Gender is a contemporary problem.

Aneiren wrote…

The really funny thing about gender issues is the fact that they are a contemporary problem. If you look back through history many of the things that we would consider gender variant were at one time completely normal and sometimes even seen as important to society.

We don’t so much need to create a new lifestyle as much as we need to undo the damage from the dark ages that still lingers on in our sense of morality and social responsibility. In this case, as in many, the ancients were smarter than we give them credit for.

Can you think of examples of historical figures and people who gender-bended? Do you agree with the above statement? Or do you think that gender has always been a problem?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?


Posted by on February 26th, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Gender is a contemporary problem.”

  1. Quinn

    There was a man in England during the eighteenth century named Lord Cornberry. He was a noted cross-dresser, and went to just about every formal function as a woman. Also, there were a number of women in the Continental army who wore breeches and typically-male shirts because it was just easier to do their business in those clothes. Also, they were easier to find.

    I… think I know a bit too much about the eighteenth century.

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  2. Alaina

    Indeed! Gender nonconformity has only been a problem when it threatens the status quo. e.g. the Victorian F-to-M who married a woman and was hanged after being exposed. In that case, he threatened society by taking a man’s rightful place.

    There was just an article in Dress journal (http://www.costumesocietyamerica.com/) about 17th c. portrait miniatures. The females all have both male and female costumes. Apparently, Queen Henrietta Maria enjoyed dressing up in masquerades, and her playing at being a Spanish Cavalier (for example) was no problem, so long as she did her royal duties and bore sons {smile}

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  3. Beth

    I quoted this post on my blog as it’s something I often talk about. As an example, Native American tribes understood the idea of ‘two-spirit’ people, who would be special members of society, often healers.

    I don’t know enough about it to know how they dressed, although I suspect the identity part was the important thing.

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  4. Sarah

    (just a super-brief teaser pre-announcement… one of genderfork’s community members is in the process of setting up a sister-project that would be primarily a space for academic/intellectual/theoretical discussion about gender ambiguity. if you this is something you’re really interested in, please email me and i’ll connect you with that member to help shape the project. sarah at genderfork dot com)

    [Reply]


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