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DYKE A Quarterly, No 3, 1976, Back Cover

Dyke No3 p 52
DYKE A Quarterly, Issue #3, 1976,  Back Cover Drawing by Liza Cowan

Text from issue

DYKE, a quarterly magazine of Lesbian Culture and analysis, is searching for an original poster design by a Lesbian. We will select a poster design which we will print and distribute as our first anniversary issue. Winter 1976-1977

Influence of Aspen Magazine

220px-Aspen3 It had always been our intention to vary the format of DYKE, A Quarterly. We were influenced by Aspen Magazine, founded in 1965 by Phyllis Johnson, a former editor of Women's Wear Daily and Advertising Age. In 1965 we were still Juniors in high school, but someone in one of our familes or a frend's family had a subsciription, which we'd gleefulley read.

"Each issue came in a customized box filled with booklets, phonograph recordings, posters, postcards - one issue even included a spool of Super-8 movie film.

"While wintering in Aspen, Colorado, she got the idea for a multi media magazine, designed by artists, that would showcase 'culture along with play.' So in the winter of  1965 she published her first issue. 'We wanted to get away from the bound magazine format, which is really quite restrictive,' said Johnson

"Each issue had a new designer and editor. 'Aspen,' Johnson said, should be a time capsule of a certain period, point of view, or person.' " Aspen stopped publishing in 1971.  SOURCE

Aspen Vol 1 #3 1966, Andy Warhol and David Dalton

 

The DYKE Poster

We decided that our first foray into a different format would be a poster. We both loved the poster format. There were Lesbians working as poster designers at the time, notably The Chicago Women's Graphics Collective whose work we admired greatly.

Lipstick
Poster by The Chicago Women's Graphics Collective

Rather than commissioning a poster from the Graphics Collective, we decided to open it up to our readers as a competition. We advertised with a flier, sent around the country to individuals and Lesbian venues, as well as the back page of Issue No. 4.

 

The graphic on both is by Liza Cowan, using an resist technique of poster paint and India Ink. And yes, it was supposed to look somewhat like a WANTED poster.

 

Dyke poster design
Flier for DYKE A Quarterly Poster Issue. 1976, design and drawing by Liza Cowan.

 

 


DYKE A Quarterly, No 1, 1975, Introduction


DYKE A QUARTERLY ISSUE 1. P.3 INTRODUCTION DYKE A Quarterly, Issue 1, p. 4, introduction

 

DYKE A QUARTERLY #1 -p  5 introuduction DYKE A Quarterly, Issue 1, p. 5, Introduction

  

Text (edited) below in grey. For full text see above. You can click to enlarge it.
 
DYKE A Quarterly, Issue 1, p 4 + 5 intro spread WHO WE ARE

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.

 INSIDE DYKE

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)

 

To see more about Lesbian and Feminist periodicals of the time check here and here. and here

 

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 

 


DYKE A Quarterly, No. 2, Correspondents- Iowa City

DYKE A QUARTERLY No 2 p 86
DYKE A Quarterly, No. 2, p. 86, Correspondents and ads

click on image to enlarge. Edited text in grey, below:

We would like to have correspondents from communes and communities all over the country. We would like to hear about what books Dykes are reading, what movies they are going to, how they are raising their children, how they are celebrating their holidays, what arts they are involved with, what their living arrangements are. We are interested in all the varied things that happen in the every day life of a Dyke community. If you would like to be a correspondent, please write for details.

IOWA CITY

....Meanwhile, back in Iowa City, Grace & Rubies Restaurant is still alive, kicking and struggling to get out from under while the City's new mayor, a woman, instructs the human relations commission to investigate the legality of the restaurant's policy of refusing membership (and admittance) to men. The outcome of the investigation is unknown, but if it takes the commission as long to investigate Grace & Rubies as it does to investigate sex discrimination in employment claims, the restaurant will be around fo a number of years, no matter what the outcome.

     The Iowa City Women's press, a Lesbian press collective, just finished printing "Sister Heathenspinster's Almanac and Lunation Calendar" last month and is currently working on a series of skills manuals written by local Dykes on auto mechanics, carpentry and electrical wiring.

