(Jan 22) The Female Husband With Sal Nicolazzo

Sal Nicolazzo dives deeper into the 18th-century story The Female Husband (1746) by Henry Fielding as the tale serves as an appetite for the reader and narrative in the concern of labor, fraud, and comedy. The look into early capitalism when masculinity represented private property. How gender signifies a wider legal meaning as it relates to property and labor. Therefore the school of policing was to enforce the possible threat to private property. The importance of family and the material responsibility associated with child-rearing makes an interesting case for individuals identifying as queer or trans. Or in this case, identifying as lesbian because of the pressure upon the female economy in every level of socio-economic status. Where in the story Mary Hamilton cross-dresses as a man and attempts to seduce the Widow Rushford for her fortune. It doesn’t work out and marries Miss Ivythorn, which results in fraud exposure.

 Gender set boundaries for who was and was not responsible for attaining the limited resources. This brings up the curiosity of female desire, which can be denounced as invalid and end in a gruesome consequence of a public whopping when desire involves falling in love with the same gender. Was female desire not a threat? The rise of female desire became fashionable with the introduction of tea. Therefore, the rise of female desire for resources and property for the final goal of prosperity through a man had its caution. Especially as lower-ranking women aimed to higher their status with a more affluent man. The economics behind the appetite of desire, commercialism, sexuality, and property drove society, but what laid the rubric for the individuals who identified as queer or trans in this societal context?

As the appetite is a form of class, they either found ways to keep their high status or went to the Americas. Queer and trans people were excluded from the capitalistic rise in the British Empire but they found ways to survive if they were born in a high class. The exclusion of the majority from this privilege created the desire to escape.  Seeking to escape is seeking to escape the laws, conditions, authority, and any other conflicts with vagrancy. It’s an escape to prove legitimacy and responsibility of the lineage of property, settlements, labor and etc. A complete dismissal in the participation of reproduction.

Hence starting the vagrancy laws to include a gender identification when travelling abroad. The laws were intended to criminalize those who did not necessarily fit into the rigid categories of identity such as con men, hustlers, prostitutes and alcoholics. The fear of the unknown out west and nonlinear paths of individuals who decided to embark on the journey resulted in the law. The transmasculine identity going as far to suggest the trans identity and transatlantic growth of the naval empire, had its system to regulate property and inheritance and its growing economic power. But the social anxiety of the movement of excluded members of society fueled the fear of blowing up the entire system. A transference of ideas in colonial rule defined the new concerns of settlement law.

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