Vice Versa

Vice Versa

Ben is perhaps most well known for her self-proclaimed “Gayest Magazine in America,” Vice Versa, which she published from June 1947 through February 1948. Many interviews with Ben cover her procedure for creating the magazine at work, when her boss asked her to look busy. In the privacy of her office and with the aid of free office supplies, Ben penned 9 issues of her lesbian magazine, which she circulated by hand. 

 

 

Table of Contents from Number 1 of Vice Versa

Photo courtesy of ONE Archives via Queer Music Heritage.

Issues & Contents

All Tables of Contents below are written precisely as Ben formatted them originally.

Note that as Ben continues to publish Vice Versa, she hones her style for her Tables of Contents (i.e, moving the possessive apostrophe in Bookworm’s Burrow between Volumes 2 and 3 and shifting from two hyphens to an en dash (–) between Volumes 5 and 6).

June, 1947

Volume I, Number I

  • IN EXPLANATION
  • DRAMA REVIEW
  • FILM REVIEW
  • VERSE

July, 1947

Volume I, Number 2

  • JUST BETWEEN US GIRLS — Editorial
  • BOOKWORM’S BURROW — Featuring a report on the famous “Well of Loneliness”
  • CINEMA RAMBLINGS — An eye-witness account of the French film, “Club des femmes”
  • LESBIAN LYRICS — Verse
  • THE WHATCHAMA-COLUMN — Wherein readers express their views and opinions

August, 1947

Volume I, Number 3

  • S.O.S. EDITORIAL
  • BOOKWORMS’ BURROW — A report on a rather rare volume, “The Scorpion”
  • CINEMA RAMBLINGS — A film review of “Turnabout”
  • ON STAGE — An account of a very unusual drama
  • LESBIAN LYRICS — Verses
  • THE WHATCHAMA-COLUMN — Wherein readers express their views and opinions

September, 1947

Volume I, Number 4

  • STILL CAMP-AIGNING FOR MATERIAL
  • BOOKWORMS’ BURROW — A Report on “Trio”
  • HERE TO STAY — Pertinent Article
  • WHAT’S IN A NAME? — Short Story
  • LESBIAN LYRICS — Verses
  • THE WHATCHAMA-COLUMN — Wherein readers express their views and opinions

October, 1947

Volume I, Number 5

  • THE HALLOWE’EN SPIRIT
  • MASQUERADE — A Short Story
  • LYRICARICATURE — New Version of Old Lyrics
  • MY FRIEND, THE NIGHT — Idyllic Fantasy
  • UNUSUAL RECORDS –A bit of chatter about a rare platter
  • THE WHATCHAMA-COLUMN — Wherein readers express their views and opinions

November, 1947

Volume I, Number 6

  • THANKSGIVING
  • THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME – Explanation
  • THE NIGHT YOU WERE WED – Idyllic Fantasy
  • BOOKWORMS’ BURROW – Review of “Diana”
  • LESBIAN LYRICS – Verse
  • THE WHATCHAMA-COLUMN – Wherein readers express their views and opinions

December 1947

Volume I, Number 7

  • RING OUT, WILD BELLES!
  • KIKI – Short Story
  • TEE-HEE DEPARTMENT – Nonsense makes the heart grow fonder
  • LESBIAN LYRICS – Verse
  • THE WHATCHAMA-COLUMN – Wherein readers express their views and opinions

January 1948

Volume I, Number 8

  • CO-OPER-8 IN ’48
  • NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTION – A Satire
  • BOOKWORMS’ BURROW – Review of “The Unlit Lamp”
  • LESBIAN LYRICS – Verse
  • THE WHATCHAMA-COLUMN – Wherein readers express their views and opinions

February 1948

Volume I, Number 9

  • HEART-Y GREETINGS!
  • BOOKWORMS’ BURROW – Review of “Wasteland”
  • QUEER AS IT SEEMS DEPARTMENT 
  • WAS GAH GAY?
  • COMMENTARY ON A PERTINENT ARTICLE
  • LESBIAN LYRICS – Verse
  • THE WHATCHAMA-COLUMN – Wherein readers express their views and opinions

Additional Reading on Vice Versa

  • Kate Litterer (2018) “The third sex is here to stay”: Rhetorical reconstructions of lesbian sexuality in Vice Versa, Journal of Lesbian Studies, 22:2, 204-219, DOI: 10.1080/10894160.2017.1339178 (Contact me via the Contact page for a copy of the PDF)
  • Candace Moore; Proto-Queer Media Criticism: “Cinema Ramblings” from an RKO SecretaryFeminist Media Histories 1 January 2015; 1 (1): 4–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2015.1.1.4
  • More coming soon!

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