Friday night on Netflix

I had to get a filling done at the dentist today, and I’m a really whiny baby when it comes to dental work. I feel totally traumatized when someone pokes sharp objects in my mouth for an hour, and today I spent the rest of the night curled up on the couch watching Netflix and feeling sorry for myself as the freezing slowly wore off. I had a lovely dinner of applesauce and scrambled eggs, because that was soft enough to eat.

I decided to watch some silly Christmas movies. The first one I clicked on was a recently-made cartoon, and I didn’t get into it at all. It seemed to have been made for kids with ADHD, because there was constant over-the-top action happening and it was overwhelming to even look at. There didn’t even seem to be much of a plot, it was just an excuse to fit hundreds of crazy moves into a short time period. The next film I clicked on was much better, and I want to talk about it. I clicked on The Christmas Bunny because the short description Netflix gave me made it look sort of feminist. This turned out to be a very interesting film.

The Christmas Bunny is a tear-jerker drama about a little girl living in foster care who is very withdrawn but then falls in love with a rabbit. She meets an eccentric old lady who takes care of lost and abandoned pets and the lady teaches her how to care for her rabbit. Her love of pets and her interaction with the “Bunny Lady” helps her to grow as a person.

It’s interesting sometimes how different people get something completely different out of the same work of art. This film has a strong family theme, and on the film’s website I noticed that it has received awards by Christian and pro-family types. Obviously this film appeals to the right wing. I also couldn’t help noticing that all the actors were white, which is not the choice I would have made if I was making a film.

However, what I got from this film wasn’t a right wing “pro-family” message. I actually got a very feminist message, and that might have something to do with the fact that I see an analysis of patriarchy wherever I look. You know how it goes, we see things in terms of our own perspective. I’m going to describe some things I got from this film, and just so ya know, spoiler alert! I’m basically going to retell the entire film. I won’t tell you about the climax or the ending though.

So let’s start with the eccentric old lady character. Interestingly, this character is played by the same actress who was the mom in The Brady Bunch. I didn’t know that until I read the film’s web site because The Brady Bunch was before my time. This character’s name is Betsy Ross, and they call her “The Bunny Lady.” I’m not sure what the significance is of naming this character after the woman who made the first American flag. Maybe to make her seem like a patriot? Anyway The Bunny Lady is a hermit who lives on a farm surrounded by tons of animals. She has innumerable rabbits and she also has other animals such as goats. Her love of animals seems to far exceed her love of humans. She’s pretty grumpy when she has to talk to people. The reason she has so many rabbits is because she rescues them when families buy them as gifts for children without having any interest or knowledge about taking care of them, and then discard them later on. Her farm is essentially a bunny rescue operation.

I read on the film’s website that the creator of the film wanted to make a family movie starring a rabbit, because he knew that family films about animals are popular, and he figured that bunnies are the cutest animals. He did research on rabbits and what he found out was that tons of people buy them as gifts and then don’t take care of them. The film ended up being largely about this subject. We even witness the family who gave up the rabbit in the first place, before the star of the film finds it, and how neglectful they were. They didn’t give it a name, treated it like a thing, fed it candy, and then released it into the wild when they got tired of it because they didn’t care about the fact that a domesticated animal won’t survive in the wild.

Betsy Ross, aka the Rabbit Lady, agrees to nurse the neglected rabbit back to health when the foster girl’s brother shoots at it with a BB gun. She is very unfriendly at first because of the fact that they have shot at the rabbit. However, she grows fond of the little foster girl because she is passionate about animals. She teaches her a lot about taking care of rabbits and she shows how passionate she is about them.

Photo credit: http://www.thechristmasbunny.com/

Betsy usually wears farm clothes—practical shoes, jeans, and a brown coat. Between of her farmer clothing style, her gruff and no-nonsense attitude, and her chosen profession of rescuing animals, I got a strong lesbian vibe from her. My partner and I high-fived each other and declared “Dyke!” while we were watching. Of course, a family film that appeals to the conservative American family isn’t going to make a character explicitly lesbian, so one day she dresses up in feminine pink and we find out she used to have a husband. I just ignored this information though, because there have been so many characters in films that sort of seem like lesbians and I’m so used to believing they are, that I will just go ahead and continue to do so. We know how to spot lesbian coding and we know how to believe!

