Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early-Modern Culture

By Chris Mounsey | Go to book overview

"Be Male and Female Still":
An ABC of Hyperbolic Masculinity in the
Eighteenth Century

CONRAD BRUNSTROM

THE FLEXIBILITY AND PERFORMATIVITY OF GENDER IN THE EIGHteenth century can be registered not only instancing those who "pass" as the opposite gender, but also by gauging the urgency and the persistence of the rhetoric used to reinforce traditional gender roles. The measure of the flow can be extrapolated from the effort of resistance. In this essay, I intend to examine the reactions to gender ambiguity as represented by influential authors of the mid-century. Following George Cheyne, John Armstrong offers a holistic, medical context for sexual expression and control. John Brown offers a paranoid social context for perceived sexual ambivalence, whereas Charles Churchill exploits his own precious heterosexual stability as a political weapon.

One of the earliest and perhaps the most thoughtful of these analyses of national effeminacy is offered by Cheyne in his most famous work The English Malady (1733).

All Nervous Distempers whatsoever from Yawning and Stretching up to
a mortal Fit of Apoplexy, seem to me to be but one continued Disorder, or
the several Steps and Degrees of it, arising from a Relaxation or Weakness,
and the Want of a Sufficient Force and Elasticity in the Solids in general,
and the Nerves in particular, in Proportion to the Resistance of the Fluids,
in order to carry on the Circulation, remove Obstructions, carry of the Re-
cremants, and make the Secretions.1

Nerves need exercise. The human body is moralized as a site of sustained energy.2 This energy is gendered from the outset, a morality that precedes the birth of the patient defines the male patient as a trustee of his own natural masculinity:

The original Stamina, the whole System of the Solids, the Firmness, Force,
and Strength of the Muscles, of the Viscera, and great Organs, are they not

-29-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early-Modern Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 293

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.