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Conditions of a Feminine Man: Rumors of a “Hermaphrodite” Pastrycook in Nineteenth-Century Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7981-5170
2019 (English)In: Men and Masculinities, ISSN 1097-184X, E-ISSN 1552-6828Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The pastrycook Aron Forss was a well-known person in his hometown Uppsala in the 1840’s and 1850’s, famous both for his popular café and for his femininity. This article analyses the rumors that surrounded his person, using paintings, newspaper clippings, and memoirs written by his former customers. Through his business, Forss could lay claim on normative masculinity through the rousing bourgeois ideals of financial success and craftsmanship. Being a successful businessman was a way of securing social acceptance and respectability. However, it was apparently not enough. In order to sustain his business, Forss was forced to put up with harassments. Some of his costumers treated him much like other women in public places were treated—as objects of sexual advance. Several of Forss’s contemporaries describe him with particular fascination. By describing Forss as a spectacle, he is made an exception to the rules of social appropriateness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
transfemininity, hermaphroditism, nineteenth century, male femininity, sexual harassment, normative masculinity, spectacle, conditional normativity, feminine men, two-sexed
National Category
Gender Studies History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-163410DOI: 10.1177/1097184X19857179Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85068209881OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-163410DiVA, id: diva2:1352518
Available from: 2019-09-19 Created: 2019-09-19 Last updated: 2019-10-23

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Holmqvist, Sam

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