    The press collective has been around since 1972 trying to give Lesbians/women access to printing tools, whether that be to learn the skill of printing or to print material done by Lesbians/women who do not have access to commercial printing.  In addition to their press, the collective also operate a photography darkroom.

     The press can print color, black and white reverses, and reproduce photographs. In the past the press has printed cards and posters with the Chicago Women's Graphics Collective, a Lesbian calendar, a non-sexist children's book and health pamphlets for the women's health clinic in Iowa City. Other women have also used the press to print their works: The Common Woman, a woman's poetry book; and the Ain't i A Woman collective printed a pamphlet about academic women in the movement, Academic Feminists.

  Iowa city women's press flier circa 1975     At this point, the press is trying to make contacts in the Midwest and other parts of the country with women who have material to print and are looking for a press to print it. The press collective doesn't have the resources for publishing, but they are willing to work on ideas to get money and can help find distribution sources. The press can be reached by mail....

     In the entertainment world, 100 Dykes bought a block of tickets and got dressed to the tee to see Lily Tomlin perform in Iowa City. Tomlin's interview about how it was to play a heterosexual in "Nashville" brought cheers of approval from the Dyke crowd and perplexed looks from the straight audience. How nice it was to see so many Dykes have so much fun with so many straight people wondering how there ever came to be so many of us in one place.

 For more on Iowa City Dyke history go here.

 

Chicago women's graphics collective circa 1975
The Chicago Women's Graphics Collective circa 1975. source

In Celebration Of Amazons chicago women's graphics collective Almost every Lesbian household we visited in those days had at least one poster from the Chicago Women's Graphics Collective. This was a favorite of ours. Horses, Amazons and Dykes. Who could resist? Not us.

 

For more on The Chicago Women's Graphics Collective see HERE Michelle Moravec, Towards a Revolutionary Women's Culture, The Politics of Women's Culture.


 

 


Review of DYKE, A Quarterly from The Lesbian Tide "DYKE STRIKES OUT'

 

The Lesbian Tide, a magazine from Los Angeles, really hated us! Here's their review of Issue No. 1:

 

Lesbian Tide review of DYKE A Quarterly Review of DYKE in The Lesbian Tide, March/April 1976


Dyke purports to be a separatist magazine reporting "analysis, communication and news" of Lesbian culture. What it is in fact is a vehicle for the personal ramblings of its two editors (high-school diary style) and a mishmash of politically naive thinking they call Dyke Separatism.

Separatism, as espoused by Dyke, is a luxury item for the privileged few. For those that can afford it, the best I can say is "Gee whiz, you lucky dykes sure do have a great life". For the rest of us, its crucial lack of awareness of lesbian and women's oppression is classist, ignorant and infuriating. Two examples of this are chronicled in the section called "California Diary."

One is an incident where the two right-on dykes ask a stewardess if she wouldn't be more comfortable in pants, instead of her mini-skirt uniform, and are surprised at her taking offense. She's probably be most comfortable being independently wealthy and quitting that oppressive job where she has to grovel to travelers all day long for crumby money. The issue of pants does not exactly speak to her oppression, since she can't control PSA's requiring stewardesses to dress like sex objects, nor change the fact that she needs the job to survive. How'd they miss the point?

We were both angry and highly amused by this review. Puzzled too. How could the author not get that the one of the things that made the stewardesses job oppressive was that she was forced to wear hot pants? Meanwhile, unbeknownst to The Lesbian Tide, stewardesses themselves were claiming their own power, organizing and changing the rules

Another interesting misuse of separatism is their report of visiting a local feminist bookstore and finding a man (of all things) shopping there. They harass him and finally make him leave. What that accomplished was that it lost the bookstore some money. Six women's livelihoods depend on that bookstore, and in these pre "Lesbian Nation" times men's money has the same buying power as women's. The bookstore is glad to rip it off and  re-filter it into  alternative jobs for women.

