In this remarkable memoir one woman’s life is set in the collective context of the women’s movement as a whole, and through Lise’s eyes we get to see the “both and” quality of her struggle to understand what went wrong not only in her personal relationships with women, but between the powerful women who inspired the women’s movement in the first place. We can only heal this wound personally and collectively if we are willing to self – reflect, ask difficult and painful questions, and are willing to take responsibility for our own actions, something that the author is willing to do. By addressing our own mother-daughter betrayals, choosing to respect one another’s differences regardless of sexual orientation, color, race, religion etc. we can finally unite with one purpose – to save ourselves and the planet…
What Lise proposes – namely that Lesbian Visionary Thinking opened the door to women re –imagining women as powerful agents in their own lives even as they became women who acted upon these visions is, I believe, truth. Lesbian visionaries envisaged a woman centered culture and created one. Many of us realize today that without a feminist standpoint, the ravages of patriarchy are going to destroy us all. We have much to learn from reading this story.
I should probably mention that I am not a lesbian. I am, however, a woman who loves other women – a woman who has struggled with the same questions about relationship and betrayal throughout her life and one who believes that every woman needs to read this book because if we are going to shift this deadly patriarchal paradigm into an eqalitarian matriarchal one women must lead the way. And to do that we have to begin to heal what is broken in ourselves.
The publication of this book is also uncannily timely because we are at such a critical crossroad – Women from all walks of life are waking up to the fact that during the last election 52 percent of American women voted for a power –driven, mentally ill, misogynist.
We must interrupt this cycle of women choosing crazy, abusive men over politically astute women who could be in the position to change the world.
Lise’s personal story is a compelling one. Ruthlessly honest, she struggles with a complex web of personal relationships. This book also helps others like me who came to feminism late – as a middle aged woman – experience what it must have been like to have women’s reading circles, bookstores, places where women gathered with joyful abandon to share ideas and re –imagine the world. The depth and breadth of Lise’s honesty leaves the reader without doubts about this woman’s personal integrity. The book is also a page – turner. I finished this deeply moving memoir which ended on a positive note feeling bereft – I didn’t want it to end.
Finally, in my opinion In Search of Pure Lust is Everywoman’s Story whether she chooses to accept it or not.