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ISSUE 29 | MARCH 2018

• Hollywood and the Lies in La-La Land • The US Military and Masculinity •Conflicting Tudor Expectations •Sexuality in Art: Michelangelo • The Women’s Battalion of Death •Desmond Doss : The Heroic Objector ISSUE 29 | MAR 2018

tipping the




Behind every story… There is History


ISSUE 29 | MARCH 2018

Contents HISTORY BEHIND THE HEADLINES Lies In La-La Land...............................................................4 The Napoleon Complex.....................................................5

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The US Military: LGBT........................................................6


The President’s Club..........................................................6



Tudor Expectations............................................................7 Germany’s Gender Swap...................................................8


Bundy’s Last Exploit...........................................................9

Masculinity In The Trenches.............................................10 Football’s Dirty Secret......................................................10

HISTORY YOU SHOULD KNOW Birth of Women’s Studies................................................11 The Battalion Of Death....................................................12 Sexuality: Michelangelo..................................................13 LGBT+: A UK History........................................................14

FIGURES YOU SHOULD KNOW Desmond Doss................................................................15 Hatshepsut......................................................................16 Oscar Wilde.....................................................................16 Lili Elbe: The Danish Girl..................................................17

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW With Dr Steven Pierce......................................................18

HISTORY UPDATE History Society Update....................................................19 Sponsors..........................................................................19

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A Note from the Editors Happy New Year from all of us at The Manchester Historian! And welcome to our second annual edition, this time we’re focusing on gender and sexuality through the ages. Since October of last year, when the hideous practices of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein came to light, it seems as though Western media has been enthralled with issues of gender and sexuality. Sexual misconduct allegations have been coming in thick and fast, with Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen and now even Oxfam among some of the most notorious of those accused. A notable product of this media storm has been an extraordinary surge in conversation regarding the impact of sexual harassment and gender roles in our everyday lives. The #MeToo movement especially has displayed efforts to highlight sexual malpractices in areas of work outside of Hollywood. Our understanding of patriarchal hegemony in professional contexts has been a subject of scrutiny since these sexual scandals. Questions of equal

Photography by Helen Aron @TheMcrHistorian

pay, masculinity and gender inequality have entered the rhetoric. Being the history devotees we are, it’s only natural that we want to expand this conversation backwards. Throughout this issue we will examine the impacts of gender and sexuality through the ages. Are these scandals anything new? Is masculinity really as rigid as the patriarchy seems to suggest? Was a fake beard the obligatory accessory to be a female pharaoh? Well please do read on and find out… We would also like to express our support for the lecturers currently striking against pension cuts. For more information visit: We hope you enjoy the latest issue of The Historian as much as we’ve loved making it. If you want to write for us either in the next issue, or have an idea for an article to be published online then contact us at manchesterhistorian@ or find us on social media!

Shannon, Eva, Pip and Ellie



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Lies in La-La Land We are in the ‘Time’s Up’ era. A sense of disgust and betrayal has been prevalent throughout Hollywood these past few months, accompanied by hope and catharsis. We are in the merciless time of ‘The Weinstein Effect’, unforgiving of abusers and their enablers. Harvey Weinstein, front runner of The Weinstein Company and Miramax Films has had a reputation for sexual coercion for almost 40 years. In 1979, Hope Exiner d’Amore alleged that Weinstein raped her on a business trip. Weinstein’s predatorial nature was no secret in Hollywood and alluded to many times during public interviews. As early as 1998, Gwyneth Paltrow said on Late Show with David Letterman that Weinstein “will coerce you to do a thing or two”. The horrific timeline of abuse went on for many years, until 5 October 2017, when The New York Times published an incriminating story detailing the decades of allegations against Weinstein, including testimonies from Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd. The publication of this story became the catalyst for a revolution. As it stands, 84 individuals claim that Weinstein had attempted to or had sexually assaulted them. A string of prominent exponents within the film, TV and music industry responded with ‘Me Too’. There is a temptation to view celebrities in mythologised terms as gods who reside upon Mount Olympus, above the experiences of insurmountable pain which mere mortals are subject to. But we must realise that they are not immune from such struggles. ‘Time’s Up’ marks the end of an era of in which an abuse of power and circumstance can prevail. It calls time on hierarchies of power which abusers


can hide behind and avoid the consequences. It highlights the necessity of using privileged positions within society to speak for those who cannot. ‘Time’s Up’ on the silent accomplices whose choice to remain mute enabled abusers to thrive. We have reached the overdue peripeteia. Weinstein is not the first to use the keys to stardom as a means of control. He is not the first to demand reparations from other people’s bodies in exchange for career advancement. There is a legacy of such perverse behaviour within Hollywood which far precedes Weinstein. But the impact of Weinstein’s downfall and the voice his victims have lent to survivors of sexual abuse all over the world will be the end of it. Sexual abuse of both female and male victims has been an unacknowledged norm for decades, dating back as early as the 1920s. In 1921, it is claimed that actress Virginia Rappe was violently raped by well-known Hollywood comedian Roscoe Arbuckle and was left writhing in pain from a ruptured bladder. Rappe died just days later, and Arbuckle was acquitted. In 1940, an MGM producer allegedly exposed himself to Shirley Temple during a meeting. She was only 12. In 1954, Marilyn Monroe wrote in her memoirs: “They were vicious and crooked…you saw Hollywood with their eyes – an overcrowded brothel, a merry-go-round with beds for horses”. In 1977, film-maker Roman Polanski pled guilty to rape of actress Samantha Geimer, aged 13, after giving her alcohol and Quaaludes.

Photo via: Wikicommons

women in Hollywood. Anthony Rapp claimed that, in 1984, Kevin Spacey climbed on top of him and tried to initiate sexual intercourse. Rapp was only 14 years old. More accusations against Spacey emerged following Rapp’s testimony, including that of Harry Dreyfuss. Entering the twenty-first century, the list painfully expands. In 2004, Bill Cosby was charged with drugging and molesting a former employee at his home. Dozens of accusations against Cosby began to emerge. Corey Feldman spoke out about the child molestation himself and his co-star Corey Haim experienced at the hands of Hollywood producers in 2013 on The View. Barbara Walters, one of the interviewers on the show, lashed out at Feldman, claiming: “you’re ruining an entire industry”. The victims are numerous, including Lady Gaga, Kesha, Terry Cruise, Uma Thurman and hundreds more. The number of people who turned a blind eye to such abuse is larger. Ben Affleck and Quentin Tarantino have both been accused of remaining silent, along with many others. ‘Time’s Up’ on remaining silent. The silent yet tyrannical reign of this abuse has come to an end. Women who bravely fought back against Weinstein have changed the course of the industry. In saying ‘Me Too’, we are one step closer to ensuring that women and men of the future will not have to.

Kate McCoubrey

Sexual victimisation does not only affect


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The ‘Napoleon Complex’ It has long been suggested that ‘little men’ compensate for their below average height by propelling themselves into quests for power, ambition and self-confidence. Many short leaders have defined key moments in history. In 2015, government scientists conducted research to show that “men who feel the least masculine are at risk of committing violent acts”. For many, this confirmed that the Napoleon Complex really exists. The term ‘Napoleon Complex’ was inspired by the French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte. His tyranny and invasions during the early nineteenth century were believed to be “overcompensation for his height”. Standing at 5ft 2in, Napoleon was depicted as a small man by British propagandists and was ascribed the nickname ‘le petit caporal’ (the little corporal). Despite this, historians have disregarded the presentation of Napoleon as a short Emperor. Further studies have suggested that he stood at 5ft 7in, and some historians testify that his nickname is a mistranslation, suggesting that petit was instead used to describe him as affectionate. Emperor Napoleon was admittedly not the tallest Frenchman but his ambitions to conquer Europe and the rest of the world were larger than life.

