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Pin-up Girls

3 Oct

The glimpse of a girl
Glamorous
Sensual
Risqué
On the cover of a men’s magazine

From that moment
My interest stirred
For the Pin-up Girl
Forbidden territory
For a girl like me

If I spied a magazine
Under the arm of a passerby
Or in a newsagent
I would feel a sudden rush
Anticipation

I’d sneak a look
Flick through the pages
Lingering, admiring these women
Something igniting inside me
Changing

One day I found one by accident
I picked it up, kept it
In my room that night
I finally looked at my prize
My heart pounding

Such beauty
I found between the pages
Feminine glory
Dripping with glamour
A feast for the eyes

I began to dream of these women
Their clothes
Their flowing hair
Their sensuous lips
The curves of their bodies

I felt a longing, a desire
I wanted to kiss those lips
And caress those curves
I had an epiphany
Forbidden fruit
Of which I wanted to be a lover

The 1790’s – a Fascination

28 May

As a history buff I am interested in particular eras and periods in history, more specifically society, culture, politics, and fashion from these different eras. I am rather fascinated by the 1790’s, primarily the years between 1790 and 1795, but also reaching to 1799 and to the early 1800’s.

Events / philosophies / fashions / socio-cultural aspects

The French Revolution
– The politics
– The concept of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality
– The concept of a republic
– Revolutionary and Republic symbolism – red, white and blue tricolor flag & cockade, Phrygian cap, Liberty, nature etc
– Removing the importance of the church and Christian beliefs and replacing these with more classical and nature based beliefs and forms of worship
– The role of women in the revolution including female revolutionaries advocating the rights of women and women actively fighting in the revolution
– The revolutionary calendar
– Revolutionary fashion, including the use of red, white and blue ribbons (showing support for the revolution / republic) and the rejection of symbols of the ancien regime such as elaborate dress and hairstyles and emphasis on more classical and natural lines and hairstyles,

Feminism / Feminist Thought / Advocacy of the Rights of Women

Cross Dressing Women / Female Soldiers

Lesbian Sexuality / Romantic Friendships

Female Novelists
I am interested in the female novelists of the time, and the fact that writing and publishing novels was an accepted (if marginally) pursuit for women
– Female Writers & Novelists – Mary Wollenstencraft, Jane Austen, Fanny Burney, Anne Radcliffe
– Gothic novels and the gothic / horror / heroines that characterised this gene – almost contrasting to the image of gentility and domestic worlds written about by Jane Austen (except in Northanger Abbey which is a sort of parody of gothic novels)

European Women in India

Current Topics of Interest

22 May

These are a few topics of interest that I am currently reading about and researching for a couple of novels / stories I am working on.

– Same-sex love between women and romantic friendships in the 18th and early 19th centuries
– Novelists (female and male) that wrote about the above
– Cross Dressing women in the 18th century, particularly those that joined the military
– The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in relation to British and French relations in India

– Equality and women’s rights in 1930’s in the USSR
– British and French women and men who travelled (and moved to) the USSR in the 1930’s

Bookfest

9 May

I visited the Alumni Bookfest at the university I work at yesterday to have a browse and search for books on the French Revolution. I didn’t have much luck in regards to books on the French Revolution, but I was rather pleased to pick up three books for $2.50. I found a paperback version of Rita Hayworth’s biography which I read years ago for 50c. That was rather awesome. Rita is one of my favourite actresses. I also picked up for 50c a 1967 book on tips and moves in Striptease!! Now that I thought was very cool – a piece of history (the picture on the cover is very 60’s) and on something I want to learn more about (I’m really interested in burlesque). And to top it all off for $2 I bought a book I had been wanting to read for ages – ‘Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers’ by Lillian Faderman, which is a history of lesbian life in the USA in the 20th century (up to the early 1990’s). I think I will be getting stuck into this book over the next few weeks. As I headed back to my building I was thinking about what a great selection of books I’d just picked up.

