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The masculine woman in America, 1890-1935 /
Laura L. Behling.
Date of Publication
Laura L. Behling.
Behling, Laura L.,
Place of Publication
University of Illinois Press
Date of Publication
Physical Description
215 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 201-211) and index.
Altered states : envisioning the masculine woman -- Unsightly evidence : female inversion and the U.S. woman suffrage movement -- Aberrant assumptions : disenfranchising the most aggravated type -- Enticing acts : the sexuality of seduction -- Marketing mockery : original sins and the art of parody -- Distant relations : put out of town for gettin' too int'mate -- Mundus reversus : femininity found.
"The Masculine Woman in America, 1890-1935 examines how the suffrage movement's efforts to secure social and political independence for women were translated by a fearful society into a movement of unnatural "masculinized" women and dangerous "female sexual inverts.""
"Scrutinizing depictions of the masculine woman in literature and the popular press, Laura L. Behling explicates the literary, artistic, and rhetorical strategies used to eliminate the "sexually inverted" woman: punishing her by imprisonment or death; "rescuing" her into heterosexuality; subverting her through parody; or removing her from society to some remote or mystical place. Behling also shows how fictional same-sex relationships in the writings of Henry James, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Gertrude Stein, and others conformed to and ultimately reaffirmed heterosexual models."
"The Masculine Woman in America, 1890-1935 demonstrates that the woman suffrage movement did not so much suggest alternatives to women's gender and sexual behavior as it offered men and women afraid of perceived changes a tangible movement on which to blame their fears. A biting commentary on the insubstantial but powerful ghosts stirred up by the media, this study shows how, though legally enfranchised, the "new woman" was systematically disenfranchised socially through scientific theory, popular press illustrations, and fictional predictions of impending sociobiological disaster."--Jacket.
Women's rights -- United States
Women -- United States
Lesbianism -- United States
Masculinity -- United States
Women and literature -- United States.
Women in popular culture
Sex differences
Public opinion -- United States
Wolfgram Memorial Lbrary Collection
Call Number
HQ1236.5.U6 B45 2001
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