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What Is She Like : Lesbian Identities from the 1950s to the 1990s (Hardcover) (Rosa Ainley)
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In What Is She Like? Rosa Ainley looks in depth at how lesbians see themselves and at the questions of identity that have defined and divided the lesbian community. Covering the period from the 1950s, with its repressive influence on sexuality in general, through so-called sexual liberation in the 1960s, to the freedoms and limitations of (lesbian) feminism in the 1970s, she brings exciting and illuminating perspectives to bear on lesbian lives in the 1990s, when lipstick lesbians were the darlings of the mainstream media. Ainley deconstructs the bizarre popular myths and stereotypes which often surround the twilight world of lesbianism, substituting for them a celebration of the multifarious nature of the lesbian subculture which evolved during the late 20th century. In a series of fascinating interviews interspersed with the text, over 20 women, of varying ages, races and backgrounds, talk frankly about their lives and lifestyles as lesbians, focusing on their own identity in terms of politics, leisure pursuits, fashion and affiliations.