We are Penny House and Liza Cowan. We are Dyke separatists, Born and bred. We are 26 years old and Jewish. We have known each other since we were four years old. We went to school and camp together, hung out together. Lived together, and fought intensely twice. Once over a boy when we were fourteen and didn’t know what was happening, and once just a few months before Penny came out...(snip)
During the past five years Liza produced feminist then Lesbian radio shows at WBAI-FM including a show called "Dyke Salad” a live five hour weekly series. Later she co-edited COWRIE, a Lesbian-feminist magazine. Penny was at this time going to school, producing Lesbian concerts with a woman’s music group, and working with Alix Dobkin. A year ago, Liza and Alix, who are lovers, moved to a farm with Alix’s daughter, Adrian... (snip)
We both love to read and have always loved to read magazines. We talk about both the form and content extensively. Between us we read: Lesbian Connection, Lavender Woman, Off Our Backs, The Lesbian Tide, Big Mama Rag, Majority Report, Sister, Country Woman, The Circle (from New Zeland) Long Time Coming (Montreal) Moonstorm, The Monthly Extract, New York Radical Feminist Newsletter, Womanspirit, and Albatross.
From the patriarchal press we read: Organic Gardening, Publisher’s Weekly, Vogue, People, New York, The New Yorker, Interview, Rona Barrett Hollywood, Rona Barrett Gossip, Newsweek, Mainstream, The New York Times, The New York Post, National Geographic, Horse and Horseman, Yankee Pedlar, The New York Horse, House & Garden and TV Guide. It seemed natural for us to create a Lesbian magazine.
WHAT IS DYKE
We want to publish a magazine that fulfills our need for analysis, communication and news of Lesbian culture. We believe that “Lesbian culture” presumes a separatist analysis. If Lesbian culture is intermixed with straight culture, it is no longer Lesbian; it is heterosexual or heterosocial because energy and time are going to men. Lesbian community – Lesbian culture- means Lesbian only DYKE is a magazine for Dykes only! We will speak freely among ourselves. We are not interested in telling the straight world what we are doing. In fact, he hope they never even see the magazine. It is none of their business. If they chance to see it, we hope they will think it is mindless gobbledegook. We are already thinking in ways that are incomprehensible to them.
Dyke will carry feature articles on theoretical politics, live events, place, current and past history, media, fashions, music, home economics, literature, animal lore, health, applied sciences and gossip. DYKE will be covering Lesbian culture and straight culture. Straight culture is present in our lives and in our minds. It is violent and perverted. We recognize and analyze it and in this way prevent it from retarding our growth. We believe separatism demands constant vigilance and analysis. DYKE magazine will reflect this." (snip)
For an insightful analysis of 1970's Lesbian Feminism, see Urvashi Vaid's most excellent essay, Ending Patriarchy: Political Legacies of the 1970's, published in Trivia, Issue 11, October 2010. Vaid presented this talk on October 9th, 2010 at the CUNY Conference in New York City, In Amerika They Call Us Dykes, Lesbian Lives In the 1970's