Tracking the changing representation of female gender-crossing in the press, this text breaks new ground to reveal findings where both desire between women and cross-gender identification are understood.
Her Husband was a Woman! exposes real-life case studies from the British tabloids of women who successfully passed as men in everyday life, perhaps marrying other women or fighting for their country. Oram revises assumptions about the history of modern gender and sexual identities, especially lesbianism and transsexuality.
This book provides a fascinating resource for researchers and students, grounding the concepts of gender performativity, lesbian and queer identities in a broadly-based survey of the historical evidence.
Introduction 1. Work and War: Masculinity, Gender Relations and the Passing Woman 2. Sexuality, Love and Marriage: The Gender-Crossing Woman as Female Husband 3. Gender-Crossing and Modern Sexualities: 1928-1939 4. 'The Sheik was a She!': The Gigolo and Cosmopolitanism in the 1930s 5. The 1930s 'Sex Change' Story: Medical Technology and Physical Transformation 6. 'Perverted Passions': Sexual Knowledge and Popular Culture 1940-1960. Epilogue
'This book really cheered me up. It is a strong scholarly work informed by a delicate and knowing substratum of expertise that informs the study with tender historical dexterity. Oram's analysis shows an historian at her best, someone who has laboured with recent history and found new material to which she provides broader insights, and in doing so has confronted and so redefined subcultural gender history, challenging the easy (or lazy) acceptance of dominant narratives and codes.' - Sally R. Munt, Times Higher Education