Lesbianism Made Easy front cover

Front cover for Lesbianism Made Easy

By Helen Eisenbach
Published in 1998 by Three Rivers Press

The first few pages of this book were funny.  Then it just got mean spirited.  In fact, I hate to even write this review. My only reason for doing so is that Daddy has asked me too.  Granted, that may seem a poor reason to review a book, but it works for me.  Don’t like it?  Oh well, there are lots of things not to like in this world, hopefully I don’t top your list.

Back to the book, Helen Eisenbach’s book appears to be a comical parody looking at the follies of lesbians in America.  It isn’t.  It isn’t comical nor is it a fair parody.  It actually ends up being a rather rude degradation of heterosexual women, heterosexual men, homosexual women, homosexual men, bisexual women, bisexual men, and, for good measure, asexual anyone.  The punch line becomes the punch too often to ignore.

I was most directly offended by her chapter on BDSM.  She clearly made no effort to understand her topic, did not approve of those who participate in it, and assumes that no one really enjoys that sort of thing.  Her suggestion instead is that any woman who engages in BDSM is an abuse survivor with low intellectual ability repressed by the patriarchy.  Her disdain for other people’s sexual preferences is too much to look past.

In fact, as I hated the book so much, I began to wonder if perhaps my view was skewed.  I thought maybe other folks love this book.  Maybe since I am just a bisexual woman and not a “real lesbian” I didn’t get it. A quick Google search found a great review of a different book that refers to Eisenbach’s book.  Julie Felner’s review of The Girls Next Door: Into the Heart of Lesbian America” by Lindsy Van Gelder and Pamela Robin Brandt  (http://www.salon.com/weekly/books960708.html) sums up my feelings about Eisenbach’s book best by saying Eisenbach, “fails to grasp the distinction between making fun of people and being funny.”  The review appears to recommend a great alternative in “The Girls Next Door.”  I recommend skipping the frustration of trying to read Eisenbach and jumping to Van Gelder and Brandt.  I haven’t read their book, but based on the review by Felner and the total suckage of Eisenbach’s book, I am willing to go out on a limb here.