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Re:Cross dressing, lesbians and the law

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  • kwalys
    Lesbianism wasn t outlawed in some countries with severe anti-same- sex-relations laws. Men being with men was well-known thanks to the Old Testament, and
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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      Lesbianism wasn't outlawed in some countries with severe anti-same-
      sex-relations laws. Men being with men was well-known thanks to the
      Old Testament, and also male writers wrote for and against it. Fewer
      women had the opportunity to publish their work, let alone discuss
      lesbianism. It wasn't thought of much by people at all even though
      lesbians pop up here and there throughout literature and historical
      records.

      There's a tale which is probably a bit of a myth but interesting just
      the same. When anti-lesbianism laws were drawn up in 19th century
      Britain, Queen Victoria's supposed to have objected to the very idea
      that women could be capable of it.

      My (male!) friend did this for his dissertation at Uni, I'm just
      remembering random bits of it. Alys xxx
    • Kirrily Robert
      ... I think it s like what was discussed for religious personae a while ago. If you do it with respect, then anyone who has a problem with it is *their*
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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        Leah wrote:
        > On a sidenote: With all this discussion of lesbianism in the past, I'm
        > begining to wonder if that might not be why my persona has been single for
        > her entire life (35 years), inherited her business from her father, and been
        > willing to wander the world for the past 15+ years!? And how would I, as a
        > straight woman, begin to even imagine being able to play such a persona
        > without making a serious *ss out of herself and embarassing herself and
        > every single gay woman out there!? Something I am seriously considering.

        I think it's like what was discussed for religious personae a while ago.
        If you do it with respect, then anyone who has a problem with it is
        *their* problem, not yours.

        Yours,

        Katherine

        --
        Lady Katherine Rowberd (mka Kirrily "Skud" Robert)
        katherine@... http://infotrope.net/sca/
        Caldrithig, Skraeling Althing, Ealdormere
        "The rose is red, the leaves are grene, God save Elizabeth our Queene"
      • Kirrily Robert
        ... *snerk* Tell me, did we meet, or perhaps not-quite-meet, at the Cooks and Bards collegium last October? Your name rings a faint bell but I m not sure
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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          Agnese wrote:
          > if only to disconsert the Ealdormerian men.
          > ..which doesn't take much...

          *snerk*

          Tell me, did we meet, or perhaps not-quite-meet, at the Cooks and Bards
          collegium last October? Your name rings a faint bell but I'm not sure
          whether we've met or not.

          Yours,

          Katherine

          --
          Lady Katherine Rowberd (mka Kirrily "Skud" Robert)
          katherine@... http://infotrope.net/sca/
          Caldrithig, Skraeling Althing, Ealdormere
          "The rose is red, the leaves are grene, God save Elizabeth our Queene"
        • hasoferet@aol.com
          In a message dated 7/31/2003 11:41:28 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... Wait until you re elderly...say twenty-five or so...and marry a dashing widower with a
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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            In a message dated 7/31/2003 11:41:28 PM Pacific Standard Time,
            ahelou@... writes:


            > I also think, though, that I may "retire"
            > that aspect of the persona eventually - it's not usually something one keeps
            >
            > up forever.
            >

            Wait until you're elderly...say twenty-five or so...and marry a dashing
            widower with a beautiful library housed a country villa?

            Raquel


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • hasoferet@aol.com
            In a message dated 8/1/2003 7:25:20 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... On the other hand, the Cairo Geniza has documents covering the life of a strong-minded
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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              In a message dated 8/1/2003 7:25:20 AM Pacific Standard Time,
              kmaitland@... writes:


              > Very possible, but it is just as likely that the men in your persona's life
              > could not handle a strong independent woman. LOL. Now that I think of it, I
              > do not recall in my research and reading any of the Black businesswomen of
              > late period Spain (and mid-period Egypt) being married either.

              On the other hand, the Cairo Geniza has documents covering the life of a
              strong-minded businesswoman named Wuhsha who seems to at least have had a
              gentleman in her life, and I seem to recall that the Prophet Mohammed's first wife was
              intitally his boss. I think a successful business woman can generally find a
              husband if she wants one. ;)

              Raquel


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Leah A. Montgomery
              ... And after talking it through with my husband last night, I realized that I could just play her as if she has been like this all along, without making any
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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                >It doesn't need to be embarrassing to anyone if it's played subtly and
                >honestly - or, perhaps, not even "played" at all.

                And after talking it through with my husband last night, I realized that I
                could just play her as if she has been like this all along, without making
                any changes to her at all. The two big things are that she has never been in
                a relationship with a man, and she is always around women and her friends
                are women. This may not seem to big considering the era that we are playing,
                but she is a world wise character and not all places in the world are female
                backwards, including her own home, where if a woman obviously isn't going to
                do the normal thing of marriage home kids, she's frequently accepted as 'one
                of the boys' so to speak. So I make no changes to her at all, and continue
                to play her as I have been.




