The Masculine Woman in America, 1890-1935
How the popular press and literature translated the woman suffrage movement into a monstrous movement of unnatural masculinized women.
- Hardback | 224 pages
- 158.2 x 236.2 x 19.3mm | 497.65g
- 01 May 2001
- University of Illinois Press
- Baltimore, United States
"As Behling documents, between 1890 and 1935 popular images of women strongly suggested that in demanding the right to vote and to participate fully in social and political life in the US, women risked losing their female identities in both mind and body. The author focuses on popular fiction, especially that published in magazines, to show how both male and female authors expressed anxiety, suspicion, and dislike of women who crossed gender barriers... She contends that the widespread anxiety expressed throughout US culture during the period found its way into almost all fiction and testifies to the marginalization, mistrust, and downright fear of women's determination to construct new individual and collective identities." -- Choice ADVANCE PRAISE "A richly textured and convincing reading of the suffragist movement's definitive place in the cultural imagination, The Masculine Woman illuminates a critical juncture in gender negotiations. Behling's well-conceived study discerns suggestive intersections between medical writings, suffragist caricatures in popular magazines, and a range of narratives." -- Bruce Mills, author of Cultural Reformations: Lydia Maria Child and the Literature of Reform "Laura Behling's illuminating study of the social construction of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century sexuality and gender in the United States combines bold analysis with exacting research. This intellectually nuanced and beautifully written book makes an important contribution to literary and social history as well as to gender theory." - Wendy Martin, author of An American Triptych: Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich "Laura Behling's impressive study of the masculine woman illuminates many of the cultural anxieties that mark the formation of modern American culture. In her detailed and perceptive exploration of a wide range of popular texts, Behling provides important and intriguing insights into the ways in which our culture has confronted changing ideas of gender and sexuality." -- Alfred Bendixen, California State University, Los Angeles