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August 2005 - Posts

August 30, 2005 10:52 AM

Reflections on great gazongas

My friends have been laughing at me all weekend: I went to Hooters and I couldn't bring myself to leer at the waitress's breasts.

Not that she didn't try. She leaned over quite a few times, serving my drink, my refill, my chicken wings, my bill. I was determined to look her right in the eye -- every time.

I wondered if I made her uncomfortable. She's working at a restaurant where you're hired to show off your boobs -- and I blew it. Then again, I was a bit embarrassed at the thought of flirting. She's working it at this "family restaurant" for the frat boys who frequent the Entertainment District, not for the dykes.

What a terrible revolutionary I am.

The atmosphere might have influenced. The boys didn't bother me, I just felt... odd. Not afraid, just that I'd somehow stepped into a place that wasn't for me. All my lesbian friends agree they wouldn't step foot in Hooters. Though, they add thoughtfully, they'd sure check out the scenery if they did.


(This originally appeared in Toronto's Xtra in July 2000.)

August 30, 2005 10:49 AM

Maybe bigger is better. Uhm, not that I'd know

Diversity is a quite interesting queer monthly out of Boise, Idaho. Volunteer editor Raven Usher quit a job driving a school bus five years ago to stay home and take care of the kids. "I love being a housewife. It has been more rewarding than any other job I have had. Watching my children grow, progress and succeed gives me a sense of accomplishment that is unrivaled by anything else in my life."

But the youngest is now starting school, and the days are emptier. Usher decided to get a paying job. "The prospect of re-entering the work force has me facing an aspect of transsexualism that I have not had to deal with thus far; being transgendered in the workplace. I count myself lucky that I did not have to worry about losing a job or wrecking a career during my transition. Eighty-five percent of transsexuals lose their jobs when they transition. I did not have to face ridicule from co-workers. I did not have to worry about a transphobic boss firing me," Usher recently wrote.

"I pass. Even without make-up I successfully display a female gender expression. But I have not held a job as a woman."

Usher did not, however, get the first job she applied for -- that of Hooters restaurant waitress.

August 29, 2005 12:50 PM

Harry loves Draco

It's all J.K. Rowling's fault. "In particular, fans have pounced on a subplot" in the newest doorstopper, Whosits, I mean, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," "that has 16-year-old Harry compulsively stalking his teen nemesis: Rowling writes that he was 'rapidly becoming obsessed with Draco Malfoy.'"

Thus leading to the latest slash fiction obsession, reports the August 30 Advocate. "Draco's hands crept up to Harry's face and grabbed his cheeks," one fan writes. "Harry thought for sure he meant to push him away, but instead, Draco tilted Harry's head slightly and deepened the kiss." Found somewhere here, I believe.

Slash fiction -- endless porn stories of sex between male pop culture characters -- is largely a straight girl thing.

Lefties are desperate to claim slash fiction writing as culture-jamming -- the equivalent of putting your foot through your television set. Culture-jammers "introduce noise into the signal as it passes transmitter to receiver, encouraging idiosyncratic, unintended interpretations," wrote cultural critic Mark Dery in 1993. It's culture-jammer as Groucho Marxist.

Slash perhaps first featured Kirk/Spock sex stories (K slash S, geddit?), according to Constance Penley's 1991 essay "Brownian Motion: Women, Tactics, and Technology." "Women have been writing Star Trek pornography since at least 1976, mostly in the United States, but also in Britain, Canada, and Australia. The idea did not begin with one person who then spread it to others, but seems to have arisen spontaneously in various places... as fans recognized, through seeing the episodes countless times in syndication and on their own taped copies, that there was an erotic homosexual attraction there." And by the way Penley's piece is written, we're talkin' heterosexual women.

Penley says slash is most pervasive in a sci-fi context. The women writers' "solidarity as a group... rests on their pride in having created both a unique, hybridized genre that ingeniously blends romance, pornography, and utopian science fiction and a comfortable yet stimulating social space in which women can manipulate the products of mass-produced culture to stage a popular debate around issues of technology, fantasy, and everyday life. This, of course, is my version of it. The fans would say they are just having fun." In fact, Penley adds, most of these female fans and amateur auteurs categorically reject academia's efforts to call them feminists (and whatever other big tedious words come to mind).

Penley writes that this writing is nonetheless an effort to resist or renegotiate "alternative and unexpected ways of thinking and speaking about women's relation to the new technologies of science, the body, and the mind."

If you say so, perfessor. They're certainly appropriating pop culture icons and normalizing homosexuality. Penley goes on to note that those slash writers who formalize Star Trek technology are mostly male (like publishing instructions on shuttle landing approach methods). "The women Star Trek fans... have defined technology in a way that includes the technologies of the body, the mind, and everyday life."

More: "The K/Sers are constantly asking themselves why they are drawn to writing their sexual and social utopian romances across the bodies of two men, and why those two men in particular. The answers -- and there are surely more than one -- range from the pleasures of writing explicit same-sex erotica to the fact that writing a story about two men avoids the built-in inequality of the romance formula, in which dominance and submission are invariably the respective roles of male and female. There are also advantages to writing about a futuristic couple: it is far from incidental that women have chosen to write their erotic stories about a couple living in a fully automated world in which there will never be fights over who has to scrub the tub, take care of the kids, cook, or do the laundry. Indeed, one reason the fans give for their difficulty thus far in slashing 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' is that children and families now live on the Enterprise (albeit in a detachable section!) and that those circumstances severely cut into the erotic possibilities.

"All the same, one still wonders why these futuristic bodies -- this couple of the 23rd century -- must be imagined and written as male bodies. Why are the women fans so alienated from their bodies that they choose to write erotic fantasies only in relation to a non-female body?"

Nowadays, slash is everywhere. Starsky/Hutch, Simon/Simon, Crockett/Tubbs, even grrrls like Xena/Gabrielle -- do a search on your own fave pairing, you'll find something. And the pool of writers has grown dramatically, perhaps even including straight men. Still, with the beginning of mainstreaming (especially easy on the 'net), slash t'ain't terribly revolutionary seeming any more.

Except when it comes to two teen boys like Harry and Draco having sex. And it's especially risque when based on a kids' book. Acknowledging teen sexuality (rather than just teen mash notes) makes H/D pretty darned amazing. And it's undoubtedly illegal under Canada's new kiddie porn law.

August 25, 2005 3:22 PM

He wants a medal

Blah blah media representation.

