Read Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past by Martin Duberman Free Online
Book Title: Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past|
The author of the book: Martin Duberman
ISBN 13: 9780453006897
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 620 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1740 times
Reader ratings: 5.1
Edition: Dutton Books
Date of issue: November 29th 1989
Read full description of the books:
I bought this several years ago and it's been sitting on my shelf unread since then. I was a bit dubious because it was so huge and rather old. When I started this book I found it really annoying. The queer theory just seemed SO dated. It was all about lesbians and gay men and used a very black and white approach to history. Gay men and Lesbians were either a "new" invention or were seen as part of a duality of hetero/homo sexualities. There was SO much that got missed in the discussion of history because they refused to include bisexuals and trans people in the work. There were SO many examples of bisexuals being described as homosexuals it was almost funny. One of the worst examples was when talking about Japanese sexuality, "male homosexual relations occurred almost entirely within the context of bisexuality" (119) and then goes on to talk about all the "homosexuality" ignoring the bisexual aspect totally. Another example was in the article about the Harlem subculture where there was a quote that said, "He loved them both... there.. he had thought it ... actually dared to think it.. one can love TWO [sexes] at the same time..." (emphasis mine) which was given as an example of HOMOsexual love not BIsexual love! Last time I checked what the definition of two meant...
The books itself is very weak on theory to the points at times it's almost offensive. But when it just focuses on history it is very good. I can imagine when it came out it was really exciting to have SO many stories of queer people and see them as a huge part of history where they had mostly been ignored. That said it was nearly all European and American history. With only 2 out of the 30 articles being on Asia and one on Colonial South Africa, needless to say this lead to a HUGE bias in the presentation of history. The Chinese article focused on Ming Qing Chinese male sexual relations and was a much earlier look than the more recent book I've read. The problem with the articles were they were only a few pages long and so couldn't give much detail.
Some highlights of the things that I thought were intresting included:
In Italy in the 16th century a woman would be more heavily punished in court if she had been caught having sex with a woman using a dildo rather than "merely rubbing". (73)
The description of the male homosexuals in City of Vice was exactly the way described in the essay by of Randolph Trumbach which made me pleased to see.
Though that article also had a problem in ignoring trans behavior and labeling it excursively homosexual. Showing a "new development" of the "effeminate gay". No where was the increased role of urbanization considered that maybe it wasn't a new type of person that was being created but rather the increased population density which allowed people to find others of their kind and express themselves in ways they wouldn't have been able to as the only gay in the village.
A great quote from a Native American woman who dressed in men's clothing and lived as a man, "Do you blame me for wanting to be a man, free to live life in a man-made world?... In the future centuries, it is probable that women will be the owner of her body and the custodian of her own soul [But] the well-cared for woman [now] is a parasite, and the woman who must work is a slave... Do you blame me for hating to again resume a woman's clothing and just belong? Is it any wonder that I am determined to become a member of the privileged sex, if possible?" (186)
I am glad I finally read this and I did learn a lot. I think the best thing I discovered was a 1935 blues song all about Bull Dykes! I totally loved this!
There were some hidden treasures in this volume but I'm not sure if I'd recommend it or not as it was quite problematic in places.
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