[Vwoolf] Was she or wasn't she?

Sarah M. Hall smhall123 at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Aug 19 14:13:45 EDT 2015

The 'queer theorists' are not named, but the author was talking about the 'feminist and lesbian feminist historians travelling to rural Maine to sift through Vernon Lee’s archived letters for that moment of truth – the "proof" that she was a lesbian because she had sex with another woman'.

      From: Jean Mills <millsj7 at gmail.com>
 To: Sarah M. Hall <smhall123 at yahoo.co.uk> 
Cc: VWOOLF listserv <vwoolf at lists.service.ohio-state.edu> 
 Sent: Wednesday, 19 August 2015, 18:51
 Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] Was she or wasn't she?
hmmmm, I'm going to have to ask for a little more to go on than that... who are these alleged queer theorists who have fallen in to said trap? Also, there are many things we don't ask of "heterosexual identity" because it's already operating from the luxurious position of power and credentials, its validation is assumed... and, perhaps, this is part of this author's point?? it's difficult to tell from the passage, but I'd question the throwing under the bus implied in the "Many queer theorists" phrase.
On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 1:36 PM, Sarah M. Hall <smhall123 at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

A propos of nothing, I have just found these words in a book I'm editing for Edinburgh University Press called Women and the Gothic. I am inclined to agree with Ardel Haefele-Thomas, and it frees us from a lot of prurient investigations.

Of course, one’s sexual orientation does not necessarily need to hinge on the fact of sex. Many queer theorists have fallen into the trap of needing to ‘prove’ that someone had sexual encounters to be queer. We certainly do not ask that heterosexual identity be validated in the same way.

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Jean Mills
Associate Professor
The Department of English
John Jay College/CUNY
524 West 59th Street, Room 7.63.12
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