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I’ll confess that I thought this article was going to be a lot more relevant to lesbian history than it was, given the inclusion of “Tommies” in the title. I’m including this brief summary because I already had the article scheduled, but the content is solidly focused on male issues and topics. In that context, it’s a fascinating look at shifting images of masculinity and the part that institutionalized male homoerotic encounters and relationships played in those images. But the reference to "tommies" is minor and entirely in relation to male desires.

I've met women like Linton, as she is depicted in this article. You probably have too. The woman who despises other women for the same traits and behaviors she herself displays. The woman who goes on the lecture circuit telling women they should stay in the home. The woman who simultaneously wants to be "one of the guys" but mocks women as a class--whether for their femininity or for their unfemininity. The woman who has clawed her way into economic independence then argues against women's rights.

This article started out feeling a bit like Clark came up with an interesting metaphor and then went searching for contexts to apply it. That feeling faded as I read further. I think she has hit on a useful concept for a diverse type of experience that falls between the cracks of many of the existing theoretical approaches.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 32a - On the Shelf for March 2019 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2019/03/02 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for March 2019.

Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness (1928) is commonly referenced as the "first" novel of lesbian identity, and in my generation that resulted in no small amount of trauma if we failed to recognize our lives and dreams within its pages. But Aimée Duc's Sind es Frauen? (Are these Women?) (1901) would have been a far more hopeful, sympathetic, and introspective introduction to the place of women who love women in the literary canon.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 32c - Book Appreciation with Katharine Duckett - transcript

(Originally aired 2019/03/16 - listen here)

(Transcript pending)

In the Book Appreciation segments, our featured authors (or your host) will talk about one or more favorite books with queer female characters in a historic setting.

It's always interesting to see how shifts in philosophical thinking occur in waves across interconnected cultural traditions. Europe always had a diverse set of attitudes toward non-normative sexuality. But you can see specific concepts take hold and spread, either integrating with, or replacing, the existing local attitudes. These sorts of shifts are easier to see in more recent centuries.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 31d - Prepositions, Sexuality, and Gender: Unpacking Our Bundles - transcript

(Originally aired 2019/02/23 - listen here)

Prepositions, Sexuality, and Gender

I sometimes make joking reference to the "industry of Anne Lister studies" but it's hard to exaggerate the value of Lister's candid diaries for disrupting theory-based understandings of 18-19th century female homosexuality. We need to be careful not to assume that Lister's experience is universal, nor to treat it as unique. Many women, no doubt, wrote candid private diaries and correspondence that may have expressed their negotiation of homoerotic desires.

One of the articles I covered last year was a study by Remke Kruk on the genre of "warrior women" epics in medieval Arabic litterature. In that 1998 piece, Kruk laments the lack of accessible translations of this fascinating corpus.

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