The next character I will talk about, of course, is the star of the film, Julia, who is a young foster girl whose mother has drug problems and can’t take care of her, and who does not speak to her foster family, even though they really try to be good to her. She rarely communicates at all, and when she does it’s often just with a nod. All she wants to do is watch her favourite film over and over, The Velveteen Rabbit. She is, of course, traumatized by her difficult upbringing and her separation from her mother. She isn’t ready to allow anyone to love her, because she can’t trust it.

When the foster family finds out that Julia loves the found rabbit, they see an opportunity to bond with her and provide her with a positive life experience, so they allow her to keep the pet and they also allow her to spend time with The Rabbit Lady. Julia doesn’t talk much to the rabbit lady either, but she listens well and remembers, and obviously appreciates what she teaches her.

This film felt feminist to me because of the focus on female characters, the theme of women who love animals and because of the mentor relationship between the old woman and the young girl. It also deals with the way men can be uncaring toward animals while women tend to be very caring toward them.  The foster family has a son already, and he is a typically masculine boy who doesn’t share Julia’s reverence for animals. Not only does the brother and his friend shoot the rabbit with a BB gun when they first see it, but later they sneak the rabbit out of the house and put it in a toboggan to slide it down an obstacle course, putting it in danger. When Julia sees what the boys are doing, she punches and bites her brother until he bleeds.

This is where I felt like there was an analysis of patriarchy happening. The way the parents respond to this incident is to scold Julia for harming her brother, without scolding her brother for what he did to the rabbit. Julia is not generally a violent person, but she knows that her rabbit is worth defending and she knows that her brother has done something horrible. The film never deals with the fact that the brother has actually done something violent toward Julia, by harming her pet. Boys will just be boys, apparently; and boys’ violence is erased while girls’ reaction to boys’ violence is punished. Isn’t that just the way patriarchy always works.

Disclaimer: I am absolutely not saying that all men are violent toward animals. They are just more likely to be, and of course there are some men who are very caring toward animals.

Even though it wasn’t intended as such, as I was watching I felt as though the film was presenting to me an animal-loving lesbian who provides mentorship to a young girl who is learning to care for animals and navigate a world where other people don’t care for them. This I felt was absolutely wonderful. And even though the filmmakers didn’t actually intend to create a lesbian character, they did intend to teach the importance of taking proper care of animals, and they did intend to create some good roles for female actors. I very much appreciate this.

If you are looking for something on Netflix that is female-friendly and that makes you cry buckets of tears, click on The Christmas Bunny!

And since this is just a lighthearted movie post, feel free to talk about your other Christmas movie recommendations, whether they’re legitimately good or whether they’re so-bad-they’re-good. Because 2017 was a shit fest and we could all use some lighthearted content.

The freezing has worn off my tooth now. Gosh, I hate going to the dentist, but at least I’ll be able to chew with both sides of my mouth starting tomorrow. That hole in my tooth was kind of a bummer.

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A fun post on search terms

Just for fun, here is a little post on the search terms that people use to land on my blog.

WordPress allows me to download a database of all the search terms that caused searchers to land here. In 2017, the top 10 most common search terms were:

Purplesagefem
peak trans
purple sage feminist
danielle muscato
purple sage fem
yourporn
mtf vagina
i want a vagina
mtf pussy
what is it like to have a vagina

I really enjoy being a destination for people who type “peak trans,” but I could really do without the constant porn searches and searches for MtF genitalia.

In porn-related searches, people often ask how girls get recruited for porn. That’s because of my posts on the documentary Hot Girls Wanted where I wrote about recruitment. There are also lots of searches for “lesbian” porn, searches for rape, (including searches for specific types of people being raped), and random strings of words for genitals. Some of these search terms for specific genitals are really gross and objectifying toward people who have medically transitioned. Many of the porn searches are horrifying, unprintable, and make me want to burn down the whole world. Porn searches are always full of misspelled words, which makes me wonder if people are typing with one hand. Either that, or people are just dumb. People are gross and dumb. Anyway, I’ve gotten bored of the porn searches, and I don’t wish to dwell on them. Here are some other interesting tidbits.

Interestingly, there are always people searching to find information about lesbians and periods, often wondering whether we even get them.

do lesbians got periods
does lesbians have a period
lesbians dont need periods
how to get periods for lesbian
lesbians talking about there periods
lesbian have periods like girls
what pills lesbians use in order to stop going for periods
do butch lesbians go on their periods
do gay girls have mensuration
if am a lesbian how do i stop menstruation
what stops menstruation permanent if u r lesbian

People have other curiosities about lesbians, like where we hang out and what our sex was like in specific decades:

do lesbians hang out in public restrooms?
how do lesbians grow beards
1960s beehive lesbians
1930s lesbiansex
lesb sex 1960

Some people search for guidance after reaching “peak trans”:

why the fuck do i have to play your pronoun game
danielle muscato is not a woman
genderbread nonsense
trans activists are erasing women
i am a terf

Some people search my name plus another search term, apparently wanting my opinion on something. (I’ll take that as a compliment, thanks!)

purplesage gender
purple sage clothing
cis privilege purple sage

Some people search for radical feminism (yeah!):

giving up porn radical feminism
woman identified woman
woman identified woman concept
woman-identified woman definition
sexualization of women capitalism
mra sad pathetic losers

Some people are just bizarre:

chew your clit off transgender
women peeing her pants legos
floating lesbians sex
male and female having lesbian sex
transvestite dog walking porn

This person probably isn’t seeing much “virgina” in real life:

visible and understandable image of a virgina

Gosh, these are fun. I’m particularly curious about “floating lesbians sex”. Does this person want to see lesbians having sex while floating? In air, or in water? Hmmm….

If I had to name the most interesting thing about my (non-porn-related) search terms though, it’s that lots of people seem to be unsure of whether lesbians have normal female bodies. Yes, we do! We have periods like other women. Aside from the fact that we are attracted to women, everything about us is typical.

A few thoughts on lesbian fiction

An article written by lesbian author Julia Diana Robertson talks about how a publication changed her words when they published her interview, making her sound less lesbian and more “queer.”

“Among other things, throughout the interview, where I said “lesbian” the word lesbian was changed to “queer.”

Why were words I would never use to describe myself or my novel, like “queerness” and “LGBTQ” and “gender presentation,” put into my mouth?”

This article provides a perfect illustration of the sneaky ways in which lesbians are erased by “queer” culture. Queer culture doesn’t like the word lesbian, because it’s too specific, and because it describes women whose sexuality excludes men. Queer culture prefers to promote the idea of “queer women” instead. Queer women are any women who defy the traditional conservative norms of sexuality, sometimes by engaging in sex with other women, or sometimes by engaging in other outlawed forms of sexuality. Queer is a deliberately vague term—all it means is “odd” or “strange,” but it doesn’t name a sexual orientation or set any boundaries. In fact, the “queer woman” umbrella includes males.

As Robertson comments:

“I was rebranded. I became the mythological “if the situation was right” lesbian. The appropriated slur “queer,” has become the popular descriptor of choice for a “yes” girl or a “maybe” girl— An “I’m not going to rule anything out because I’m open-minded” girl. It doesn’t carry the sting of lesbian. The stigma of lesbian. The boundaries of lesbian. Lesbian is a solid “No.” ”Not even if…” And that unwillingness to bend is the very reason lesbians are targeted with insidious psychological warfare.”

As she comments later in her article, when you take the word “lesbian” out of a statement a lesbian made and replace it with “queer,” you are erasing lesbians. Even though “exclusion” is considered a deadly serious crime these days, no one is concerned about excluding us.

I have to also add something here, because it drives me crazy when I see this, and it was mentioned in the quote above: a person can’t be described as “LGBT.” It’s not possible to be a gay man and a lesbian at the same time, nor is it possible to be homosexual and bisexual at the same time. You are only one of the letters LGB, not all of them! Now, I do think you could argue that it’s possible to be either an L, G, or B while also being a T. Fair enough, but you can’t possibly be all four of these letters. When someone calls a person “an LGBT author” or “an LGBT activist,” this makes no sense—you’re calling one person several people.

Anyway, this article by Robertson got me thinking about the issues surrounding lesbian fiction. As she mentions, and as many of us have noticed over and over, there are lots of published works labelled “lesbian” that weren’t written by lesbians and don’t reflect who lesbians are. There is also a problem of writing by real lesbians being marginalized in a culture that prefers “queer women” and believes that lesbians are “exclusionary” and “bigoted.” When mainstream LGBT publications all adopt a mandate to cater to queer culture, where do lesbians get their work published and reviewed? We’re limited to advertising our work on anonymous blogs, in secret Facebook groups, and by word of mouth. We should be able to publish in mainstream publications like anyone else—we aren’t doing anything wrong by being lesbians.