Media managers all too often justify their editorial decisions with the stupidest arguments on the face of the planet. Take the London Free Press, which in 2003 ran a front-page photograph of two men kissing to illustrate an Ontario same-sex court marriage decision. 'Fuffle and huffle ensued: "It was just too much for many readers at breakfast," wrote editor-in-chief Paul Berton in the summer 2004 Ryerson Review of Journalism (not available online).

"Nothing I could say could sway opinion that we were neither endorsing nor criticizing it (the newspaper is officially neutral on same-sex marriage), we were merely reporting on a historic day. If we had ignored it, we'd be just as susceptible to criticism."

If the Free Press had ignored the story, it would indeed be a laughing stock. But that's not the issue, and Berton pretends he doesn't get it. Editors picked a photo that many readers would find shocking -- and good on the journos for it. But they can't get out of the fact that they chose which reality to portray (a kiss instead of an exchange of rings, say). It may not prove a bias towards homosexuality, but it's certainly a bias -- perhaps towards shocking the bigots. Own up to it, sport.

But the silliest argument Berton proposes is the one positing that multiple rebukes from the public means a newspaper is doing a great job. "I can't count the number of times I've defended our paper from criticism that it's pro-union or pro-management, right wing or left wing, pro-war or anti-war. The sweet irony here is that we're bombarded with opposing accusations generally on the same day, and often over the same story. This is our consolation -- it confirms we're are doing our job fairly and accurately."

In fact, no matter what you write, you will be attacked from multiple angles because people are like that. Does that make your coverage fair and good? Of course not. How can your brain possibly translate criticism from everybody into proof of your swell journalism?

How about analyzing the actual content? Bof, who cares! It's not about the worth and thoughtfulness of a complaint; the more anger from all sides, the more the coverage is proven to be really amazing!

Here's an imaginary forsoothe from the 1940s: "Your coverage of Adolph Hitler is far too nice. He is a monster." And here's the gripe from the other side: "I am shocked and appalled. I cannot believe how mean you are to Hitler, who is only trying to rid the world of vermin."

Great feedback, eh? Given this, I don't even have to read the story. I just know it's fabulous.

August 25, 2005 9:19 AM

You have my uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-unmitigated support

First the nekkid and necking Batman and Robin. And now it's official, Canadian movie darling Atom Egoyan's new flick was "stamped [with] a harsh 'NC-17' rating Wednesday... a move the acclaimed director has said will sharply limit the film's American audience.

"The rating was earned 'for some explicit sexuality,' Joan Graves, of the Motion Picture Association of America, said from Los Angeles. The decision means that no one 17 years of age or under in the United States can see the film, even with a parent or guardian."

Y'all know the drill -- in the words of AfterEllen.com columnist Sarah Warn, "Director Atom Egoyan's latest film 'Where the Truth Lies,' starring Kevin Bacon, Rachel Blanchard and Colin Firth, has reportedly received the dreaded NC-17 rating due to an extended threesome with the lead actors, and a lesbian sex scene involving a woman dressed as Alice in Wonderland. Not surprisingly, the ratings board had a bigger problem with the threesome than the lesbian scene, according to the New York Daily News. It's one big version of Rock, Paper, Scissors: two naked men in the same room together will trump gratuitous lesbianism every time."

Yup. Homophobic yuckiness. And Egoyan will fight the rating. But dammit, I'm sooooo tired of having to defend bad art. Egoyan's movies can be silly and dumb.

Rah, rah, Atom Egoyan. Sigh.

August 24, 2005 12:02 PM

You need an antihistamine

"Dear user of OpinionatedLesbian.com,

"We suspect that your computer was compromised and now runs a trojaned proxy server. Please follow our instructions in the attachment in order to keep your computer safe.

"Best wishes,
"OpinionatedLesbian.com user support team."

Hey, I'm the OpinionatedLesbian.com user support team. Somebody out there with the Oples e-mail in their address book has a sniffly computer -- ya know, virus-infested. For the last week or so...

August 24, 2005 11:37 AM

nuqneH *

Klingon Fairy Tales:
"Goldilocks Dies With Honor at the Hands of the Three Bears"

More here, via Bookninja.


*Traditional Klingon greeting: What do you want?

August 23, 2005 10:25 AM

Girls get sophisticated with their dollies

I think these lesbo playthings are a first in toy-dom: Willow and Tara Together Forever. They're "collectible figurines," I know, not mere kiddie baubles (eye roll). Better than Barbie -- and they come as a couple.

But, but, but. As with most "from life" figures, the likenesses to the actual actors from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson, are kinda terrible. I wondered whether the talent demands contract language that allows control over their graven images -- to the point where dollies based on their television and movie characters must have slightly mangled features.

Mark Del Vecchio says that's not the case. He's the president of the Salem, Mass.-based Cinequest, which markets Tara and Willow. (It's such a small company that Del Vacchio answers the telephones himself.) "The sculptors did their best," says Del Vecchio. "It's hard, and for some reason a lot of the sculptors have trouble with female figures."

One would think the difference between the sexes is... the T&A, eh. But the very proper Del Vecchio says it's about the whole body, including the face, so there you go.

There was little for sculptors to practice on for a long while. Del Vecchio say there were few female figurines at all even up to four or five years ago. A lot of the buyers were "men, or boys, or men who are still boys." But more recently, the girlies have caught on. Del Vecchio says his company pushed for a Tara and Willow Together set (the license holders actually produce the product, and Cinequest does the selling). "It's a good tribute," he says.

There are also more recent changes in the artistic process that makes things easier: complete 3-D computer scanning. A full-body scan measures everything -- the depth of the nose and eyes, and anything else you could imagine. Del Vecchio says that once an actor can be booked for scanning (which can take some doing, given schedules), as happened for a new Buffy figurine, "the likeness is very, very good."

He adds that the best figurine sculptor of women in the business is a man, Clayburn Moore.

Moore sent me a quick e-mail this morning: "Thank you for your very politely written questions. That was gracious of Mark Del V to say that. The answer to your first question is Yes [female figurines are harder]. The second question [why?] requires a more thorough answer than I can give right now. I'd like to look over your blog, then I'll write back in a few days." I'll post Moore's longer response if he does have a chance to get back to Oples.

