Defining Desire: Re(storyng) a 'fraudulent' marriage in 1901 Spain
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DepartmentHistoria, Geografía y Filosofía
SourceDe Gabriel, Narciso, Vázquez García, Francisco, De Palma Renée: ""Defining Desire: Re(storyng) a 'fraudulent' marriage in 1901 Spain", Sexualities, 23 (2020), 3, pp. 287-306
In the second half of the 19th century, two Spanish primary school teachers were married despite the fact that their legal status as women rendered this union not only illegal but also publicly scandalous. In 2008 their story was resurrected in the form of a book based on an extensive review of educational, legal, and media archives. The Spanish press responded to the book’s publication by embedding the events within a more recent historical narrative around the struggle for gay marriage rights. In this article, we analyze the events in light of the understandings of sex, gender and sexuality that were available at the time, and then explore both the continuities and discontinuities with the modern interpretive framework that affords these women a lesbian identity, drawing upon Bennett’s notion of ‘‘lesbian-like’’ practices in eras where such identities were not yet conceptualized.