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Bit more philosophical/historical thread on non-TRA trans stuff anyone?

(6 Posts)
Amoregentlemanlikemanner Mon 12-Feb-18 09:27:37

I think there lots of brainy folk among you who know you history. I just find this interesting.

In the past, how did all this work?

We know that a significant proportion of people have always lived their lives differently from the majority of those of their sex. And that sometimes society tolerated or even welcomed this and found them special roles. But, sadly, more often it did not.

It seems unlikely to me that people would have articulated the idea of “a woman in a man’s body”. I suspect that metaphor dates from a period when some level of surgical intervention had become possible or at least conceivable.

I suspect, thinking about all the gender switching in Shakespeare, that simply pretending to be of the opposite sex was a more powerful and meaningful idea than it is today.

I have a strong sense that the availability of medical technology (or not) must play a big role.

Anyone know?

RatRolyPoly Mon 12-Feb-18 11:57:17

I don't know either Amore but I also find it interesting! I'm also pretty interested in female uprisings and matriarchal societies through history as well, but I'm only a light reader of history in either case.

Anyway, I did a quick Google search and found these interesting from all sorts of angles; LGBT history, history of defying sexual stereotypes etc.; not just from a trans perspective.

They all seem to be from trans-friendly sources (of course) but the author of two of them says at the end of one, "Although it's doubtful that all of these traditions had a common origin, and possible that some of these are trans only by coincidence, there do seem to be a number of similar themes tying them together. Sorting through them to find specific motives and beliefs is impossible, though, because so little of the original traditions was recorded or survived the various book purges over time. It is only possible to speculate.", which seems to me to be a fair statement smile

Don't know if that's the sort of thing you're interested in?

This is a 6 part series apparently

Another part of that series

Just a list of "famous" figures

Hopefully someone will come along who knows more than me, but I think you're right that about simply pretending to be the opposite sex was the done thing, and it seems frequently no-one even knew until that person died!

LangCleg Mon 12-Feb-18 12:19:38

I think you've got the wrong end of the OP's stick (as usual) Rat.

The OP is talking about post hoc justification aka false cause fallacy aka argument from succession.

As in, now there is the modern phenomenon of Western transgenderism, history is being reinterpreted through the pomo lens of the ideology of that modern phenomenon.

GuardianLions Mon 12-Feb-18 12:23:47

I don't have any sources right now but there have many women, often lesbians who have dressed as a man, gone by a male name, etc in order to have freedom/a position in the world. Eg- George Elliot or Pope Joan (there's a special seat in the Vatican to check the incoming pope has male genitals some believe as a result of Pope Joan).
In the UK Grayson Perry has done some very interesting studies of how male clothes suddenly became drab and less flamboyant in the Victorian era, which coincided with a rise in transvestism.

In Native American belief they are people that have both male and female spirits. In Thailand there is acceptance of pretty boys. I believe there is also a tradition of raising one of your sons as a daughter if you have only sons and 'encouraging' a woman to 'give' him a child to raise. Need to look into this as I only know this as hearsay from someone who travelled extensively in the area.

RatRolyPoly Mon 12-Feb-18 12:31:46

I mostly wanted to bump the OP's thread for her and to not do so vacantly without at least trying to contribute something, Lang. But don't miss an opportunity to get a little dig in, will you.

Amoregentlemanlikemanner Mon 12-Feb-18 15:24:17

“In the UK Grayson Perry has done some very interesting studies of how male clothes suddenly became drab and less flamboyant in the Victorian era, which coincided with a rise in transvestism.”

Isn’t that interesting?!

Thanks for the links Rat.
I don’t have a set view on the current issues. They are Interesting though aren’t they? We can only be sure, I suppose, that it will look different to future historians.

I have this feeling that in the past:
-there were more ways to reinvent yourself by travelling and changing clothes (no I.D. and you could just leave your old life behind)
-there were fewer ways to reinvent yourself in other ways (surgery, social media)
But that there have always been a set of people wanting to reinvent themselves, and maybe it is even a constant in human nature-neither a good nor a bad thing?

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