Tara and Willow were lesbian TV trailblazers (Xena and bland sidekick whatshername were also impressive, but never formally came out until the very end). Yet still, Buffy mastermind Josh Whedon was criticized... and criticized, as with Ann Turner's Lesbian Media Blender in 2003: "Lesbians have long had a love-hate relationship with Buffy The Vampire Slayer. First, we wished Buffy or Willow were lesbians. Then, we were ecstatic when Willow came out as a dyke. Then we revolted when Buffy creator Josh Whedon disgustingly fulfilled every TV/Movie stereotype, murdered Willow's girlfriend and then had our favorite TV dyke go insane and try to destroy the world. And right after the couple had made up and gotten it on! The bastard!

"Still, many of us couldn't stop watching -- at least to see if Tara would somehow get resurrected.... And Willow did get involved with that other hottie... But she wasn't Tara, damnit!"

Most exclusive figures sell some 3- to 4,000 each, but the T&W set has done even better than that, though Del Vecchio can't give a total tally.

I'm a bit slow in writing this -- T&W came out last November. But there's an upside to my lateness: while I'm no shill for Cinequest, Del Vecchio says fans should know that the figurines are on sale for another day or two. And for collectors seeking the next big thing, Del Vecchio picks another TV show with a strong female in the lead role, the teen detective Veronica Mars.


WEDNESDAY noon: I managed to screw up Joss Whedon's name in this post. Apologies. Big, sheepish apologies.

August 23, 2005 9:55 AM

Sunset Boulevard

I was enchanted. And deep-fryer-free ex-pat Quebeckers will also be delighted to discover the McCain Foods of New Brunswick frozen poutine, ready after a quick five minutes in the microwave. (Martha Stewart learned to use the thing while in prison and I must keep up! ... Sadly, Marfa's lack of previous experience might explain this.)

"Do not overcook," read the bright orangey-red Poutine box. So I popped it in for four minutes. It was overcooked.

The cheese curds had begun bubbling away; the fries at the plastic bowl's edge were rock-hard, all water having fled 20 seconds earlier. And a mass was still frozen in the dead centre.

At 570 calories for a single serving, the ingredients include sugar (dextrose) in the potatoes and gravy, 28 grams of fat, and more salt than you can shake a stick at. And still, I needed more gravy.

I'm ready for my heart attack now.

August 22, 2005 5:49 PM

Biff! Bam! But no smack!

"DC Comics has ordered a New York gallery to remove pictures which show Batman and Robin kissing and embracing," sez the BBC. "The Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts gallery was told it would face legal action unless it removed watercolours of the superhero by artist Mark Chamberlain. 'DC Comics wants me to hand over all unsold work,' said Ms Cullen." Some were still up when I checked last. Click on the artist's name.

"Arts website Artnet was also told to remove the series of semi-naked images of Batman and Robin from its website. DC Comics was unavailable to comment. The colour pictures, which depict the superheroes in a number of homoerotic poses, were put on display in the gallery in February. Seven images from the collection were subsequently displayed on the Artnet site."

DC likes Batman to be subtly homoerotic only. None of this obvious stuff. Blech. Ruins the imagination.


POSTED 18:58: The more I look at those Batman and Robin watercolours, the more booooooring they become. A sad state of affairs when gay art is reduced to this -- and a pathetic state of affairs when the mainstream is shocked, shocked I tell you.

In other kissy-boy news: Readers know that I delight in trashing my local English daily, the Montreal Gazette, and so I must also acknowledge when they do something right. The paper ran a still from Canadian John Greyson's new movie, Proteus, that features two male actors kissing (Neil Sandilands and Rouxnet Brown). It was illustrating the movie listings that run in the high-circulation Saturday paper. Just a normal pic, and all. Finally.

August 22, 2005 1:07 PM

The marry-go-round

What to do when everyone thinks you're lesbian? "'Desperate Housewives' star Marcia Cross, 43, is engaged. Cross last weekend accepted a proposal from her boyfriend, stockbroker Tom Mahoney, the actress's publicist, Heidi Slan, said in a statement Friday, adding the couple have not set a date for the ceremony. It will be the first marriage for Cross and her 47-year-old finance."

What to do when everyone thinks you're heterosexual? "Pamela Anderson's mother is so unimpressed with the busty beauty's taste in men, she often wishes the former Baywatch star was a lesbian. Anderson admits that her mother would much rather see her in a same-sex romance than with a number of her male lovers, who have included Tommy Lee, Kid Rock and Bret Michaels. The sexy Canadian says, 'My mom has said that she wished I were gay -- I don't think she likes my taste in men.'

"And while Anderson is heterosexual, she does appreciate the effect she can have on women. She adds, 'The stalker who snuck into my house wrote me a letter saying, 'I'm not a lesbian, I just want to touch you.' But I have to know you before I let you squeeze my boobs.'"

August 19, 2005 1:24 PM

... and then he thought about thousands of women, PMSing and staring right at him

Crabby CanLit redeemer and snot John Metcalf ends his chapter on the excesses of feminism by quoting P.J. O'Rourke: "Miniskirts caused feminism. Women wore miniskirts. Construction workers made ape noises. Women got pissed off. Once the women were pissed off about this they started thinking about all the other things they had to be pissed off about. That led to feminism. Not that I'm criticising. Look, Babe... I mean, Ms... I mean, yes sir I do support feminism. I really do. But that doesn't mean I want to go through it twice."

August 19, 2005 12:15 PM

Know thy benefactor

John Metcalf changed the face of fiction in the Great White North. He was the first to, with real feeling, wallop CanLit upside the head, trash the endless merely average writers, poke sticks at mindless ideology in print (including the cliche of so-called nation-building), and nurture the superlative. A truly visionary asshole.

From Metcalf's at times refreshingly bitter 2003 literary memoir, "An Aesthetic Underground": "During the sunset years of the late sixties and seventies it seemed to me that many women stopped behaving like gentlemen.

"Sisterhood was relentless. Bastions were stormed, institutions toppled with maenadic energy. Women were joining consciousness-raising groups and, once raised, were everywhere forsaking their husbands for electric toothbrushes. Men, meanwhile, were wagging around like bewildered golden retrievers unable to figure out their transgression and dispirited by the mistresses' permanent scowl."

Metcalf got a job in Montreal. "Loyola, along with every other campus in the country, throbbed with radical energy. [Wife] Gale was often on campus, often in the faculty club. Aggressive feminism was central to the Zeitgeist. It wasn't an intellectual or practical feminism -- equal pay for equal work, say -- but rather an implacable emotionalism directed against the opposite sex. I am not meek by nature and during 1970 and 1971 our relationship became increasingly testy.

