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Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence

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Second wave feminism is very much at work here, and while I can stomach the self-empowering language (and can ignore the rampant appropriation of Indigenous cultures once these women ‘find their way’), I can’t ignore the fact that this anthology needed a better editor. If you grew up Catholic and female there were three options: marriage + babies unlimited, the religious life, OR single life, which was like watching black and white tv: never by choice and only in the absence of any other options. Not in a bad way, I’m not saying the writing was inelegant, but that it was so emotionally difficult to read that I would have to put it down for a few days after a chapter or two or else I would get extremely depressed. I recommend this to anyone looking for an inner-glimpse of the life of nuns and what it takes for them to break the covenant and leave regardless of their sexuality. Meaning the movement lost Republican women, housewives, and soccer moms afraid of what their husbands and family would think.

The editors were banned from an Eastern talk show last month when a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston read about the book and asked that the segment featuring Manahan and Curb not be aired, arguing that it “would be an affront to the sensitivity of Roman Catholics. On the shelves for only a month, the book will complete a third printing today, bringing the number of copies in print to 150,000. My own particular interest has always been those landmark, ground-breaking memoirs of individuals whose acknowledgement of their homosexuality took place within the context of their religious faith, yet did not involve rejecting that faith totally, but rather striving to accept their sexuality as God-given and even God-approved and blessed, and where possible to impart that understanding to the religious communities to which they belonged. She was the co-editor of a best-selling book Lesbian Nuns Breaking Silence, which she wrote under her married name of Rosemary Curb. These are autobiographical tales from women nearly two generations removed from me, and while I appreciate their bravery, their writing often falls into 1960s women’s studies platitudes.

Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 4/4/2023), Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your Privacy Choices and Rights (updated 12/31/2023). By and large, the women writing here have chosen lives that have taken them far from that invisibility: a lot of activists; a lot of self-identified radicals and the like. Still myth-shattering, the stories remind us of the courage required to live--and love--in congruence with our authentic selves.

No way did I think I would finish this one, but it was the best waking up and going to bed reading—lots of little stories, giving perspective on their time and the Catholic Church and the transitions I was working through in my life. I think it's so important to look at history and see ourselves, and Catholic/ex-Catholic women in the lesbian/bi community can definitely find parts of their histories in this book to relate to.As a product of Catholic schools, I was very interested in learning what went on behind those convent walls. In 1985, her publication with co-editor Nancy Manahan, Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence, was released. My ground-breaking best-seller Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence was published in 8 languages and 11 countries. They also were criticized by representatives of the Catholic church and received death threats when they appeared in Dublin on a publicity tour in the United Kingdom.

She was also a board member of the National Women's Studies Association and chair of the organization's Lesbian Caucus. It’s fascinating to read each section and find such similarities and differences in these women’s stories. The book opens doors for anyone who’s ever felt an outsider, who ever felt they had to pass for mainstream,” said Curb, a 45-year-old associate professor of English at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. To enable personalised advertising (like interest-based ads), we may share your data with our marketing and advertising partners using cookies and other technologies.Though many described how their coming out was made safe in the confines of the convent in the company of other women, most felt lonely at first until they could confide in other sisters. The fascinating insight into the mentality of the women, before, during and after their devotion to the church is worth the old brittle pages it's printed on. Out of print for two decades, Lesbian Breaking Silence, the explosive international best-seller, is back with a new foreword analyzing the unprecedented impact it had on the lesbian community and mainstream culture. Among the contributors to “Lesbian Nuns,” seven have been officers in the National Organization for Women at local and national levels. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item.

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