mplspunky (mplspunky) wrote,

Week 3 Gender-Crossing Women

The material for this week consists entirely of the 18 readings, of various lengths, behind this link.

This was a really fantastic collection of readings. Well, ok. The translations were often laughably bad, and most of the bigoted attitudes of the era, and of the authors of most of the pieces, were pretty hard to get past. But there are some genuine laughs in these stories. And I feel like most of the people that the articles/essays/whatevers are about, are really pretty radical feminists, when considered in their own historical contexts.

One of the selections is a summary of an essay that is presumed to have been written by a doctor, that while hard to read because of sheer wrongness, gave me some real insight into how some of these attitudes actually played out in people's heads.

Other favorite things:

I liked the Havelock Ellis article and really appreciate the tagline "she drank. she swore. she courted girls."

I loved the article on Murray Hall, most of all. I mean, come on, *he"played pinochle and was sweet on women." Not to mention, he was a gender-crossing woman who lived so successfully as a man that he married twice, voted, and both possessed and used political power to further his ideals. And his born gender was not discovered until he died. That's a good read, right there. When you add on the story of Hall getting arrested, going to jail, leaving jail to get drunk with the officers, getting into it with one of said officers-whom he whipped and supplied with a black eye- going back to jail, spending the night in jail, and then having politically connected allies wrangle his release the very next morning; I basically have a new hero.

*When I talk about the Gender-crossing women (that's the term we are using for class, I don't know how individual members of the LGBTIQ community would feel about this choice, but it's the one we are using for class) I'm going to use the pronoun that the person used/is believed to have used to describe themselves.
Tags: culture, feminism, humanities, introtolesbianculture

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