Photo via: Wikicommons The lustful and tyrannical power exerted by Napoleon can also be translated into the totalitarian dictatorships of the 1930s. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were both thought to suffer from Napoleonic Complex. Yet the image of Winston Churchill as a small man has not been circulated or scrutinised by scholars and psychologists. John Lithgow’s portrayal of Winston Churchill in the Netflix television series ‘The Crown’ presents @TheMcrHistorian

Napoleon’s height, as depicted in a British Cartoon. Photo via: Wikicommons Churchill as a 6ft giant, towering above Claire Foy’s Queen Elizabeth. In reality, measuring less than 5ft 8in, Churchill’s egotism and belief that he was the “greatest man in the history of the world” propelled him as a symbolically tall figure in society. Churchill’s self-esteem was driven by an overarching desire to prove something to those who had bullied him at school. Having failed to participate in a variety of sports, his stammer and lisp ensured that he was picked on as a child. This revelation brings his masculinity into crisis. To pacify such images, Churchill was determined to show “the bullies in later life” that he was made of “sterner stuff”. His wartime policies and unwavering argument that Britain will “never surrender” could have been grounded by an aggressive overcompensation for his short stature. Therefore, Churchill’s characteristics and intense war policy make him a candidate for exemplifying the Napoleon Complex. Twenty-first century Britain readily commemorates Winston Churchill, but this is strikingly odd when his image is evaluated alongside modern day cases of the ‘Napoleon Complex’. Psychologists have studied the Russian leader Vladimir Putin and have applied the Napoleon Complex to his characteristics and policies. His small stature is striking when compared to other world leaders. Standing at 5ft 7in, Putin measures up to the height of British Prime Minister Theresa May. Meanwhile Angela Merkel, standing at 5ft 5in, is the only world leader smaller than Putin. As recent scientific studies have attempted to suggest that taller men

are more masculine, Putin overcompensates by openly displaying his ‘macho’ side. Putin could be attempting to associate himself with the ultra-masculine qualities that society presses onto taller men. Combining the character and quality of these short leaders, evolutionary psychologist Mark van Vugt has suggested that history teaches us that “major political decisions are often made by short men”. However, this is not always the case. Since current US President Donald Trump measures up to 6ft 3in, his policies are likely not driven by insecurity in his height. Meanwhile, the Napoleonic Wars were inspired not by the tyranny of a ‘small emperor’, but by the policies suggested by the 1789 French Revolution. Finally, Churchill’s wartime policy was arguably inspired by his failed polices in the First World War, encompassed in disastrous political decisions such as the Gallipoli campaign. Although science attempts to prove that political power, tyrannical ideas and height are related to one another, it appears that height is not a factor in the construction of political decisions. Still, it is difficult to disassociate the height of smaller world leaders from their attempts to arguably overcompensate in a variety of ways.

Tom Verheyden


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The US Military: LGBT Militarism, especially in the US, has long been associated with masculinity and heteronormativity. Between 1993 and 2009, 13,194 gay men and women were discharged from the US Army under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. However, after widespread campaigns Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed in 2010, allowing openly gay men, women and bisexuals to serve in the US military from the following year. Transgender people were only granted full protection to serve from June 2016, until in January 2017 newly inaugurated President Donald Trump tweeted that openly transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to serve in the US military in any capacity in an attempt to limit army medical costs. Despite this, in November 2017 the Defence Health Agency approved payment for male-to-female sexual reassignment surgery for an active US military service member for the first time. So how far have women’s and LGBT rights in the military really come since the days of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? War has long been hetero-sexed by the language of violence. Carol Cohn’s hugely

influential 1987 study described how hyperheterosexual language was used during the Cold War, with descriptions of nuclear missiles as ‘erector launchers’, and discussions of ‘deep penetration’ and ‘orgasmic whumps’ of nuclear impact. It is not difficult to see how this has continued today with Donald Trump’s bragging tweets about his nuclear button being ‘much bigger & more powerful’ than Kim Jong Un’s, adding: ‘and my Button works!’ The hyper-sexualisation of the military can also be seen in the mass counts of sexual abuse. The sexual violence carried out in Abu Ghraib prison shows this most clearly, where the use of homosexual abuse to humiliate and torture Muslim prisoners shows how the torture was rooted not only in racialized but also in (hetero) sexualised violence. This continues within the US military itself, where rape is so commonplace that female soldiers are encouraged carry condoms in order to limit the effects of, but not prevent, rape. Heteronormative values in the military are further reinforced through war films, which are frequently used to construct the war-

Photo via: Wikicommons minded, macho, heterosexual solider via the use of homophobic slurs, as seen in the famous opening scene of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, as the drill instructor refers to the new Marine Corps recruits as ‘twinkle-toed cock-suckers.’ A particularly interesting example of this is in GI Jane, in which Demi Moore’s character shouts “suck my dick.” The use of a homophobic slur, even when spoke by a female character, reinforces this association between the military and hyper-heterosexuality. Perhaps it is only when society can move past these popular images of heterosexual soldiering that the US military will be able to truly accept LGBT citizens.

Rebecca Underwood

The President’s Club effected by the then prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, that it was able to establish itself.

Photo via: Wikicommons Many people were shocked at the recent exposé of the annual President’s Club meeting with its normalised harassment and workplace abuse. The President’s Club is a charitable trust that has fundraised over £22 million for disadvantaged and underprivileged children’s charities during its 33-year history. It is famed for hosting an annual secretive fundraising gala at The Dorchester, dubbed ‘the most un-PC event of the year’, where affluent businessmen, celebrities, and politicians are among those in attendance at the all-male event. The club was founded in 1985 in the financial milieu of the 24-hour trading system and the boom sparked by the arrival of the US investment banks in the City of London. However, it was not until the Big Bang of 1986, and its associated financial deregulation 6

Since its founding in 1985, it has held annual fundraising dinners where guests are encouraged to make sizeable charitable donations through prize auctions. The auction items at the 2018 President’s Club fundraiser ranged from lunch with Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, to a course of plastic surgery to ‘add spice to your wife.’ 130 hostesses were hired to attend to the 360 male guests, the only requirement that they be ‘tall, thin and pretty.’ The women were instructed to wear revealing black dresses, with matching underwear and ‘sexy shoes.’ Many of them were subjected to groping, sexual harassment, and persistent invitations to join the guests in their bedrooms, seemingly a return to the anachronistic practices of the 1970s and 1980s. Non-disclosure agreements were forcibly signed by the hostesses to ensure the confidentiality of the male guests in attendance. One of the founding fathers and lifetime

presidents of The President’s Club, Barry Townsley, said he had not attended the dinner for a decade. Trying to distance himself from the 2018 scandal, he claimed that the dinner was hitherto ‘very nice and civilised’ and a ‘mild-mannered charity.’ The other lifetime presidents include Harvey Goldsmith CBE, Peter Shalson, Harvey Soning and Jimmy Tarbuck OBE. The club used the act of charitable fundraising as a smokescreen for their outrageous and raucous behaviour. With #MeToo becoming a viral trend on social media to emphasize the normalized harassment and workplace abuse, it is clear that the UK President’s Club bears a striking resemblance to the Harvey Weinstein scandal that hit Hollywood in 2017. In the City of London, just like in Hollywood, entrenched gender-based abuses continue to exist among society’s rich and famous. The President’s Club is a prime example of this deep-rooted secrecy and misogyny.