Well, as a retailer myself, now, I don't think I'd appreciate my customers harassing other customers, which is certainly what we were doing, as reported in "California Diary." It was interesting, though, that the author felt that selling things to men was "ripping them off" but selling  the same things to a woman was not a ripoff.  Interesting attitude for a retailer.

The worst part of the critique, however, was that the author failed to mention that she was a co-owner of Sisterhood Bookstore. Because we believed so strongly in situated knowledge and transparency, this kind of false - if implied- claim to objectivity really stunned us.


Here's our (rather hot headed) response, which they probably published, or published some of. Click on the thumbnail image and the bigger page will pop up. You can double click to enlarge even more.

 

 


 

 

 


DYKE, A Quarterly. No. 1: California Diary

DYKE A QUARTERLY-No 1pg 70

 

DYKE A QUARTERLY-No1 pg 71 California Diary. Illustration, Amy and Phranc at Alix's Concert, drawing by Liza Cowan

 

Dyke A Quarterly-No1 pg 72

DYKE A QUARTERLY NO 1 P 73 California Diary. Illustration by LIza Cowan

 

DYKE A QUARTERLY NO 1 P California Diary. Illustration, Syreeta's Car, Berkeley, by LIza Cowan

 

Excerpted Text below in grey. For full text see above. Click to enlarge and make them more readable.

 

April 26, 1975

Penny flies to San Francisco to see Janet who is there working on a film…

 

May 1, 1975

Liza and Alix fly to Los Angeles. Met at airport by Norma NY…

 

May 2, Friday

Penny and Janet drive to LA with Deborah Hoffman and Joan Bobkoff. We all meet at the Lesbian History Exploration…we settle into our bunk…which we share with other New Yorkers, Moregan Zale, Majoie Canton, Joan Bobkoff, Deborah Hoffman, Karen and Jan Oxenberg.

 

We have dinner and a meeting with all 150 women who have come for the weekend. The Exploration collective tells us that we are to break into small groups to CR about  Lesbian history. Penny objects to this attempt to structure our experience but everyone looks daggers at her, so she shuts up….

 

 May 3, Saturday

…Alix sings songs arranged chronologically to show the development of her Lesbian consciousness. Then we listen to Judy Grahn read her poetry, She is fabulous. Lunch. Liza and Alix go to a workshop where a woman presents a Marxist analysis of Lesbian oppression. They argue with her….Alix talks music with Margie Adam. Liza meets another of her pen pals Chocolate. Dinner. Liza gets dressed up in her beautiful green velour suit that Moregan Zale had just finished making. Liza presents her slide show, What The Well Dressed Dyke Will Wear.’” An historical examination of Lesbian clothing from 1900 to the present. Margie Canton does a comedy routine. Then we see a part of Jan Oxenberg's very funny movie, A Comedy In Six Unnatural Acts. We go indoors and listen to two women tell us about the bar scene and the Army in the 1950’s.

May 4, Sunday

At the end of the Exploration we all gather around in a circle to sing songs but nobody knows what to sing. Alix finally leads us in “Beware Young Ladies”.  Snip

 

May 5th

…we drive to Lee’s office, where she works as a professional feminist, then to Sisterhood Bookstore. A man comes in and starts to look at books. Liza and Penny decide to make him feel unwelcome. He is looking at books on a revolving rack. Liza and Penny surround him, and Liza spins the rack around fast. He pretends nothing is happening. Eventually we force him to leave. The woman in charge of the store calls us fascists and we leave. Later we meet Simone of Sisterhood books, who is more in agreement with our politics. W go to The Feminist Wicca and meet Z Budapest, who tells us a few stories about her recent arrest. Nancy Toder and Alice Bloch, who had been on the planning collective for the Lesbian History Exploration meet us at The Wicca. They take us to their house for dinner. We all get along so well that they invite us to stay with them starting the next night.

 

Tuesday, May 6

…We drive to Hollywood and all around Beverly Hills. Penny buys two maps of the stars homes. …Liza and Alix go to Jan Oxenberg’s for dinner and then on to KPFK to do a live radio show, Lesbian Sisters, with Jan.

