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Classics Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Female Masculinity

By Judith Halberstam, 1998

“There is something all too obvious about the concept “female masculinity.” When people have asked me over the last few years what I am working on, I have explained quickly to them the concept of this book. Usually I can do it in one or two sentences. I will say, perhaps, “I am writing about women who feel themselves to be more masculine than feminine, and I am trying to explain why, as a culture, we seem to take so little interest in female masculinity and yet pay a considerable amount of attention to male femininity.” People tend to nod and say, “Yes, of course, female masculinity,” as if this is a concept they have grown up with and use every day. In actual fact, there is remarkably little written about masculinity in women, and this culture generally evinces considerable anxiety about even the prospect of manly women. I hope that this book opens discussion on masculinity for women in such a way that masculine girls and women do not have to wear their masculinity as a stigma but can infuse it with a sense of pride and indeed power.”

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