1st Edition

Her Husband was a Woman! Women's Gender-Crossing in Modern British Popular Culture

By Alison Oram Copyright 2007
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    Tracking the changing representation of female gender-crossing in the press, this text breaks new ground to reveal findings where both desire between women and cross-gender identification are understood.

    Her Husband was a Woman! exposes real-life case studies from the British tabloids of women who successfully passed as men in everyday life, perhaps marrying other women or fighting for their country. Oram revises assumptions about the history of modern gender and sexual identities, especially lesbianism and transsexuality.

    This book provides a fascinating resource for researchers and students, grounding the concepts of gender performativity, lesbian and queer identities in a broadly-based survey of the historical evidence.

    Introduction: Sex, Scandal and the Popular Press

    Section 1. 1900 – late 1920s. The Traditions of Gender-Crossing

    Chapter One: Work and War: Masculinity and the Passing Woman.

    Chapter Two: Sexuality, Love and Marriage: The Gender-Crossing Woman as Female Husband

    Section 2. The 1920s and 1930s. Entertaining Modernity.

    Chapter Three: Gender-Crossing and Modern Sexualities 1928–1939

    Chapter Four: “The Sheik was a She!” The Gigolo and Cosmopolitanism in the 1930s

    Chapter Five: The 1930s “Sex Change” Story: Medical Technology and Physical Transformation

    Section 3: Gender and Sexual Identities since the 1940s. 

    Chapter Six: “Perverted Passions”: Sexual Knowledge and Popular Culture 1940–1960



    Oram, Alison

    'This book really cheered me up. It is a strong scholarly work informed by a delicate and knowing substratum of expertise that informs the study with tender historical dexterity. Oram's analysis shows an historian at her best, someone who has laboured with recent history and found new material to which she provides broader insights, and in doing so has confronted and so redefined subcultural gender history, challenging the easy (or lazy) acceptance of dominant narratives and codes.' –  Sally R. Munt, Times Higher Education