out of the line of the heterosexual male gaze


What is not highlighted in Palma's narratives, but is central to Boussingault's description, is an affirmation of Sáenz as a sexual being. Boussingault's Sáenz becomes the object of an off-colour comment between men, the maternal breast victimized by a bear and the object of the masculine narrator's lustful gaze. While Boussingault does at one point describe Sáenz as dressed in a military uniform, coincidentally riding a lively steed (1985: 111), he does so with less detail, feminizes the uniformed Manuela by eventually removing her moustache and admiring her beautiful face, and later draws the reader's attention to her female body, revealed to him in the implicitly feminine space of her home (112- 16). For Boussingault, Manuela is essentially a woman in male drag, and the author is quick to remove this drag tiffany pendants on sale and reposition his subject within feminine space, where he represents her as the object of masculine heterosexual desire and of jest. In contrast, Palma portrays a Sáenz who, in spite of her female sex, embodies masculinity. By focusing on Manuela's masculine/military dress, her reactions in perilous spaces and her intellectual activities, Palma's text moves Sáenz out of the line of the heterosexual male gaze and sets her aside in some 'unnatural' space apart. Both authors portray Manuela Sáenz as an abnormal subject: perverse or merely freakish, but always fragmented.

'Era mi abuela tan femenil tiffany rings for sale como varonil. Lo primero lo prueban sus veinte partos; lo segundo, sus muchos actos de voluntad, de firmeza, de resolución' (cited in Davies, Brewster and Owen 2006: 15).14 Lucio Mansilla's description of doña Agustina López de Osorio, his maternal grandmother and, incidentally, the mother of Juan Manuel Rosas, resonates with the descriptions by Jean-Baptiste Boussingault and Ricardo Palma of Manuela Sáenz as a subject physically female and 'varonil' by temperament.

This parallel raises interesting questions about the physical/behavioural dichotomy implicated by the naturalization of certain 'feminine' traits such as passivity, tenderness, intellectual levity and domesticity, following a period of transition in which many women had been mobilized as part of the war effort, meaning that they had, tiffany earrings for sale out of desire or necessity, displayed behaviours increasingly considered to be masculine. What, then, were the consequences that women faced in their personal relationships when they displayed behaviours, character traits or intellectual interests naturalized as varoniles?

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