Cold War Femme Lesbianism, National Identity, and Hollywood Cinema
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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 "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.
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List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 1/27/2011
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
|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|