The Women’s Music Movement is 45 Years Old. It Began with the Inventiveness of Jewish Lesbian Artists

Despite the range of Jewish talent, fear of backlash prevented many women from stating the obvious: that Jewish energy fueled much of lesbian cultural activism. Only a few artists even mentioned their Jewishness onstage. “Why cause trouble?” one woman confided in me; “After all, we’re already accused of running the media.”

But there were certainly exceptions. Phranc, who started out as little Susie Gottlieb, had a press kit describing herself as “your basic all-American Jewish Lesbian folksinger.” And during each of her own concerts, Alix Dobkin deliberately paused at the third song in her set to say, “Jews and lesbians have much in common: we were never meant to survive.”

Need More Lilith?

Sign up now for a weekly batch of Jewish feminist essays, news, events--and incredible stories and poems from 40 years of Lilith.