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Gay Austin, Vol. 3, No. 7, April 1979
File 014
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Gay Austin, Vol. 3, No. 7, April 1979 - File 014. 1979-04. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 22, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2581/show/2573.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1979-04). Gay Austin, Vol. 3, No. 7, April 1979 - File 014. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2581/show/2573

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Gay Austin, Vol. 3, No. 7, April 1979 - File 014, 1979-04, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 22, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2581/show/2573.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Gay Austin, Vol. 3, No. 7, April 1979
Contributor
  • Murray, John
Publisher Gay Community Services
Date April 1979
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 5962538
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 014
Transcript vol. 3, no. i Gay Austin april 197913 BOOK REVIEWS H£«D !*^%l •\->.- threat is frequently disguised as patronage, the violence surfaces quickly enough if a man is challenged (as almost any uppity feminist can testify.) In Herland Gilman has shown us a country where, because the women outnumber the men a million to three, this physical threat is missing, and it is this which makes the novel so relaxing. Terry blusters and threatens, and instead of trembling, the women "would gather around and watch him as if it was an exhibition, politely, but with evident interest." The women are never bitter or scornful, but neither are they intimidated. The point is driven home at the end of the book when the three men fall in love with, and marry, three women of Herland. Terry's desire to "master" his wife leads him to pull out what in our society is the male trump card - violence. He attempts to rape her, and - but I won't spoil it for you, since to this particular uppity feminist it was the high point of the novel. It leads to a trial in which Terry disdains even to defend himself - because, as Van notes, "in a court in our country he would have been held quite 'within his rights,' of course." Instead, Terry told his judges that they were incapable of understanding a man's needs, a man's desires, a man's point of view. He called them neuters, epicenes, bloodless, sexless creatures. He said they could of course kill him — as so many insects could - but that the ■ despised them nonetheless. And all those stern grave mothers did not seem to mind his despising them, not in the least. This passage is typical Gilman — unfailingly polite, always grave, but with goodnatured merriment practically bubbling out as she faces and deflates the most swollen manifestations of male pride. This repressed laughter takes her triumphantly to the finish as the men, about to be expelled from Herland. are requested by their guides not to reveal Herland's existence until the women deem it advisable. Terry, consistent to the last, refuses, and threatens to bring an expedition and force entry. "Then" they said quite calmly, "he must remain an absolute prisoner, always." "Anesthesia would be kinder," urged Moadine. "And safer." added Zava. "He will promise, I think," said Ellador. And he did. With which agreement we at last left Herland. V by Marian Phillips Herland. By Charlotte Perkins Gilman. 146 pages. Pantheon. $2.95. I have my prejudices — as indeed who hasn't? — and two of them are that I don't like Utopian novels because they bore me, and I do like feminist literature but it depresses me (and well it might.) So when I came across a book whose front cover said Herland: A Lost Feminine Utopian Novel by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, I sighed, reminded myself that even reviewing books has its drab moments, and started to slog through it. Slogging was unnecessary: I flew through it instead. When I finished the last page I paused briefly in order to make out a list of people that I wanted to send copies to, and then went back to the beginning and read it all over again. From the first line to the last, Herland is a jewel of a novel — fast-paced, entertaining and thoughtful. Everyone should read it at least once, merely because it's clever, well-written and instructive. For women, however, it is additionally recommended that you reread it on certain specific occasions, to wit: when you start thinking that if one more man patronizes you because of your sex, you're going to punch him in the nose; when you've been subjected to a chorus of insults, wolf-whistles and obscene suggestions because you choose to walk down the street alone;, and finally, when it gets to the point where a man calls from his car, "Hey baby, you need a ride?" and it takes a conscious effort of will for you to refrain from screaming insults and breaking his windshield. Herland is medicine for all of these symptoms,guaranteed to soothe, heal and otherwise repair the abraded nerves which, like the pugilist's broken nose, are the occupational hazard ofthe full-time feminist. Gilman's novel (which was serialized in her magazine The forerunner in 1915, but never reprinted until now) presents us with a country entirely populated by women and completely cut off from the rest of the world until it is discovered by Uiree (male) explorers. Between them the men show us the two ends and middle of the sexist continuum: Jeff is a Southern gentleman who feels that women are weak, helpless darlings with the souls of angels; Terry believes that there are two kinds of women - "those he wanted and those he didn't," and whose pet theory is that all women love to be "mastered," a word which for him encompasses everything from overbearing rudeness to rape; and Van (the narrator) represents a man of reason — prejudiced, certainly, but willing to change his opinions when faced with undeniable facts. The emotional atmosphere in Herland is in striking contrast to that of most feminist writings. Feminist literature as a whole is written in a context of physical menace. Women, who are (in general) smaller than men, and who are usually given little or no physical training, are constantly threatened with violence, either implicit or explicit. We cannot walk out alone at night for fear of assault and rape. We are advised not to resist a rapist because he'll probably be strong enough to murder and/or mutilate us. We need multiple locks on our doors and windows because we cannot be safe even in our homes. The deference men have exacted from women for so many centuries is due precisely to their ability to punish us if we don't comply, and although nowadays a I I I [ G B I I 0 0 I I GAY BOOKS PUBLISHED NEW YORK - St. Martin's Press has announced plans to regularly release, in both paperback and hardcover editions, outstanding fiction with gay themes and settings. Michael Denny, editor for the program and associate editor for Christopher Street Magazine, explained tire purpose of the project: "We need gay fiction for two reasons - one, to strengthen the sense of self- identity and two, to develop gay writers and artists." St. Martin's has undertaken the gay fiction program with the realization that gay readers now constitute a major sector of the book-buying public, and that there is a lack of well- written literature available to these readers relevant to their own lifestyles. The three novels chosen to inaugurate the program are: David at Olivet by Wallace Hamilton; Special Teachers/ Special Boys by Peter Fisher and Marc Rubin: and A Queer Kind of Death by George Baxt. Publication date: February 28, 1979. Price: $4.96 paperback; SlO.OOhardcover-V U ID! ■■=-■■ -1QE Book Reviews continued on next page.
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