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LoveNLust版 - Gay New York
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1 (共1页)
S*******n
发帖数: 12762
1
【 以下文字转载自 Melody_In_The_Wind 俱乐部 】
发信人: Slytherin (小余|小则|小成|小自|小来|小熟), 信区: Melody_In_The_Wind
标 题: Gay New York
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Fri Oct 21 11:16:41 2011, 美东)
几年前看的一本书,今天突然想起来了,和各位分享一下。该书不是小说。是学术著作

George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the
Gay Male World, 1890-1940
George Chauncey's innovative and prodigiously researched Gay New York belies
the myth of the pre-Stonewall closet and unearths a thriving gay culture in
Gotham in the half-decade before World War II, before "the decline of the f
airy and the rise of the closet." (23) Contrary to Whiggish notions of sever
e homosexual repression up until the liberating 1970s, Chauncey argues that
"the gay male world of the prewar years was remarkably visible and integrate
d into the straight world" in the first decades of the twentieth century. (1
2) In fact, it was not until after the close of Prohibition that new social
norms and cultural anxieties forced a restructuring of urban gay life. "To u
se the modern idiom," Chauncey writes, "the state built a closet in the 1930
s and forced gay people to hide in it." (9)
Chauncey's book is rife with fascinating insights and conclusions, perhaps n
one so immediately surprising as the discovery that "in important respects t
he hetero-homosexual binarism, the sexual regime now hegemonic in American c
ulture, is a stunningly recent creation." (13) Tracing the rise of the word
gay to encompass all homosexual men (be they previously classified as queers
, fairies, trade or another term now considered much more perjorative), Chau
ncey argues that "the ascendancy of gay reflected...a reorganization of sexu
al categories and the transition from an early twentieth-century culture div
ided into 'queers' and 'men' on the basis of gender status to a late twentie
th-century culture divided into 'homosexuals' and 'heterosexuals' on the bas
is of sexual object choice."(23) Put another way, Chauncey argues that "homo
sexual behavior per se became the primary basis for the labeling and self-id
entification of men as 'queer' only around the middle of the twentieth centu
ry; before then, most men were so labeled only if they had displayed a much
broader inversion of their ascribed gender status by assuming the sexual and
other cultural roles ascribed to women. The abnormality (or 'queerness') of
the 'fairy,' that is, was defined as much by his 'woman-like' character or
'effeminacy' as his solicitation of male sexual partners; the 'man' who resp
onded to his solicitations -- no matter how often -- was not considered abno
rmal, a 'homosexual,' so long as he abided by masculine gender conventions.
Indeed, the centrality of effeminacy to the representation of the 'fairy' al
lowed many conventionally masculine men, especialy unmarried men living in s
ex-segregated immigrant communities, to engage in extensive sexual activity
with other men without risking stigmatization and the loss of their status a
s 'normal men.' (13)
Besides uncovering this striking shift in gender and social norms, Chauncey
accomplishes similar linguistic feats in his study of the term coming out. "
Gay people in the prewar years," he notes, "did not speak of coming out of w
hat we now call the 'gay closet' but rather of coming out into what they cal
led 'homosexual society' or the 'gay world,' a world neither so small, nor s
o isolated, nor, often, so hidden as 'closet' implies." (7) Indeed, "like mu
ch of campy gay terminology, 'coming out' was an arch play on the language o
f women's culture -- in this case the expression used to refer to the ritual
of a debutante's being formally introduced to, or 'coming out' into the soc
iety of her cultural peers." (7) As the debutante connotation indicates, the
prewar gay world of drag balls and speakeasies was one much more open and p
ublic than the prevailing trope of the closet suggests.
Of course, Gay New York tells us much not only about the construction of "ho
mosexual" as a category but also of its opposite, "heterosexual." Echoing th
e work of T.J. Jackson Lears in intellectual history, Chauncey describes the
"crisis of masculinity" that afflicted middle-class culture in the early ye
