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

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

Contesting boundaries within the construction of collective identification. Abstract

Drawn from a study of this construction of collective identification in DIVA mag between 1994 and 2004, this informative article considers the discursive contestation regarding the boundaries necessarily, however never ever straightforwardly, erected in the act. Analysing first a range of articles and second (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 period. Visitors draw on and competition a cluster of interrelated characterisations of bisexuals: as undecided, as sort of pollutant, so that as insufficient facsimiles of ‘real lesbians’, along with just about available characterisations of ‘us’. These arguments are fundamentally handled editorially, and constantly ‘end’ with telephone telephone calls for acceptance. This doesn’t completely recover the ambiguity with which bisexuality is managed, nevertheless, as well as the article concludes by speaking about the s that are dilemma( faced because of the thought community.

Introduction

The work offered right right right here arises from a study for the construction of collective identification in DIVA, Britain’s first main-stream commercial magazine that is lesbian in its very very first a decade on the net (1994 2004). Somewhat, DIVA continues to be the actual only real commercially successful, nationally distributed lesbian mag, 1 celebrating in 2014 its twentieth birthday celebration, an unprecedented milestone for a lesbian mag when you look at the UK, commercial or perhaps. Where other games (Arena Three within the 1960s and 1970s, and Sappho when you look at the 1970s and 1980s see Turner, 2009 , for lots more information in the timeline of Uk lesbian publishing) more or less swiftly became the victims of circumstances both regional and international, DIVA has survived in a time period of considerable social and governmental modification. As a result, it really is a text whose analysis that is close both essential and gratifying the initial a decade, by which it discovered a foothold which 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 promise that even and dykes that are especially‘regular city’ would get in its pages a property (Williams, 1994 , p. 4). Additionally looking to result in the publishing business Millivres Prowler a return on its investment, DIVA had been an enterprise that is unique more means than one.

Regardless of this, it as well as other lesbian magazines have actually gone mainly untouched by academics. Although we have actually considerable records 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 publications (Carpenter, 1998 ; Massoni, 2004 , 2006 ; Schlenker, Caron, & Halteman, 1998 ; have all written about Seventeen alone), really small work has been done on lesbian publications. Even without contrast towards the literature that is considerable women’s (and, considering that the very early 2000s, males’s) mags, the human body of work handling lesbian publications 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 bdsm cams articles from DIVA), and many bigger scale studies of US homosexual and lesbian publications exist (see Cutler, 2003 ; Esterberg, 1990 ; Streitmatter, 1993 , and especially Sender, 2001 , 2003 , 2004 ), but no other researcher has scrutinised A uk lesbian mag with any comprehensive remit.

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

Although the analysis presented in this essay is predominantly discursive (see below for my method of the precise texts analysed), a blended technique approach had been taken, additionally the conversation comes with insights garnered utilizing two extra and complementary techniques: (quantitative) content analysis and (semi structured) interviews with key editorial staff. Content analysis had been carried out using each magazine (coding kinds of content), each article (coding topic and reference that is person and every advertisement (coding item, regularity and size) because the product of research, permitting a type of ‘mapping’ of this test. The interviews, with founding editor Frances Williams, her successor Gillian Rodgerson, present deputy editor and very long time staff author Louise Carolin and Kim Watson, who’s now Millivres’ news and marketing manager but served for quite some time in advertisement product product sales and advertising, had been directed by Chouliaraki and Fairclough’s ( 1999 , p. 62) advocacy of ethnographic work with discourse analytic tasks so that you can explore ‘the opinions, values and desires’ of individuals. The interviews were created as a method of learning more info on the founding for the magazine, its staff (roles, routines and laws), the emotions of these in jobs of energy, the imperatives put down because of the publisher additionally the relationship between DIVA and its own visitors.