What Are Dykes Doing: Collected Non-Fiction

Posted in Non-Fiction

WhatDykes 55x85 cover

This is to let you know that the book Jean Taylor has been working on all year, What Are Dyke’s Doing? Collected Non-Fiction, has just been published by Dyke Books Inc and is now available for sale.
 

The book is a collection of all of Jean's non-fiction essays, articles, letters and reports over a period of over thirty years and gives some idea of the issues and campaigns radical lesbian feminists were involved in between the 1970s to the present day as we fought with our radical feminist and socialist feminist sisters in the Women’s Liberation Movement to overthrow the patriarchy and challenge capitalism.

Most of these short pieces were included in the well-known Victorian feminist and lesbian periodicals of the day: Melbourne Women’s Liberation Newsletter, 1972 - 1984, Lesbian Newsletter, 1976 - 1983, Lesbian News, 1983 - 1990, Lesbian Network, 1984 - 2006, Victorian Women’s Liberation Newsletter, 1986 - 1994, Labrys, 1990 - 1992, Lesbiana, 1992 - 2004, and Dykonoclast, 2005 - 2006. And also includes bits and pieces from Rabelais, Lilac, Women’s Circus Newsletter, Mother Earth, SAFE, Lesbians On the Loose, Melbourne Star Observer, Brother Sister, BNews, Melbourne Community Voice and Coalition of Activist Lesbians Newsletter. 

Just to give you a brief example of the kinds of articles that are included in the book the following is a brief extract from 1985: 

Lesbian Network 5 Spring Equinox September 1985 

Networking Along the Lesbian Way 

Just a few comments about this Lesbian Network that is being developed around Australia. Having just been travelling up the east coast, primarily to distribute books but also to write, have a holiday and make contact with other dykes along the way, I want to say how very impressed I’ve been by the generous hospitality and friendliness I’ve encountered. Without exception every lesbian I’ve met, every lesbian household I’ve stayed in has shown a warmth and closeness that has been remarkable and much appreciated. 

It was something, after a hard day of travelling, arriving in a strange town at sunset, to ring up and be greeted by a friendly voice, ‘come on out, you’re just in time for dinner, of course you can stay here,’ or variations along this same general theme. There have been gaps along the way of course, we haven’t quite managed to get lesbian contacts every couple of hundred miles or so, in which case I just found a quiet spot to camp in the van for the night. And looked forward to the next major town, where I could find familiar conversation and laughter.

The book also puts paid to the erroneous idea that lesbian feminist culture is no longer presenting a viable political and social alternative to the patriarchal status quo. For decades, we have fought hard for the rights of womyn and girls in a misogynistic and sexist society and stood in solidarity with the Indigenous communities for Land Rights and Sovereignty, and continue to do so.