Links –
Faderman, Lillian (1991) Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, Columbia University Press
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odd_Girls_and_Twilight_Lovers

20130509-072828.jpg (source – http://www.booktopia.com.au/odd-girls-and-twilight-lovers-lillian-faderman/prod9780231074889.html)

Lesbian Pulp Fiction Novel – Journey to A Woman – Ann Bannon

20 Mar

This is the first (and only – I really want to get my hands on some more) lesbian pulp fiction novel from the heyday of pulp fiction (it was published in 1960) I have read. I love the cover art for this novel. Although this a re-release by Cleis Press from the 2000’s, it still evokes something of retro lesbian romance.

I have had a long fascination with the artwork of pulp fiction covers, especially those depicting beautiful and glamorous femme fatales, and lesbian romances. There is something fascinating and enthralling about the style, colours and scenes depicted. And I have to admit I love the kitschness in the titles and scenes. There is a sexuality, but no actual sex is depicted, and terribly titilating!

Links
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_a_Woman

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Lesbian Themed Movies & TV shows

10 Jan

This is a selection of movies and TV shows I love that have a theme of lesbian/bisexual romance, unrequited lesbian love or lesbian characters.

Movies
– Mulholland Drive
– Frida
– The Hours
– Kissing Jessica Stein
– Better Than Chocolate
– Fucking Aamal
– Heavenly Creatures
– But I Am A Cheerleader

TV Shows & Mini-Series
– Lip Service
– Tipping the Velvet
– The Secret Diaries of Anne Lister
– Affinity
– Fingersmith
– The Nightwatch
– Mad Men

Movies I would like to watch
– I Can’t Think Straight
– The World Unseen
– Fire
– Nina’s Heavenly Delights
– Daphne
– Henry & June
– Aimee & Jaguar
– The Kids Are Alright
– High Art
– Chasing Amy
– Bound
– My Summer Of Love
– Albert Nobbs
– Elena Undone
– Kiss Me

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Although I am an atheist I like the progressive Hindu view on same-sex love

25 Sep

I am currently in the research phase of writing a fictional novel set in 18th century India. I know this has nothing to do what so ever with science and lesbian scientists, but in my readings I have come across the progressive Hindu view on love, including same-sex love.

In the article, Same-sex weddings,Hindu traditions and Modern India in the Feminist Review, Ruth Vanita discusses how in modern progressive Hinduism and medieval Hindu texts there is acceptance of same-sex love. This acceptance is based on the idea that love is the product of attachments formed in former lives and that these attachments persist from one birth to another (rebirth) and that marriage is supposed to outlast one lifetime. That a couple in love, whether same or opposite sex, of a different class or caste, must have been lovers in a former life and that they are destined to be together. Through this belief, same-sex couples in love and wishing to marry achieve some acceptance. Some Hindu practitioners/scholars have suggested that same sex couples must have been cross sex couples in a former life and that marriage is the union of two spirits/souls and the spirit is sexless.

Although I am primarily an atheist (with some spiritual beliefs) and am skeptical about the concept of reincarnation, rebirth and past lives, the concept of love outlasting a lifetime and that two souls/spirits have been previously in love is an extremely romantic and wonderful view, even of it is not physically possible. And this concept and way to explain same sex love touches a cord with me. The feminist in me however doesn’t totally like the idea that same sex lovers were cross sex lovers in a past live, for the reason to explain same sex love in the concept of heterosexual love, but nonetheless this is an interesting concept.

I think that it is an extremely positive thing, that one of the world’s largest religions has, in some sections, an accepting view of same sex love. It would be great if Christianity and Islam were to develop a more accepting view (there are some areas of Christianity and Islam (Sufism) that appear to be a bit more accepting that other areas of these religions).

References
Vanita, R (2009) Same-sex weddings,Hindu traditions and Modern India, Feminist Review 91:47-60

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