‘A REAL LESBIAN WOULDN’T TOUCH A BISEXUAL WITH A BARGEPOLE’

‘A REAL LESBIAN WOULDN’T TOUCH A BISEXUAL WITH A BARGEPOLE’

Contesting boundaries into the construction of collective identity. Abstract

Drawn from an investigation associated with the construction of collective identification in DIVA mag between 1994 and 2004, this short article considers the contestation that is discursive of boundaries necessarily, though never ever straightforwardly, erected along the way. Analysing first a variety of articles and 2nd (and much more considerably) debates about who ‘we’ have been in and between visitors’ letters, this article centers on the ‘trouble’ posed by bisexuality in this age. Visitors draw on and competition a cluster of interrelated characterisations of bisexuals: as undecided, being sort of pollutant, and also as insufficient facsimiles of ‘real lesbians’, along with just about available characterisations of ‘us’. These arguments are always managed editorially, and constantly ‘end’ with calls for acceptance. This doesn’t completely recover the ambiguity with which bisexuality is managed, but, plus the article concludes by speaking about the s that are dilemma( faced because of the thought community.

Introduction

The work offered right right here originates from a study regarding the construction of collective identification in DIVA, Britain’s very first main-stream commercial lesbian mag, in its very very first ten years on the net (1994 2004). Considerably, DIVA continues to be the sole commercially successful, nationally distributed lesbian mag, 1 celebrating in 2014 its twentieth birthday celebration, an unprecedented milestone for a lesbian magazine into the UK, commercial or elsewhere. Where other games (Arena Three within the 1960s and 1970s, and Sappho into the 1970s and 1980s see Turner, 2009 , to get more detail from the schedule of Uk lesbian publishing) more or less swiftly became the victims of circumstances both neighborhood and worldwide, DIVA has survived in a time period of considerable social and change that is political. As a result, it really is a text whose analysis that is close both essential and rewarding the very first a decade, by which it discovered a foothold that had evaded its predecessors, specially therefore. DIVA arrived during the height of lesbian stylish, a trend that place lesbians everywhere and nowhere at one time (Turner, 2009 ), with all the vow that even and dykes that are http://chaturbate.adult/ especially‘regular city’ would get in its pages a house (Williams, 1994 , p. 4). Also looking to result in the publishing business Millivres Prowler a return on its investment, DIVA had been an unique enterprise in more means than one.

Regardless of this, it as well as other publications that are lesbian gone mainly untouched by academics. Although we have actually substantial reports of females’s life style mags like Cosmopolitan (see, e.g. Chang, 2004 ; Machin & van Leeuwen, 2003 ; Machin & Thornborrow, 2003 ; McMahon, 1990 ; Ouellette, 1999 ) or teenage mags (Carpenter, 1998 ; Massoni, 2004 , 2006 ; Schlenker, Caron, & Halteman, 1998 ; have all written about Seventeen alone), really small work has been done on lesbian publications. Also without comparison into the considerable literary works on ladies’ (and, because the very very early 2000s, males’s) publications, the human body of work handling lesbian magazines appears little. Koller ( 2008 ), Driver ( 2007 ) and Lewis ( 1997 ) consist of texts from lesbian mags within their studies (as well as in reality all consist of articles from DIVA), and many bigger scale studies of US homosexual and lesbian mags occur (see Cutler, 2003 ; Esterberg, 1990 ; Streitmatter, 1993 , and specially Sender, 2001 , 2003 , 2004 ), but no other researcher has scrutinised A uk lesbian magazine with any remit that is comprehensive.

The analysis from where this analysis is taken had been largely inspired by an aspire to deal with this space inside our knowledge, and therefore a sizeable sample, including all 95 problems of DIVA published amongst the launch problem in might 1994 and may also 2004, ended up being plumped for. This time duration had not been therefore arbitrary a range as it might appear; being the first ever to critically examine this text with an intention in discourses of identity needed the analysis of an amazing amount of manufacturing, and also this test allows an extensive diachronic analysis across a time period of crucial social modification. It bridges two completely different years, a decade when the lesbian that is britishto utilize an insufficient but expedient construct) underwent significant alterations in regards to politics, legislation and her presence in main-stream news (cf. Turner, 2009 ). Generally speaking, the goal would be to produce a synopsis of DIVA across ten years, explaining accurately the existence and/or absence of, or modifications to, specific traits of this mag’s content; to explore the contexts of the traits; and also to pursue a much much deeper, hermeneutic analysis for the substance regarding the mag and its particular (re)construction of lesbian identification.

Although the analysis presented in this specific article is predominantly discursive (see below for my method of the precise texts analysed), a blended method approach ended up being taken, and also the conversation additionally includes insights garnered utilizing two extra and complementary practices: (quantitative) content analysis and (semi organized) interviews with key staff that is editorial. Content analysis had been conducted using each mag (coding kinds of content), each article (coding topic and individual reference) and every advertisement (coding item, regularity and size) whilst the product of research, enabling a type of ‘mapping’ of this test. The interviews, with founding editor Frances Williams, her successor Gillian Rodgerson, current deputy editor and very long time staff author Louise Carolin and Kim Watson, who is now Millivres’ media and advertising manager but served for several years in advertisement sales and advertising, had been led by Chouliaraki and Fairclough’s ( 1999 , p. 62) advocacy of ethnographic operate in discourse analytic jobs so that you can explore ‘the philosophy, values and desires’ of individuals. The interviews had been created as a method of learning more about the founding of this mag, its staff (functions, routines and laws), the emotions of these in jobs of energy, the imperatives lay out because of the publisher and also the relationship between DIVA and its own visitors.