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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.
“Thank goodness for the dashing Judith Halberstam! Her new book is a smart, entertaining and informed tour of that most threatening of cultural identities: the masculine female. Oh, yum!”—Kate Bornstein, author of My Gender Workbook
|1||An Introduction to Female Masculinity: Masculinity without Men||1|
|2||Perverse Presentism: The Androgyne, the Tribade, the Female Husband, and Other Pre-Twentieth-Century Genders||45|
|3||"A Writer of Misfits": John Radclyffe Hall and the Discourse of Inversion||75|
|4||Lesbian Masculinity: Even Stone Butches Get the Blues||111|
|5||Transgender Butch: Butch/FTM Border Wars and the Masculine Continuum||141|
|6||Looking Butch: A Rough Guide to Butches on Film||175|
|7||Drag Kings: Masculinity and Performance||231|
|8||Raging Bull Dyke: New Masculinities||267|
Posted March 31, 2011
No text was provided for this review.