Female Masculinity by Judith Halberstam
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Female Masculinity
By Judith Halberstam

Female Masculinity

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Format: Paperback

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Female Masculinity by Judith Halberstam

Book Description

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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780822322436
ISBN-10: 0822322439
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 154mm x 23mm)
Pages: 344
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 25-Oct-1998
Country of Publication: United States

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Books By Author Judith Halberstam

Queer Art of Failure by Judith Halberstam Queer Art of Failure, Paperback (September 2011)

Proposes "low theory" as a means of recovering ways of being and forms of knowledge not legitimized by existing systems and institutions

Margaret Mead Made Me Gay by Judith Halberstam Margaret Mead Made Me Gay, Paperback (November 2000)

An autobiography of cultural anthropologist Esther Newton, a pioneer in gay and lesbian studies. Chronicling the development of her ideas from the excitement of early feminism in the 1960s to friendly critiques of queer theory in the 1990s, it is suitable for those interested in the birth and growth of gay and lesbian studies.

» View all books by Judith Halberstam

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Author Biography - Judith Halberstam

Judith Halberstam is Professor of Literature at the University of California in San Diego. She is the author of Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, also published by Duke University Press, and writes a regular film review column for Girlfriends magazine.

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