Female Masculinity - “A Writer of Misfits”: John Radclyffe Hall and the Discourse of Inversion Summary & Analysis

Halberstam, Jack
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Summary

In this third chapter, Halberstam considers “The Invert,” a Victorian concept of women who “took a masculine role,” by analyzing the life and writing of John Radclyffe Hall (76). In this first section, Halberstam analyzes “Sexual Inversion in Women” (1895) by Havelock Ellis, using Ellis’s work to explain the problems with the “inversion” model of gender difference, such as a reliance on oppositional gender binarism between the categories “male” and “female” and the assumption that masculinity is always superior to femininity. Halberstam then briefly describes the masculinities and sexualities of a few of the inverts Ellis interviewed, noting that, though all masculine, these women all experienced different desires and identifications relating to their masculinities.

In the section “Officers and Gentlemen,” Halberstam begins to focus more directly on John Radclyffe Hall’s life and work...

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This section contains 1,242 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Female Masculinity Study Guide
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