                Leah A. Montgomery
                SCA: Safia bint Wahib al Marakeshi called Samira
                Head of Byat Al Viola Hirrar
                Bryn Gwlad, Ansteorra (Austin, TX)
                mog_bane@...

                _________________________________________________________________
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              • ahelou
                ... Yeah, that s the general idea . Vittoria
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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                  >===== Original Message From hasoferet@... =====
                  >Wait until you're elderly...say twenty-five or so...and marry a dashing
                  >widower with a beautiful library housed a country villa?
                  >
                  >Raquel

                  Yeah, that's the general idea <g>.


                  Vittoria
                • Heather Rose Jones
                  ... If a woman is looking for historic contexts in which to be unmarried, I think there are a lot more obvious ones than lesbianism. For several years I ve
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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                    > >===== Original Message From "Leah A. Montgomery"
                    ><mog_bane@...> =====
                    >>On a sidenote: With all this discussion of lesbianism in the past, I'm
                    >>begining to wonder if that might not be why my persona has been single for
                    >>her entire life (35 years), inherited her business from her father, and been
                    >>willing to wander the world for the past 15+ years!? And how would I, as a
                    >>straight woman, begin to even imagine being able to play such a persona
                    >>without making a serious *ss out of herself and embarassing herself and
                    > >every single gay woman out there!? Something I am seriously considering.

                    If a woman is looking for historic contexts in which to be unmarried,
                    I think there are a lot more obvious ones than lesbianism. For
                    several years I've been promoting the book:

                    Bennett, Judith M. & Amy M. Froide eds.. 1999. Singlewomen in the
                    European Past 1250-1800. Univerisy of Pennsylvania Press,
                    Philadelphia. ISBN 0-8122-1668-7

                    This collection of papers addresses issues around single women (by
                    various definitions) in a wide variety of cultures, eras and
                    contexts. If there is a single take-home message, it's that no valid
                    generalizations can be made across Europe and across the centuries
                    about what women did or did not do with regard to marriage or the
                    lack thereof.

                    It's a great book for disabusing oneself of a lot of the myths and
                    "common knowledge) around the subject (e.g., expected age of
                    marriage, proportion of non-married women at various life stages,
                    economic options for unmarried women). And the book was recently
                    listed in the UPenn book catalog at a drastically reduced price, so
                    there's no excuse for anyone not to buy a copy!

                    Oh, and note that one of the editors is the Judith Bennett whose name
                    has come up previously in this thread. She is a goddess among
                    historians. I worship at her feet.

                    Tangwystyl
                    --
                    *****
                    Heather Rose Jones
                    hrjones@...
                    *****
                  • Kristine Maitland
                    Very possible, but it is just as likely that the men in your persona s life could not handle a strong independent woman. LOL. Now that I think of it, I do not
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 1, 2003
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                      Very possible, but it is just as likely that the men in your persona's life could not handle a strong independent woman. LOL. Now that I think of it, I do not recall in my research and reading any of the Black businesswomen of late period Spain (and mid-period Egypt) being married either.

                      The more things change... grin

                      I wouldn't worry about it Safia -- I'm queer (bi, if you wanna get technical) and I've being playing a straight persona for over a decade. I played a courtesan for 7 yrs (and I'm thinking of going back to it), if only to disconsert the Ealdormerian men.

                      ...which doesn't take much...

                      in service

                      Agnese "Inez" Rusconi
                      Historian for the Barony of Ben Dunfirth
                      Ealdormere

                      mundanely:
                      Kristine Maitland
                      Researcher of alternative histories
                      www.kmaitland.ca


                      -----
                      On a sidenote: With all this discussion of lesbianism in the past, I'm
                      begining to wonder if that might not be why my persona has been single for
                      her entire life (35 years), inherited her business from her father, and been
                      willing to wander the world for the past 15+ years!? And how would I, as a
                      straight woman, begin to even imagine being able to play such a persona
                      without making a serious *ss out of herself and embarassing herself and
                      every single gay woman out there!? Something I am seriously considering.


                      Leah A. Montgomery
                      SCA: Safia bint Wahib al Marakeshi called Samira
                      Head of Byat Al Viola Hirrar
                      Bryn Gwlad, Ansteorra (Austin, TX)
                      mog_bane@...

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Jan C. Lane
                      With all this discussion of lesbianism in the past, I m beginning to wonder if that might not be why my persona has been single for her entire life (35
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 3, 2003
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                        "With all this discussion of lesbianism in the past, I'm beginning to wonder
                        if that might not be why my persona has been single for her entire life (35
                        years), inherited her business from her father, and been willing to wander
                        the world for the past 15+ years!?"