Ellie Fraser

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Photo via: Wikicommons

Tudor Expectations Strict gender roles were applied throughout the Tudor period, affecting all sectors of society, even the monarchy. Tudor men held the belief that their most important role was as the head of the household and to have a son, whereas women were raised to believe that they were inferior to men. The Tudor Dynasty somehow adhered to these expected gender roles, while also rejecting them. Henry VIII is a prime example of a Tudor monarch who embraced the gender role that was expected of him. Henry was known to constantly play to his masculinity in jousting tournaments where he insisted on only challenging the strongest, most talented man in order to secure the image of his great masculinity when he defeated them. The ideas of gender roles also greatly encouraged Henry’s actions, as a husband, for example. His many affairs, especially while married to Catherine of Aragon, were viewed as him playing the part of a caring and dutiful husband by seeking sexual outlets during his wife’s pregnancy. In many eyes, this was seen as the honourable thing for Henry to do as it protected his wife from any issues Henry might experience from not ‘releasing his seed’. Maintaining Henry’s masculinity remained of the upmost importance in all aspects of his life, not only to the King himself but to those surrounding him in court, and to his people. For example, during the reformation of England, a time of religious turmoil, Henry fathering a son, and thus an heir to the throne, remained at the centre of the country’s goals, despite disagreements with his methods. Following this, the idea of masculinity surrounding Henry was utilised @TheMcrHistorian

at all opportunities, especially as a means to advantage Henry during his many divorces. One of the charges against Anne Boleyn even included Anne and her brother laughing at the King’s clothes on occasions, which was viewed as a great offence during her ‘trial’ as Henry’s clothes were seen as an extension of the man he made of himself. Henry was enabled throughout his reign to make harsh decisions, mainly against his six wives, without repercussions as it was viewed as a method of maintaining and protecting his masculinity. There was a completely different expectation of gender roles surrounding women in this period. Elizabeth I witnessed these pressing expectations from the outset of her reign as a profound unease was felt by the people of England as they were subjected to the rule of a woman, especially after the turbulent rule of her sister, Mary I. However, Elizabeth managed to use expectations of women, however negative, to her advantage throughout her reign. Elizabeth, on the one hand, colluded with blatant misogyny by referring to herself as a weak, feeble woman consistently. Whereas, on the other she was to use much more masculine terms, such as referring to herself as a Prince, to appear more powerful and assertive. This allowed her to win over courtiers as by pretending to regret that she had been born a woman, Elizabeth was able to manipulate her male courtiers and establish her authority in what was essentially a man’s world. Elizabeth used this dual role of a woman stereotype to further assert control in her court and in international politics. For example, she gained the famous label as the ‘Virgin Queen’ but also as a flirtatious woman throughout court.

The Tudors expected a wife to submit to her husband, but Elizabeth had no intention of being governed by a man. Elizabeth attempted to maintain a good relationship with those who had proposed marriage with her flirtatious nature to ensure good relations remained in court, and with other countries. However, Elizabeth could not entirely escape the misogynistic attitudes faced as a woman as there was much gossip surrounding her relationships at court. For example, rumours of her apparently ‘explicit’ relationship with her favourite courtier, Robert Dudley, could have proven dangerous for Elizabeth. Not only could gossip of Elizabeth not remaining a virgin have spread to international court and negatively impacted her good relations with those who had previously made marriage proposals but it could have also impacted her position as monarch, as gossip spread that the sudden death of Dudley’s wife, who was found dead at the bottom of the stairs, was planned by Elizabeth. Henry was front and foremost a man so it was easier for him to control those around him to comply with what he required to keep his masculinity in check, whether that be taking part in sporting activities, or finding a new wife. Whereas Elizabeth needed to take more care with how she treated the court. It was more important for her to create a strong relationship with the court by playing up a role as a ‘feeble’ women just so that she could maintain stability as monarch.

Tori Williams 7

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Germany’s Gender Swap The end of the Second World War and the collapse of Nazism necessitated an enormous change to German ideals of masculinity. For decades prior to the conflict, it had been drilled into German men to be unfeeling, disciplined and efficient soldiers; their loss to the allies therefore precipitated a crisis of masculinity. When considering this crisis in post-war Germany, it is important to first understand the origins of this masculinity. The Sonderweg (Special Path) theory has been present in German historiography since the end of the Second World War. This theory posits that German-speaking lands took a unique route from aristocracy to democracy, one that was different to any other European example. The phrase ‘Sonderweg’ has been used since the 19th century and had positive connotations during both the nation’s imperial period and prior to the fall of Nazism. This ‘special path’ highlighted the supposedly unique nature of the German people, who saw themselves as a great central European power. Theirs was a society that had advanced in a very short space of time, through rapid industrialisation and a modernised economy. The failure of German liberals to seize power from the old aristocratic powers in the Revolution of 1848 meant that when the German nation unified in January 1871, it was dominated by a militaristic, authoritarian system, much the same as in Prussia. This authoritarian system was perceived extremely positively during this period and was seen as the best alternative to the allegedly weak and ineffective democracies of France and Britain, whilst avoiding the autocracy of Imperial Russia.

Prussian society had long upheld the ideal of a dominant, militarised society and therefore required men to demonstrate particular characteristics. In the German nation, men had militarised masculinity drilled into them. The military aimed to remove emotion, replacing it with a machine-like efficiency and discipline to follow orders without question. When looking at German society under Nazism, it is apparent that these ideals of masculinity were upheld. Nazi propaganda conveyed the belief that there should be no difference between the German man and a warrior - the two were inseparable. The only way in which men could demonstrate their masculinity was through combat and defending the fatherland. Empathy and compassion were judged to be effeminate and cowardly, whilst ruthlessness was commended. It was this ruthlessness that helped to enable and encourage German men to engage in war crimes. The suppression of empathy and the requirement to be merciless prevented soldiers from being emotionally overwhelmed by their actions, even going so far as to make men fear being shown up in front of their comrades if they did not participate. Men were confronted with a choice: potential embarrassment and shame if they refused to participate, or engaging in war crimes, and many preferred the latter. This clearly exposes the extremity of the polarised male gender role.

defender was brought into question due to Germany’s military defeat, and awareness of the atrocities committed completely delegitimised the fascist ideal of the German man. The domestic environment had also changed completely. Women had become emancipated due to the absence of men on the home front and were now working outside the home and making financial decisions whilst also fulfilling the role of single parent. In a society that previously saw women as nothing more than mothers, it became clear to German men returning home that their role would change considerably. In addition to these domestic changes experienced by soldiers of many nationalities, German soldiers also had to come to terms with the breakdown of Nazi propaganda. Propaganda had been administered throughout people’s lives, from the school system, to the Hitler Youth, to the Wehrmacht. Readjustment to civilian life post-war would take decades due to the indoctrinating effect of the regime on males of all ages. The post-war occupation of Germany by multiple foreign forces and its division into two separate states in 1949 would make changing these racist beliefs and coming to terms with events as traumatic as the Holocaust even more difficult.

Alexander Denost

The collapse of the Nazi regime in 1945 necessitated a drastic change in concepts of what it meant to be a man in Germany The importance of the man as a soldier and

German Soldier in the Ardennes, 1944. Photo via: Wikicommons


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Bundy’s Last Exploit the sexualisation of violence against women and it’s easy to see their influence on Ted. These magazines, as the self-acknowledged incentive of Bundy’s desires and actions, raise many issues about the connections between gender and sex in relation to crime. Sexual violence in such magazines is clearly gendered, with the female figures in positions of helpless submission and at the mercy of an imposing male figure (i.e. the reader). The magazines make use of the perceived masculine desire to dominate the female. Something which, for Ted Bundy was far too tempting, causing him to wonder if ‘actually doing it [would] give [him] that which [was] beyond just reading about it or looking at it’.

