The Disappearing L by Bonnie J. Morris

The Disappearing L

Investigates the rise and fall of US American lesbian cultural institutions since the 1970s.LGBT Americans now enjoy the right to marry—but what will we remember about the vibrant cultural spaces that lesbian activists created in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s? Most are vanishing from the calendar—and from recent memory. The Disappearing L explores the rise and fall of the hugely popular women-only concerts, festivals, bookstores, and support spaces...

Details The Disappearing L

TitleThe Disappearing L
Release DateSep 1st, 2016
PublisherSUNY Press
GenreNonfiction, History, Feminism, LGBT, GLBT, Lesbian, Queer

Reviews The Disappearing L

  • Ariel ✨
    This book is a piece of living history, representative of the current state of lesbian culture. It quotes Autostraddle, the Advocate, and a host of other blogs, indie publications, and mainstream LGBT news sites. Bonnie Morris does not paint a very hopeful picture of the future of lesbian spaces, and I can't say I disagree with her. Any attempt to make a space for lesbians, be it a blog, Facebook group, or social gathering, is viewed with extreme...
  • AJ
    I think this book asks a very pertinent question: what has happened to lesbian spaces? Why are "gay" events pretty much white and male by default? Who will record the history of lesbian activism?However I disagree with a lot of the book's thesis. Instead of blaming patriarchy, capitalism, or other kyriarchical forces which have been working against women, and certainly lesbians, since the beginning of time, Bonnie Morris takes the blame and puts ...
  • Kitty
    This book makes me feel the way Dykes to Watch Out For does - homesick. As a young lesbian who's never known any thriving real life lesbian community, I ache. This book is just what young lesbians wanting our community are hungry for. I heard Dr. Bonnie had been blacklisted from running workshops on this book. I understand why. A lesbian who knows her history and can identify how it was taken away from her (and by who) is a most undesirable thing...
  • l.
    Before you start talking about mean exclusionary terf altright lesbians, please read this.ETA: if you call the author a terf or refer to evil terfs in your review, you've missed the point lmao
  • Debbie
    Read this book. It's part history, part memoir. It's a trip down memory lane while revitalizing us to remember what we are capable of doing.
  • KG
    As a young lesbian who never got to be a part of women's culture and mourns it every day, this book was like stepping into another time, one where people like me had community and purpose. Reading about women like me and what we are capable of was salve for my soul. I absolutely loved it. We need more books talking about the value of the lesbian experience specifically. In the book she discusses the three pronged explanation for the degradation o...
  • fausto
    Bonnie Morris is simply stuning! The book is the history of the rise and fall of lesbian-feminist culture in the US. Morris is such an incredible scholar of lesbian culture, and in a very readeable way introduces the reader to the history and development of women's music and musical festivals (a theme she fully developed in "Eden Built by Eves"), women's bookstores and presses and the revelance of jewish lesbians in all of that. As other scholars...
  • Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)
    DNF--The introduction and its terfy language was too much for me. It's possible that she spent the rest of the book being non-terfy, but I honestly did not want to waste my time finding out.
  • Casey
    I'll probably add to this later, I just wanted to address comments in other reviews that Bonnie Morris blames trans women or the queer movement as the main culprit for the disappearance of lesbian physical spaces. It just is not true. Trans women are mentioned a total of four times in this 200+ page book, and the majority of her argument is that lesbians ourselves have abandoned our own cultural spaces in part due to pressure from inside the hous...
  • riese
    I learned so much and would've given it five stars if the author could've refrained from trans misogyny, especially as blaming trans women for the various problems she identifies is just factually incorrect. I want to recommend it to everybody I know but I can't because of that, and that's too bad, because her stories these stories need to be told and heard. There isn't a ton of trans misogyny in here but any is too much in this day and age. Stil...
  • Bethany
    I read this book months ago, but didn’t get around to writing a review. Probably because I was concerned.Reading it, I found myself coming up against the author’s attitude towards trans women. Trans women are women. But Bonnie Morris doesn't believe that. That is not the only problem I had with this book, but it was the issue the kept coming up again and again. It's incredibly irritating, because the overall topic of this book is one of inter...
  • Ty Kuta
    I struggled with this book and how to review it. Educationally, this book was a good read. It was filled with so much good first-hand information, and was fantastic for my research. I learned a lot about many many things I did not know before. It helped give me some insight into the generational divide that plagues the community. That being said, this book sometimes relies *too* much on first hand account; I would liked to have seem more sources ...
  • Basma
    Quite interesting and I'm left wanting to know more especially about Black and PoC spaces and point of views. There was much more focus on the music scene than other scenes/spaces which was fascinating to learn about but as the title mentions; this part of history is not written about a lot and even now the narrative surrounding lesbians is minimal, so finding books like this makes me want more out of it. I do wish though that author spent more t...
  • Rachel Moyes
    I'm straight and knew basically nothing about any of the lesbian history covered in this book. I enjoyed the content of this book, but not the way it was written. In addition to its many typos, the book couldn't decide what it was trying to be. Some of it was memoir, some of it was scholarly. It felt like Morris grabbed a bunch of disparate topics that she cared about and this, the book lacked cohesion.While I appreciated Morris' perspective, it ...
  • Manda Keeton
    The Disappearing L is part memoir, part essay, and part historical account of lesbian culture and music in the 1970-1990’s. The book mainly focuses on the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival for the crux of its argument, which defends lesbian separatism as a means for cultural production, education, and social connection. There is also an entire section which deals exclusively with contributions from Jewish lesbian women.While the book seems to w...
  • Ellie
    An interesting enough book, but I don’t feel the author really engaged in WHY lesbian spaces are disappearing beyond the surface level. It was an interesting jaunt through some recent lesbian history though.A few reviewers have labelled the author as transphobic, but I don’t see why. She raises the issue of transgender identified men on two occasions and isn’t prejudiced on either of them. She could have fone a lot farther in apportioning b...
  • Susan
    An excellent resource book for an overview of lesbian and women's culture and how it is disappearing. As noted in the book, I feel like a Shaker, part of a tribe that I cherish, but is fading away. Unfortunately, the book is not very readable. She obviously know and loves the material and it brought back memories for me. But it lacks editing and a coherent trajectory.
  • Sam
    I learned so much from this book. It's part history and part memoir. It is a piece of living history, showcasing the former and current state of lesbian culture. As a young lesbian who's never known any thriving real life lesbian community, I'm left hungry for more. This really was a fascinating book.
  • Eileen Lynx
    An important topic.
  • Wrlccywrlir
    I used to identify as queer. I knew what I was; I had no doubts about my feelings, but to me, "lesbian" sounded like an insult, or something that brought to mind terrible porn for straight men. I used to think that if I could choose my orientation, I wouldn't choose this. But learning the "herstory", in this book and others, has really changed my mind and opened my eyes. I've seen how much I was wrong about and learned a lot and I'm really gratef...
  • Jen
    I'm not sure how a non-lesbian or even a non-LGBT person would read this book, but as a lesbian, particularly as a young lesbian who never experienced the lesbian activism and women's music festivals of the 1970s, I found this book a to be a very engaging and informative read. Not to mention, the writing style is excellent. I would give it five stars, but I find it a bit narrow in its scope and unfortunately at times, it can lean towards painting...