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Wimmin
January 26, 2007 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Lesbianlands: Where have they gone ?
posted by serazin (30 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Herland.
posted by serazin at 9:41 AM on January 26, 2007


Almost everywhere.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 9:49 AM on January 26, 2007


How can you tell if your house was built by lesbian carpenters?
posted by LarryC at 10:03 AM on January 26, 2007


Can you imagine the softball league they could have put together?
posted by yhbc at 10:05 AM on January 26, 2007


LarryC - there's no studs, and all the paneling is tongue-and-groove?
posted by yhbc at 10:07 AM on January 26, 2007 [7 favorites]


The carpet has obviously been munched.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:11 AM on January 26, 2007


Two master bed(death)rooms.
posted by hermitosis at 10:12 AM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Interesting stuff. I used to mock the "back to the land" people (hell, I suppose I still might in the right situation), but I'm glad these gals have created opportunities to try living on their own. The more possibilities, the better, says this determinedly urban male.
posted by languagehat at 10:15 AM on January 26, 2007


I'm guessing they are almost invisible because having a website doesn't really jibe with self-sufficiency.

If a truly successful commune, lesbian or otherwise, ever existed, who would know about it?
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:22 AM on January 26, 2007


Who kills the spiders?
posted by rocket88 at 10:35 AM on January 26, 2007


They don't kill Grandmother Spider -- they lovingly usher her outside.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:51 AM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Now, now, you guys-except-languagehat. These women were another iteration of that North American phenomenon, the Utopian commune, which has a long and storied history. Let's give them some credit: thirty years working the land is worth something in terms of respect. They walked the walk.
posted by jokeefe at 11:04 AM on January 26, 2007


hoverboards don't work on water : "If a truly successful commune, lesbian or otherwise, ever existed, who would know about it?"

Friends of people in the commune? Being in a self-sufficient commune doesn't necessarily mean severing all contact with the outside world.
posted by Bugbread at 11:18 AM on January 26, 2007


thanks for this. honestly, i recommend that any woman (lesbian or not) who needs a sabbatical--time away from it all, transformative and tremendously healing--to seek out a place like this. it really can do wonders to one's sense of self to work the land for a while and take a breath.

the womyn are aging, and they can always use some younger hands to help out.

Camp Sister Spirit changed my life, it did.
posted by RedEmma at 11:27 AM on January 26, 2007


This place (fourth link in FPP) reminds me of a community depicted in Rupert Thomson's dystopian novel Divided Kingdom. The woman-centric commune in Cornwall which he wrote about is actually not described as a dystopian place -- it was one of the few nice places in a dark future version of Britain. I wonder if Thomson was inspired by the West Cornwall Women's Land Trust?
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:51 AM on January 26, 2007


This is what Lisa Alther was describing in Kinflicks, yes?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:05 PM on January 26, 2007


What would they do if they saw a mouse?
posted by mike3k at 12:15 PM on January 26, 2007


Most of the southern Oregon land communities could not in the past and cannot now be sustained without infusions of money, energy, and new residents from the outside.

I really thought that explained it succinctly. Increasing acceptance and growing urban gay communities may also have had something to do with it.

Plus, running water is nice.
posted by dhartung at 12:20 PM on January 26, 2007


If you usher the spiders outside, who is going to kill those damn Mediteranian meal moths that keep showing up with the cat food?

And where are my slippers?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:50 PM on January 26, 2007


They can handle the bugs and the mice just fine. It's the endless processing and consensus-building that really causes problems.
posted by answergrape at 12:58 PM on January 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


as Boomer retirements explode, we'll probably see a return to this, i think--A real explosion in alternate living structures.
posted by amberglow at 1:57 PM on January 26, 2007


answergripe: you must be a lesbian, because you hit the nail right on the head. Hell, most of the problems in my relationship are from the endless processing and consensus-building.
posted by arcticwoman at 3:35 PM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Land ain't cheap here in Southern Oregon anymore. As far as Womanshare I think they still exist. Just down the road from me.
posted by alteredcarbon at 3:58 PM on January 26, 2007


It's the endless processing and consensus-building that really causes problems.

veeeery true. along with some definite disconnects between the Lesbian Feminist and the younger women who were more into queerness, genderfuck, and just not so into forgetting men exist on the planet too. (and they're not any more hopelessly fucked up than women are.)

any form of SM was *strictly* verboten amongst many of these older womyn, as it was seen as a reflection of patriarchy. since so many dykes were playing around with that in the 90s, it led to some endless and very heated discussions, some of which wound up with people being banned from "the land." being a butch was just fine. but being a bottom, not so much.