The execution of American serial killer Ted Bundy in 1989 brought an end to his elaborate decade-long game of cat and mouse. Between 1974 and 1978, Bundy is believed to have raped and murdered at least 30 women and girls across the United States. In his compelling final interview, just hours before his electrocution, Bundy alludes to the destructive role pornography played in his conduct. In this article I wish to think about whether Ted was genuinely concerned about the relationship between sexuality, crime and the media as enforcing destructive perceptions of gender, or even aware of this implication? Or was it simply his deliberate final attempt to complicate proceedings further? In any case, let’s take a look. Throughout his trial, Bundy assured people repeatedly of his happy and fulfilling childhood. He claims that he was brought up in a ‘wonderful Christian home’ and that: ‘basically, I was a normal person’. It is probable that the sensation of the Bundy case was caused by this extremely self-aware construction which made Bundy (as well as his victims) so relatable to the average American person. But, despite Bundy’s constant assertion of his ordinary Christian upbringing, he is believed to have privately struggled with the fact that he was an illegitimate child. People who knew Bundy consistently recognised him as an attractive, charismatic and intelligent individual – traits which he knowingly used to his advantage in order to lure his victims. In 1973 Bundy attended law school in Washington but never completed @TheMcrHistorian

Photo via: Wikicommons his studies. However, this brief spell did set him up for his future trial in which he found ways to cheat and manipulate the system time and again when he acted as his own lawyer in the case. On January 24, 1989 Ted Bundy agreed to give one final interview just hours before his execution in the electric chair. In the interview Ted condemns the influence of pornography on his behaviour and describes the ability of pornography to ‘reach out and snatch a kid out of any house today’– after already establishing himself as the ‘any’. He confesses to being ‘deeply consumed’ in pornography, and especially that which ‘deals on a violent level with the sexuality’. By blaming pornography for his crimes, Bundy explicitly links sexuality and violence. He goes on to criticise society for ‘[tolerating]’ such material which makes his further intentions in this interview unclear. Is he trying to gain sympathy? Is he telling people what they want to hear? Is this a genuine criticism and warning? Or does he simply enjoy causing a confusion of questions that will never be answered? Bundy himself admitted to having been mostly intrigued and influenced by the detective magazine genre which experienced its peak in the 1970s. Magazines such as True Detective, Master Detective and Official Detective in this period all contain pornographic images of attractive women often bound, screaming or gagged and, invariably, about to be harmed in some way. These magazines place explicit emphasis on

In this interview, Ted Bundy raises some interesting ideas about gender, sexuality and crime (whether he was aware of this or not) as well as the role of the media in catalysing the relationships between these concepts. By blaming pornography for his actions, Bundy inadvertently identifies some potential dangers of human sexuality as being bound up with destructive gender binaries in the form of the male desire for power over the female. It is the media’s combination of these perceptions of gender with sexual violence which Bundy claims ‘[snatched]’ him out of his conventional American existence and caused him to commit his atrocities. But let’s be honest, if porn were really the problem there’d be a ton more Bundy’s on the loose.

Eva Tite

Photo via: Flickr


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Masculinity In The Trenches

Photo via: Wikicommons At the outbreak of the First World War, the epitome of military manhood dictated that a spirit of strength and sacrifice was vital for those who were willing to serve and die for their country. In a sense, the war began as a test of the quintessential qualities of masculinity between the feuding nations of Europe. Yet this war was a conflict like no other. Ordinary men of many backgrounds were recruited on an unprecedented scale, using tactics and technology that revolutionised warfare. Consequently, the First World War had the capacity to destabilise the prevalent gender expectations surrounding men in combat. A war that was initially expected to be over by Christmas 1914 slowly dragged on for four

years and it was a war in which trench warfare was a fully encompassing and extremely distressing experience. The horror of nearconstant bombardment and the unrelenting fear of being sent over the top meant that breakdowns among the soldiers were common. The men were confined to their trenches, rarely made ground, and were essentially immobilised during a period of total war. It was this emasculating effect of incapacity and the ineffectiveness of advancement that caused the façade of the warrior hero to slowly deconstruct as the ideals of masculinity fell into question. Little joy could be taken from their day-to-day lives away from loved ones, so to survive this experience, men drew on the close, personal relationships available to them. They found comradeship and support in one another in their all-male environment, and officers began to balance the discipline needed for victory with a sense of compassion for their men. Letters received from home could offer some relief to their pain as they were able to remain in contact with their families. For many of the younger men, reassurance sent to and from

their mothers was vital. This contact with family allowed a certain retention in the stability of domestic gender roles, despite feeling a world away from home in the trenches. “You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you’ll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.” - Siegfried Sassoon, ‘Suicide in the Trenches’.

War, an event that had required men to strip themselves down to their most instinctive and ruthless level, now required much more order for soldiers to survive psychologically in the trenches. It was less about strength, and more about the fortitude of character. The ‘old lie’, ‘dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’, telling of the honour to die for one’s nation, now fell into question as a new kind of warfare destabilised and deconstructed how men experienced armed conflict.

Jake Gill

Football’s Dirty Secret A few months ago, whilst watching an enthralling contest between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates stadium, I found myself in a position of some conflict. The man next to me would occasionally hurl homophobic abuse at the referee or opposition when a decision particularly upset him. I am ashamed to say that rather than confronting him, or asking him to tone down his language, I said nothing, and effectively closed my ears. This is a decision taken by too many football fans - 72% say they’ve heard homophobic abuse at a game, but few do anything to change this.

the institutionalised homophobia present in football at the time reared its head. Clough, often deified as the best manager in the history of the game, marginalised and attacked Fashanu after discovering his sexual orientation. He prevented him from training with the first team, and boasts in his autobiography about criticising Fashanu’s visits to gay bars. This regressive attitude is unfortunately something that has not been eradicated from the modern game. As recently as 2014, Roy Hodgson, then manager of the English National Team, admitted he didn’t know what LGBT stood for.

The male game has a shocking record when it comes to facilitating and encouraging openly LGBT players. The most famous, and only, openly gay professional footballer in England’s top four male leagues was Justin Fashanu, who tragically took his life at the age of 37 in 1998. His career was one of majestic highs and tragic lows. In 1980 Fashanu scored the goal of the season, earning him a £1million transfer (the first black player to break this landmark) to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest. Here however, 10

In contrast to this antiquated, regressive system, the women’s game is a leading light for tolerance in sport. The presence of LGBT professionals is commonplace, to the point where it’s so ordinary it’s not worth mentioning. At the 2015 Women’s World Cup there were 14 openly LGBT professionals, compared to zero at the Men’s World Cup the year before. Casey Stoney, a central defender with an illustrious career, including over 100 caps for England, came out whilst captain of the national side. In contrast, according

Photo via: Wikicommons to a survey by Kick It Out, incidents of discrimination in the men’s game are up by 38% from last season. The disparity between the two could not be greater. There are fundamental, structural problems within the men’s game that make it easier to remain as they are then push for progression. There are some glimmers of light. The women’s game is a shining example that can be followed. Some male footballers have felt able to publicly come out after retirement to help the push for equality. And maybe next time I hear homophobic abuse on the terraces, I’ll speak up.