I have been thinking about the genre of the “lesbian novel” and what makes it different from, say, a “queer” novel or a mainstream novel that has some lesbian content in it. I define a “lesbian novel” as a novel written by a lesbian, that focuses on lesbians, that represents us authentically, and that tells our truth so that other lesbians can see themselves among the pages. A “queer” novel, on the other hand, either represents a performative sexuality in which same-sex activity is used as a strategy to “spice things up,” or in which characters have a bisexual or ambiguous orientation. There’s nothing wrong with bisexual characters or experimental same-sex activity, there’s only something wrong with mislabeling non-lesbian characters as lesbians. Then there is such a thing as a mainstream novel which has mostly straight characters, but also devotes a small amount of text to a lesbian or bisexual character. This is cool, but it’s not a “lesbian novel” just because of a tiny bit of woman-loving-woman content.

A lesbian looking for a lesbian novel has two problems: when she looks through mainstream sources for published works, she is shown lots of material that is not authentically lesbian, and the writing that is authentically lesbian is hard to find because it hasn’t been publicized or reviewed by mainstream sources.

In another article by Julia Diana Robertson, she discusses the idea of segregated literature. She wrote a book that was designed to be a piece of mainstream literature that happened to have a lesbian love story in it, but where “sexuality wouldn’t take center stage.” You know, like straight people do. The literature that straight people write is mainstream and isn’t necessarily “straight literature,” nor does it have to focus on sexuality just because characters are heterosexual. She pitched her story to mainstream publishers, and was rejected. She found that she was expected to be either a mainstream straight writer, or pigeonholed as a “lesbian” writer who just wrote for lesbians.

Should literature be desegregated? On the one hand, it would be nice if a lesbian writer could just be a writer, and not be marginalized as only writing for a small group of people. Anybody can read a work of literature that has lesbians in it, not just lesbians. But at the same time, when lesbians try to work with mainstream institutions, we get lost, forgotten, and erased.

I’m mostly in favor of lesbian writing being a separate genre for a niche market. I wouldn’t want to “sell out” by submitting my own writing to a publisher who wanted to make my work more palatable to either straights or “queers.” I am happy to write for a limited audience, and I’d rather represent lesbians authentically than make a lot of money. I’m not concerned about writing literature where the focus is on a storyline and sexuality isn’t the main theme—I actually prefer when lesbian sexuality is the main theme.

But lesbians should be able to be mainstream writers if they want to be. There’s a paradox going on here where going mainstream would be good for us but it would also be bad for us. We need mainstream representation and visibility, but we also need the authenticity that comes from being in control of our own publications. Imagine if we could have both though? If we could have authentic lesbian representation from mainstream publishers, then that would be a sign we were no longer discriminated against.

I do hope to read more novels written by lesbians and review them here, but as you all know, my reading list is long and always growing. If only I could quit my day job and just read and write full time!

Dear readers, do you have any thoughts on lesbian writing and publishing?

Alex Bertie interview

Alex Bertie is a trans man who’s becoming quite famous these days. He has a popular YouTube channel, he just wrote a book, and here he is promoting it in an interview that aired on the BBC. His picture was recently used in an article that was critical of transgenderism, and now it’s like he’s the trans man poster boy.

The interview is interesting:

Funny how when they talk about Alex’s childhood, the primary thing they talk about is how she was bullied for looking and acting “like a boy.” It’s almost like the reason Alex transitioned is because she was bullied. I mean, if she was just born with a neurological disorder that caused her to have a mental map of her body as male, then they probably would have mentioned that, wouldn’t they? Why the need to open up a discussion of her transition by talking about how much she was bullied for being a “girl with a boy’s haircut?”

Alex’s mother mentions briefly that Alex identified as a lesbian before identifying as a trans man. There’s a big gay elephant in the room during this interview that no one is daring to mention: Alex is a lesbian, and she was bullied for being a lesbian, and the adults in her life taught her that the way to deal with sexist and homophobic bullying is to change your body, and that girls who do “boy things” are literally male.

I really want to read Alex’s book. I can’t afford any more book purchases right now, but hopefully in 2018 I’ll be able to order it. Then I’ll be dropping some truth bombs about how the way to deal with bullying is to make the bullies stop bullying, not force the victim to change herself to accommodate people’s bigotry. Lesbians deserve better than this, and you know what, all girls deserve better than this.

Gratitude

Here is an interview with Derrick Jensen and Robin Wall Kimmerer about gratitude. The excerpt that caught my attention and made me want to read more was this:

“And when we really practice gratitude, it brings forth a sense of enoughness and sufficiency, I think. It makes you feel rich when you’re grateful. You think “Oh my gosh!” You enumerate all these gifts that are around you. And I think in a sense there are practical consequences of that emotion of gratitude; they are that we take less. And when we look at climate change, when we look at the biodiversity crisis, we all know that that is, in a linear way, related to our own consumption. And so if gratitude can be a control or a restraint over our own consumption, gratitude then becomes a really powerful tool for caretaking, for the earth. And so that’s one of the things, I think, that the earth asks of us, is gratitude.”