"Gale was pregnant with our second child and demanded an abortion. I was strongly opposed but felt rather helplessly that it wasn't my decision to make. She found a doctor willing to claim that the pregnancy was detrimental to her mental health and the operation was performed at a local hospital. Shortly after this she started spending time with a Loyola student called Elizabeth Bateman.

"Elizabeth Bateman was tall with lank and malodorous hair. She was probably mucky for ideological reasons. She called herself Bitsy. She wore boots and suspenders. She claimed to be a photographer. Gale declared herself passionately in love with this unappetizing creature. The lesbian life, she announced, was the life for her. And she intended it, she said, for our daughter, Elizabeth, too. I objected to the situation and left the house, moving into what amounted to a commune of Loyola faculty members whose marriages had gone awry. Gale referred to this house as Heartbreak Hotel.

"I sued for divorce."

August 19, 2005 12:12 PM

Crack the spine

The peoples are picking the United Kingdom's fave queer novel. "Inspired by the BBC's Big Read search, the Big Gay Read is open to any lesbian or gay-themed novel in a public vote," it sez here.

Devised by librarians and publishing agency Commonworld, suggestions so far include Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty and Sarah Waters' Tipping the Velvet."

This tidbit comes via the swell Canucks at Bookninja. I would vote for something really trashy.

August 18, 2005 2:40 PM

Outing Jodie Foster

That last post? [blush] Okay, I do approve of printing unconfirmed rumours. Here's one now, from the Dallas Voice: American comic Suzanne Westenhoefer recently said, "At this point Jodie Foster should just come out. She's not an ingenue anymore. You know, it really saddens me because Jodie Foster could do so much good."

And AfterEllen.com's Kim Ficera weighed right in: "Jodie Foster. Love her or hate her, mention her name in a roomful of dykes and spines tingle, backs curl. Jodie has the power to turn a happy lesbian dinner party into a raging, Crossfire-like debate -- not about her talent, which most would probably agree isn’t up for debate, but about her personal life."

Some will "argue that Jodie should come out of the closet because of what she could do for the lesbian and gay community. Jodie's clout, the respect she commands, her charming personality and warm, soft-spoken manner, they believe, will help make the world a more welcoming place for lesbians. These folks are likely out themselves and want some very famous company. Or, perhaps their desire is more selfish. Maybe they think they're owed something in return for supporting Jodie over the years. Maybe, just maybe, they simply want to be right. Whatever the reasons, this argument is, of course, based on the belief that Jodie is in."

Begin Fantasy Program 2.0: "Let's pretend that Jodie came out this morning. Let's suppose that she did so in true Jodie fashion -- she didn't call a press conference, she simply and finally, in a one-on-one interview while promoting her new movie, answered 'Yes' to a question reporters have been asking her for years: 'Are you gay?'"

And then what? "After getting what we’ve always said we wanted, would we be satisfied? Nah. Why? Because we don’t want Jodie to simply come out publicly, we want her to be our leader...."

"She seems fiercely independent to me and probably doesn't want to be owned by the lesbian community. Yes, owned. We lesbians might be a fun bunch, but we can be very demanding. Jodie's fabulous, sure, but even she knows she’s not perfect. She could not possibly live up to the image that lesbians all over the world have created for her."

Here's the imagined scenario: "As the weeks and months go by, Jodie The Amazing Lesbian is everywhere.... She talks live with Katie Couric and Oprah, and she’s so direct and honest with Bill O'Reilly that she makes his head explode -- literally. She guest stars on 'The L Word' and writes a bestseller called 'You're Right! I'm a Lesbian! She's honored by the HRC, GLAAD and every other queer acronym you can think of. She pole vaults in the Gay Olympics and wins a gold medal." And on and on! It's great!

"…Until it’s not. Jodie soon fucks up -- in our eyes, at least. She does something wrong -- something ridiculously human and incredibly innocuous -- yet we deem it bad and can't forgive her for it. What does she do? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe she’ll be caught by the paparazzi driving around Hollywood without her rainbow flag bumper sticker. Or perhaps she'll say something stupid, call someone 'too gay' or 'not gay enough.' Or, worse, maybe she'll move to Miami, cut her hair in a way we don't like and then tells Brooke Shields that aspirin will stunt her growth....

"Faster than she can say 'Tay in the wi-i-i-i-ind,' the Lesbian Police will whack Jodie Foster upside her head. She’ll be swiftly banished to public relations hell to spend eternity with Chastity, Rosie, Tom, and the most hated lesbian-for-a-moment of all time -- Anne Heche."

August 18, 2005 1:57 PM

Outing some dead British guy

We're never going to find our way out of this outing mess, are we?

"Former British Prime Minister Edward Heath is the latest public figure to die while rumors of homosexuality are omitted from their obituaries, according to some gay rights advocates," wrote the Washington Blade a little while back. "Andrew Sullivan, a conservative gay commentator, lamented on his blog that obituaries about Heath did not delve into rumors about his private life."

Sullivan: "I must also say that it is very weird that the obits barely say anything about [Heath's] private life. He never married. It was widely assumed he was gay… I know of no one in British politics who didn't talk of it privately. And a gay prime minister -- however terrible he was at the job -- is an historic matter of fact or at least inquiry."

The Blade's writer noted that "Heath's obituaries did say that he never married.... Much more than his personal life, however, Heath was known for his controversial views and acerbic personality.

"Heath became prime minister in 1970 and in 1973 he brought Britain into what is now known as the European Union.... Heath remained active in British politics until 2001, drawing criticism for his controversial comments, which many perceived as supporting dictatorships over democracies.

"As for his personal life, Heath’s obituaries only mentioned that he was a 'lifelong bachelor.' Some gay rights advocates have criticized media coverage of his death for not noting rumors he was gay. They see this as a continuation of erasing gay celebrities' sexual orientation from obituaries."

Hmmm. Not asking, or not digging about, are signs of either fear or laziness, and neither is an impressive attribute for a reporter. Bash away! But -- to criticize reporters for not printing rumours? Geez -- you could use that excuse to print absolutely anything.

August 17, 2005 11:03 AM

Ah, priorities

Montreal's Le Chaudron International microbrewery is now cooking up Pride beer. It's being bottled for something called the Worldwide Pride Federation, and $1.20 from each case (a few hundred have apparently sold in the last couple of months) goes towards gay athletics.

The Canadian venture (there's an American component, too) is coordinated by Francois Robert Lemire. From yesterday's story in the Gazette: "He pointed out $250 million U.S. a year is collected for AIDS research, while less than $1 million is raised for gay sports."

