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The History of Lesbian Hair Paperback – September 1, 1996
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With the rise of violence against gay people, the "don't ask, don't tell" military policy and the homophobic rhetoric of the right-wing, sometimes there doesn't seem to be very much fun about gay and lesbian life. That is, until you read Mary Dugger's The History of Lesbian Hair. Dugger has a sense of humor that knows no boundaries -- from instructions to how to build you own lesbian (complete with Birkinstocks) to how to collect right-wing demagogue trading cards to how all lesbian haircuts have evolved from Patsy Cline's original 1950s do -- she is unafraid of poking fun at everyone from right-wing hate-mongering to the dyke in the bar with a bad attitude. Dugger has a sense of humor, and she knows how to use it.
From the Back Cover
In The History of Lesbian Hair, Mary Dugger delivers an unrelentingly hilarious view of the modern world. The redoubtable Ms. D. offers an uproarious array of illustrated essays, diagrams, and short takes, subdivided into Life ("The Downside to Lesbian Chic", how to "Build Your Own Lesbian", "So You Want to Be a Straight Girl", and the ultimate definition of children - "pets with thumbs"), Liberty ("Far Right Trading Cards", the ethics of outing, and an irrefutable argument proving that if homosexuals really do make up only 1.5 percent of the population, then every gay person in Chicago spends an average of $13.11 on liquor every single day), and The Pursuit of Happiness (the birth of the indomitable alter ego Marie DuGuerre, and her ongoing search for love, romance, and a decent vacation).
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This book MIGHT have been funny, years ago. True, it got a laugh or two out of me, but it's really just composed of the SAME tired jokes. Lesbians and softball. Lesbians and hair. PC lesbians. The Religions Right. Yawn.
The sad thing is that she doesn't even present the same old jokes in an amusing way, she just slaps up some clip art and goes "Look! Fat lesbians playing softball!" "Gay men acting like queens!" "Them wacky straight people!"
Ha, ha, ha.
Everything in the book gives off a very negative tone. Not angry and interesting, just bored, apathetic, and non-satisfied. I wasn't left feeling amused, I was left felt feeling disgruntled.
And the book has no form -- it's as if the author just decided to slap it together at 3 AM. It's just a series of page-length "articles" thrown together in a heap. It's tiny -- a slim paperback, but even thinner in content, since the clipart and layout takes up most of each page. The author claims that this makes the book enjoyable, but it just seems like an excuse to create an entire book out of very little content.
Personally, I wish I hadn't wasted my money. If you want to read this book, I suggest you find a friend who owns it and borrow it, or just read it at her house, if you have twenty minutes.
The thing is, it becomes a very Negative book, and left me feeling disenchanted and sad at the end. The author seems to have a very set ideal of what people should act, seem, and look like, and ends up abandoning most of the reader base that picked it up to read it to begin with.
I don't recommend buying this book at full price. I'd suggest a Very inexpensive, used copy.