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the next. Activity deemed acceptable in one unit could be totally unacceptable in another. To this end, units were closed societies that were governed by their own unwritten codes of behaviour. As we shall see in the next chapter, such codes supplemented and sometimes surpassed the laws laid down in the King’s Regulations. Playing away on stage One final arena that allowed some men and women the means to ‘play away’ was literally, performance. Both in Britain and elsewhere, there is a long and celebrated tradition of transvestism in the armed forces.91 In the

in Queen and country

denounced the practice, usually refusing to make any distinction between transvestism onstage and off. Philip Stubbes, in his comprehensive catalogue of everyday Elizabethan wrongdoing, The Anatomy of Abuses (1583), complains: ‘Our Apparell was given us as a signe distinctive to discern betwixt sex and sex, & therfore one to weare the Apparel of another sex is to participate with the same and to

in As You Like It

the cross turns into a female seductress), while the transformation of women into men reassuringly reverses this scenario, though more often through transvestism than through substitution splicing: Méliès’s films abound in women dressed as male sailors, courtiers, pages, etc. It is worth noting that the men who turn into women are almost invariably transformed back into men, whereas the cross-dressing women rarely shed their

in Georges Méliès
Questioning gender roles

didn’t care whether you could afford or not to raise a child. They didn’t care who’d got you pregnant. They didn’t think about the fact that the man was just as guilty. It was the woman who had to put up with all the worry and the criticism. 11 ‘A woman can play a male role and vice versa without necessarily being homosexual. Transvestism is not a convention of the past, it represents a form of freedom wiped away by stupid traditions of naturalism and which we should be capable of restoring today

in Coline Serreau

confrontation of’taboo subjects’ (sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, transvestism and adolescent sexuality to name but the most striking), his enthusiasm for verbal and pictorial vulgarity, and the mise-en-scène of liberated sexuality. This tendency is not peculiar to Blier. Indeed, the oppositional comic attacks and biting satire of contemporary mores which we find in his films can be fundamentally located within an established

in Bertrand Blier

exercised by the transvestism of the Elizabethan stage, arguing from both platonic and patristic examples that the wearing of female garments necessarily resulted in an effeminization of the actor’s masculine self, and from that to the corruption of the audience. The self, in such arguments, is the most fragile of entities, acutely permeable by externals. In the context of

in Spectacular Performances
Marie Helena Loughlin

as indicating the rise of new forms of ‘homosexuality’, involving markers of transvestism and effeminacy, and indicating ‘a radical extension of the meaning of homosexuality’ (Bray, Homosexuality 88–9); the largely ‘socially diffused homosexuality’ of the Renaissance and seventeenth century changed profoundly, becoming a ‘continuing culture’, with new material markers, such as ‘clothes, gestures, language, particular buildings and public places’ that came to connote ‘homosexuality’ for the subculture’s participants and for its observers in the larger society (92

in Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England, 1550–1735
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INTRODUCTION points of departure This book started with a single question. Ten years ago, when I was writing my book on masculine women on the European Continent in the nineteenth century, I found to my utter surprise that in narratives about passing women who sometimes lived as men for years the issue of an inner sexual identity was never raised. Not one text wondered about or discussed the possible inner motives of the woman involved, pointed to early childhood boyish inclinations, discussed the difficulties of transvestism in terms of identity, or tried to

in Doubting sex
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. However, the first ‘psycho-biological questionnaire’ (psychobiologischer Fragebogen) for an ‘objective diagnosis of homosexuality’ had already been developed and published by Magnus Hirschfeld, sexologist and fervent defender of the rights of what he called ‘sexual intermediates’ in 1899.28 According to his theory, there existed an endless variety of sexes ‘between’ the ideal Male and Female. By that time, Hirschfeld had just started to differentiate within the category of ‘sexual inversion’ between homosexuality, transvestism and hermaphroditism, and his questionnaire

in Doubting sex
Abstract only
Making novel readers

-sexual phenomena in order to contextualise the various forms of cross-dressing and homosexual desire observable in Shakespeare’s play. What the chapter quickly abandons, however, is the intertextual debt the playwright may have owed to an anecdote told by Montaigne,62 an anecdote with which, tellingly, Greenblatt opens the chapter. While admitting that this tale of transvestism figures as ‘one of those shadow stories that haunt the plays’, Greenblatt in his analysis almost entirely shunts aside this literary source. What he rightfully chastises as ‘the textual isolation that is

in Novel horizons