August 16, 2005 12:43 PM

The numbers will tell

Guerrilla Girls, take note! The National Gallery of Canada's Anouk Hoedeman very kindly spent some time digging up statistics for Oples (er, that's Opinionated Lesbian) -- and here's a quick look at the number of women artists whose work has been purchased by the National Gallery. This survey was conducted by the Toronto-based Women's Art Resource Centre, and dates from 2003 ( I've pulled only a handful of the available info). "The numbers probably haven't changed much in two years," Hoedeman wrote me in an e-mail.

In the Permanent Collection:
Number of male artists: 5,643 for a total of 39,983 works
Number of female artists: 786 for a total of 4,013 works

In the Canadian Collection:
It was almost impossible in the past for women to be professional artists, but we want to believe that things are different now. So these stats are probably the best in terms of Calculating How We're Doing in These Modern Times:
Number of living male artists represented in the Canadian Collection: 808 for a total of 3,538 works
Number of living female artists: 345 for a total of 1,472 works.
Not too bad, actually. I guess.

But... the survey has blank spaces for "Number of female artists of colour represented in the Canadian Collection" and for "Number of male artists of colour represented in the Canadian Collection."

Still in the Canadian Collection, there are nine female Native artists and 102 female Inuit artists whose works have been purchased. As compared to 21 Native men and 247 Inuit men. Given the blanks above, these 379 may be the only non-white artists in the Canadian Collection...?

In the Contemporary Art Galleries on permanent display:
Number of female artists: 6 for a total of 11 works; one is a Native woman
Number of male artists: 30 for a total of 94 works; 7 are Native men.

I'll just set the numbers for the European and American galleries aside -- they're truly embarrassing. And don't tell me it's because male artists are "better." As the GGs say, female painters and artists of colour, your National Gallery needs you. Call a curator today.

August 16, 2005 9:58 AM

Stop the presses, I wanna get off

An unmentionable has made it into the reporters' bible, "The Canadian Press Caps and Spelling" handbook. This CBC story says an "infamous four-letter word" has been added, but it doesn't say what word.

I couldn't make this up if I tried.

"[E]ditors will now find the expletive right between FTP and Fudgsicle. 'We found the word was creeping into our news stories on a fairly regular basis, probably because people are saying it more and more in public, and various media pick it up on their microphones and recorders,' said Patti Tasko, editor of Caps and Spelling.

"Its entry in the 40th anniversary edition of the 215-page guide -- the only vulgarity included other than 'damn' and its variations and s.o.b. -- is designed to give editors guidance. In short: avoid it for the most part. And if it must be used because it adds a valuable news element to a story, spell it out. No f and three asterisks. No 'eff word.' No freakings, friggings or firkings either, for that matter...."

But it's not necessary to mention it in a story about it.

"The word that rhymes with duck is only one of dozens of new or changed listings in Caps, the manual used by thousands of editors in journalism, public relations, government and business."

The CTV.ca version is here. And for more on the word everybody uses but that we dare not print, click here.

August 16, 2005 9:46 AM

Even cartoons get the blues

Dan Piraro rewrote one of his daily newspaper "Bizarro" strips after his boss said complaints had started coming in about the artist's left-wing bent. Thankfully, there was a glitch, and now we all know.

"Piraro said the original version of the cartoon, which showed a male doctor talking to another man, had a text block that had the doctor saying: 'Your husband is in the recovery room. You could go back and see him if you like, but our government-sanctioned bigotry forbids it.'"

His boss at King Features Syndicate said some cancellations might result. Sez Piraro: "Not wishing to lose my voice entirely, I thought it was wise to send in a replacement caption for the same picture." The text got changed to: "She's going to be just fine -- she's quite a fighter. The anesthesiologist has a black eye and I think she may have cracked my ribs."

"He said he had sent the tame version out with a black-and-white cartoon. Later, he went to color the cartoon, and when he did, he inadvertently used the version with the original gay-marriage-themed caption. So, around the country, newspapers that ran the cartoon in color ran gay marriage, and those that ran it in black and white ran the tame version."

August 15, 2005 1:01 PM

The sexual biology of supper

I eat cow for food, whether she be lesbian or straight. I can't tell which she was, and it wouldn't matter even if she did come with a sticker identifying her sexual orientation.

Nonetheless, the sex acts of animals matter a great deal. Although I can, as yet, find nothing on the 'net about the queer steer, today's surfing reveals a round-up of gay and lesbian critters. "Researchers at Oregon State University have found that about eight percent of rams are gay." And: "The news comes as Boston Parks officials disclosed that Romeo and Juliet, the famed pair of white swans in the Pubic Garden, are really two females." (Left unmentioned in that story is that park officials dithered over whether to reveal the swans' homosexuality -- a different issue, tho'.)

The tuxedo-clad bird is also in the public eye. "Zoos in three countries have gay penguins. There are three gay couples at the Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany. There are about 20 same-sex pairs at 16 major aquariums and zoos in Japan. But, two gay penguins at the Central Park Zoo in New York broke up last year.

"Roy and Silo had been together for several years. They even put a rock simulating an egg in their nest and sat on it, keeping it warm in the folds of their abdomens. After they broke up, Roy for a while spent time with a female penguin but that did not last long...."

With baby steps, scientists all over the world are bringing up the possibility that homosexuality is based in our genes. "In rams who prefer to mount other rams," for example, "the anterior preoptic area of the hypothalamus was about half the size of this part of the brain in heterosexual rams, the researchers say in a new report." Whatever the heck the anterior preoptic is.

Human studies exist out there, too. Enough to make researchers want to keep X-raying and, post-mortem, gouging out chunks of our brains in order to pop them onto a scale. Ooooo! Two-point-oh-oh-oh-three ounces!

A cohort of activists are pleased as punch, arguing that human rights cannot logically be denied to those whom nature made that way. But by that argument, it's actually fine to discriminate against people based on their political beliefs or religion, since those lifestyles are based on choice -- and choice is not a good enough reason for societal protections to be offered.

So I do wish the "nature" people would shut up. Humans have spent thousands of years differentiating ourselves from the animals. Must I validate my behaviour by saying I'm basing it on that of a fruit fly, or of a dog? Does sleeping 15 hours a day, as do my beloved cats, make it okay? How can imitating a sheep really help me and mine?

I hope that sexuality is chosen. That each of us can make different choices at different times in our lives, that no human being is fully programmed from birth till death. That rights are accorded based on more than physical "disability" (though there's nothing wrong with using physical criteria -- such as banning discrimination based on skin colour).

For some, choice is pie in the sky --or ex-gays wouldn't have such a hard time going straight. Though I'll push forward a cultural argument every time.

This doesn't mean that I want to shut down science. We need to understand animals and their behaviour. Just as we need to understand ourselves. I just hope -- please please please -- that we're transcending our biology.

And I'll have that steak medium rare.

August 13, 2005 3:58 PM

The actor's tool

More insight into the Newly Nude Guy: It's a gay thing. Nothing to do with women. Chicks should just step away from the stage.

"Getting naked used to be women's work," it sez here in my morning Montreal paper (and reprinted from the New York Times). No longer. "An informal examination of Broadway and off-Broadway shows and a survey of longtime theatre industry people showed that over the last 15 years, there have been about 25 plays with full-frontal nudity. In a count of the nude bodies seen in those shows, 40 or so belonged to men, and only about 10 belonged to women....

"[B]y the mid-90s, off the momentum of the gay revolution, theatres began to produce plays that took a full-frontal view of gay sexuality. Terrence McNally's 1994 play 'Love! Valour! Compassion!' about the relationships of six gay men contained a memorable scene in which the cast went skinny dipping.

"'I think you could say that gay people coming out of the closet has paralleled the arrival of the penis onstage,' said James Nicola, artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop. Will Frears, a director, said, 'There seems to be a lot of it about -- the 'Take Me Out' revolution." Frears, who recently directed 'Terrorism' by the Presnyakov Brothers (in which half the cast was nude) off-Broadway, was referring to Richard Greenberg's celebrated play, about a gay professional baseball player, with a nearly 10-minute all-male shower scene."

The nudity stats for men and women on stage may be very different now from what they were 20 years ago, but the intent still leaves women out as powerbrokers, and as viewers.

August 12, 2005 11:21 AM

The naked male, though flaccid

"The sexual imagery in most respected works of art is the expression of wholesome heterosexual males," says one older Guerrilla Girls poster. "The majority of exposed penises in major museums belong to the Baby Jesus."

The New York-based GGs were founded in 1985, "reinventing the F word -- feminism. Still going strong in the 21st century, we're a bunch of anonymous females who take the names of dead women artists as pseudonyms and appear in public wearing gorilla masks. In 20 years we have produced over 100 posters, stickers, books, printed projects, and actions that expose sexism and racism in politics, the art world, film and the culture at large." From one of their most famous posters: "Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? Less than 5 percent of the artists in the Modern Art Sections are women, but 85 percent of the nudes are female."

The Girls would undoubtedly have a field day in Ottawa at the "Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence" exhibit, on at the National Gallery of Canada until Sept. 5, where there are indeed portrayals of the wee wee belonging to the Baby Jesus. But in addition, there are grown-up members, limp and chilled though they may be. (None the creation of female artists, however.)

Unlike the GGs, I did not count the penii, and so cannot calculate a proper comparison of the nudie girls versus the nekkid boys. But this exhibit is the closest, I expect, the National Gallery has ever come to upfront homoeroticism in the galleries given over to the old-timey painters, though the words "obsessively gay art" never appear on the write-ups pasted to the walls.

All of it's Christian, of course. On Jacopo da Pontormo: "Of all the Florentine painters, Pontormo was the one who developed Michelangelo's model to the extreme, creating a powerful, disturbing art of deep spiritualism, concentrated on the possibilities of the masculine form." Ahem.

Stunningly pretty boys abound. One, nude, gazes off into rapture as arrows pierce his perfect flesh; some bring to life the very figure of the modern twink; while "Portrait of a Man" by Francesco Salviati features a (clothed) screamer holding a glove, one arm akimbo. And artist Santi Buglioni's close to life-sized glazed terra-cotta statue of San Giovanni di Capissarano (circa 1550), has its protagonist holding one hand high in the air, the other paw holding up his lavender robe. It's the very picture of RuPaul. Saaaashaaaay, dahling.

August 11, 2005 12:08 PM

I'll believe whatever I want

Everyone reads the media -- and the world -- in their own way. "In one experiment," noted Stanford University communications professor William L. Rivers in the 1970 book, "Politics and the Press", "anti-Semites looked at editorial cartoons that ridiculed religious bias and saw them in reverse -- as glorifications of Anglo-Saxon lineage."

Tunesmithy R. Kelly has produced a 16-minute R&B opera, "Trapped in the Closet," on his new "TP.3 Reloaded" album. There's a five-part video, available here, acting out a story in which a wife has a fling with a guy she picked up in a bar, whereupon hubby comes home and discovers them. Hubby then 'fesses up to cheating himself -- with a guy.

Homophobic evil? A video that will encourage anti-gay violence? A simple story offering insight into the melodrama of every day life? I guess it all depends on how you want to see it.


YET MORE CATCHING UP on moo-sical nooze, ripped out of the queer press: "British celebrity magazine Star has issued an apology to Robbie Williams for reporting the singer is secretly gay. The publication printed a feature titled 'Did Robbie have a secret gay fling?' last year, claiming the 'Angels' star enjoyed a sexual encounter with a man in the toilets of the legendary Hacienda Club in Manchester [in the U.K., wot]." The apology: "We now accept that Mr. Williams was never involved in any incidents of this kind and that these allegations are untrue." Star mag will pay "substantial damages and costs."

The singer formerly known as Scary: Ex Spice Girl Melanie Brown "is amused by the furor caused by her recent lesbian antics, because she insists she was just 'mucking about' with a female pal. Brown, 30, was snapped last year locking lips with U.S. filmmaker Christine Crokos but, although she maintains it was just for fun, she remains enigmatic on the subject of her sexuality. She says, 'I heard about me being called a lesbian. That was just me and my mate mucking about. People can call me a lesbian, bisexual or a heterosexual, but I know who's in my bed and that's it. I have a huge libido and a great sex life."

Won't you please, please just go away? Rumours abound that "Tom Cruise, who is not gay but may be a bit wacky, was caught in bed with Matchbox 20 singer Rob Thomas, who was reported to be a Scientologist.... Thomas told the World Entertainment News Network that he is not gay and, more importantly, that he is not a Scientologist. 'If I were gay, Tom wouldn't be on the top of my list. It would be Brad Pitt,' he said. 'I'm more offended by the rumours saying I'm a Scientologist.'"

