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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Because comparable cross - identification behaviors in boys do often give rise to
quite hysterical responses , we tend to believe that female gender deviance is
much more tolerated than male gender deviance . ' I am not sure that tolerance in
... and gender and sexuality tend to be remarkably rigid . Rather than consent to
the terms of this debate , I wanted to question the belief in fluid selves and the
belief , moreover , that fluidity and flexibility are always and everywhere desirable
These performances tend to be far more performative than butch realness ones ,
but possibly less interesting for the following reasons : first , the femme drag king
has not really altered the structure of drag as it emerged within gay male ...
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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