Pip Woolley

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1977 National Women’s Conference, Photo via: Wikicommons

Birth of Women’s Studies Throughout the lengthy development of historical academic fields, there has often persisted the notion of an underlying patriarchal bias. The scope of research being conducted has often had an institutionalized predisposition to focus upon male scholars, figures and ideas, leading to the neglect of the vital roles women have played throughout history. The pursuit of greater rights and recognition within society has been a necessary struggle for women throughout history, a fight perhaps most recognizably acknowledged in the interpretation of the three waves of feminism that swept worldwide during the twentieth century. Numerous female, as well as male, activists have long fought for the rights of women, perhaps most notably during the suffragette movements stemming from the Victorian era. Fundamental rights, such as enfranchisement, were sought and eventually achieved through the 1918 Representation of the People Act and further legislation both in Britain and across the world. While the achievements of first-wave feminists were substantial, women’s issues remained prominent and in need of addressing in the second-half of the twentieth century. Secondwave feminism was rooted in tackling existing inequalities found in the workplace and in the private and public spheres. As second-wave feminism found its feet during the 1960s there emerged a growing acknowledgement from within the academic circles of the movement that there existed little in the way of history focusing primarily on women and their achievements and struggles. As such, scholarship in this field began to emerge at a rapid pace. @TheMcrHistorian

Female identity holds significance in the phrase, ‘the personal is political’, which emerged during second-wave feminism. It highlights the relationship between private life expectations of the woman as a domesticated wife and mother, and the state which endorsed these values either knowingly or unintentionally. Carol Cohn found similar patriarchal themes in government language being overly-sexualised. Scholarship sought to challenge these notions, and part of Cohn’s work thereby analyzed the relationship between the patriarchy and women, finding that through male-domineered institutions, women were often subject to expectations of domesticity and virtue that were forced upon them. She argued that it was the prerogative of women to call out these forms of oppression; this was crucial in challenging warped perceptions of gender within institutions. The influence of other academic fields and historical movements cannot be understated in the origin of Women’s Studies. Sheila Rowbotham argues that Jean-Paul Sartre aligned black consciousness and “identity as part of the political process” with the feminist school of thought. That is to say, feminism, both in terms of activism and scholarship, could draw upon the shared plight of inequality experienced through discrimination and create new perspectives through which to examine the role of the female gender. Where the Birmingham Feminist History Group notes feminism is often thwarted by the ‘semiautonomous’ and differing nature of issues under one umbrella of feminism, bell hooks identifies in her work the importance of the field in being ‘inclusionist’. Despite women’s issues being widely different in terms of class, social status and race, she argues that for true

equality to emerge, a conciliation of ideas and authors, regardless of background is essential. Although the advent of Women’s Studies as an academic field has been lauded by many, there still exists criticisms of the subject. The aforementioned Birmingham Feminist History Group, formed in the 1970s specifically to address the lack of 1950s feminist historiography, and make compelling arguments for the state of feminism during the period. One particular concession they make in their writing is the existence of a ‘middle-class centric view’; their work and the limited work of their predecessors are typically written from the perspective of higher-educated women. While they can display a certain appreciation and sympathy for female working-class issues, many academic publications within the field suffer from articulating primarily a more elitist perspective, with key aspects of women’s issues experienced by the lower-classes not always as readily identified. That being said, the global significance of Women’s Studies is huge. The creation of new dialogues focusing on issues that have persisted throughout history but have never been truly addressed has shaken academic scholarship in the best of ways, allowing intellectuals to construct ideas and challenge existing arguments. Where early scholarship focused upon the relationship between women and the patriarchy, newer thinking has seen Women’s Studies expand into other disciplines and explore the important role women play in the social sciences and other fields today.

Sean Jones 11


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The Battalion of Death In a momentous act of devotional citizenship and spirited patriotism, tens of thousands of Russian women volunteered to join the country’s ‘Battalions of Death’. They offered their allegiance, and even their lives, to protect ‘Mother Russia’ from the foreign aggressors of World War I. Russia’s female volunteers echoed history’s celebrated female warriors, the likes of Boudicca, leading a group of rebels against the Roman Empire’s forces, and Joan of Arc, leading an army against the English during the 100 Years War. In paralleling the most renowned female soldiers of the past, Russia’s female Battalions of Death rekindled an ageold tradition of feminine power and fortitude. The dire state of Russia’s forces by mid-1917 certainly necessitated a drastic change in policy. Facilitated by huge numbers of casualties, poor health, and the inevitably injurious reality of prolonged trench warfare, Russian troops were suffering from an increasingly debilitative dearth of morale. Discontent worsened after the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the formation of the Provisional Government in February 1917; having sworn their allegiance to the Tsar, soldiers no longer knew who they were fighting for. Mass mutinies and turmoil ensued, exacerbated further by Bolshevik propaganda espousing an end to the conflict. Such was the state of the Russian forces that when Maria Bochkareva, a partially-literate, military-trained peasant, petitioned to Alexander Kerensky and the new government for the creation of all-women battalions, it was approved on the grounds that female squadrons would shame deserters, potential soldiers, and discontented forces into fighting, Bochkareva issued a call to arms on 21 May 1917: “I want women whose hearts are pure crystal, whose souls are pure, whose impulses are lofty. With such women setting an example of

Photo via: Cambridge University Press 12

self-sacrifice, you men will realize your duty in this grave hour.” Of the 2000 who responded, Bochkareva’s high standards and strict discipline whittled the number of suitable volunteers down to around 300. In an astonishing spectacle, these 300 women, brandishing rifles and flaunting military dress, marched through the streets of St. Petersburg. As they made their way from their barracks to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, crowds gathered in awe, bearing witness to a truly revolutionary moment in modern history. Women soldiers were no longer to be sheltered from the front lines, nor were they to be individual military contributors, nor did they have to masquerade as men; they were a powerful, unified, government-sanctioned force. Bochkareva’s Battalion of Death, along with many other all-female squadrons it inspired, went on to be deployed to the trenches of Russia’s western front, proving imperative to the initial advances gained during the Kerensky Offensive. Indeed, their unfaltering willingness to fight even angered their male counterparts on occasion as they refused to retreat from battle. Regrettably, however, due to a combination of strategical necessity, and a vast number of losses sustained by these women’s groups, a retreat was ordered and female battalions were shunned away from battle. Side-lined, many volunteers resigned as they felt they were being denied the right to defend their country. Some groups were sent to defend the Winter Palace from Bolshevik forces, and despite their minimal role in doing so, the women’s battalions became branded ‘counterrevolutionaries’ after the October Revolution. The newly empowered Bolsheviks swiftly removed the female squadrons from duty. In an ironic twist of fate, the Bolsheviks, who purported to be egalitarian revolutionaries,

Photo via: Wikicommons rejected and ultimately executed Bochkareva, despite her undeniably revolutionary and egalitarian role as leader of the first statesanctioned female military squadron in modern history. In this respect, Bochkareva’s life epitomises the lamentable narrative of communism in Russia, in which intense optimism and an active pursuit of progress is ultimately stunted and smothered by violence and terror. Nonetheless, the significance of Bochkareva’s Battalions of Death is indisputable. Their advent granted women a crucial facet of citizenship in the ability to fight for, and protect, their country. Women, from all professions and classes, were granted the same pay, training and privileges as male volunteers. Despite the demise of the women’s battalions, their existence acts as an exemplar of forward-thinking, progressive policy. Indeed, they may have failed to rally support for the war efforts, or to advance Russia’s strategic position during the First World War, but the importance of Bochkareva and her battalions lies in their undeniable, if fleeting, display of female ability and unified strength. In the face of scepticism, obstruction, even hostility, Russian women demonstrated their resilience and might not just as soldiers, but as citizens.

Harry Sherrin

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Sexuality: Michelangelo Perpetually denominated as the greatest artist within the Renaissance period, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni’s work is as idolised today as it was 500 years ago. Some of Michelangelo’s most celebrated commissions are the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel 1477-1480, with approximately five million people visiting the site annually today.

figure of Eve would allude to a heterosexual orientation. This view of Michelangelo is further supported by analysis of his other female subjects such as the marble sculpture of Dawn in the Medici Chapel where the features are discernibly softer than those of his coarser male subjects.

