"Det fanns inga lesbiska i Tammerfors på 50-talet"

  • Tuula Juvonen


I take as my starting point Martha Vicinus' critique of the fetishization of visible difference and self-identification as the criteria for lesbianism as I consider the question why it seems to be difficult to flnd lesbians in Tampere in the 1950s. I show that it is difficult to even think of some of the mannish women from the 1950s as women and therefore as lesbians, and how also some assumed lesbians I interviewed denied their lesbianism explicitly. On the other hand I maintain that vagrant or married women could have easily maintained both their assumed heterosexual status and simultaneously sexual relationships with women. Lesbians were most in danger only if they were seen and said, that is known, to be lesbians. Similarly the most invisible lesbians were the ones "known" to be heterosexual. Hence I argue that it was just the vague knowing that opened up mental spaces to acknowledge that there exists anything beyond heterosexuality.


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How to Cite
Juvonen, T. (1). "Det fanns inga lesbiska i Tammerfors på 50-talet". Lambda Nordica, 2(1), 71-76. Retrieved from https://www.lambdanordica.org/index.php/lambdanordica/article/view/16