chapter  3
22 Pages

“She Will Spike War’s Gun”: The Anti-War Graphic Satire of the American Suffrage Press

ByRachel Schreiber

Oakland, California, in the early 1970's looked a lot like what the radical feminist critic Jill Johnston famously described as a "Lesbian Nation". In a collection of Village Voice essays published under this bold banner, Johnson outlined lesbian separatist cultural agenda for lesbians building anti-patriarchal social, cultural, and economic networks. Her ideas were nourished by and resonated throughout lesbian popular culture. In Bay Area, where gay men were restoring Victorians and reconfiguring San Francisco's Castro district, lesbians by thousands settled in East Bay. Lesbian feminist publications both documented and contributed to creation of alternative social structures and artistic economies. Indifference to terms of commercial success enabled Amazon Quarterly and other activist publications of era to model anti-consumerist cultural practices and affirm alternative modes of circulation and reception. The ambition to subvert capitalism's cultural production apparatus aligns Amazon with vanguard art magazines of the surrealist era, such as La Rvolution surraliste and Minotaure.