Full Text

Female Masculinity

Silvia Posocco


Subject Sociology » Sociology of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

Key-Topics body, gender, lesbianism, masculinities, queer theory

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Extract

Female masculinity refers to a range of masculine-inflected identities and identifications. Debates over the status and meaning of female masculinity and the bodies and selves to whom the terms may be ascribed emerge in the context of analyses of sex, gender, and sexuality. Research in social and cultural history has documented the lives of individual women who defied gendered conventions, adopted masculine clothing, and/or engaged in gendered nonconformist behavior in Anglo-American and European contexts from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries ( Wheelwright 1989 ). The case of Colonel Victor Barker, for instance, caused notable controversy in England in the early twentieth century, as this military man was exposed to be female-bodied and deserving a perjury trial ( Wheelwright 1989 ). Scholarly approaches to archival material have tended to challenge transhistorical claims of stable forms of female masculinity across time ( Halberstam 1998 ; Doan 2001 ). Assumed relations of equivalence and translatability between and across culturally specific practices relating to female masculinity have also appeared suspect ( Blackwood 1998 ). Key to the development of innovative conceptual trajectories on female masculinity in interdisciplinary academic gender studies are the numerous critical readings of Radclyffe Hall's novel The Well of Loneliness (1928) and related analyses ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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