Kimmerer describes the relationship we should have with the natural environment in terms of gratitude—viewing the things the earth gives us as gifts with intrinsic worth, rather than “resources” to be bought and sold. This perspective is incredibly important and I think that viewing the world this way is necessary for our survival.

I love the way she sees the natural world and I love how she explains greed in terms of a lack of gratitude. Some people turn their whole lives into an endless pursuit of material things, and this vice has gotten out of control to the point where it’s killing our whole planet. What these people need is to really experience the intrinsic value of what they have, instead of trying to always have more. I think the reason they keep wanting more is because they have failed to feel grateful for what they already had.

Kimmerer says this about the importance of paying attention:

“And I think that one of the first places that I always start, especially with my students, is with attention. That in a world that gives us redwoods and mosses and salamanders, we should at least be paying attention to all of those beings and gifts, and to the fact that our lives are utterly dependent on them. And that kind of paying attention is what I think’s needed to bring us to a place of feeling that we live in a world made of gifts, rather than a world made of natural resources.”

Recently I wrote a post about spirituality in which I explained that my personal sense of spirituality is related to the ability to feel awe. I think this is a similar thing that Kimmerer is saying —we need to pay attention to and appreciate the intrinsic value of the things around us, and with this attitude, we realize we are constantly surrounded by gifts.

The way you can feel awe about something is to sit still and focus on the experience of that thing. When I took a mindfulness course, I realized that absolutely everything can be awesome, if I really allow myself to experience it. We did an exercise where we ate a raisin mindfully, and it’s amazing how a simple exercise can be so impactful. I was able to be mindful of the whole experience of holding a box of raisins in my hand and watching my hand as it opened the box, and then I took the time to notice the taste in my mouth instead of just swallowing it right away, and I figured it out—I understood what mindfulness feels like. It wasn’t about the raisin, of course, it was about learning how to pay attention. I actually noticed that day how complex the human hand is, and how not only is it complex how the fingers work to perform tasks, but we can do all sorts of complex things automatically, without our conscious mind even getting involved. I had a good cry that day over the miracle that is my hand, and that exercise really enhanced my ability to see what could be called “miracles” or “gifts” around me. The main things that keep me out of despair are gratitude and awe. Feeling this way has done wonders for my mental health.

To see someone taking this concept and applying it to how to deal with climate change was just beautiful and amazing. I recommend reading or listening to the whole interview—every bit of it is fantastic and important. (Here’s that link again!) This is a concept we have to understand in order to build a sense of spirituality and to understand how to save the world.

The reason this interview was brought to my attention is because our dear comrade Miep has been transcribing interviews that Derrick Jensen does on his show Resistance Radio. Thank you so much Miep—I love the gifts you bring to me!

An anthology of queer fairy tales

I came across an anthology of erotic lesbian fairy tales while looking up lesbian books online, and I had to buy it because that is right up my alley, plus I’m working on writing a lesbian fairy tale right now. It’s good to see what else is out there, right?The description of the book provided online goes like this:

In this sexy, erotic anthology of twisted fairy tales, the damsels are the ones doing the rescuing! Full of ancient, adapted tales that were changed to include female/female pairings and also some brand new stories of feminine heroics and sexual dominance, this collection of stories will leave readers under a spell of lesbian love!

If you’re a lesbian who’s ever searched for erotic lesbian writing, then you’re aware that it’s hard to find anything that’s actually good and that’s actually lesbian. It’s really hit-or-miss out there, since there are people writing “lesbian” books who aren’t lesbians, and since women who write erotica tend to be sex-pozzies, and sex-pozzies tend to present sexuality as something artificially performative and kinda weird.

I was willing to take a chance, because here’s my attitude toward erotic writing: if it’s good, it’s really good, and if it’s bad, it’s still weirdly entertaining. Well, this anthology turned out to be an eclectic collection of the good, the bad, and the ugly. There were some stories I enjoyed, and there were some that left me baffled and shaking my head.
For entertainment purposes, I’m going to tell you about some of the mistakes I saw in some of the writing. Although, do keep in mind that there was something to like about each story, and some of them I enjoyed all the way through, even though I’m bringing up these criticisms here.

