HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Gender & Orientation » LGBT (Group) » Think being trans is a 't...

Fri Sep 10, 2021, 04:48 PM

Think being trans is a 'trend'? Consider these 18th-century 'female husbands'

Whenever the subject of transgender identities comes up today, there is a tendency for conservative politicians – perhaps most of all in the United States – to trot out a particularly specious argument: that the idea of being trans is a “new” concept, a notion that “no one” in their right mind had heard of, or would entertain, in previous eras.

At its most extreme, this argument suggests that a peculiar concoction of things is to blame for our existence – from social media, indoctrination by well-paid gender studies professors, or even an excess of supposedly hormone-altering substances, like soy or arcane chemicals, in our diets. Non-binary identities particularly confound conservatives.

This, of course, is absurd, given the fact that people who defied gender norms in notable, consistent ways – and who might well have identified as transgender today – have existed throughout human history.

Consider, for example, that in the 18th century, a landlord in England realized, to her consternation, that one of her tenants, whom she had long assumed was a swashbuckling married man, might actually, at least in her eyes, be something else entirely.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/10/transgender-history-18th-century-female-husbands

7 replies, 1139 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Think being trans is a 'trend'? Consider these 18th-century 'female husbands' (Original post)
Jilly_in_VA Sep 10 OP
FirstLight Sep 10 #1
jmbar2 Sep 10 #2
hlthe2b Sep 10 #3
Jilly_in_VA Sep 10 #4
Vogon_Glory Sep 10 #5
Jilly_in_VA Sep 10 #7
demigoddess Sep 10 #6

Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Fri Sep 10, 2021, 04:56 PM

1. Of course it's been happening through the ages!

The Native Americans considered those of "two spirits" to be sacred people because they could walk both paths.

Im sure there's some instances in ancient Rome

What about the Queen of Egypt Nefertiti? she wore the ceremonial beard and everything and told them she was King, dammitt!

Probably harder for men to opass as women due to hormones, but I bet there were herbal treatments etc to make it work...

Good read, thanks for sharing!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Fri Sep 10, 2021, 04:58 PM

2. Fascinating story

It took so much courage just for these folks to try to live in any normal way.

Asian cultures seem to be way ahead in accepting gender variability. To be in England and trying to manage as trans sounds really difficult. That they did so well for themselves says a lot for their strength of character.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Fri Sep 10, 2021, 05:05 PM

3. I think it is a fascinating issue and the author's theory seems reasonable.

That said, the rigid societal constraints on most women of the time--especially those who were not of significant $$ means-- was such that women who could pass as men might just be tempted, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification norms. Certainly, this was documented among Chinese coming to this country (if you were a viewer of "Hell on Wheels," that storyline in its last season was based on some historically documented incidents).

But, I don't know why anyone would assume that transgender would be a "new" phenomenon. That simply makes no sense to me--except for those seeking to exploit the issue politically. We see some evidence of gender behavior spectrum among higher primates and other species. Why would the same not have been true of humans throughout history?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Fri Sep 10, 2021, 05:14 PM

4. It's your second paragraph

that explains the issue perfectly, especially in this country and among the Talibangelicals.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Fri Sep 10, 2021, 06:03 PM

5. Fundy gay-bashers who talk about last centuries as eras of religious virtue

Have no idea as to what they’re talking about. Most of them are ignoramuses claiming to be scholars and sages.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Vogon_Glory (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 10, 2021, 07:34 PM

7. Actually

more like ignoranuses--someone who is both ignorant and an asshole.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Fri Sep 10, 2021, 06:48 PM

6. During the civil war there were women who put on mens clothes and went to war. They were not

noticed until they were wounded and a doctor had to undress them. Could have been trans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread