EXTINCTION — Deep in the hinterlands of Florida is a magical place known as Alapine, where men are not allowed and women (er, ‘womyn’) name their chickens after the Golden Girls. Sadly, Alapine and many other lesbian separatist compounds across the country are slowly going the way of the dodo as their populations age and a new generation of lesbians don’t see any need to go off in the woods to form their own matriarchal societies. The gray ladies of Alapine are concerned that their man-hating way of life (and our basis for using the term ‘man-hating’ is that they send out alerts that there’s “a man on the land” when a sixth-month old boy shows up on the compound) won’t be carried on, but are they a relic of another time or a sign that feminism has lost its estrogen-fueled muscle?
The New York Times has an in-depth piece on Alapine that’s a must-read, complete with an audio slide show. One highlight:
“Rand Hall, 63, one of the newest Alapine residents, whose 50-year-old stepdaughter has joined her on the property, said separatism still makes sense today.
“Outside the gate, it’s still a man’s world,” said Ms. Hall, who retired as the publisher of a gay and lesbian newspaper in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla., and moved to Alapine in 2006. “And women are not safe, period. It’s just that simple.”
“I don’t have curtains,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about someone watching me dress or undress. There’s also a sense of community, a sense of supporting each other.”
Ms. Hall added: “It’s not as competitive. Women, when they’re together, tend to be more cooperative. They don’t look for one to succeed and all the others to fail. In the mainstream world that’s what it is. Somebody has to be on top so everyone else has to be on the bottom.”