Lesbian Menace

Lesbian Menace

by Sherrie A. Inness
     
 

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Electroshock. Hysterectomy. Lobotomy. These are only three of the many "cures" to which lesbians have been subjected in this century. How does a society develop such a profound aversion to a particular minority? In what ways do images in the popular media perpetuate cultural stereotypes about lesbians, and to what extent have lesbians been able to subvert and revise… See more details below

Overview

Electroshock. Hysterectomy. Lobotomy. These are only three of the many "cures" to which lesbians have been subjected in this century. How does a society develop such a profound aversion to a particular minority? In what ways do images in the popular media perpetuate cultural stereotypes about lesbians, and to what extent have lesbians been able to subvert and revise those images? This book addresses these and other questions by examining how lesbianism has been represented in American popular culture in the twentieth century and how conflicting ideologies have shaped lesbian experiences and identity.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Since the 1970s, lesbian images in popular culture have increased steadily. Citing specific literary and cinematic works, these two authors provide criticism and analysis of lesbian identity as it has evolved in the mass media. They also share the view that more exposure is not always better, providing ample evidence that much of the information fed to the public through literature and film is a highly stylized, narrow depiction of lesbian life, produced so as not to upset the heterosexual majority. Hoogland (lesbian studies, Univ. of Nijmegan, Netherlands) offers a detailed analysis of such literary works as Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar as well as the contemporary Hollywood films Basic Instinct and Bitter Moon. She presents each chapter as a separate essay, blending Freudian psychoanalytic and contemporary feminist theories in her rigorous analysis of these works. Hoogland's writing is dense and academic, clearly targeting queer theorists and other feminist scholars. The Lesbian Menace is a more readable text yet less focused. Inness (English, Miami Univ.) breaks her thesis into three parts: Inventing the Lesbian, Forms of Resistance, and Writing in the Margins. In this fashion, she covers such issues as the perception that women's colleges are "nest[s] of perversity," the image of the lesbian in children's books and popular magazine literature, and the way in which lesbian readers interpret narratives to create a lesbian subtext in such classics as the Nancy Drew mystery series. Hoogland's work belongs in academic queer studies collections, while Inness's would also do well in large public and academic literature collections.Karen Duff, Boston P.L.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558490918
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
05/20/1997
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 8.99(h) x 0.81(d)

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