Sunday, February 1, 2009

radical lesbian separatism coming to an end?

The New York Times featured a great piece on radical lesbian separatism and the "feminist utopia."

Secluded in open natural settings, these all-women, all-lesbian communities came about in the 1970s in response to the women's liberation movements. Women faced a bitter battle for socio-political enfranchisement, and lesbians bit a bigger bullet at home and in the workplace. A matriarchal utopia seemed like a fitting remedy. And it has been.

But these women from the 1970s are aging, and the new generation of feminist women lack the separatist policies of their fore bearers. Previously silent communities looking to avoid publicity have agreed to be interviewed in hopes of keeping their way of life alive. Read the article.

More than anything, I thought this was an interesting testament to the nature of utopia as dynamic and historically specific. While an older generation of feminists find ideal seclusion from "male violence," the new wave finds most fitting the prospect of complicating binaries and hammering out differences--and some of us even enjoy the competition.

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