Monday, August 24, 2009

Wearing pants

Dr. Mariottini has taken up the discussion of Deut. 22:5 again, responding to Kent Brandenburg's presentation of commentary on this verse. I had mentioned these posts in my recent post on holy transvestism, (which I misspelled).

In Holy Women of Byzantium, Talbot writes,
    The holy transvestite nun is an enigmatic, though compelling figure. Unified in her contradictions of the masculine and the feminine, indeed constituted by those very contradictions, the transvestite nun is a symbol of the ambiguities, tensions, and hostility that often comprised Early Christian attitudes toward women.10 Although these attitudes are difficult to characterize without caricaturizing, women were generally perceived as having to transcend their inferior feminine nature to attain spiritual virility and manliness. In this vertiginous conquest of manhood by woman, Mary/Marinos is a hero of virile temperament, and at the same time a hero who suffers, voluntarily accepting marginalization, victimization, and helplessness. Ironically, her exploits suggest that the feminine element is part of the ambivalence of virile strength, and that it may serve to balance and amplify that strength, as well as subvert its authoritative claims to dominance and hegemony.
On a contemporary note, Nicholas Kristof reports about the punishment determined for a woman wearing pants in Sudan.

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