                        It's a good thing to remember that sexuality, like many other things in
                        life, isn't a black and white issue. We have those who are exclusively
                        homosexual at one end and those who are exclusively heterosexual at the
                        other and those who are truly bisexual in the middle. By "exclusively", I
                        mean that these persons have never had sexual experiences or desires other
                        than those of their orientation. However, there's a whole lot of room
                        in-between the exclusives.

                        Now, the definitions rely on both sexual desire and sexual practice. A
                        woman who has never married may not be homosexual at all. The same can be
                        said of a man. Perhaps she has never met a man whom she felt was worthy of
                        her. Perhaps her goals lie in other directions. After all, she's
                        financially independent and may not want children. Perhaps the thought of
                        sexual intimacy in any form is frightening. Perhaps she's simply not
                        interested in sex with anyone, male or female. In other words, there are
                        many reasons why people don't marry, and sexual orientation isn't the only
                        one. :)

                        In service,

                        Jannifer
                      • Jehan du Lac
                        You have said well, madame. There are many reasons not to marry. My brother Anne is one such. As a minister of the Reform he is not constrained to celibacy
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 3, 2003
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                          You have said well, madame. There are many reasons not to marry. My
                          brother Anne is one such. As a minister of the Reform he is not
                          constrained to celibacy like a papist, but he prefereth the comfort of
                          his Greek and Hebrew texts and as to heirs I consider that he regardeth
                          those he hath taught at Strasbourg, Geneva, and Saumur as his children
                          in some fashion. But I do not think he useth those habits well-known
                          amongst schoolmasters, though he be firm with the rod. Mr. Knowlton's
                          opinion that no woman would have him should be disregarded as he is no
                          good judge of that. And amongst the country people where I dwell many
                          of their daughters go into service in the towns, many hoping thereby to
                          earn their dowries, but not all doe and so many remain single and many
                          sons are constrained to remain boys all their life for fear of dividing
                          the patrimony of the family and indeed such concern is shown as well
                          amongst the noblesse, who are possessed of more and the more jealous to
                          guard it, not spending the family heritage on dowries and jointures and
                          the like unless there is benefit to be gained and in Italy I have heard
                          many of the daughters are sent into convents to save the family the
                          expense, to the girls' great displeasure. In my own family being the
                          youngest son I was forced to find my own way with little property as
                          many Gascons do, some to great glory like M. de Monluc but many more to
                          be wasted on the fields of war, and as we all know one cannot support a
                          wife without the wherewithal to keep a house, whether amongst the menu
                          peuple or the artisans or the noblesse, and so I chose a wife late in
                          my life and lost her to the hazards all womankind are prone to,
                          although in my youth I did take my comfort with those sorts that follow
                          the camp and used them not ill for even in difficult times I did
                          provide for such issue as I had of them and now these days doe most
                          take comfort with mon sien compagnon for though he is English we share
                          a soul as did my late neighbor M. de Montaigne and his great friend La
                          Boetie even as he hath written in his great booke, and for now I am
                          content although my sister doth ever connive to find me a new wife and
                          hath even searched one out for Mr. Knowlton although he liketh none so
                          far.

                          Jehan


                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Jan C. Lane" <jclane@...>
                          Date: Sunday, August 3, 2003 10:38 am
                          Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] Re:Cross dressing, lesbians and the law

                          > "With all this discussion of lesbianism in the past, I'm beginning
                          > to wonder
                          > if that might not be why my persona has been single for her entire
                          > life (35
                          > years), inherited her business from her father, and been willing
                          > to wander
                          > the world for the past 15+ years!?"
                          >
                          > It's a good thing to remember that sexuality, like many other
                          > things in
                          > life, isn't a black and white issue. We have those who are
                          > exclusivelyhomosexual at one end and those who are exclusively
                          > heterosexual at the
                          > other and those who are truly bisexual in the middle. By
                          > "exclusively", I
                          > mean that these persons have never had sexual experiences or
                          > desires other
                          > than those of their orientation. However, there's a whole lot of room
                          > in-between the exclusives.
                          >
                          > Now, the definitions rely on both sexual desire and sexual
                          > practice. A
                          > woman who has never married may not be homosexual at all. The
                          > same can be
                          > said of a man. Perhaps she has never met a man whom she felt was
                          > worthy of
                          > her. Perhaps her goals lie in other directions. After all, she's
                          > financially independent and may not want children. Perhaps the
                          > thought of
                          > sexual intimacy in any form is frightening. Perhaps she's simply not
                          > interested in sex with anyone, male or female. In other words,
                          > there are
                          > many reasons why people don't marry, and sexual orientation isn't
                          > the only
                          > one. :)
                          >
                          > In service,
                          >
                          > Jannifer
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                        • ahelou
                          ... Maitre Jehan, If you will forgive my impertinence for joining this conversation uninvited, allow me to say that, if you were indeed the neighbor of M. de
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 3, 2003
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                            >===== Original Message From Jehan du Lac <baronjehan@...> =====
                            > for even in difficult times I did
                            >provide for such issue as I had of them and now these days doe most
                            >take comfort with mon sien compagnon for though he is English we share
                            >a soul as did my late neighbor M. de Montaigne and his great friend La
                            >Boetie even as he hath written in his great booke, ...
                            >Jehan

