Masculinity without men. In Female Masculinity Judith Halberstam takes aim at the protected status of male masculinity and shows that female masculinity has offered a distinct alternative to it for well over two hundred years. Providing the first full-length study on this subject, Halberstam catalogs the diversity of gender expressions among masculine women from nineteenth-century pre-lesbian practices to contemporary drag king performances.
Through detailed textual readings as well as empirical research, Halberstam uncovers a hidden history of female masculinities while arguing for a more nuanced understanding of gender categories that would incorporate rather than pathologize them. She rereads Anne Lister's diaries and Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness as foundational assertions of female masculine identity. She considers the enigma of the stone butch and the politics surrounding butch/femme roles within lesbian communities. She also explores issues of transsexuality among "transgender dykes"--lesbians who pass as men--and female-to-male transsexuals who may find the label of "lesbian" a temporary refuge. Halberstam also tackles such topics as women and boxing, butches in Hollywood and independent cinema, and the phenomenon of male impersonators.
Female Masculinity signals a new understanding of masculine behaviors and identities, and a new direction in interdisciplinary queer scholarship. Illustrated with nearly forty photographs, including portraits, film stills, and drag king performance shots, this book provides an extensive record of the wide range of female masculinities. And as Halberstam clearly demonstrates, female masculinity is not some bad imitation of virility, but a lively and dramatic staging of hybrid and minority genders.
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She describes sexual pleasure in terms of tribadism and touching her partner ' s
genitals . Miss V concludes : “ I regret that I am not a man , because I could then
have a home and children " ( 235 ) . In a final , very long case history of Miss D ...
In the next section , Hall describes Stephen ' s confrontation with a self she claims
not to understand : That night she stared at herself in the glass ; and even as she
did so she hated her body with its muscular shoulders , its small compact ...
In her study of female impersonators , Newton describes the way that drag
queens create plausible impressions of femininity through the use of props ( wigs
, dresses , jewelry , makeup , hormones ) and through “ role playing ” ( Mother
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - amberluscious - LibraryThing
I learned quite a bit from this book, especially the distinction between androgyny and masculinity. These two presentations of being are not equal, and for me this was an important point in ... Read full review
Female masculinityUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Halberstam (literature, Univ. of California, San Diego; Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, Duke Univ., 1995) presents a unique offering in queer studies: a study of the ... Read full review
The Androgyne the Tribade the Female
John Radclyffe Hall and the Discourse
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G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire
No preview available - 2002