Cold War Femme Lesbianism, National Identity, and Hollywood Cinema

ISBN-10: 0822349477
ISBN-13: 9780822349471
Edition: 2011
Authors: Robert J. Corber
List price: $24.95
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Description: In his bestselling bookThe Grapevine: A Report on the Secret World of the Lesbian(1965), Jess Stearn reported that, contrary to the assumptions of many Americans, most lesbians appeared indistinguishable from other women. They could mingle  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 1/27/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

In his bestselling bookThe Grapevine: A Report on the Secret World of the Lesbian(1965), Jess Stearn reported that, contrary to the assumptions of many Americans, most lesbians appeared indistinguishable from other women. They could mingle "congenially in conventional society." Some were popular sex symbols; some were married to unsuspecting husbands. Robert J. Corber contends thatThe Grapevineexemplified a homophobic Cold War discourse that portrayed the femme as an invisible threat to the nation. Underlying this panic was the widespread fear that college-educated women would reject marriage and motherhood as aspirations, weakening the American family and compromising the nationrs"s ability to defeat totalitarianism. Corber argues that Cold War homophobia transformed ideas about lesbianism in U.S. society. In the early twentieth century, homophobic discourse had focused on gender identity: the lesbian was a masculine woman. During the Cold War, the lesbian was reconceived as a woman attracted to other women. Corber develops his argument by analyzing representations of lesbianism in Hollywood movies of the 1950s and 1960s, and in the careers of some of the erars"s biggest female stars. He examines treatments of the femme inAll about Eve,The Childrenrs"s Hour, andMarnie, and he explores the impact of Cold War homophobia on the careers of Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Doris Day.

Acknowledgments
Introduction Reclaiming the "Lost Sex": The Lesbian in Cold War Culture
Screening the Femme
Representing the Femme: All about Eve
Lesbian Unintelligibility: The Children's Hour
Recuperating Femme Femininity: Marnie
Female Stardom and Cold War Culture
Joan Crawford's Padded Shoulders
Remaking Bette Davis
Doris Day's Queer Normativity
Conclusion: Killing Off the Femme: The Haunting
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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