One mistake I saw a few times is that authors introduced their characters as disliking each other and then they suddenly wanted to have sex with each other for no apparent reason. I’m puzzled as to why an author would decide to make their characters hate each other first before having sex. I can understand that this provides a plot twist, but that only works in a longer piece like a novel where there is time for the characters to interact with each other long enough for them to change their opinions of each other. In a short story where everything moves quickly, it’s really unrealistic that someone hates someone on page 3 and then on page 4 she’s feeling aroused at her touch, with no actual character progression in between. If you’re writing a quick sex scene, with no character development beforehand, you should be establishing immediately that your characters actually like each other. I can’t say this about heterosexual couples or queer sex-pozzies, but lesbians only have sex with women we actually like.

The worst example of this was the story where a woman was riding along in a carriage, and she was attacked by a robber queen who killed everyone who was travelling with her, and then the robber queen’s daughter pulled her away for sex. In that situation, you would be really upset about the fact that you just got attacked and everyone you know murdered. You wouldn’t be at all interested in having sex with anyone in that situation, but certainly not someone related to the robber. It’s okay for fiction to be imaginative, but it shouldn’t be completely preposterous.

Oh, and that story gets so much weirder. The woman who gets robbed, she turns out to be part wolf, and her canines lengthen when she’s aroused. The robber’s daughter seems to be part wolf too, I think, because she’s also described as having sharp teeth. A red cloak is mentioned briefly in this story, so I think the author has made a weird version of Little Red Hiding Hood where the protagonist and her love interest both turn out to be the wolf? Anyway, I guess because she’s part beast, when she is riding away on a reindeer with her captor, she can’t help humping it as they ride. Maybe reindeer-humping is normal behavior for an imaginary half-woman, half-wolf creature, but it’s not related to actual human lesbians in any way and that’s not something I can get into.

You know, I always assume that the purpose of erotic writing is to arouse your reader. But some people seem to think that the purpose of erotic writing is to baffle the reader with the weirdness of your imagination. And call me old-fashioned, but I think the way you arouse your reader with a sex scene is by creating palpable chemistry and sexual tension between the characters so that the reader is emotionally invested in the consummation of their desire, and feeling desire along with the characters. The reader has to therefore identify with the characters and relate to what they’re feeling.
I did enjoy the stories where princesses or witches saw each other naked in beautiful forest pools and found each other arousing. It can be an imaginative situation, it just shouldn’t be completely bizarre.

Anyhoo, onto the next writing mistake I saw a couple times, which was abrupt and nonsensical changes in tone. All of these stories were meant to be fairy tales, and the almost universal thing about fairy tales is that they take place in the distant past. Now, sometimes people write modern fairy tales (and there was a very cool version of Rapunzel in this book that took place in a condo in San Francisco, and that was one of the good stories, thanks for that!) but if you are writing a fairy tale where you mention kingdoms, medieval armor, magic spells, living in forests, etc, then you are writing in the past, and you need to use old vocabulary. Or, at the very least, you need to avoid using words and phrases that are specific to the modern sleaze culture of the last four decades. If you are writing about old-fashioned situations and then all of a sudden you start throwing in words like “pussy,” “asscheek,” “panties,” and “clit,” then you are using incorrect vocabulary for the piece you’re writing. It’s jarring for the reader to think they’re reading about the year 1600 and then suddenly realize that no, it’s actually 2017. It also lowers your work to the level of amateur fan fiction when you make this sort of mistake.

I checked out who the writers of these stories were, and many of them were bloggers, and not all of them were lesbians. A small number of writers said they were lesbian. Some of them didn’t mention their sexual orientation at all in their bio. Some of them called themselves by unspecific labels that I inferred to mean bisexual. One of them was a man.

If I were editing an anthology of lesbian erotica, one of the very first things I would do is weed out any non-lesbian authors, and then after that I’d choose the best submissions from the lesbian authors. If men submitted stories to my anthology, I would either not answer their emails at all, or I’d tell them to fuck right off, depending on my mood that day.

I conclude that this is an anthology of writing with female-female pairings that may or may not relate to lesbians and that is intended for anyone with an interest in “queer” fairy tales. I have enjoyed reading it because I love this genre, but if you are a lesbian who isn’t particularly interested in fairy tales and just wants good erotica, then I don’t recommend it.

As a side note, if you are a lesbian looking for good erotic writing by a real lesbian, check out the novel Bishop’s Run by B.D. Gates, which has absolutely spectacular sex scenes.

I am happy to report that I am more resolved than ever to keep working on my own fiction. I have six chapters written so far of my novel—just give me about another year or so and I’ll try and get the thing published.