Catherine Kemmering, “Naming”, source inconnue

Monique Wittig has for years been at the forefront of radical lesbian-feminist thought. In Lesbian Peoples: Material For a Dictionary, she collaborates with Sande Zeig to produce a highly original work — a work that is a sometimes comical, sometimes serious romp through what language and culture could evolve into amongst a totally lesbian populace.

Lesbian Peoples is a compilation of words that tells a story in a most engaging, interlocking fashion. Through the separate definitions for ‘‘Amazons,” “Mother,” “History,” and “Red Dykes,”’ we can piece together the knowledge that there were only two kinds of women; “Amazons” who lived proudly and “Mothers” who lived in subjection and cared only to watch their abdomens grow. When one half the population (guess which half) takes a “vanishing powder” invented by the “Red Dykes”, the “Glorious Age” begins. “Companion lovers” (lesbians) live in peace and plenty ans perfect harmony, with other “companion lovers” collectively known as the “lesbian peoples”.

The book is a lively compendium of lesbian love. It gives names of ancient cities and the Amazon warrior queens who founded them, gives brief biographies of some famous lesbian lovers throughout the ages, and lists the customs of various Amazonian tribes.


I found some entries delightful, some disquieting, but none outside the realm of possibility. Many of the new meanings for words and word phrases are so appealing that they will, I believe, find their way into common usage in the lesbian community.


Source : Catherine Kemmering, “Naming”, source inconnue, retranscrit par Ami·es de Monique Wittig sur le carnet Études wittigiennes / Wittig Studies, mis en ligne le 3 mars 2022,


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