However, Michelangelo’s artistic skill extended into many other forms; disegno of which he believed was the foundation of sculpture, architecture of which he believed was the extension of sculpture, and poetry of which is particularly insightful in distinguishing sexuality within his work. However, many of those who blithely invoke the artist’s name might be astonished by an honest look at Michelangelo, as scholars often tend to deny or exclude the sexual aspect of his art to orchestrate a particular argument or myth around the artist. Sexuality and orientation is however, inseparable from the artist’s oeuvre due to his consistent depiction of the nude figure, with an acute focus on the male anatomy.

Despite these sensuous female depictions, Michelangelo’s male nude pieces far outnumber them. In fact, it is clear that his work is dominated by nude figures of the male sex, which complicates the matter of sexuality and the artist. If one takes the example of the ignudi of the Sistine Chapel, the subjects depict the idealised nude male form in a relaxed repose. Positioned on the corners of biblical compositions such as The Sacrifice of Noah, the athletic male figures bear no relevance to the stories of which they are placed within. This leads to the question of why Michelangelo chose to include these particular figures within these compositions, and how this overtly sexualised imagery was accepted by the highly conservative population of the Early Modern period.

In his novel The Agony and The Ecstasy, biographical writer Irving Stone created a critical persona of Michelangelo which has staunchly influenced the twentieth century viewer of his work. Stone’s Michelangelo had three female lovers including, Lorenzo de’ Medici’s daughter, all of which are founded upon ambiguous historical information. However, Stone’s presumption of Michelangelo’s sexual orientation can be said to be supported by the Sistine Chapel’s Creation of Eve. Analysis of this fresco and the utilisation of a nude female model due to the sensuous rendering of the female

One might describe the Renaissance as, like most hegemonic history, distinctively masculine. Phallic symbolism was prevalent throughout the Renaissance period; not only with statues of nude men erected within every major building, but with the architecture itself - columns and pillars. Modern scholars argue that these phallic pieces reflected whilst also reasserting male dominance, power and political authority. This societal structure coincided with the dominance of the artist of Michelangelo who, arguably, towered far above his contemporaries of the imagination. Michelangelo brought a supremely masculine

Photo via: Wikicommons passion to his sculpture, such as David, to animate the stone with human desire and eroticism. Yet despite the dominance of Michelangelo’s aura, the sheer volume of male nudity did create outrage in public circles. For example, in November 1545 Pietro Aretino, a known homosexual, viciously attacked Michelangelo’s “godlessness” displayed in the naked youths of the Sistine Chapel and said quite explicitly: “Even if you are divine, you don’t disdain male consorts.” The figures later became identified as two of Michelangelo’s boyfriends, Gherardo Perini and Tommaso Cavalieri. However, of course it is true that the unclothed body may invoke many more feelings than solely enticement such as innocence, perfection, wisdom, freedom and in some cases divinity. Michelangelo will forever remain the epitome of a particularly masculine genius of which we call machismo. However, the gender ambiguity posed by Michelangelo arguably challenges the strict societal gender roles of which have dominated culture for so long. From a twenty-first century perspective, one is able to view Michelangelo’s figures with an unprecedented fluidity with the major analysis of his work seemingly characterised by the questioning of gender, race and sexuality. Thus, the question posed must shift away from whether Michelangelo’s artwork is purely an ode to the male form - and as such, a rejection of women within a patriarchal society towards an enquiry into the progressive motives and consequences of the ambiguity of this artist’s omnipotent work.

Eleanor Scrafton Photo via: Pinterest @TheMcrHistorian


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UK LGBT+: The Movement Over the past 50 years, the rights of LGBT+ people have gone from relatively nonexistent to an almost equal standing with heterosexual, cisgendered people. The UK is one of the foremost countries leading the change in how LGBT+ people are treated, and last year we were able to celebrate 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised sex between two men. This decriminalisation, however, stipulated that the men must be over 21 and conduct themselves ‘in private’. This did not encompass Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Armed forces, but it served as a reactionary point. Two years later, the Stonewall riots in America brought the issue of LGBT+ rights to the fore. This forward momentum was stalled in 1971, when the Nullity of Marriage Act banned same-sex marriage in England and Wales. A year before, the Corbett v Corbett divorce case established a precedent that one’s gender could not legally be changed from their assigned gender. This was a huge blow to the transgender rights movement. Though it seemed like the law was throwing up impassable barriers, 1972 saw the first UKbased Pride in London. Around 2000 people attended, which may seem small, considering the many thousands who now flock to Pride. It is estimated that around 750,000 people attended London Pride in 2014. Without those first 2000, Pride would not be the amazing event it is today. In 1980, sex between two consenting male adults was decriminalised in Scotland, with


the same stipulations as the 1967 change to the Sexual Offences Act (Northern Ireland would follow in 1982). It was in this year that the first Black Gay and Lesbian Group was formed in the UK. A year later, Northern Ireland’s criminalisation of same-sex acts was found to violate the European Convention of Human Rights. However, in 1988, Margaret Thatcher introduced Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which states that local authorities could not ‘promote’ homosexuality. In response to this, Stonewall UK was formed, with such prominent activists as Sir Ian McKellen leading the charge. Thankfully, the 2000s saw more change. In 2000, homosexual and bisexual people were officially allowed to serve in the armed forces, and the age of consent for gay men was lowered to 16. Equal rights for adoption were granted in 2002. In 2003, Section 28 was repealed, and Employment Equality became law. In 2004, the Civil Partnership Act was passed. It was not until 2013 that the Marriage (SameSex Couples) Act was passed in England and Wales, giving LGBT+ people access to the same marriage as straight, cisgendered people. The Gender Recognition Act was also passed in 2004, allowing people who did not identify with their assigned gender the full rights and recognitions of the gender they really were. Six years later, the Equality Act officially added gender reassignment as a protected characteristic. Just last year, the Government granted a posthumous pardon to all gay and bisexual men convicted under pernicious sexual offence laws in the last

century. The impact of these changes in law to society have been impossible to quantify but, without a doubt, they have been positive. LGBT+ rights are now, for the most part, protected by the law and there is much more freedom for LGBT+ people to be who they truly are. In terms of societal views, LGBT+ people have become much more accepted, though the fight for complete acceptance is ongoing. The Pulse Massacre in 2016 demonstrates how far we still have to go. Each year, more transgender people are murdered, with 28 trans-identified people killed throughout 2017 in the US. Though these violent acts seem less prominent in the UK, there remains widespread fear and ignorance of transgender people, from both outside and within the LGBT+ community. Though the basic rights of LGBT+ people are still frequently contested and debated, the UK has come a long way from the days in which homosexual sex was considered a criminal offence. This is not to say, of course, that the fight is over. Though the law may have changed in many ways, societal beliefs have proved harder to change. We still have a long way to go before LGBT+ people can truly stand on equal footing with straight, cisgendered people. But we have a firm basis on which to continue our fight, and over fifty years of changes to the law at our backs.

India-Rose Channon

Photo via: Wikicommons

ISSUE 29 | MARCH 2018



Photo via: Wikicommons

Desmond Doss Desmond Doss, an American World War II conscientious objector, was thrust back into popular consciousness after his portrayal by Andrew Garfield in the recent film Hacksaw Ridge. The film tells the story of Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist who refused to take up arms or kill the enemy on account of his belief in the sanctity of human life. Despite this, Doss went on to receive the Medal of Honor after working as a medic, notably saving the lives of 75 of his comrades facing down heavy fire at Hacksaw Ridge – an escarpment on the Japanese island of Okinawa. The interest renewed in Doss’ story through this film is significant due to understandings of gender changes, becauseit is a story inherently linked to issues of masculinity in war.

