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MHC Home  Lesbianism at Mount Holyoke in the 1920's



"Wellesley Marriages"

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    Also called “crushing” or “spoons,” these were intense emotional infatuations between two women that were generally accepted by society as a step on the way to maturity. Although not always a lesbian relationship, as we would call it today, these relationships were deeply emotional. They may or may not have included a sexual component, but did not carry the same societal stigma of sexual relationships between young men and women.
    Although smashes could occur between a professor and a student, the most typical crush was between two students of different years, with the younger student “smashed” on the older one. The infatuated student would present her crush with gifts, speak of her constantly, and hope to attend dances with her.
    In the later 1920’s and 1930’s, these crushes started to become somewhat suspect, even though those who had engaged in crushes rarely would have considered themselves lesbians.

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Copyright © 2003 Mount Holyoke College. This page created and maintained by Hannah Hauser '03 . Last modified on May 12, 2003.