ars of the century. From the "captains of industry" bestriding industrial ca
pitalism and destroying earlier conceptions of male independence at work to
the increasing numbers of women challenging male prerogatives over suffrage
and the public sphere, all "the social patterns and cultural expectations th
at had formed men's sense of themselves as men were being challenged or unde
rmined." (111) As a result, a "cult of muscularity" ensued -- middle-class m
en began to glorify the virility of the "prizefighter and the workingmen" an
d to deplore the effects of "overcivilization" (including neurasthenia...aga
in, Lears' No Place of Grace is valuable here) on leisured middle-class men.
(113-114) Indeed, Teddy Roosevelt's entire public persona, from the strenuo
us life to the big stick, can all too easily be read as a manifestation of t
his crisis in gender. As a result, "heterosexuality became even more importa
nt to middle-class men because it provided them with a new, more positive wa
y to demonstrate their manhood...Middle-class men increasingly conceived of
their sexuality -- their heterosexuality, or exclusive desire for women -- a
s one of the hallmarks of a real man. It was as if they had decided that no
matter how much their gender comportment might be challenged as unmanly, the
y were normal men because they were heterosexual." (117) Chauncey also notes
that this shift in gender thinking happened a few generations later in mino
rity and working-class culture, so that differing cultural conceptions of ma
nliness and masculinity shared New York's streets in the years leading up to
WWII.
Along the way, Chauncey manages to upend another traditional historical view
in his discussion of the end of Prohibition. While historians tend to think
of the collapse of prohibition as a victory for the tolerant-minded, Chaunc
ey instead argues that it spelled the end for the gay prewar world. "The ant
i-gay reaction gained force in the early to mid-thirties as it became part o
f a more general reaction to the cultural experimentation of the Prohibition
years and to the disruption of gender arrangements by the Depression. As th
e onset of the Depression dashed the confidence of the 1920s, gay men and le
sbians began to seem less amusing than dangerous." (331) In effect, when Pro
hibition speakeasies remained outside the public sphere, the prevailing cult
ure was more live-and-let-live. But, when drinking establishments are return
ed to the public sphere, "a powerful campaign to render gay men and lesbians
invisible -- to exclude them from the public sphere -- quickly gained momen
tum." (331) (One ironic consequence of this growing anti-gay regulation move
ment, Chauncey notes, was "the creation of exclusively gay bars." (348)) "Th
e reaction against the challenges posed to manhood by Depression conditions
was widely evident in the culture," Chauncey concludes, "from the celebratio
n of powerful male physiques in the public art of the New Deal to the attack
s on married women for 'stealing' men's jobs and the laws passed by several
states requiring women to be dismissed from teaching jobs when they married.
Lesbians and gay men began to seem more dangerous in this context -- as fig
ures whose defiant perversity threatened to undermine the reproduction of no
rmative gender and sexual arrangements already threatened by the upheavals o
f the thirties." (354)
S*******n
发帖数: 12762
2
清漩咱俩看起来真是心有灵犀。

Wind
the
belies
in

【在 S*******n 的大作中提到】
: 【 以下文字转载自 Melody_In_The_Wind 俱乐部 】
: 发信人: Slytherin (小余|小则|小成|小自|小来|小熟), 信区: Melody_In_The_Wind
: 标 题: Gay New York
: 发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Fri Oct 21 11:16:41 2011, 美东)
: 几年前看的一本书,今天突然想起来了,和各位分享一下。该书不是小说。是学术著作
: 。
: George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the
: Gay Male World, 1890-1940
: George Chauncey's innovative and prodigiously researched Gay New York belies
: the myth of the pre-Stonewall closet and unearths a thriving gay culture in

y*****g
发帖数: 1644
3
是一对!

清漩咱俩看起来真是心有灵犀。
Wind
the
belies
in

【在 S*******n 的大作中提到】
: 清漩咱俩看起来真是心有灵犀。
:
: Wind
: the
: belies
: in

N****f
发帖数: 25759
4
Is there an abstract of this abstract?

Wind
the
belies
in
f

【在 S*******n 的大作中提到】
: 清漩咱俩看起来真是心有灵犀。
:
: Wind
: the
: belies
: in

1 (共1页)
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