Alix Dobkin

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Alix Dobkin
Born (1940-08-16) August 16, 1940 (age 79)
New York, NY, U.S.
GenresFolk, women's music
Occupation(s)Singer-Songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar
Years active1973–present
LabelsWomen's Wax Works (Ladyslipper)

Alix Dobkin (born August 16, 1940) is an American folk singer-songwriter, memoirist, and lesbian feminist activist. In 1979, she was the first American lesbian feminist musician to do a European concert tour.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Alix Dobkin was born in New York City into a Jewish Communist family,[2] and raised in Philadelphia and Kansas City.

In 1965 she married Sam Hood who ran the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village. They moved to Miami and opened The Gaslight South folk club, but moved back to New York in 1968.[3] Their daughter Adrian was born two years later, and the following year the marriage broke up. A few months later, Dobkin came out as a lesbian, which was uncommon for a public personality to do at the time.

Her 2009 memoir, My Red Blood, was published by Alyson Books.[4] Dobkin lives in New York's Hudson Valley where she dotes on her two grandsons and granddaughter.

Education[edit]

Dobkin graduated from Germantown High School in 1958 and the Tyler School of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1962.

Career[edit]

Alix Dobkin began her career by performing on the Greenwich Village coffeehouse scene in 1962. She played with greats like Bob Dylan and Buffy Sainte-Marie.[5]

Since 1973, she has released a number of albums as well as a songbook and has toured throughout the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand promoting lesbian culture and community through women's music.

Dobkin has a small and devoted audience, has been called a "women's music legend" by Spin Magazine, "pithy" by The Village Voice, "Biting...inventive... imaginative" by New Age Journal, "uncompromising" in the New York Times Magazine, and "a troublemaker" by the FBI. She gained some unexpected fame in the 1980s when comedians such as David Letterman and Howard Stern tracked down her Lavender Jane Loves Women album, and began playing phrases from the song "View From Gay Head" on the air.

In 1977, she became an associate of the American nonprofit publishing organization Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP).[6] Dobkin is a member of the OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) Steering Committee.[7]

Activism[edit]

Dobkin has been a highly vocal proponent of excluding trans women from female-only spaces. In one letter to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, she asserted, "For over twenty years men have declared themselves 'women,' manipulated their bodies and then demanded the feminist seal of approval from survivors of girlhood.... [My lyrics] are not 'oppressive' but refer to those of us who have a girlhood & a clitoris, & no one else."[8] Her controversial attacks on postmodernism,[9] sadomasochism,[10] the transgender rights movement[11] and other movements appeared in several of her written columns, such as "Minstrel Blood."[12] Her article "The Emperor's New Gender" appeared in the feminist journal off our backs in 2000.[13]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Lavender Jane Loves Women (1973)
  • Living with Lesbians (1975)
  • Xx Alix (1980)
  • These Women (1986)
  • Yahoo Australia! Live from Sydney (1990)
  • Love & Politics (compilation, 1992)
  • Living with Lavender Jane (CD re-release of first two albums, 1998)

Bibliography[edit]

  • (Not Just A Songbook) (1978)
  • Alix Dobkin's Adventures In Women's Music (1979)
  • My Red Blood: A Memoir of Growing Up Communist, Coming Onto the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement (2009)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clark, Jil (Mar 29, 1980). "Alix Dobkin: Still a Separatist". Gay Community News. Vol. 7 (35). p. 8.
  2. ^ Gianoulis, Tina. "Dobkin, Alix (b. 1940)". GLBTQ Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  3. ^ Armstrong, Toni (May 1989). "A Mother-Daughter Conversation: Alix Dobkin & Adrian Hood". Hot Wire: The Journal of Women's Music and Culture. 5 (2): 36 – via ProQuest GenderWatch.
  4. ^ Baim, Tracy (January 6, 2010). "My Red Blood: A Memoir of Growing Up Communist, Coming Into the Greenwich Village Folk Scene, and Coming Out in the Feminist Movement". Windy City Times.
  5. ^ Rosechild, Rene (June 2010). "Women's Music Icon Alix Dobkin on the Rise of Lesbian Feminism and Her Road to Fame". Curve. 20 (5): 44+ – via Academic OneFile.
  6. ^ "Associates | The Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press". www.wifp.org. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  7. ^ "The Reporter" (PDF). Old Lesbians Organizing for Change. June 2015.
  8. ^ Dobkin, Alix (September 1, 2014). "Alix Dobkin's letter to Kate Kendell of the National Council of Lesbian Women". DYKE, A Quarterly. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  9. ^ Dobkin, Alix (October 21, 1998). "Deconstruct This!". Feminist Reprise. Retrieved October 13, 2012. (Originally published in Outlines.)
  10. ^ Dobkin, Alix (June 2000). "Sadomasochism: It's a Republican Thing". off our backs: 16. JSTOR 20836638.
  11. ^ Dobkin, Alix (June 21, 2000). "MINSTREL BLOOD: (In)famous Last Words (For Now)". Windy City Times. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  12. ^ "Alix Dobkin Columns" (PDF). You Are A Splendid Butterfly.com.
  13. ^ Dobkin, Alix (April 2000). "The Emperor's New Gender". off our backs: 14. JSTOR 20836592.

External links[edit]