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Essays Lesbian Political Lesbianism

Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution

Lesbian Nation:
The Feminist Solution
Jill JohnstonSimon & Schuster1973

Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution is a 1973 book by the radical lesbian feminist author and cultural critic Jill Johnston. The book was originally published as a series of essays featured in The Village Voice from 1969 to 1972.

This collection of essays was an important early manifesto of lesbian feminist and separatist politics. The term “lesbian nation” became a rallying cry and a powerful symbol of solidarity for early political lesbians, who sought to transform what they saw as a patriarchal society that oppressed and excluded them.

Johnston’s style was brash, passionate, and eccentric. With few sentence breaks and fewer paragraph breaks, her ideas seemed to spill out in a brilliant chaotic avalanche. As she writes in the essay Love at First Sex:

I think I was so angry that I was conducting a one woman revolution through a very slow calculated but unrelenting exposure of myself in the guise of a literary code hopefully so challenging and fascinating and entertaining and difficult to read that any premature retaliation from a hostile society would be discouraged.

Jill Johnston in Lesbian Nation

Once I understood the feminist doctrines, a lesbian separatist position seemed the commonsensical position, especially since, conveniently, I was an L-person. Women wanted to remove their support from men, the “enemy” in a movement for reform, power and self-determination.

Jill Johnston in The Gay and Lesbian Review, 2007.

Table of Contents

Tarzana from the trees of cocktails
A series of great escapes
There wasn’t a dyke in the land
A nice well-behaved fucked-up person
Love at first sex
Slouching toward consciousness
Lesbian feminism
The making of a lesbian chauvinist
The myth of the myth of the vaginal orgasm
The second sucks & the feminine mystake
Woman prime
Record book entries
Amazons and archedykes