Female Masculinity

Front Cover
Duke University Press, 1998 - Social Science - 329 pages
42 Reviews
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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Review: Female Masculinity

User Review  - Kristen Ridley - Goodreads

I love this book. It's slightly outdated at this point, as a lot has happened in the queer world since it came out, but it remains the only serious (and accessible) work devoted to the topic of female ... Read full review

Review: Female Masculinity

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

Three and a half stars. This book is important as a groundbreaking exploration within the sociological landscape. While some of the theories may be a bit forced (like the theory that female ... Read full review

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References from web pages

Troubling Taxonomies: www.jolique.com
In the first sentence of the preface to her book, Female Masculinity (1998), ... In her book, Halberstam seeks to demonstrate that female masculinity is "a ...
www.jolique.com/ gender/ troubling_taxonomies_halberstam_review.htm

Female Masculinity -- Judith Halberstam
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 ...
www.frontlist.com/ detail/ 0822322439

Politics and Culture
Judith Halberstam's Female Masculinity is a book that is as engaging as it is ... In fact Female Masculinity raises many more questions than it can answer ...
aspen.conncoll.edu/ politicsandculture/ page.cfm?key=160

Writing.Com: Female Masculinity
A thesis/argument paper on social aversion to masculine female lesbians
www.writing.com/ main/ view_item/ item_id/ 1256176

Female masculinity by Judith Halberstam | librarything
All about Female masculinity by Judith Halberstam. librarything is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers.
www.librarything.com/ work/ 44615

Rachel Adams - Masculinity without Men - GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian ...
Female Masculinity makes the timely proposition that it is possible to study ... Halberstam argues that female masculinity is not merely a perverse ...
muse.jhu.edu/ journals/ journal_of_lesbian_and_gay_studies/ v006/ 6.3adams.html

Robert Mills (Department of English, King's College London) The ...
The Medieval 'FTM' Narrative: Female Masculinity in the Middle Ages ... transformation narratives, representations of female masculinity in ...
www.the-lms.org/ docs/ masculinity%20abstracts.pdf

One of These Things: <a href="http://oneofthesethings.blogspot.com ...
Masculinity as constructed, female masculinity as constitutive of male: "Far from being an imitation of maleness, female masculinity actually affords us a ...
oneofthesethings.blogspot.com/ 2007/ 08/ halberstams-female-masculinity.html

UPDATE: Victorian Female Masculinity (grad) (2/28/06; (dis ...
Judith Halberstam’s book “Female Masculinity” has helped open the discourse ... Papers on female masculinity in Victorian literature ...
cfp.english.upenn.edu/ archive/ Victorian/ 0216.html

Genders online Journal - Masculinity without Men: Annamarie Jagose ...
How did the concept of female masculinity evolve for you as a critical term? ... [3] JAGOSE: Some of your ambition for female masculinity as a concept, ...
www.genders.org/ g29/ g29_halberstam.html

About the author (1998)

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.

Bibliographic information