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Lesbian feminist writer Jill Johnston dies aged 81

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  1. I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand why we should be honoring a lesbian seperatist. The absolute worst kind of feminist in my opinion, they give the rest of us a terrible name. I wonder what her son felt about her views. Apart from the usual respect we afford the dead, I certainly don’t see why we should honour this woman’s “work” for gay rights, or the half (or a quarter!) of those who may claim some solace under the title of gay who she didn’t consider her enemy. Her and her ilk did more harm that good, and not even from a “making us look bad perspective”. Eugh, I came on her to wind down for the evening and now I’m all riled up.

  2. re lesbian separists position ….. I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about …

    “Once I understood the feminist doctrines, a lesbian separatist position seemed the commonsensical position, especially since, conveniently, I was an L-person.”

    What the F*6K does all that mean!!!

  3. As a man who supports the feminist agenda, I must agree with ‘j’ about the mischief that separatism – lesbian and otherwise – did to perceptions about the women’s movement. I remember supporting a young lesbian in the process of coming out in the early 80’s who went to a local women’s centre only to be called a traitor to the sisterhood for wearing make-up and skirts. These problems were common in the 70’s and early 80’s. Shunning men per se was much less of a problem than what was done to many women. My lesbian friends of the time were driven crazy by straight women announcing that they were ‘political lesbians’ and engaging in a lot of fake behaviour. The word ‘doctrines’ is the give-away here – arbitrary quasi-religious dogmas rather than an open philosophy. My impression is that separatist ideas are much less common now among feminists, and that can only be a good thing.

  4. Jill Johnston was not a lesbian feminist writer–she was a writer. You don’t call a a male writer, f. ex. a heterosexual writer, etc etc etc!

  5. Fortunatley J and Riondo, your opinion is utterly irrelevant and entirely surplus to requirement for those who lived, fought and campaigned in those crucial years.

    All you managed here to do is parade scant knowledge and understanding of the time, the issues, the work and the author, words you both employ so inappropriately are clearly terminology you acquired third hand, by hearsay calumny.

    Riondo, you are not a ‘feminist’, you are a male who’d like to think himself thus.

    J it is evident that you haven’t a clue what Jill’s work is about, so why comment?

    People: ignore the ignorant, read, analyse, study and make up your own minds!


  6. Gea vox –
    1 Please read what I say before sounding off against me. I never said I was a ‘feminist’.
    2 I freely admit here and now that I am not familiar with Jill Johnstone’s work. Again, if you actually bother to read my post, you will notice that my comments are about lesbian/feminist separatism in general. I do not refer to JJ. I am not in a position to evaluate her specific merits and demerits, but this does not bar me from commenting on what I know of a general political movement.
    3 I was around in the 70s and 80s, involved in l&g struggles, and knew (and know) many lesbian/feminist women, many of whom considered ideological separatism a destructive and wasteful distraction, even if they regarded women-only space and activity important and valuable. You are not in a position to accuse me of knowing nothing of the time or the issues.
    4 I think we need some evidence from you that ‘j’ doesn’t know what JJ’s work was about.
    Your post rather bears out the general nature of ideological separatism. It is a type of fundamentalist belief that feels no need to engage in serious argument because it is in possession of the one true faith.

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