                            Maitre Jehan,

                            If you will forgive my impertinence for joining this conversation uninvited,
                            allow me to say that, if you were indeed the neighbor of M. de Montaigne, you
                            must count yourself among the most fortunate men in France! It is only a few
                            months ago that I first had the pleasure of reading his essays, and those on
                            education I most particularly enjoyed. I have often wished to travel into
                            France (and travel, as M. de Montaigne advises, is a necessary part of the
                            best educations), for I greatly love the language, which, though not so
                            beautiful as my native Tuscan, is yet an elegant one, and I flatter myself
                            that I speak it not without some accuracy and grace; yet more than that,
                            France has in the last century produced so many great poets and philosophers,
                            that I would wish above all for the opportunity to become acquainted with
                            them. Florence does not lack in philosophers nor in scholars, but that the
                            ones I most admire should live elsewhere is a constant disappointment.


                            Vittoria
                          • Jehan du Lac
                            I have indeed visited with M. de Montaigne in his chateau and he was a most amiable fellow, although grievously afflicted with the stone. He hath a tower for
                            Message 13 of 24 , Aug 3, 2003
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                              I have indeed visited with M. de Montaigne in his chateau and he was a
                              most amiable fellow, although grievously afflicted with the stone. He
                              hath a tower for his study and contemplation which is most pleasant
                              filled with more books than e'er I have seen in one place (or he did,
                              his wife and daughter having no use for that great library nowadays).
                              He did the king my master much good service and was well-enough
                              esteemed hereabouts that his goods and property were largely unmolested
                              during the late wars, though he be a Catholic. As to philosophy, my
                              Latin is not good and so I avoid it, my bible and psalter in the French
                              tongue being largely sufficient for me in the matter of books, although
                              I do have a great pleasure in the news and will spend a few sous when
                              the colporteur doth come by with his wares, but I confess that when M.
                              de Montaigne's book was put on sale in Bordeaux I did spend a fair bit
                              to have it bound for it did amaze me to be acquainted with one that
                              hath written such a book, and yet it had no great matter in it at all,
                              as it were, being but his own musings within himself, as if one were to
                              his closet with a bit of wine after dinner, and though he be now
                              deceased I do take some pleasure to read from his book a little and
                              hear his voice. I was much taken with his recounting of the matter of
                              the cannibals. He did ever mourn for La Boetie, though he made little
                              conversation of it with his neighbors and it is only in reading his
                              book that I heard his cry for his lost friend and so I have wondered if
                              he did but write it to find another such in this world. I do not
                              particularly know Mlle. de Gournay, his fille d'alliance, but I have no
                              doubt, gracious lady, that you would be another such to him were he
                              still living to have your acquaintance.

                              Jehan

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: ahelou <ahelou@...>
                              Date: Sunday, August 3, 2003 6:31 pm
                              Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] Re:Cross dressing, lesbians and the law

                              > >===== Original Message From Jehan du Lac <baronjehan@...>
                              > =====> for even in difficult times I did
                              > >provide for such issue as I had of them and now these days doe most
                              > >take comfort with mon sien compagnon for though he is English we
                              > share>a soul as did my late neighbor M. de Montaigne and his great
                              > friend La
                              > >Boetie even as he hath written in his great booke, ...
                              > >Jehan
                              >
                              > Maitre Jehan,
                              >
                              > If you will forgive my impertinence for joining this conversation
                              > uninvited,
                              > allow me to say that, if you were indeed the neighbor of M. de
                              > Montaigne, you
                              > must count yourself among the most fortunate men in France! It is
                              > only a few
                              > months ago that I first had the pleasure of reading his essays,
                              > and those on
                              > education I most particularly enjoyed. I have often wished to
                              > travel into
                              > France (and travel, as M. de Montaigne advises, is a necessary
                              > part of the
                              > best educations), for I greatly love the language, which, though
                              > not so
                              > beautiful as my native Tuscan, is yet an elegant one, and I
                              > flatter myself
                              > that I speak it not without some accuracy and grace; yet more than
                              > that,
                              > France has in the last century produced so many great poets and
                              > philosophers,
                              > that I would wish above all for the opportunity to become
                              > acquainted with
                              > them. Florence does not lack in philosophers nor in scholars, but
                              > that the
                              > ones I most admire should live elsewhere is a constant disappointment.
                              >
                              >
                              > Vittoria
                              >
                              >
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