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Continental Britons: Historical Facets of Male Effeminacy and Queer Influences from Abroad

Author(s): Wolfgang NEDOBITY

Journal: Postmodern Openings
ISSN 2068-0236

Volume: 5;
Start page: 41;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Effeminacy | macaronis | ephebes | uranians | gender transition

There is a long history and wide evidence of effeminate masculinities from dandies and fops through passivos and trannies – and on to fairies, sissies, queens and metrosexuals. Many of these phenomena are attributed to foreign models that could be found in Italy in the case of the macaroni or in France in the „ephebes“ in works of art. From the eighteenth century onwards the description of non-standard sexualities has been largely oriented towards the fact of external distinctiveness expressed by fashion, speech and taste. In many instances it was implied that such deviations are not just ridiculous, but also a liberalized provocation of sound British traditions. It was even thought that slavishly aping continental style and custom paved the way to instability in gender and sexual identity. Although the male crisis in representation is of continental origin, it nevertheless developed certain British ideosyncracies.
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