Edited By Rafael M. Mérida-Jiménez
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.
10—Female Masculinity on Stage: Young Man! and the Subversion of Gender Roles
The inversion of gender roles as an entertaining yet often critical device in Spanish theatre enjoys a long history.1 Transvestism, notably in Golden Age drama, was often employed as a deceit, as a means of gaining justice, or as a temporary embodiment permitting access to a loved one as the plot developed. Any hint of same-sex desire, however, was usually eventually obliterated by the end of the play as the “proper” male and female roles together with heterosexuality were restored to their “natural” position of dominance.2 More recently, the reaffirmation of both heterosexual relations and traditional gender norms has become less clear-cut in international theatre than in Spain’s Golden Age and can be seen in innovatory productions such as Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and, in the Spanish case, Calderón’s La vida es sueño (Life is a Dream), which cast Segismundo in a female role.3
It has been argued successfully by Judith Butler among others that all genders, sexes, and sexualities are consolidated, to some degree, by their performative iteration.4 Their theatrical representation can give rise to productive interpretations and bodily performances on stage, meaning that theatre has become, as Penny Farfan has observed, “an acute site for queer subversions, critiques, and ways of knowing” for diverse kinds of publics.5 The transfer between the players, the set, and the audience in any performance which is “located, relational, textualized, vocalized, costumed, choreographed,” can also in fact serve to produce “queer significations, experiences, feelings, desires, and communities.”6
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