amongst the matri-elders, staying away from male energy was very important. being bi was just as condemned in some ways there as it was amongst the straight.

i'm sure things have loosened up in the need for welcoming younger women. but it was not an easy process. (oy.)

despite all that, separatism has its place. i just do believe now that it's something to gain strength from, to heal within--i actually trace my ability to date men on a healthy footing to that period of abstinence--but for most, the return to the world is a necessary step. (and it's not about "giving in to the patriarchy" either.)
posted by RedEmma at 5:45 PM on January 26, 2007


RedEmma - Yeah, who can forget the lovely Against Sadomasochism and its assertion that all BSDM was really about the subjucation of women, even if it was just two guys? And the weird liking penetration = liking patriarchy feeling for a while. When politics, philosophy, and separatism enter into sexuality, you can wind up with kinky versions of The Village.

I wonder what their survival rate is compared to various other separatist movements? I suppose we'd have to confine the samples to groups who were once part of a larger whole, then broke off. Would the Amish fit in there?
posted by adipocere at 1:34 AM on January 27, 2007


sounds like an interesting PhD for a feminist scholar, i guess.

all of the places i know of have put their lands into a trust of some sort, so as the older womyn die off, new caretaker hands will have to take over, which can only change the flavor of things. there will always probably be lesbian separatists, but i think populations on "the land" will be more influenced by an eco-feminist culture, and the newer scientific and social constructs of gender will have to open some things up. i have no idea what that means.

and as the climate continues to change and the need for seed banks etc. will increase, i think there will be more of a necessity oriented "back to the land" idea ... soon enough, people won't be able to afford to buy food from all over the globe. the 60s "back to the land" movement will be nothing like what we'll be seeing in the next 20-30 years or so, i think. so *all* those leftover communes and organic collectives are right in seeing themselves as places people will be coming to for at the very least an education on how to survive.

the Amish are a successful separatist movement because they reproduce in large numbers, and have a large and even varied enough culture to sustain the usual loss of youth. and they know how to make money. the lesbian separatist movement has to be fed by a shrinking population of (too often, wounded) women--poor women with usually no resources at all. they're more like nuns than anything else. and they don't have a church that's going to take care of them the rest of their lives in exchange for loyalty.

even holding on to the land that's been established will undoubtedly be a struggle for their inheritors.
posted by RedEmma at 11:57 AM on January 27, 2007


These women were another iteration of that North American phenomenon, the Utopian commune,

Utopianism isn't a phenomenon, it's a disease. There is no perfect world. Attempts to create one, no matter what the motivation, generally make things worse. Just quit trying to acheieve perfection for whatever clique you belong to and try just making things halfway decent for as much of the human race as possible, instead.

Also, my utopia would consist mainly of bars, loud music and pornography, which is a case study in the pratfalls of utopianism.
posted by jonmc at 2:29 PM on January 27, 2007


Also, my utopia would consist mainly of bars, loud music and pornography, which is a case study in the pratfalls of utopianism.

Yours already exists, jon : >

I think separatism is wrong, but sometimes it's the best solution, at least temporarily. We all self-segregate for all sorts of reasons--it's the same principle.
posted by amberglow at 2:32 PM on January 27, 2007


Yours already exists, jon : >

Well...it's interrupted by the need to make a living and all that shit. But my point, made satirically, is that my utopia would be someone else's disaster. It's a small planet and it's getting smaller, and like it or not, we're all interconnected one way or the other. Self-segregation may or may not be the 'natural' thing but it dosen't lead anywhere good . Follow it to it's logical conclusion and we all wind up as little sepratist communes of one. Call me crazy, but I actually like bumping up against people diferent from myself, if I was surrounded only by people like me (and seriously, race-gender-religion-sexuality-class only go so far, even within those categories we're still all individual entities, just because somebody else is a white male Catholic (more or less) heterosexual middle class person dosen't neccessarily mean I have anything in common with them or actually like them.), it'd be a boring existence.

My point is..I don't even remember.
posted by jonmc at 2:43 PM on January 27, 2007


Follow it to it's logical conclusion and we all wind up as little sepratist communes of one.

Nah. What happens for the vast majority of us is that we go out into the world every day, and then retreat into our own space (which is self-selected, and segregated from that outer world, and a shelter and barrier from that outer world in many ways).
posted by amberglow at 3:52 PM on January 27, 2007


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