America, still fixated by the traditional interpretations of masculinity, war and patriotism, was not kind to its conscientious objectors. They were perceived to be deficient in their masculinity and considered cowards in the face of one of the toughest regimes in human history. Some 500 conscientious objectors were even used as human guinea pigs − such was their standing. Doss himself came under scrutiny for his decision not to fight. Terry Benedict, who documented Doss’ actions in The Conscientious Objector, claims that taunting of Doss within the 77th Infantry Division “started out as harassment and then it became abusive.” Doss’ commanding officer even attempted to have him transferred off

the Division (Doss would go on to save his life at Hacksaw Ridge). His comrades were believers in the orthodox interpretation of what it meant to be brave, and what it meant to be a man in an all-male environment. Doss’ heroism went some way to readdressing the draconic belief that death in battle, or at least taking up arms and slaying the enemy, was the ultimate manifestation of valour and bravery. His superior officer now acknowledges Doss to have been “one of the bravest persons alive.” Yet even when his recognition with honours is considered, it would perhaps be premature to suggest that Doss’ example led to a wider re-evaluation of what bravery and honour means in the masculine context. It would take the emergence of women’s equality movements and interactions with other intellectual and social movements for the male psyche to eschew traditional beliefs in what it meant to be a man. Even today we encounter men who follow in Doss’ footsteps, proving themselves to be just as ‘manly’ and brave as their brawnier peers whilst not engaging in traditional masculine behaviours.

James Rabey Photo via: Wikicommons @TheMcrHistorian


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Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde was an author, playwright, and poet born on 16 October 1854 in Dublin, Ireland. After graduating from Oxford University with first class marks, he lectured as a poet, art critic and became known for his flamboyant style and genius wit. Wilde is arguably remembered less for his work than for his infamous imprisonment for homosexuality. Wilde was arrested on charges of gross indecency in 1895 after his affair with a younger man, and after spending two years in prison, he died in poverty three years after his release at the age of 46. After graduating from Oxford, Wilde remained in England and moved to London, where he focused on writing poetry and published his first collection, ‘Poems’, in 1881. Wilde established himself as a leading figure of the aesthetic movement, a theory of art and literature that emphasised the pursuit of beauty for beauty’s sake, rather than to promote any political or social viewpoint. Perhaps surprisingly, on 29 May 1884 Wilde married Englishwoman Constance Lloyd. Together they had two sons, Cyril born in 1885,

and Vyvyan, born in 1886. In 1891 Wilde published his first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The novel follows a beautiful young man who wishes that his portrait ages while he remains youthful and lives a life of sin and pleasure. Although now respected as a classic work, contemporary critics were outraged at the lack of morality. This discourse of deviance perhaps characterised Wilde from then on, in both his literary and personal life. Despite establishing himself as a respected literary professional, it was Wilde’s personal life which really grabbed the attention of the public. At the pinnacle of his success, Wilde began an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. On 18 February 1895, Douglas’ father left a card at Wilde’s home addressed to ‘Oscar Wilde: Posing Sodomite’ Wilde was so outraged by the note that he sued him for libel, a decision that would ruin his life. Wilde’s attempt to sue for libel quickly became his arrest on charges of ‘gross indecency’. Wilde was convicted in 25 May 1895 and sentenced

Photo via: Wikicommons to two years in prison. After leaving prison in 1897, mentally, physically, and financially broke, he went into exile in France. He briefly reunited with Douglas, but died of meningitis on 30 November 1900 at the age of 46. Wilde’s treatment and sentencing reflected complex attitudes regarding promiscuity within Victorian England, particularly homosexuality. His prison sentence destroyed the morally controversial but respected lecturer and literary professor that was Oscar Wilde. In an attempt to protect his character, Wilde was punished for his sexual ‘deviancy’, which essentially ruined his life.

Amy Leahy

Lili Elbe: The Danish Girl day, due to the absence of one of her wife’s models, Elbe was called upon to pose as a woman. After initial resistance, Elbe noted how she “liked the feel of soft women’s clothing” and “felt very much at home in them from the first moment.” Christened ‘Lili’ by a mutual friend, the couple moved to liberal Paris in 1912. Here, the couple lived freely for over a decade with Elbe attending parties as ‘Einar’s sister’, whilst Gottlieb’s fame soared due to her paintings of Elbe. Photo via: Wikicommons Whilst transgender politics now have an important voice in the modern societal landscape, this is only possible due to the experiences of people such as Lili Elbe, one of the first recipients of gender reassignment surgery. Born in 1882 Vejle, Denmark as Einar Wegener, Elbe studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where she built up a reputable status as a landscape painter. Whilst there she met and married fellow painter Gerda Gottlieb, a notable illustrator for fashion magazines. One


However, the struggle of containing two different people within one body became overwhelming. Elbe, planning on killing herself in February 1930 wrote, “I am finished. Lili has known this for a long time. That’s how matters stand. And consequently she rebels more vigorously every day.” After failed visits to a series of doctors, Elbe met with sexologist Magnus Hirschfield. Only the second woman ever to receive such procedures, her first surgery was to remove the testicles, thus beginning her physical transition. Over the next two years under the supervision of Kurt Warnekros, Elbe had a further three surgeries implanting an ovary, removing the penis and

scrotum, and transplanting a uterus which totaled 5000 Kroner. She adopted the surname ‘Elbe’ after the river running through Dresden, the city of her rebirth. Despite remaining Elbe’s biggest support, Gerda obtained a divorce in 1930 from the Danish king. Tragically her new life was short-lived as the effects of the surgery on her body were too great and her immune system failed. Elbe died from a cardiac arrest on 13 September 1931. Recently her life was immortalised in the 2015 film The Danish Girl, but the success of how faithfully it represents her and the transgender experience is debatable. Instead we look to extracts of her diary where Elbe wrote “That I, Lili, am vital and have a right to life I have proved by living for 14 months.” She wrote, “it may be said that 14 months is not much, but they seem to me like a whole and happy human life”, which highlights her story of bravery and inspires many with whom the struggle of identity is ongoing.

Helen Aron

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Hatshepsut Hatshepsut was an ancient Egyptian female pharaoh who reigned from 1473 to 1458 BCE. Her reign was successful and prosperous, as it was one that saw increased trade, military victories, and flourishing architecture. Her time as pharaoh has led to her being referred to as the ‘first great woman in history’ (James Henry Breasted). Hatshepsut is arguably deserving of this title as she was able to increase and consolidate her power in a heavily patriarchal system. Hatshepsut’s reign began with the death of her husband, Thutmose II. Traditionally, the pharaoh lineage was patriarchal, in that Hatshepsut’s stepson, Thutmose III, should have been pharaoh. However, due to Thutmose III only being a child and thus too young to rule, Hatshepsut became regent to Thutmose II and ruled in his stead. For reasons unknown, Hatshepsut consolidated her power and became pharaoh. However, this was an upset to the patriarchal system. In order to assert her authority in a deeply patriarchal system, Hatshepsut adopted the male symbols of pharaohs. Her images depict Hatshepsut wearing the king’s kilt and a beard.

