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Women-Only Communities

The following suggestions for information about women-only communities
appeared on WMST-L in September 2004.  For additional WMST-L discussions
now available on the Web, see the WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 13:58:11 -0600
From: caroline denigan <caroline.denigan AT ADELAIDE.EDU.AU>
Subject: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
Hello List Members

I am looking for published materials that discuss or refer to women's
efforts to establish women only communities and also lesbian communities in
the United States and elsewhere.  Terms used might include "women's land"
and "land dykes" or similar.  These terms were used by respondents in my
research on self build housing.  All leads and ideas warmly welcomed.

Caroline Denigan
caroline  AT  denigan.com
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 16:31:11 -0400
Subject: Re: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
About 2 or 3 years ago, *off our backs* featured several articles
written by landdykes living on women's land in the southeastern U.S.


M. Charlene Ball, Ph.D., Academic Professional
Women's Studies Institute
Georgia State University
University Plaza
Atlanta, GA   30303-3083
mcharleneball  AT  gsu.edu
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 21:21:46 -0600
From: Susan Ressler <artemis AT SLA.PURDUE.EDU>
Subject: Re: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
Another place where information is available on this subject is in my book,
_Women Artists of the American West_ (Mcfarland, 2003) which contains an
essay by Tee A. Corinne on "Lesbian Photography on the U.S. West Coast" with
a section on the back to the land movement.  Most of this information is
also on the _Women Artist of the American West_ website, at
http://www.sla.purdue.edu/waaw (just click on the main index and scroll down
to Tee Corinne's article).

Best wishes,
Susan Ressler
Professor Emerita,
Purdue University
sressler  AT  purdue.edu
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 21:14:04 -0700
From: Max Dashu <maxdashu AT LMI.NET>
Subject: Re: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
You should definitely track down "Maize" which is a journal of land women.

Also contact the OWL Land Trust, one of the oldest (if not the
oldest) communal women's lands in the country. They may have some
oral histories. Be aware that this is an all-volunteer organization
and people may not have time to respond. At the very least, you
should be able to get a statement of the articles of incorporation,
with its purposes (OWL, PO Box 1692, Roseburg OR 97470) for a small
donation. Really, the only way to learn about these communities is to
visit and get to know the women. Most of the story is just not in

But the suggestion re OOB articles is a good one. In March-April
2003, my old friend Pelican Lee wrote an article "Setting up Women's
Land in the 1970's: Could we do it?" which gives a succinct and
perceptive insider's view of the effort to create land accessible to
women at OWL, and the difficulties encountered.

Max Dashu
Suppressed Histories Archives
Global Women's Studies
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 23:14:24 -0600
From: caroline denigan <caroline.denigan AT ADELAIDE.EDU.AU>
Subject: Re: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
Hi Max

Thank you for all the great leads you sent!  At this stage I won't be
visiting women's communities here in the States.  I did a lot of fieldwork
in Australia before coming to live in Colorado and am currently trying to
finish my PhD thesis.  There are a few women's communities in Australia but
even less written about them than those here.  I suspect the writings and
practices of women here were influential in Australia and should help me
frame some of the things I encountered in the field. When I'm done I hope
to start some kind of research project here.

The focus of my research is a gendered analysis of self build housing,
which is often practiced on women's land.
I have a little bit about it here: http://members.tripod.com/~self_build_women

Thanks again!!

Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 06:04:07 -0400
From: Carolyn Gage <carolyn AT CAROLYNGAGE.COM>
Subject: women's land and land dykes
Fascinating subject... Circles of Power and Weeding at Dawn are two about
the Southern Oregon land collectives.  There is a publication, Maize.  Also,
contact Linda Long at the University of Oregon Special Collections.  She has
been archiving the work by and about the "women on the land" in Southern
Oregon.  There is an organization, SOCLAP, that has been self-consciously
archiving the history of that community for two decades.

Carolyn Gage
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 16:07:24 -0400
From: "Barbara R. Bergmann" <bbergman AT WAM.UMD.EDU>
Subject: Re: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
One much earlier form of  women-only communities were the beguines,
founded in  the Netherlands in the 13th century. They were apparently a
secular alternative to nunneries for single women. Some of the
structures (a group of town houses around a square) are still extant in
at least one low country city.

Barbara R. Bergmann    bbergman  AT  wam.umd.edu
Professor Emerita of Economics,
American University and University of Maryland
Mailing address: 5430 41 Place NW, DC 20015
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2004 16:46:55 -0400
From: Victoria Rowe <victoria.rowe AT UTORONTO.CA>
Subject: Re: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
A novel by Caeia March called "Between the Worlds" (1996) has as one of its
themes the "women's land" movement in the UK.

Victoria Rowe
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 17:01:29 -0400
From: wmsdir <wmsdir AT ETAL.URI.EDU>
Subject: Re: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
You might like to read __Separatism__ by Dana Shugar, a study of separatist
communities in life and in fiction.


Karen F. Stein
Director, Women's Studies Program
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI 02881

wmsdir  AT  etal.uri.edu
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 15:15:46 -0700
From: pamela mccarron <olmsteder6 AT YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: women only communities: "women's land" and "land dykes"
How about Mary Daly's Quintessence?  She posits a women's Lost and
Found Island(in the future) where the inhabitants investigate the
history of radical feminism and can communicate with their
foresisters.  Pamphylla
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 07:56:38 -0700
From: Barbara Watson <mbwatson AT MAIL.SDSU.EDU>
Subject: women only communities
Among some groups of Aboriginals in Australia women have their own camps,
called jimili. As I understand it they are not permanent in the sense that
women would spend all their lives there but they are available when women
want to live among women. The inhabitants of the camps may be single women,
widows, married women who want to spend time away from husbands. The camps
are also important sites for the preservation of women's knowledge. Look
for publications by Diane Bell. Barbara Watson

Maria-Barbara Watson-Franke, Ph. D.
Professor Emerita
Department of Women's Studies
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182
e-mail: mbwatson  AT  mail.sdsu.edu

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