Heroic Desire: Lesbian Identity and Cultural Space
"Lesbians are adept at constructing survival strategies. Our being in this world exacts a cost, and our identities mutate to incorporate and resist that cost. The reality of our world is our relentless demand for presence, an occupation of space which we have colonized for ourselves, in the name of a configuration of desires we call 'lesbian', -- the more reflective we can become about these tactics, the more powerful is our rhetoric of existence".
This book is concerned with the ways contemporary lesbians have taken up imaginative and material space. It describes the mechanics of presence, how modern lesbians have produced a discursive space which offers a refutation to the closet. Identities are produced, expressed, and authenticated by and through space. Understanding "real" and metaphorical spatial structures helps us to discover new sites of presence and resistance. Some famous spaces, such as New York, Paris, and Berlin, have been constitutive of modern gay and lesbian identities. Social spaces teach us something about the relations of domination and subordination around us, and we have seen recently in that struggle "to be", a growing politics of location and locatedness.
Space is also taken imaginatively. Our narratives, which have become moral and political handbooks, provide role models for building and consolidating identities and communities. By processes of interpretation, drawing from literary and cultural theory, the author displays ways in
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... a travesty we had conspired to reproduce - hesitatingly we begin to offer the
sub-vocal experiences of our more secluded discourse. Butch, in common use, is
a term as unstable as the gender configurations of masculinity and femininity.
How does this differ from the implication of Judith Butler's argument17 that men
are also performing their masculinity? The 'man' I have conveyed here is closer to
the romantic fiction produced by women for women in Western culture. Perhaps ...
The fusion of masculinity with femaleness becomes the amalgam that is the butch
body, which is the taboo. The reviling of the butch in culture is contaminated with
desire and fascination, and as the trope of lesbianism she carries the symbolic ...
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The Lesbian Flaneur
The Butch Body
The Lesbian Outlaw
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The Lieutenant Nun: Transgenderism, Lesbian Desire, and Catalina de Erauso
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