Leah Wener-Fligner's Reviews > The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
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Mar 08, 12

bookshelves: comics
Read from March 04 to 08, 2012

What a good anthology of a deservedly long-running and still content-rich comic. I like the characters, I care about what happens to them, and other than some amount of soap-operaesque* sleeping around (*may in fact be quite realistic, but if so than I am sadly under-romanced), very true to life.

Aside from the story, it was a really interesting look back at culture and politics, with a queer feminist liberal etc bent (heh, bent). DtWOF started in the 1980s! I was barely human, without opinions, and may have been queer but * definitely* didn't know it; don't think I even learned what "dyke" actually meant outside of Dutch levees until about 1999 (though, funny aside: I knew it was an insult long before then, but I thought it meant dumb as in "dumb as a post" but with a wall or, y'know, dyke). Very strange, to go back as an adult (I AM AN ADULT WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN) and read adult casual conversation about political events that I remember from History Class (there was this guy Reagan but we ran out of time to explain by talking about WWII for 6 months), a six-year-old's perspective (Bush I to Clinton: it happened, people were excited) or a 12-year-old's (Monica Lewinsky, also Iraq and Kosovo: what's an intern? is this a war yet? how do you spell Milosevic?)...and that I don't really remember because nobody talked about them (AIDS, gays, etc). It's very important, I think, to have a sense of how shitty things were for queers who came (heh, came) before, because of how often things seem shitty now: but wow. Things did in fact Get Better. Thanks, previous generations.
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Reading Progress

03/08/2012 "LOVE. Like the L Word if the L Word had class, a sense of irony, and more realism. Though to be fair to the L Word, when I tried watching it I was on powerful opiates."

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