My Butch Career
During her difficult childhood, Esther Newton recalls that she “became an anti-girl, a girl refusenik, caught between genders,” and that her “child body was a strong and capable instrument stuffed into the word ‘girl.’” Later, in early adulthood, as she was on her way to becoming a trailblazing figure in gay and lesbian studies, she “had already chosen higher education over the strongest passion in my life, my love for women, because the two seemed incompatible.” In My Butch Career Newton tells the compelling, disarming, and at times sexy story of her struggle to write, teach, and find love, all while coming to terms with her identity during a particularly intense time of homophobic persecution in the twentieth century. Newton recounts a series of traumas and conflicts, from being molested as a child to her failed attempts to live a “normal,” straight life in high school and college. She discusses being denied tenure at Queens College—despite having written the foundational Mother Camp—and nearly again so at SUNY Purchase. With humor and grace, she describes the influence her father Saul's strong masculinity had on her, her introduction to middle-class gay life, and her love affairs—including one with a well-known abstract painter and another with a French academic she met on a spur of the moment trip to Mexico and with whom she traveled throughout France and Switzerland. By age forty, where Newton's narrative ends, she began to achieve personal and scholarly stability in the company of the first politicized generation of out lesbian and gay scholars with whom she helped create gender and sexuality studies. Affecting and immediate, My Butch Career is a story of a gender outlaw in the making, an invaluable account of a beloved and influential figure in LGBT history, and a powerful reminder of only how recently it has been possible to be an openly queer academic.

My Butch Career Details

TitleMy Butch Career
Author
ReleaseNov 16th, 2018
PublisherDuke University Press Books
ISBN-139781478001294
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Lgbt, Nonfiction

My Butch Career Review

  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    In a world where we now see gender role transgressions as crimes that can banish us from womanhood (how other many butches have heard that they need to “just transition already”?), stories like this are incredibly important for young lesbians and other gender non-conforming women.
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Ten pages into this book, and Newton says:"Young people do not see being butch as 'transgressive,' but lesbians challenge the gender hierarchy just as much, or more, by staying women. I am opposed to pressure being put on masculine girls and women to 'go all the way' by transitioning."Automatic DNF. I don't need to read further to discover that she probably also has some f*cked up ideas about trans women, if she has the gall to suggest that anyone is pressured to transition, considering the tran Ten pages into this book, and Newton says:"Young people do not see being butch as 'transgressive,' but lesbians challenge the gender hierarchy just as much, or more, by staying women. I am opposed to pressure being put on masculine girls and women to 'go all the way' by transitioning."Automatic DNF. I don't need to read further to discover that she probably also has some f*cked up ideas about trans women, if she has the gall to suggest that anyone is pressured to transition, considering the transphobic society we live in. Way to perpetuate oppression, so-called feminist.
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