THEY called it a lesbian paradise, the pioneering women who made their way to St. Augustine, Fla., in the 1970s to live together in cottages on the beach. Finding one another in the fever of the gay rights and women’s liberation movements, they built a matriarchal community, where no men were allowed, where even a male infant brought by visitors was cause for debate...
The communities, most in rural areas from Oregon to Florida, have as few as two members; Alapine is one of the largest. Many have steadily lost residents over the decades as members have moved on or died. As the impulse to withdraw from heterosexual society has lost its appeal to younger lesbians, womyn’s lands face some of the same challenges as Catholic convents that struggle to attract women to cloistered lives...
JANE R. Dickie, a professor of women’s studies and psychology at Hope College in Michigan, who has studied one of the womyn’s lands, in Missouri, said she was struck by the differences between the residents — feminists of an earlier era — and her students.
“There was a real sense of the need to strongly identify as a woman and have women’s space,” Dr. Dickie, 62, said of the women’s movement of the ’60s and ’70s. “We really felt the need to be apart, to draw on our strength and our own empowerment. But young feminists today recoil at the idea of identity politics, of being in this one category.” Among the few younger women who are part of the movement, there is concern that the old-guard lesbians are too rigid at a time when they need to be more flexible, if for nothing else than self-preservation.
“I see the whole picture and the idea of a womyn’s land utopia, unless you have unlimited amounts of finances for yourself, I’ve watched one after another go belly up,” said Andrea Gibbs-Henson, 42, who lives at Camp Sister Spirit, a womyn’s land in Ovett, Miss., where she became executive director when her mother, one of the founders, died last year. “The bottom line is the world is too diverse. The whole idea of a feminist utopia, it’s just an ideal. We would not survive here if all we did was cater to lesbian separatists.”
It explains a great deal, this identity politics: evidently if you've been heavily screwed, it's tattooed into you or something.
But geez, ladies we male folks aren't uniformly evil.
Mind creates some really bizarre crap in the presence of suffering and left to its own devices.