Tales of the Lavender Menace
A Memoir of Liberation
By (author) Karla Jay
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Tales of the Lavender Menace by Karla Jay
Book DescriptionKarla Jay's memoir of an age whose tumultuous social and political movements fundamentally reshaped American culture takes readers from her early days in the 1968 Columbia University student riots to her post-college involvement in New York radical women's groups and the New York Gay Liberation Front. In Southern California in the early 70s, she continued in the battle for gay civil rights and helped to organize the takeover of "The Ladies' Home Journal" and "ogle-in" - where women staked out Wall Street and whistled at the men.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780465083664
(203mm x 135mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 11-Feb-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Karla Jay
Dyke Life, Paperback (May 1996)
In a mix of the serious and the irreverent, this view of the many rites and phases of lesbian life, from coming out to commitment ceremonies, brings together essays by lesbian and bisexual women of different ages, races, and classes.
Lavender Culture, Paperback (October 1994)» View all books by Karla Jay
The reissue of this anthology serves as a provocative and wide-ranging reminder of American gay and lesbian culture in the days before gay life became "chic". It demonstrates the influence of gays and lesbians on language, literature, theatre, poetry, dance, music and the arts.
US Kirkus Review » Oh, to be young and a radical lesbian in the late 1960s and early '70s - here is a sharp and funny account of what it was like. The author (Women's Studies/Pace Univ.; co-author, Out of the Closet, not reviewed, etc.) was "a nice, Jewish girl from Brooklyn" attending Barnard College in the 1960s. Growing up with a mentally ill mother given to hallucinations, rages, and depression had driven her from home but not out of the closet. Jolted by the Columbia University student uprisings in 1968, she marched with antiwar and civil rights protesters - and began exploring her lesbian inclinations at Greenwich Village bars. She also began to be drawn to the fledgling women's liberation movement, joining the radical feminist Redstockings and a consciousness-raising group. Also involved in the start-up of the Gay Liberation Front, she worked by day for Collier's magazine and by night for a radical publication called Rat. On the feminist front, she was part of media women's sit-in at the Ladies Home Journal and organized an "ogle-in" on Wall Street, where a group of women whistled and commented on men's physical attributes as the bankers and brokers emerged from the subway. She also helped organize the "Lavender Menace" action (the term is Betty Friedan's) that set lesbian interests on the agenda of the feminist movement. Exhausted, ill, and frightened because her phone was tapped, she took off for California, for a summer dominated by beaches, bars, sex, and minimal gay politics. This marked the beginning of a withdrawal from activism and the start of her trek to tenure. Jay's action-packed stories are often accompanied by reflective analysis, including why many feminists resisted, and continue to resist, lesbians in the movement. Thoughtful, witty and informative, this memoir captures the fervor and exuberance of those years when young idealists stenciled T-shirts and marched to change the world - and perhaps they did. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Karla Jay
Karla Jay is Professor of English and Director of Women's Studies at Pace Unviersity. She has authored and edited eight books, including the pioneering Out of the Closets (with Allen Young), and has written for many publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Ms. magazine, New York Newsday, and the Village Voice.
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