The ultimate gender determination smackdown: announced by V

March 6, 2011 § 9 Comments

[Because of an extremely strict deadline that V and I have imposed upon ourselves, I find myself incapable of writing a brand-new post of my own creativity. So, I’m going to “borrow” V’s words and just let that count as my post for the day. Remember, kiddies, it’s not plagiarism if you cite your source! This emerged as a direct result from rambling to V about the specific direction this next chapter will go. Please note that “Stubbes” is Philip Stubbes, a Puritan pamphleteer from the sixteenth century who really just hated for anyone to diverge even in the slightest from his understanding of the Bible’s teachings. In my dissertation, I will focus primarily on his approach to apparel. Also, please note that “Round Three” refers to “Chapter Three”–V is so clever! That said, enjoy the smackdown! And you are welcome to address comments to V–she’ll see them. :)]

A.Hab. vs. Stubbes:

The ultimate gender determination smackdown

A.Hab.’s chapter is designed to establish the difference between effeminacy and masculinity and cross-dressing in order to explain “gender” and cross-dressing as not inherently determinative of sexuality. With an uppercut to the jaw of Stubbes and other proponents of a socio-religious climate based on constructed sexual determination, A.Hab. argues that sexuality is more complex than trousers and dresses, and maintains that applying this lens to studies of Shakespeare’s plays (featured in Round 3) allows for analyses of performances and performers that would be problematic for Stubbes in that performances can cross social boundaries and rules in that they are “not real.”

With trainer Valerie Traub in her corner, A.Hab. will use this Round to establish the socio-religious climate identified and propagated by Stubbes and his posse in an analysis of eight texts. She will offer a particular focus on texts that describe how to raise boys to be men, such as The Governor [by Thomas Elyot], The Schole-master [by Roger Ascham], and Positions [by Richard Mulcaster]. In these analyses, she will articulate how these texts create and devise masculinity and, by virtue of the default of otherness, femininity. She will take to task the potential paradox in these authors’ assumption that gender is innate via divine creation, yet the authors feel compelled to establish rules for gender in their works. If innate, why would rules and material markers such as dress and hobbies be necessary, A.Hab. queries with a cross to the face? With a skull-shattering blow to the temple of Elizabethan prudishness, A.Hab. will divorce the idea that gender identity is related to sexual identity while taking on scholars who rely on the queer theory steroid that causes them to find homosexuality everywhere just because they are looking for it.

Deep in the gladiator dungeon of The Palms in Vegas, A.Hab. and Stubbes shadow box in their corners, eager to make physical contact with their psychological enemy.

Hungry to make Stubbes bleed, A.Hab. opens with unexpected force square in Stubbes’s face. Nose broken, pores waterfalls of sweat, Stubbes staggers back.

A.Hab. shows no mercy and advances on Stubbes with a swift sidekick to his ribs.

Stubbes falters, and falls.

A.Hab., new UFC champion of Elizabethan performance theory and theatre, stands over Stubbes and ruefully smirks,

“I wear pants, but I’m no man.”

[Thanks, V, for the amazing write-up and delightful recap of Chapter Two! 🙂 I hope in real life to accomplish proving my theory that gender identity and sexual identity are not interchangeable {just because a man likes to wear dresses does not mean he likes to fuck dudes, for instance} just as masterfully as I did in this thrilling fantasy!]

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§ 9 Responses to The ultimate gender determination smackdown: announced by V

  • Lisa says:

    One question though, Amanda what were you wearing for this brilliant smackdown battle? 🙂 Great job V.

  • Brilliant post. Double-brilliant because I have been working with glue all day. Pantaloons and big white collars? I’m athinkin Stubbs doth protest too much.

  • Great post. My thanks to V. I wrote my MA thesis on clothing imagery in Paradise Lost and the Faerie Queene–read a good bit of medieval and Renaissance sumptuary legislation. I forget now how many royal proclamations Elizabeth enacted about who could wear what–a crazy huge number!

    Hugs from Haiti,

  • AMo says:

    Now that is one masterful recap! Love it! 😀

  • Tori Nelson says:

    Haha! Thanks to V for the brilliant post. I’m with Lisa…. I certainly hope you were wearing a cape in this smackdown 🙂

  • Robert says:

    @ Tori: I think she gets her “cape” at graduation =D

    This was great. V, you are very funny! I’ve never had class with you before, so it’s cool to see how funny your writing is!

    Also, it’s nice to read stuff that is written by smart, capable, and humorous women.

    These student papers, on the other hand, are killing me… Perhaps I need to take some UFC inspired grading moves to ’em!

  • Tim says:

    I love that the showdown was a UFC-style brawl. The UFC has been one of my guilty pleasures for a long time ^_^. Great write-up.

  • petthedog says:

    Thanks to everyone for the props. Sometimes I think we all need to take a break from the ennui of academic discourse. Maybe I’ll incorporate some celebrity death matches in my own diss…

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