August 11, 2005 9:42 AM

Two many cooks

Longtime readers will be familiar with The Other Women in my life.

But my heart has lurched two inches to the left: it seems that hospitality diva Martha Stewart has finally gone 'round the bend. From the August Vanity Fair: "Cantitoe Farm, which Stewart has been working on for approximately four years, is organized around two colour schemes: buildings are grey, animals are black. Black sheep, black cows, black horses. Even her recently acquired French bulldog, Francesca, is black. No creature of any other hue permitted -- except for Paw-Paw, Stewart's eight-year-old red Chow Chow.

"To keep the five black Friesian horses draft horses from turning red, which they do if they're exposed to too much sun, Stewart instructs her grooms to keep them inside during the day. 'Last summer they got really red and I didn't like that,' she tells me. 'So they go out and run in the fields at night and stay out of the sun in the day.'" Oy.

Meanwhile, the Aug. 16 Advocate quizzed celebrity cook and "English muffin" Nigella Lawson on buff boys: "I have a friend who cuts around the fat strips in the bacon at breakfast. What would you say to gay men who are that obsessed with their bodies?

Nigella Lawson: "I would not want to sleep with someone who ate like that. People think watching what you eat and having a good figure makes you attractive, but you're either attractive or you're not. It's not about your figure. How you eat says everything about you, and to eat that way means your life doesn't have enough pleasure in it."

The Advocate: "There's a perspective you don't often hear in West Hollywood."

Lawson: "I think men, straight or gay, tend to have a real weakness in thinking that surface beauty is somehow meaningful. But after 10 minutes, mind-numbing boringness and stupidity will make you forget that beauty."

Ah. I always imagined that guys were sexual adventurers and radicals for their quickies in the park. But no, it's all so speedy because they can't stand to talk to each other.

August 10, 2005 9:57 AM

Take my wife -- please

People of good will express visceral hatred for stereotypes. Lazy blacks, Italian mafiosos, drunk Irish. Which brings me to same-sex marriage. A bigot would say that guys aren't gonna get hitched, because they're too promiscuous to settle down. And many assume that gals will get married en masse, because we're hopelessly acculturated to dream about marriage our whole lives. In short, more into starry-eyed commitment than hot anonymous sex.

The numbers show that some part of this may be true.

"Initial statistics on same-sex marriage in two Canadian provinces show that more female than male couples have gotten married -- even though gay men outnumber lesbians," noted syndicated gay media reporter Rex Wockner in a recent story. "Lesbian couples account for 63 percent of same-sex marriages in Saskatchewan and 57 percent in British Columbia -- despite the fact that Statistics Canada says only 46 percent of Canadian homosexuals are women."

There have also been two reported same-sex divorces in Canada -- one in B.C., one in Ontario. Interestingly, both were lesbian split-ups.

I did a quick straw poll of notables across Canada, asking why our weddings and divorces are so numerically lopsided. I received a fascinating mix of answers -- many thanks to those who replied.

"Dunno why lesbians are getting hitched and divorcing more than gay men," says Newfoundland's Gemma Hickey, president of the board of the national lobby group Egale Canada. "Perhaps the joke is true," she laughs: "What does a lesbian bring on the second date? A U-Haul. That may be a clue as to why they marry. As to why they divorce, well women do PMS at the same time when they live together."

More seriously, University of Windsor academic Barry Adam says it's way too soon to analyze divorce numbers. "Previous studies of G & L relationships show that the length of relationships is similar for male and female couples. It is possible, though, if men are marrying less, that they are divorcing less as well."

As for why there are more woman-to-woman marriages, Adam wonders if it's about the kids. "We do know that lesbians are more likely to have children but I haven't seen stats yet that it is in fact women with children who are marrying more."

FOR THE CHILDREN

Mona Greenbaum, who runs Quebec's Lesbian Mothers Association, says one in five lesbians is a mom.

"Some may not be parents yet but are planning to have kids in the future. There is the feeling out there that only marriage will guarantee full parental rights... in fact we are no different from heterosexuals, at least in Quebec, in that we can have these parental rights without necessarily tying the knot. Still even when I tell people this they still feel safer getting married." Including Greenbaum: "If it wasn't for the kids, after 16 years of being together, we would never have done it."

She adds that marriage has resonance for young'uns. The children of lesbians confront homophobia regularly, and legal marriage (which helps with societal acceptance) is a concept that all kids understand -- her own, as well as the bullies at school. (I could not find stats that indicate whether lesbian marriages overwhelmingly involve the parents of children, however. A future project for an enterprising social scientist?)

Calgary activist Stephen Lock is another long-time uppity character. "Basically, and at the risk of perpetuating stereotypes, lesbians have tended to 'nest' far more than your average gay man. Even before equal marriage appeared on the horizon, the standard at least *appeared* to be that lesbians were far more likely to couple, even if serially, than gay men did.

"I don't know if it is a factor of gender differences or socialization or a combination of both, but gay men -- generally -- are able to distinguish between sex and love. Gay men rarely have had an issue with following their sexual desires and instincts. We tend to distinguish between 'fucking' and 'making love'; in fact, I think men in general make that distinction. Even your average straight guy knows when it's just about getting laid, regardless of what he might say -- in an attempt to get laid and get his nut a guy will say whatever it takes to have that happen....

"When gay men become involved in a relationship -- and here I am referring to long term, committed, loving relationships... partners, not just boyfriends/dating... I think (again, generally speaking) they continue to recognize the difference between SEX and LOVE.

"It is not at all unusual for two men in a relationship to allow for outside sexual activity, although there are often conditions or codicils attached to such activity....

MORE EMOTIONAL INVOLVEMENT?

Lock continues: "It appears to me that women, and by extension lesbians, invest emotionally far more -- or perhaps 'differently' would be a better way of putting it -- than men. SEX and LOVE are all tied up together and the female psyche has a difficult time separating the two. Again, whether this is societal or inherent, I don't know.

"Lesbians (generally generally generally) either remain together once the sexual interest wears off, as it inevitably does, because the emotional/social/economic/other needs are being met and live with the infamous Lesbian Bed Death syndrome, or they split up and quickly find someone else.

"Gay men channel the decrease in sexual interest differently... depending on the nature of the relationship, once the sex energy fades they split up or, if they've been in a relationship that could be characterized as something more than just dating, they adjust their sexual needs to accommodate.

"This could mean introducing threesomes into the relationship, allowing for sexual activity outside of the relationship, trying 'something different' to re-energize the sexualness....

