chapter  8
“It can’t be a one-way street”: Committed Butch-Fem Relationships
Pages 45

The view that lesbian relationships are unfulfilling and doomed to fail extends beyond the social sciences, pervading Western culture with the power of myth. This is the way lesbian relationships have been consistently presented in literature, at least until the writings of Monique W ittig.1 Cinema has hardly been better. The flawed relationship portrayed in The Killing o f Sister George is a typical example.2 Sister George, an “obvious” lesbian, jealously dominates the innocent Childie, who

subsequently is saved by a sophisticated, calculating, closeted businesswoman, Mercy Croft. In analyzing the system of serial monogamy, it is tempting to focus disproportionately on the conditions that lead to discontinuity in relationships. It is equally significant and challenging, however, to understand the forces for continuity in butch-fem relationships and the dynamics of committed loving.