In Berkeley there were Gutter Dykes,
and in Seattle there were Gorgons,
in D.C. Furies rode on bikes,
shunning union with male organs.
In San Francisco Loud and Strong
the Separatists would gaily gather,
and for women only long,
blowing with a blast male blather.
Sons and nephews would be banned
by such womyn—spelled like this,
or wimmin—on the land,
longing for their Lesbian bliss.
Some called themselves Van Dykes, wordplay
for Van Dyke, master who was Dutch.
Not only were these women gay,
but most of them were very butch.
Reality they sought was penis-
less, they worshipped cunt, not dick,
virago cunt, the cunt of Venus
not one these womyn liked to lick.
despite these women has survived,
but with stealth informality,
the L-word clearly has arrived
in every home where there is cable,
and of my straight wife I feel proud
that when this funky, femmie fable
is on, I am by her allowed
to watch this program, hardly tit-
illated, but bemused to see
how lesbians often have less wit
than women who are straight as me,
straight man who wonders if the he-
word will become irrelevant,
except for making sperm, and be
endangered as the elephant.
Inspired by an article the female, gay writer Ariel Levy, who studied a community of gay women who called themselves Van Dykes and sought empowerment by separating from men (“Lesbian Nation: When gay women took to the road,” The New Yorker, March 2, 2009):
The lesbian separatists of a generation ago created a shadow society devoted to living in an alternate, penisless reality….Separatists were aiming for complete autonomy…”The template for this idea of separation is black separation,” Todd Gitlin, a sociology professor at Columbia University and the author of “The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage,” said.I learned from the web that Ariel Levy grew up in Larchmont, New York, and attended Wesleyan University where she studied American literature and critical theory. After college she worked briefly for Planned Parenthood, but was fired after just one week because she is an extremely poor typist.
© 2009 Gershon Hepner 2/26/09