 

May 8

We go to the Santa Monica Women’s Center. Jan Aura, Amy, Phranc (who had just cut her hair short) Judy Dlugacz and others come by. We have a discussion about separatism and women’s music. Janet joins us and we drive to visit Liza’s brother and sister –in-law.

 

May 9

..Alice and Nancy drive Alix and Liza to the train station to take the train to San Diego for Alix’s concert. …snip…after the concert we go to Las Hermanas, the women’s coffeehouse; we are impressed by the décor; mural of women, big wooden bookcases and pillows on the floor. It is very friendly and casual…

 

May 10, Saturday

Train back to LA…rest up for Alix’s concert. Janet comes back from here sister’s and we all get dressed up.

 

Amy and Phranc, LA 1975, drawing be Liza Cowan The concert is at Metropolitan Church, a Gay church in downtown LA. It looks like a converted movie palace, with red plush all over the seats and stage. The walls are gold speckled stucco. The concert, produced by Marion for Macaroon Productions, is fabulous. The sound engineered by Margot McFedries is rich and clear. Everyone is dressed to the teeth, and six women have had their hair cropped short since The Exploration. Alix gives a wonderful  performance and many women say they are thrilled to hear such overt Lesbian music

 

After the concert there is a party upstairs with dancing and punch. Alix leaves with Meg Christian, Margie Adam, Cris Williamson and Ginny Berson. They go back to Olivia records house to play music. Janet, Liza, Penny, Nancy and Alice go home.

 

May 11, Sunday

…Liza, Alix and Penny are flying to San Francisco…snip…On the airplane the stewardesses are wearing orange hotpants and high heels. We ask them if they wouldn’t be more comfortable in pants? They say no and seem offended.

 

At the San Francisco airport we are met by Ellen Broidy and Ilsa Perse, who, along with Natalie Landou, are producing all of Alix’s Bay Area performances….snip…They tell us about the controversy at the Full Moon, a woman’s coffee house where a large part of the collective have quit for political reasons, and a debate is raging. Alix has two dates to perform there. We go out to dinner  and then to the Baccanaal, a women’s bar in Berkeley, where Alix is playing. The show is great and we have a good time. The sound, by Joan Bobkoff, is excellent, and the women are tough looking and gorgeous.

 

….at noon we go to KPFA to be interviewed by Karen. Meet Ellen, then we go to ICI A Woman’s  Place Bookstore, and see an old school chum of Liza and Penny’s who is working at the bookstore and is a Lesbian.

Wendy cadden,. photot by Willyce kim We visit the Women’s Press Collective which shares space with the bookstore, and we talk to Wendy Cadden and Judy Grahan. Wendy explains how she is learning color separation and shows us a project, a cover for a 45 record. ..snip…in the evening Liza shows her slide, “What The Well Dressed Dyke Will Wear” at The Women’s Skills Center.

 

Wendy Cadden at the press. Photo by Willyce Kim

 

 

May 13th, Tuesday

….we go to The Full Moon where Alix is playing. The Free Box Collective (the women who quit The Full Moon) is handing out copies of its statement. We stop to talk with them. Inside, The Full Moon is packed with Bay Area women, but we hear many women won’t come because of the controversy We like The Full Moon, and we think it is attractive.

 

May 15th, Thursday

Red wing boot, drawing by LIza Cowan In the morning Laurie from Seattle interviews us for the Lesbian Feminist Radio Collective.  Afterward we drive to Oakland where Penny buys a pair of Red Wing hiking boots. Then out to a house in the Berekely Hills where we meet Syreeta and Linda. We have a wonderful fresh salmon for dinner. We are late so we have a mad drive through the hills of Berkely, Penny and Liza in Syreeta’s 1959 Mercedes Benz; Alix, Ellen, Ilsa and Linda following in Ilsa’s car. Alix sings at Bishops, a people’s coffee house in Oakland given over to women for the evening. Joan Bobkoff engineered the sound, as she had for all the performances.

Red Wing Boot, drawing by LIza Cowan 1975

May, 16th, Friday

We fly home to New York. Janet meets us at the airport with flowers.