Masquerade and Identities: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, and Marginality

By Efrat Tseëlon | Go to book overview

9

ON WOMEN AND CLOTHES AND CARNIVAL FOOLS

Efrat Tseëlon


Prologue

It all started with research (of a both discursive and traditionally scientific kind) on contemporary young women that I conducted over the past decade (cf. Tseëlon 1989, 1992, 1995a). It occurred to me that women use words (or avoid them) in a similar manner that they use clothes. Particularly, I was struck by the structural homology between the dialectics of disguise and disclosure that characterise Western women’s use of voice and dress. Let me explain. When I talk about disguise I do not refer to an appearance which hides some essence. Rather, I refer to it in the sense that reverberates throughout this volume. I use it to mean a discursive strategy - one that indicates the degree of identification with, or distance from, certain social performances one enacts. Much like the veil that came to signify in Western texts a mask hiding the essence of the enigmatic Oriental woman (Yegenoglu, 1998) - beauty and adornment came to signify the deceptive nature of femininity in Jewish and Christian theology (Tseëlon, 1995a). In this chapter, I start off with the erotic link between body and voice as signifying feminine sexuality. A corollary of this link is the trope of silence (vocal and sartorial) as a fantastic mode of desire, and the trope of politeness as a mode of control. These I illustrate with historical examples. Further, I elaborate on three models of feminine voice: proper, provocative and mute, and illustrate them with fictive representations. Finally, I point to the affinity between the cultural spaces occupied by the woman (in the manner of using verbal and sartorial voice) and the figure of the carnival fool.

My observation regarding the similarities between contemporary verbal and sartorial strategies and a history of patriarchal definitions of appropriate feminine behaviour may strike some as bold within a context of a reflexive non-essentialist discourse. Indeed, you could say I’m asking

-153-

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
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Masquerade and Identities: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, and Marginality
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Plates ix
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Acknowledgements xix
  • References 15
  • 1 - Reflections on Mask and Carnival 18
  • 2 - Stigma, Uncertain Identity and Skill in Disguise 38
  • 3 - Lesbian Masks 54
  • 4 - Fashion, Fetish, Fantasy 73
  • References 81
  • 5 - Is Womanliness Nothing but a Masquerade? 83
  • 6 - The Scarf and the Toothache 101
  • Note 112
  • 7 - The Metamorphosis of the Mask in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century London 114
  • References 133
  • 8 - Masked and Unmasked at the Opera Balls 135
  • References 150
  • 9 - On Women and Clothes and Carnival Fools 153
  • References 170
  • Index 175
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 188

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.