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Hispanic (LGT) Masculinities in Transition

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Edited By Rafael M. Mérida-Jiménez

The objective of Hispanic (LGT) Masculinities in Transition is to investigate the cultural representations/intersections of masculinity and sexual minorities (lesbians, gays, and transgenders) in Spain between the passing of the Law of Social Dangerousness and Social Rehabilitation (1970) and the reform of the Penal Code in 1995. In order to meet this aim, this volume analyzes the artistic production of a number of Spanish and Latin American male and female individuals who, first, were able to question the structures of control and domination in Spain in the last years of Franco’s dictatorship; second, were able to open up new horizons of freedom in the context of the criminalization of the previous decades; and, third, were able to bring about new models of masculinity that were more egalitarian during the first years of the new democracy.
More specifically, Hispanic (LGT) Masculinities in Transition will interlink the fields of political and historical change and artistic production in order to assess whether cultural representations can be understood as mere reflections of social and political change. In terms of the materials being examined, these are, in the first instance, literary, although other narratives are also addressed (filmic production and plastic arts). This volume is essential reading for professors and students of contemporary Spanish history and culture, as well as for those interested in lesbian, gay, transgender, and masculinity issues.
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7—Undressing Masculinity: Male Dress and Accoutrements in Four Female Spanish Characters

Extract

Gender and embodiment have produced extreme combinatorial typologies, like the one Lucía Etxebarria expresses in “Príncipe del silencio.”1 The first verses of her poem convey the longing for a primeval body that would solve the conflict of being a man trapped in a woman’s body. To the reader’s surprise, the ultimate resolution comes when the lyric voice accepts categorically her being a woman in a man’s body:

Y entonces te encontré: la mujer que yo soyen un cuerpo de hombre…2

The poem is central to this essay because it plays with the idea that the body can be isolated from one’s own sense of being and looking, of unity and otherness. Following Lacan, it could be said that this is because biology belongs to the domain of the symbolic, to the same space where masculine and feminine images occupy the site of the “I” and the “Other,”3 indistinctively, alternatively, or simultaneously, we might add. The poem also talks about the beginning and the end of a quest, leaving the reader free to imagine the particulars of such a journey, and more important, perhaps, what it means to be a man or a woman in a body that conceals its biology to the reader.

It is in this gap that we may imagine the poetic subject trying a constant shifting of codes until it finds the ones that suit it. We can picture it, naked and dressed, in a constant...

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