Female Masculinity

Duke University Press
Free sample

In this quintessential work of queer theory, Jack 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 centuries. Demonstrating how female masculinity is not some bad imitation of virility, but a lively and dramatic staging of hybrid and minority genders, 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. He rereads Anne Lister's diaries and Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness as foundational assertions of female masculine identity; considers the enigma of the stone butch and the politics surrounding butch/femme roles within lesbian communities; and 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.

Featuring a new preface by the author, this twentieth anniversary edition of Female Masculinity remains as insightful, timely, and necessary as ever.
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About the author

Jack Halberstam is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and the author of several books, including The Queer Art of Failure and Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, both also published by Duke University Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Jan 5, 2019
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Pages
360
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ISBN
9781478002703
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Gender Studies
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Gay Studies
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Lesbian Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Lambda Literary Award finalist

American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book

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