A "Womyn's" Work is Never Done: The Gendered Division of Labor and the Creation of Southern Oregon Lesbian Separatist Communities
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This paper is based on primary source historical research in several collections in the Knight Library at the University of Oregon, including the SOCLAP Collection, the Tee Corinne Papers and the Ruth Mountaingrove Collection, which all contain documentation about the formation of lesbian separatist intentional communities in southern Oregon in the 1970’s. These communities were built from the ground up, by women who were going “back to the land” in order to create rural female centered lives. While predominantly raised in traditionally gendered households, the women who populated these lands transcended the traditional roles of women and through skill sharing and creativity were able to build and maintain their new country lives. Broadly, their experience in the isolated hills of southern Oregon is connected to the social radicalism of the 1960’s and 1970’s. It is a prime example of the intersection of several of these movements, including the back to the land movement, the emerging environmental movement, the women’s liberation movement and the gay liberation movement of the 1970’s.