"Now, as far as the marriage thing goes --- if gay men, generally, are less likely to automatically ascribe a need to form a traditional pairing to their respective relationships, recognize sex and love as being separate, albeit connected, then it follows I believe [that] they are less likely to want or need the verification marrying carries. They find, dare I say, more creative ways to validate their relationship."

So why are more lesbians getting married than are gay men? Pick your favorite gender-based stereotype. This is how we see ourselves.


Feedback? E-mail me.

August 9, 2005 9:03 AM

Pick your truth

My letter to the editor of The Montreal Gazette ran this morning -- 15 days after I faxed it in. It reads: "Shame on The Gazette for asexualizing Long John Baldry in a July 23 obituary. And this only days before gay pride celebrations began. You story only proves why we need Divers/Cite more the [should read "than," of course] ever.

"His ribald blues (remember "A Thrill Is A Thrill") added some gender-bending fun to the music scene. Montreal's queer people will remember Baldry -- we'll fill in the story The Gazette missed."

Why did it finally get into print?

1) Hunh? A hole needed filling.

2) Local alt weekly columnist Richard Burnett interviewed Oz and celebrated Baldry's life in Hour mag last Thursday, embarrassing someone at The Gazette into action;

3) The Gazette has a new letters editor, whose name I recognize and who actually cares about journalism.

August 9, 2005 9:00 AM

Day four

"It is August 9, the day of the second atomic bombing, this time on Nagasaki, several hundred miles away.

"But Gen and his mother don't know about the second bomb. In fact, they have barely heard the first rumours of the 'new kind' of bomb that caused the devastation around them.... they have been caught up in the struggle to survive the aftermath of the holocaust -- to find shelter, gather some bedding and cooking utensils, and get food for themselves and Gen's newborn sister. [They prepare] to leave Hiroshima and seek lodging with some family friends a few miles away, where life goes on relatively unaffected by the bomb."


The quotations in this series of posts are taken from the 1989 translation of Barefoot Gen: Life After the Bomb, volume three of Keiji Nakazawa's Cartoon History of Hiroshima, published by New Society Publishers (though this particular edition is no longer available, as far as I can tell).


[Go back to "Day one."]

August 8, 2005 2:40 PM

Mommie Dearest

Joan Crawford was the sort of dyke that only gay men could love. Why have lesbians never really embraced La Crawford?

The dead Hollywood diva was back in the news this weekend; a former prosecutor released transcripts of actor Marilyn Monroe 'fessing up to her shrink about a fling. "Next time I saw Crawford, she said she wanted another round. I told her straight-out I didn't much enjoy doing it with a woman. After I turned her down, she became spiteful."

Crawford had the sort of public persona that made her a gay male icon. She was "melodrama incarnate." Multiple failed marriages (often to alcoholics, with at least one hubby rumoured to have been violent), and increasingly playing roles that ratcheted up the bitch persona.

In a major shift in gay male culture, most younger guys no longer nourish quite the same fascination for the old angst-divas, though drag queens try their best to preserve history. But lesbians never had it, as far as I can tell. One write-up has 1954's "Johnny Guitar" as being a thank-you to her lesbian fan base, but how many of us have seen it? (Not I. Am I just... a Bad Lesbian?)

Unlike her contemporaries Tallulah Bankhead, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and even Katherine Hepburn (who at least juggled that tiresome Spencer Tracy with a good dose of stylish mannishness), Crawford didn't publicly play with sexuality the way they did.

She could have. She had the nervy background: "At 19, she had appeared in a pornographic movie that, in 1935, led blackmailers to extort a reputed $100,000 from MGM in return for the negative," writes Axel Madsen in 1995's "Forbidden Lovers: Hollywood's Greatest Secret -- Female Stars who Loved Other Women." "Photos of a reclining Crawford, eyes heavenward in real or fake ecstasy, a woman between her spread-eagled legs, circulated in the pornographic underground."

But I don't see that she ever managed to translate that edge into the tease that Garbo mastered. Instead, Crawford's specialty became the portrayal of the hard and brittle, though that's not the way she started out.

Crawford met Garbo in 1932's "Grand Hotel." The two shared no scenes -- Crawford took the job just to be in a film with the other. "Crawford was three years younger than Garbo, and as Mrs. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was bent on proving she was a serious actress," wrote Madsen. "To escape her flapper image, she imitated Garbo's aloofness, hairstyle, and makeup and tried to copy her dramatic intensity. Her mouth was wide and generous, and as Fairbanks Jr. would say, 'She put on lipstick with broad, brave strokes.' To give herself racier features, she had her back teeth removed. The operation was painful, but George Hurrell, the studio photographer, told her she had the closest face to Garbo's perfect proportions.

"On a stairway one morning, she managed to meet Garbo. 'What a pity; our first picture together and we don't work with each other,' Garbo said. She took Crawford's face in her hands and added, 'I'm sorry. You have a marvelous face.' In recounting this stairwell meeting for publication years later, Crawford would comment, 'If there was ever a time in my life when I might have been a lesbian, that was it.'"

Humph. Only if she meant she'd be giving up on guys totally. With that comment, Crawford showed she didn't have the oomph to imply more than an accidental acquaintance with sexual naughtiness. Yet in truth, "Crawford was an earthy bisexual who went through men and, when they were available, young women with the same ruthlessness she used to reach the top. Intimates called her Billie. More than one young woman reporter would tell of interviews at Crawford's home when the star, under the pretext of needing to change, invited the journalist to continue the conversation while she dressed for dinner. Once in the bedroom, Crawford made remarks about the colour coordination of the reporter's clothes and, picking designer dresses from her closet, suggested the visitor slip out of her dress and try on several outfits. Christina Crawford, Joan's adopted daughter, would say that her mother tried to sleep with a hired nurse...."

Funny and sad -- but not sexy. And those shoulder pads weren't so hotsie-totsie, either. But none of these reasons alone can account for the lesbo dissing. What makes us so fickle? Lord knows, lesbians reclaim every Boston marriage, go gaga over even the most ludicrous rumour, adopt every sadsack queer chickie we can dig up. Heck, there's undoubtedly an Aileen Wuornos lesbian murderer fan club out there. Why not for Joan Crawford?

August 8, 2005 9:27 AM

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack

I'm a guest on Montreal's Dykes on Mykes radio show (90.3 FM) tonight, Monday, at 7 p.m. local time. We're gonna dissect Pride /Divers Cite. Both the brillig, and the tulgey.
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