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Watch: The 'Lesbian Menace' Circa 1938

Watch: The 'Lesbian Menace' Circa 1938

The Queer Museum of History has done it again, unearthing a gem of hidden queer history.

sunnivie

The Queer Museum of History has done it again, unearthing a gem of hidden lesbian history. Last month, we showed you the museum's discovery of a lesbian wedding announcement from Jet magazine in 1970, and now, Buzzfeedbrings our attention to a fabulous "public service announcement" film from 1938. 

Back in January, the museum first posted this excerpt from the film Sex Madness,describing the overall film as a "venereal disease expose." The museum notes that the 1930 Hays Code censored cinematic references to homosexuality, but filmmakers sometimes skirted these rules by presenting their film as a "public service announcement," touting the evils and dangers of a given behavior.

And what salacious evils they are! In this clip, two sharply dressed women escape their ho-hum office life by taking in a "racy" burlesque performance. Peggy attempts to seduce her innocent coworker, Betty, by caressing her arms, pulling her close, and fidgeting with her blouse when the two are inside the theater. And then, of course, there's Peggy's bold question, asking Betty to spend the night with her. From the look on Betty's face, Peggy might just be getting some that night…

Watch the scene below, and see if you feel adequately "warned" about the "dangers" of lesbianism. 

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Sunnivie Brydum

<p>Sunnivie is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor at&nbsp;<em>The Advocate</em>. A proud spouse and puppy-parent, Sunnivie strives to queer up the world of reporting while covering the politics of equality daily.</p>

<p>Sunnivie is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor at&nbsp;<em>The Advocate</em>. A proud spouse and puppy-parent, Sunnivie strives to queer up the world of reporting while covering the politics of equality daily.</p>