Awfully Devoted Women: Lesbian Lives in Canada, 1900-65 by Cameron Duder

By Cameron Duder

The lives of lesbians who grew up ahead of 1965 stay cloaked in secret. Historians have illuminated the worlds of upper-middle-class "romantic associates" and working-class butch and femme ladies who frequented lesbian bars within the ’50s and ’60s. nearly all of lesbians, in spite of the fact that, have been lower-middle-class ladies who concealed their sexual id by means of conducting discreet social and sexual relationships.

Drawing on correspondence, interviews, journals, and newspaper articles, Awfully committed Women bargains a nuanced portrait of the lives of middle-class lesbians within the many years earlier than the homosexual rights stream in English-Canada. money owed and explorations of those women’s sexual practices, techniques on same-sex hope, and kinfolk with family and friends unveil a global of personal relationships, residence events, and discreet social networks. This intimate examine of the lives of girls pressured to like in mystery not just demanding situations the concept lesbian relationships long ago have been asexual, it additionally finds the braveness it took for ladies to discover hope in an period once they have been purported to be aware of little approximately sexuality.

Awfully committed Women is the 1st book-length examine of lesbian sexuality, relationships, and neighborhood in Canada ahead of 1965. will probably be of curiosity to scholars and practitioners of Canadian background and women’s reports and to a person drawn to the heritage of sexuality.

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He became increasingly popular with middle-class thinkers during the 1920s, but it was not until the years of the Second World War and the Cold War that Freud’s followers became widely influential. For Frieda and Bud, societal attitudes toward relationships between women were simultaneously amusing, irritating, and oppressive.

In the early twentieth century, before the advent of Freudian theory, much of that fiction was quite frank, for the period, about physical affection between women. Lesbian fiction appeared in such publications as Ladies Home Journal, Harper’s, and Strand. The stories often involved an older and a younger student at a girls’ school or women’s college. 26 Some sexological works were available at least to some Canadians, sometimes through subcultural networks. Elsa Gidlow, who was born in England but grew up in Quebec, confirms that these works were important in her gaining an understanding of her lesbianism.

Quite how the conversation turned to the subject of women’s relationships is unclear, but Frieda commented, “The problem that seems to be in their minds at the moment was the everlasting Relationships between Women 45 odd women. 62 She continued: Gertrude’s partner had a pretty idea. She had been reading Lysistrata which seems to be a book deploring the sexlessness of working women in modern times & how it was against NATURE. She wanted to write an essay from the point of view of the amoeba deploring the modern trend & how terrible this new business of sex differentiation was.

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