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Lies Before Our Eyes

The Denial of Gender from the Bible to Shakespeare and Beyond

Karen Love

Have we ever really believed in gender? Is there any evidence that we have resisted, rejected, and denied the division of human beings into ‘male’ and ‘female’? Both our charter narratives and popular media murmur a persistent «no». The theories of Luce Irigaray, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Roland Barthes, when applied to works as varied as Bible stories, parables, nursery rhymes, Greek myths and drama, Shakespeare’s plays, and contemporary film reveal a new character – the transcengenderist mucosa.
The transcengenderist mucosa – an original metaphor derived from our own deep physical structures: our permeable cellular membranes – deconstructs the equilibrium of binary gender transcends ‘male’ and ‘female’ by being, simultaneously, both and neither. Through the agency of the transcengenderist mucosa, who operates in the liminal space between male and female, we recognize that ‘gender’ does not exist in reality, and that the violence and destruction inherent in the binary definition of gender can be transcended.
Contents: Images of the Mucosa as Angelic Metaphor in The Sex-Gender Binary in Western Culture – Violence as a Legacy of the Sex-Gender Binary – Bakhtin, Barthes, and the Mucosa – Mining the Traces of Same/Other Sexuality in Western Narrative Tradition – Tracing the Mucosa in Greek and Judeo-Christian Charter Narratives – The Mucosa in Antigone and The Scarlet Letter – Identifying Falstaff as the Mucosa – An Ethics of Sexual Difference: Falstaff as an Agent of Renewal and Regeneration.