By Kelly Hankin
The lesbian bar has lengthy been visible as a mysterious position, steeped in mythologies of clandestine conferences and sexuality that's eye-catching since it is wayward and sinful. within the women within the again Room, Kelly Hankin specializes in the lesbian bar, how it is portrayed in such movies as cunning Brown, The Killing of Sister George, simple intuition, certain, and Chasing Amy; in tv sequence just like the Simpsons, Xena: Warrior Princess, Roseanne, Ellen, and intercourse and the town; and in self sufficient, lesbian-produced documentaries.
Hankin examines the lesbian bar via a attention of the methods its illustration in pop culture either oppresses and nourishes lesbian cultures. In well known advertisement leisure, she unearths, the view of the lesbian bar as a personal house if you happen to perform aberrant sexuality implicitly reinforces heterosexual spatial and social privilege. via her in-depth background of the creation of 1968's The Killing of Sister George and the deception eager about director Robert Aldrich's use of a true lesbian bar and its buyers, for instance, Hankin uncovers the heterosexist preconceptions in facts on each side of the digital camera. She argues that lesbian-produced works successfully problem this paradigm, articulating and confirming confident visions of lesbian public lifestyles and id. the ladies within the again Room offers an attractive ancient and theoretical research of the visible lesbian bar as a revelatory intersection of gender, sexuality, and house.
Kelly Hankin is an assistant professor of English at previous Dominion college.
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Extra resources for Girls In The Back Room: Looking At The Lesbian Bar
Similarly, newspaper accounts of police raids of lesbian bars, complete with their addresses and names, provided heterosexuals with both an urban directory and an unencumbered view of deviant nightlife. Indeed, historically, media publicity of bar raids often surfaced at the precise moment when heterosexual surveillance and consumption of lesbian culture subsided. For example, according to Nan Alamilla Boyd, as soon as the entertainment of San Francisco’s heterosexual tourists, who were lured to the city in the s by such “exoticisms” as cross-dressed lesbian waitresses, was no longer the raison d’être of homosexual bars, gay and lesbian socialization became subject to repressive state forces and their consequent public scrutiny (, –).
This policing of bars suggests that lesbian bars not only made lesbianism visible but also allowed for its social control. , one of four best-selling urban exposés published in the late s and s. After informing their readers that the police do not bother women in Greenwich Village’s lesbian bars, authors Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer suggest that this is based on the “the theory that [as long as] you can’t do away with [lesbians], and as long as they’re with us, it’s better to segregate them in one section, where an eye can be kept on them” (, ).
Looking at the Lesbian Bar 3 availability of lesbian bar patrons for men, male and female heterosexual tourism of lesbian bar space, the criminality of lesbian bars, the deployment of “authentic” lesbian bar representation, and the centrality of heterosexuality within lesbian bar space and narratives. With an emphasis on contemporary ﬁlm and television, I locate these transhistorical conventions by examining the various incarnations of the imagined lesbian bar, paying attention to their textures, shapes, inhabitants, visitors, and narrative functions.
Girls In The Back Room: Looking At The Lesbian Bar by Kelly Hankin