Sheila Jeffreys

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Sheila Jeffreys is an Australian feminist professor who writes and lectures on political theory, religion, pornography, “beauty practices,” lesbianism (political and otherwise), and transgenderism. Her career began in the early 1980s with the publication of Love Your Enemy?: The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism and Political Lesbianism, and her most recent release (as of this blog post) was Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism, in which she writes that the increasing availability of hormone blockers and parental accommodation of transgender children is a form of child abuse. The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade, part of her body of work on sexual violence, has received press attention due to her characterization of marriage as a form of prostitution; however, although topics such as mail order brides are covered, the book itself is more concerned with economical research into which of the parties involved in the sex industry benefit and which do not. She has also denounced lesbian sadomasochism as an unhealthy outgrowth of sexism in gay male culture, and calls for an increased presence of women in the study of history.

Jeffreys currently teaches Political Science at the University of Melbourne.

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P. L. Travers

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Pamela Lyndon Travers was a 20th century actor, poet, and author of books that she insisted weren’t only for children. Although the recent Disney take on her story contains numerous inaccuracies, it is true that she was responsible for creating the iconic character of Mary Poppins. After the film version of her first Poppins book was completed she swore off sequels, citing the overdone cheeriness and animated sequences; she even went so far as to ban the movie’s composers from writing additional music for the stage adaptation.

In her private life Travers was not a solitary person. She traveled widely and adopted one half on a pair of twins (she left the other behind because of an astrological reading). Her sexual orientation is a matter of some debate, with Wikipedia describing her relationships with women as “ambiguous“. A plausible interpretation of her life is that she had both male and female lovers, including a woman she lived with for a decade, and was a member of a mostly-lesbian mystic writing circle; therefore, she is listed here as bisexual, although she never referred to herself as such.