Furthermore, Hatshepsut referred to herself in masculine form, using the more masculine Hatshepsu. Her reign was stable and prosperous, and this was partly due to her having a circle of trusted and adept political advisors. Of these advisors was Senenmut, argued to have been instrumental in Hatshepsut’s transition from regent to pharaoh. One of her most notable achievements include commissioning a trading voyage to the land of Punt, where ships returned with gold, myrrh, and other fine goods. Not only did Egypt prosper economically, it also prospered in military terms. At the beginning of her reign, Hatshepsut led a successful campaign against the Nubians, claiming that she fought alongside her soldiers. An additional significant achievement of hers is that she maintained and consolidated her authority throughout her rule. Her doubters were concerned with upsetting maat, the presence of order and truth, as having a female pharaoh disrupted the male lineage. In order to secure her right to rule, Hatshepsut adopted

Photo via: Pinterest the name Maatkare, literally translated to ‘truth is the soul of the Sun God’. She further established this image by constructing magnificent monuments to the gods, including temples and obelisks. The most notable of these is Djeru-Djeseru, a temple that is often deemed as the most outstanding example of ancient Egyptian architecture. Hatshepsut was certainly ‘the first great woman in history’ as she was able to consolidate her power by using patriarchal symbols to her own advantage. Although her images and monuments were desecrated by her enemies, her legacy still remains today as an example of female endurance in the face of adversaries.

Bria Cotton

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ISSUE 29 | MARCH 2018


Mural on the Cyprian Ekwensi Cultural Center. Photo via: Wikicommons

With the theme of this issue being gender and sexuality, Manchester’s Steven Pierce, a senior lecturer in African history, talks to Dane Massey about one of his specialist research areas. Steven, this semester, you run a course on gender and sexuality in modern Africa. Could you tell us a bit about this course, and how you tailor it for everybody who picks it? Well, I intend for the course to work both for people who have an existing interest in Africa, and to provide students with an introduction to either or both of African and gender studies and historians uses of gender history and gender theory. We spend the first couple of weeks with just an introduction to both of those fields. So, we spend one week looking at some classic work in gender history, and then I do a fast overview of African gender studies. By the time we get to the bulk of the course, we are more or less on the same page with thinking about recent approaches that scholars have taken in the historical study of gender that can be used by Africanist historians. And, of course, it gives people experience in thinking about African studies. Gender and Sexuality is one of your specialist research topics. Why does it fascinate you so much? Good question. I’d say that all my academic interests are to do with politics and government. So, something that has been at the forefront of my thoughts ever since I was an undergraduate was the principles that govern people’s everyday behaviour – that is a kind of government after all. On the one hand, from the time I was a kid really, I was interested in the question of gender, gender inequality, the reasons that


men and women had different expectations put on them. As I was beginning to think about academic research, I realised my interests along those lines really did fit in with a much broader set of questions about how human behaviour is regulated and constrained by forces outside of the individual. Going more specific, I believe your niche is Nigerian history. Nigeria is a country home to nearly 200 million people –so inevitably it’s a very diverse nation. We know from reading the news and social media how diverse a topic gender and sexuality is. But why is it such a complex topic when focusing on it in the context of Nigeria? Well, for about the same reasons anything is complicated when we think about Nigeria. Nigerians themselves call it the ‘Nigeria factor.’ My research on gender consists of a whole series of articles. So, I write lots of different bits of things in which I can address problems to deal with them adequately.

but you look freakish. If I go out on a street in Nigeria, I’m immediately surrounded by a hoard of children because I look weird. It is also, I will say, and I say this as an American –in some ways its quite wonderful to go to a place which is not poisoned by America’s racial politics. On the other hand, Nigeria has terrible poverty –children die all the time. Here, it is almost an unimaginable tragedy to hear about a five-year-old who dies. In Nigeria, it’s a common thing, and that changes the way you think about the world. We’ve spoken a lot about Nigeria. But of course, Nigeria isn’t the only country in Africa. The vast continent contains 54 countries. Linking Nigeria to other African countries, is there anything distinct about gender and sexuality in Nigeria compared to other countries? That’s a hard one to answer. I don’t know that Nigeria is the right unit of analysis because it is so culturally diverse. So culturally diverse to even other African countries?

So, I have targeted issues that I am interested in. They are all terrifically complex, and Nigeria’s diversity in federalism makes that even more complicated. But of course, that would be true of any society.

In some ways, there are greater continuities between Northern Nigeria and Southern Niger. Many people in both are ethnically Hausa, and Muslim. Then there are between Northern Nigeria and South-eastern Nigeria, where Igbo is the dominant language and most people are Christian.

You’ve lived in Nigeria for two years. Is it different to here (Manchester) or in the US?

You can certainly find parallels in many places. Nigeria is in some ways distinct, but it relates to particular national patterns of language.

It is extraordinarily different. I’m a white person, and I live now and grew up in white majority countries. Itis very useful to live in a place where you aren’t just a minority race,

Dane Massey

ISSUE 29 | MARCH 2018

History Society Update This February the History Society joined up with Psychology and went on a trip to Budapest! Even in the cold weather and on-off drizzle, it was a beautiful city, perfect for a long weekend. It has just the right mix of culture, history, food, and nightlife. It’s two cities rolled into one, with Buda on one side of the river and Pest on the other, connected by the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Fun Fact: measuring in at 375m long, Széchenyi was the largest suspension bridge in the world until the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge was built, which is over 2km longer. Things on everyone’s to do list were Buda Castle, a walk along the Danube, the famous thermal baths, and the stunning architecture of the Hungarian Parliament buildings. Fun Fact #2: Whilst Queen were performing in Budapest, they were taken on a boat trip through the city. Upon passing a particular building, Freddie Mercury asked how much it would cost to purchase. He was informed it was the Hungarian Parliament building and therefore not for sale. He reportedly stormed back to his hotel room and did not reappear until he was scheduled to play. A trip to Budapest is not complete without a visit to the infamous ruin bars, and with glasses of wine for the equivalent of 90p it’s safe to say everyone had a good time. However, late nights, bar crawls, and hangovers did not stop us History students from getting up bright and early to go sightseeing and exploring. A must-do for History students, or anyone visiting Budapest for that matter, is a trip to the House of Terror. It’s a shocking but valuable experience. The museum takes you on a journey through the dictatorial oppression Hungary faced during facist and Stalinist regimes. The building was once the site of the brutal interrogation and torture of countless political activists and dissidents throughout the 20th century. It was one of the most captivating museums I’ve ever been to. The House of Terror is a brilliant combination of historic exhibitions, art and film installations, resulting in a touching memorial to everyone who died or suffered under Hungary’s sequential reigns of terror. In a city now known for architecture, food, bars, and thermal baths, one might see a visit there as an unnecessary downer, but the House of Terror is more meditative than depressing, asking you to remember the lessons of past and contemplate how it is possible that humans can be so cruel. Crucially, the Museum reminds you of the horrors Hungary has been through, which can be easily forgotten in the vibrant, friendly, and lively cultural hub of Eastern Europe. If you missed out and will still be around next year, there will be a HistSoc trip to another European Capital next February. Keep an eye on the HistSoc Facebook page for upcoming events! If you’re interested in being on next year’s History Society Committee elections will be held in May.

17/18 HistSoc Committee President - Tiggy Hillbery Vice-President - Zeni Bellwood Academic Officer - Emma Ratheram Careers Sec - Ruth Bretts Secretary - Martha Norman-Long Social Sec - Tom Verheyden Social Media Sec - Caitlin Hughes Tour Sec - Tori Williams Treasurer - Clare Tiplady


Photo via: Tiggy Hillberry Photo via: Tiggy Hillbery


ISSUE 29 | MARCH 2018

“The most radical thing that any of us can do is to stop projecting our beliefs about gender onto other people’s behaviours and bodies” - Julia Serano

Please tell me How one woman Is more woman Than another we are all real women - L.E. Bowman


Manchester Historian Issue 29  
Manchester Historian Issue 29