from the Closet
Jo ttie Courts
Still, anyone who is interested in the
politics of lesbianism, as we all should
be, might prosper from a reading of the
book, if only to understand the experiences which one of us has lived through
in trying to live as a gay activist.
One must also remember that while
we are writing book reviews, Simpson is
writing books. She writes with courage
and she deserves to be read.
- Linda Lovell
From the Closet to the Courts, Ruth
Simpson. Penguin Books. 1977. 180 pp.
In her book, From the Closet to the
Courts, Ruth Simpson has attempted to
explain "what it means to be a lesbian
today" and to describe the persecution
of homosexual women. This is a near
impossible task, since there are as many
different explanations for "what it
means to be a lesbian" as there are
lesbians, and as many different types of
persecution. And that's the problem.
Simpson falls into a too personal,
too specific account of her own political
life, good to utilize as example, but not
as the substance for a book which presumes
to analyze the status of all lesbians.
She devotes almost the whole of the chapter on "Lesbians and Psychiatry" to a
personal debate with the eminent Dr.
Charles Socarides, homophobe extraordinaire. The good doctor is worthy of
perhaps a good and harsh 10 words, but
certainly not of a long and, alas, dull
20 pages. Her chapter on "Lesbians and
the Courts of Justice" tells us all
about the cases of Joseph Acanfora and
Jack Baker, but devotes only three
sketchy paragraphs to the plight of
Simpson seems unable to make the
generalizations which we need in order
to grasp some overall view. She gives
us the personal in the hope that we can
somehow grasp and understand the political. For me, it just didn't work.
A woman in this age is considered
learned enough if she can distinguish
her husband's bed from that of another.
--Hannah Wool leg
<Thc QJE.SBIANS CHOME
Stones from ^The ^Ladder
Barbara Crier and Coletta Reid, cds.
326 pp., jhij)cr, drawings $5.75
Sex Variant Women
by Jcannette Foster
420 pp., paper $8.00
Seventeen to Seventy by Elsa Gidlow
A collection of lesbian love poems.
80 />/>,, paper, photos $3.50
All Our Lives
A Women's Songbook
Joyce Cheney, Marcia Deihl, &
Deborah Silvcrstein, eds.
200 pp. paper, photos $6.50
I «-«»bian f-.%*ays from The Ladder
Barbara Crier and Coletta Reid, eels.
Thirty-seven essays by long-time
357 pp., paper, photos $5.75
by Rita Mae Brown
A complete collection of this radical feminist's essays from 1969 to
23k pp., paper, illustrations $5.00
: Most Famous
Bull-1 eaperon Earth
by Z. Budapest and Carol Clement
A girl's adventure story set in the
52 pp., paper, two-color illus. $3. 75
Barbara Grier and Coletta Reid, eds.
Biographies of over 60 women
including 86 rare photographs.
433 pp.. paper, photos $5.75
Soul total phis 15%post, v-hand.:
12 w. 25th St., diana
Baltimore, Mel. 21218 pFGSS