Out on a dike

Out on a dike phr. [mid 19-C] (US) going out in one's best clothes. [DIKED DOWN] I'm out as a dyke, occasionally out with a dyke. What I do when I'm out on a dike can become your business once I write about it here.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


I know the sun is shining and I should be out there enjoying the spring weekend, but instead I'm looking back to the depths of winter and my activities in the Christmas break, when a certain activity present kept me busy.

Following the format of the popular board game, Monopoly, you can now Make Your Own Opoly "using your PC and any simple colour printer". Buy the kit (or get someone to buy it for you) and away you go.

I can recommend it. Not only do you benefit from all the educational and creative elements of customising your own board game (alone or with friends); you then get to play it as often as you like (better with friends).

And so, gradually, in a little under 24 hours from design concept to finished output, Dykeopoly was born. The game box proudly pronounces:

Doing it the lesbian way
Live the life, now play the game

The all-important 'Go' square is replaced by The Closet: Start Here.

With my PC and my (more-than-simple, thank you) colour printer I design a pink triangle with a pound sign emblazoned in its centre. £100 and £500 notes co-ordinate beautifully as the entire note prints in delicate shades of pink and mauve. Higher denominations express their superiority and refuse to tone in with this careful styling - £1000 (green), £5000 (orange). But they are Pink Pounds nonetheless.

Rules of Make Your Own Opoly differ slightly from the traditional game. Instead of 'Community Chest' and 'Chance' cards there is 'Good News' and 'Bad News'.

I quickly translate this into:

  • Dykey Desires
  • Dykey Disasters

(Come on, you know we all have them.)

Dykey Desires #1

Martina wins Wimbledon! Each player collects £200.

Dykey Disasters #3
You go to a party and all your ex-lovers are there. Go to Bad Hangover and miss a turn.

Bad Hangover is my take on the Jail square. However much certain TV shows may be loved (and I make sure these feature later), there are too many portrayals of lesbians in prison. Dykeopoly may specialise in stereotypes but there are still more bad hangovers in my world than dykes in jail.

I replace the 'Free Parking' resting space with Browsing the Bookshelves. Silver Moon may not offer quite the same atmosphere as it used to, but I'm not going to give up browsing.

The Property cards are possibly the most revealing aspect of Dykeopoly, especially how I've chosen to group them.

  1. Tent at Greenham Common £400; Lesbian Avengers Chapter £500
  2. Butch/Femme £900; Lipstick Lesbians £1000; Drag Kings £1200
  3. Local Lesbian & GayLine £1400; Local Women's Centre £1500; Local Gay Bar £1700
  4. Dykes on Bikes £1800; Lesbians with Cats £1900; Lesbians with Kids £2000
  5. Utilities: Manual Trades for Women £2000; Bus Driving for Women £2000
  6. The Candy Bar £2100; Diva Magazine £2300; Silver Moon Bookshop £2500
  7. 'The' Lesbian Kiss (from Brookside) £2600; Ellen Comes Out £2700; Prisoner Cell Block H and Bad Girls £2800
  8. 1950s Lesbian Pulp Fiction £2900; 1920s Lesbian Literary Salon £3100; 1970s Lesbian Feminism £3200
  9. Sappho's Beach, Lesbos £3600; The Castro, San Francisco £4000

You may well ask how it's possible to place a value on 1970s Lesbian Feminism or the Local Women's Centre. Do I place too much emphasis on popular culture? And how could I dare to place San Francisco above Lesbos in that prized 'Mayfair' position?

Well, what icons of lesbian culture would you choose?



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