Curious City: Historians and feminists in Chicago debate whether Jane Addams should be called a lesbian | WBEZ 91.5 Chicago – Pretty interesting piece about whether Jane Addams could be considered a lesbian in the modern parlance, but also about what that means and how historians and laypeople try to interpret the past. I was immediately reminded of Christabel LaMotte and Blanche Glover from A. S. Byatt’s Possession. (Definitely high-time for a re-read.) I learned the term “Boston marriages,” which I’d never heard of before, and I was amused by this comment from the highly fascinating MeFi discussion:

“It’s fascinating to consider that the very prudishness of Victorian society allowed women to buck heteronormative gender roles, simply because everyone was too “polite” to even acknowledge what their unconventional choices might actually mean.”

I remember being highly offended when I was an undergrad at ND that dorms were single-gender and men were not allowed to stay overnight with women, but the lesbians in the room next door to mine were basically free to get it on whenever they wanted. I guess the lesson is that Catholic priests can be quite Victorian in their prudishness and assumptions…

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