women. 3.5 5I truly wanted to like this book The first part was invaluably informative, especially when it came to giving me context about historical figures and works that I had already thought myself passingly familiar with I also acquired a great deal of evidence that heterosexuality was formally invented in the late 19th c early 20th c., which will be very useful in the arguments that are inevitably to come However, I came of age in the nuclear fallout of Faderman s lack of inclusivity, and considering that one GR friend , who I suspected of being a radfem, voluntarily got rid of herself from my list during the course of my reading and commenting on this, one can see that I have issues The closer Faderman gets to the present, theshe dances around but never actually rejects classism, racism, biophobia, and, above all, transphobia, minimizing queer contributions to the queer stronghold in certain places and flat out ignoring insulting them in others As such, this is both a great and a horrible introduction to lesbians in the USA, as the end goal of it seems to be nothing less than total succumbing to the white bourgeoisie settler police state, regardless of those lesbians wlw who can t or justificably won t do so for the sake of the lives of their people, whoever those people may be I was going to bequeath my copy to a young lesbian in one of my classes, but now, I m not sure if the valuable knowledge is worth the risk of running the gambit without the critical skills developed after long and arduous rejections of TERFs, SWERFs, and all their associated poison One researcher has estimated through Union Army doctors accounts that at least four hundred women transvestites fought in the Civil War. As this is a very white, middle class look at things, you re going to get a lot of white, middle class viws, feminism and or lesbianism notwithstanding If you don t mind some 19th century white women being talked about instead of athorough look at non white and or other queer women communities in the 20th century, this is the book for you Even in 1991, certain things that Faderman says when she doesn t stick to cold hard facts are wildly insulting and or defensive and or apologetic, and it detracts from her preivously methodical and almost scientific approach to the lesbian when she gets into pseudo objective portrayals of sex wars asexuality is broadly passed over, despite evidence of its coalescing into a paradigm since at least the 1980s, so that s another uncritical mess for someone to disentangle In some ways, I finally have a baseline for the history I ve slowly put together form various theoretical texts and or Tumblr posts, so it was not only necessary, but inevitable that I read this However, I ve come to it amidst a new wave or puritanical radfem behavior in the form of the q slur and associated biophobic transphobia wh rephobic behavior, including brad swathes of Hays Code level paranoia and desire to censor, so ifGR users leave me friends list over this review of mine, so be it That was then, this is now, and Faderman would have been able to fit farobjective fact had she not spent so much time white guilting all over the last chunk of pages A Columbus, Ohio woman recalls walking into a lesbian bar in the 1950s and finding that no one would speak to her After some hours the waitress told her it was because of the way she was dressed no one could tell what her sexual identity was, butch or femme, and they were afraid that if she did not know enough to dress right it was because she was a policewoman. I know a lotabout the effect Freud had on incipient queer identities movements, as well as associated topics such as queer formation in the US as compared to parts of Europe and queer in the earlier, pre 21st century US same sex marriage echelons I do not, however, have any sense of sex work, which was without a doubt a vibrantly queer area, or trans lesbians, or even a true overview of 20th century US lesbianhood I didn t expect an encyclopedia, but the dismissiveness Faderman took the time to express in the ideas that lesbians and heterosexuals could ever access bisexuality without being bisexuals just reminds me my second and last meeting with a so called queer group, mostly wealthy white lesbians, who wanted to know how I could bear to be bisexual and thus be doomed to constantly cheat on any potential partners Real life trumps theory, so until I acquire better experiences, I have the right to be suspicious of any and all touted names materials that, subtly or actively, encompasses such dehumanization As such, to any baby queers out there read this if you must, extract what gold you can, but always, always have ready your bag of salt Most middle and upper class lesbians who could pass for heterosexual could believe that policemen, whose salaries were paid by their tax money, were there to serve and protect them But butches and their partners seldom had the luxury of that illusion.


  9. Becca Becca says:

    A relatively succinct, yet comprehensive history of lesbian women in America, which also touches on feminism, civil rights and relations between the gay and lesbian communities As far as I am aware this is the most comprehensive work on lesbian history available Faderman did extensive research and the book is rife with footnotes and comprised predominately of interviews conducted for this book Faderman is upfront about her biases, although her disbelief in congenitalism may make modern read A relatively succinct, yet comprehensive history of lesbian women in America, which also touches on feminism, civil rights and relations between the gay and lesbian communities As far as I am aware this is the most comprehensive work on lesbian history available Faderman did extensive research and the book is rife with footnotes and comprised predominately of interviews conducted for this book Faderman is upfront about her biases, although her disbelief in congenitalism may make modern readers uncomfortable She does seem to view the 80 s as a terminal point in lesbian history, and it would be interesting to see her characterize the 90 s and 00 s


  10. Vasha7 Vasha7 says:

    A history of the emergence of identities and subcultures Lillian Faderman s political argument is omnipresent, interpreting her source material to take a random example from early on, she writes about social reformers, Some of those women were cultural feminists, fueled by their belief that male values created the tragedies connected with industrialization, war, and mindless urbanization and that it was the responsibility of women, with their superior sensibilities, to straighten the world ou A history of the emergence of identities and subcultures Lillian Faderman s political argument is omnipresent, interpreting her source material to take a random example from early on, she writes about social reformers, Some of those women were cultural feminists, fueled by their belief that male values created the tragedies connected with industrialization, war, and mindless urbanization and that it was the responsibility of women, with their superior sensibilities, to straighten the world out again Their love of women was at least in part the result of their moral chauvinism Others were less convinced of women s natural superiority, but they wanted to wrest from society the opportunities and training that would give women the advantages men had and thus permit them to bewhole as human beings Their love of women was at least in part a search for allies to help wage the battle against women s social impoverishment In her introduction, she writes, in the debate between the essentialists and the social constructionists my own research has led me to align myself on the side of the social constructionists Throughout the book, she looks to identify the circumstances that led women toward or away from centering their emotional and erotic lives on other women, intertwined with a search for autonomy.Faderman is not a graceful writer, but this is nonetheless an interesting pioneering work drawing on sources that are becoming increasingly available asresearch is done She interviewed nearly 200 women, too that s the advantage of doing recent history I found that the chapter on subcultures in the fifties and the one on the lesbian feminist movement particularly caught my attention