Monday, November 17, 2008

The Lesbian Factory

No One Gets Out Of Here Straight
Prince Alfred Res was a lesbian assembly line, straight girls went in, and newly minted-lesbians were trotted out, like phalanxes of militant marching lego men. Scorning makeup, they dressed in Doc Marten 12-ups, leggings, and sweatshirts shapeless as mielie sacks that left a boggling amount to the imagination. They roamed in packs, listened to Nine Inch Nails,and wore their hearts on strident placards.

Riot Grrrls
Lesbian Society extra-mural activities included picketing the Vic whenever the first year men had a stripper in, and rioting outside the Mr and Miss Fresher competition. They were loud, proud, and in your face. Being gay in the early ’90s was much more of an issue than it is today. 

I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It
To me, lesbians were a closed book, a secret club more opaque than the freemasons. They claimed the sexual high ground, saying that the gusset-typing finger sutra of lesbian sex made our scorned straight bump-and-grind look like trying to pick a lock with a 12-pound hammer. They seemed to know impossibly complex Sapphic card tricks, while I still found the bra strap a Gordian knot. My early ham-fisted attempts at female arousal felt like trying to play twister colour-blind.

Handbags at Dawn
Worlds collided when boorish elements of the Rhodes First XV, messed with three lipstick lezzas and Dolph the uber-dyke outside the Graham. The Rhodes forward pack was happily thrashed to a pulp, and were last seen retreating em masse to the safety of Botha Res.

Have Your Cake and Shag it Too
A common habit of the winsome pajama-clad denizens of St Mary’s Hall, bisexuality was apparently the best of both worlds: you could have your cake and fuck it. To my provincial mindset, it seemed a bizarre feat of sexual fence-sitting, like kicking with either foot. I had a bi girlfriend for a time, and often felt that a sort of Jekyll and Hyde game was being played in the laboratory of her disorientated longings.

I made some good lesbian friends at Rhodes. They played mean pool, drank black label quarts, and had cool music taste. Their friendship was open and honest: unfettered by the minefield that sometimes occasioned straight girl friendships. I liked them. They rule.

9 comments:

tam said...

Ha, love it! It was indeed a lesbian factory and I'm proud to say I was both the PA rep for Ms Fresher (in jeans n t-shirt - no ballgowns or bikinis for us, we showed em) and I was one of the crew outside the Grahaam who showed those boys. They really were asking for it.
As for the fence sitters, well, they caused a little consternation within the L ranks too and I'm sure they loved every minute of the ambiguity they sowed. Hmm, should that be 'we'. Thandi's homemade Tshirt said it all - 'Bisexual by choice. Slut by demand.'
Great post.

fush and chips said...

tam,
You were at the Battle of the Graham? You're my hero. I'd always wondered if that story was real or apocryphal.

Tanya said...

I remember another incident of lesbian’s v jocks; in ’93 a few Smuts boys felt their wrath. As I remember it, a group of girls were crossing the lawns outside Smuts and some intoxicated jocks were hurling abuse from their windows, of course one of the girls said ‘Come say that here’ , he did, but boy did he regret that decision…for weeks he was the butt of the joke at Smuts hall meals….my word verification is ‘untess’ which I think is quite appropriate considering the topic.

tam said...

Ha ha. Miranda and I both. I should write about it sometime. I remember it - literally - blow by blow.
Word veri now is 'saffiesb'

Tanya said...

Wow, you girls were/are legends. Since leaving uni, I have on occasion, been called a lesbian (owing to a sporty physique and the male dominated sports I played), people thought they were insulting me, I would think back to the Rhodes/PA lesbians and think it was way cool to be confused for one.

Jeannie said...

I never heard of the Battle of the Graham before! I can only think the Botha boys deserved every injury they got, though.

Snogging a girl friend at parties whilst very drunk was the closest I got to Sapphic delights; it was fun, but I was never seriously tempted away from the straight bump and grind :-) Bex and I were videotaped slow dancing at Marc's 21st (holding each other up, more like) and that was used in a video for GaySoc, but really, any coolness attached was undeserved!

Tammy said...

Love this post. I remember both these incidents clearly. Was dating a gay boy from Smuts at the time. (I knew he was gay, it was purely experimental for both of us. In the end he went back to his boyfriend!) Hung around in the circles so got a taste of the "brotherhood" amongst the sisters! They were very protective about each other, kind of like a family. Moral of the story, don't fuck with a lesbian.

Larissa said...

As one of the PA lesbians I have some very fond memories of both the battle of the Graham and the fresher picket. I remember Jesse B wearing her mom's matric farewell dress and holding a placard declaring that her personality was at the drycleaners. Also, I don't really remember too many leggings with the docs, but otherwise you have it spot-on Tim. Shit that was all a long time ago!

DjStrat3gy said...

was there ever a worse placed bit of spam than the viagra pitch which follows this discussion? Keep on keeping on Tim - your writing is very entertaining.