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‘The women at the gate’
Sarah Lonsdale

, with cotton bandanas around their heads, the women slung knapsacks over their backs and walked 20 kilometres to the village of Saas Fee from where they would complete a remarkable feat: the first Alpine cordée feminine , up the Mittaghorn, and a traverse of the Egginergrat ridge: rope climbing above 3,000 metres, including a difficult 100-metre ‘chimney’, bodies suspended over the abyss, without a male guide or escort. ‘Manless climbing’, as it was then known, was a highly subversive act and expression of modernity, encompassing subterfuge, transvestism, gender

in Rebel women between the wars
Chloe Porter

Puppet Dionysius’ to ‘venture the cause on’t’ (5.5.33–7). Idolatrously entering into an argument with a puppet, Busy tells Dionysius that his ‘main argument against you is that you are an abomination; for the male among you putteth on the apparel of the female, and the female of the male’ (5.5.96–8). Busy here refers to one of the central objections to the theatre as an arena which staged transvestism

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
Paul Henley

outside their normal social contexts and in a very abbreviated and reduced form. Even so, when these films are assessed in the light of the comparative ethnography and the historical accounts that have been published subsequently, they can yield valuable insights into the way of life of the subjects, some aspects of which would not have been available to the film-makers themselves. Thus, for example, without his being aware of it, Haddon's material appears to show that there was an element of transvestism in the traditional male initiation ceremony

in Beyond observation