Genushistoriska seminariet: Regulating ”deviant” sex in the 1950s
Presentationer av inbjudna gäster, seminariet hålls på engelska
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Female sexual dissidence in postwar L.A. A case study
Ruben Pallol Trigueros, Departamento de Historia Moderna e Historia Contemporánea, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
The paper proposed will present a case study of a woman who arrived in L.A. in 1949 and developed a non-normative sexual life, as she consigned in her diary. Her thoughts, experiences, and descriptions for three years offer a counter-narrative of the moral values as they were presented by the hegemonic discourse and a sample of the agency that a young woman could enjoy in her sexual behavior when living in a big city like L.A. During three years the author of this diary experimented with different boundaries fixed in the patriarchal system of moral values such as the differences between accepted sexual intercourse and prostitution or between romantic love and sexual desire or the limits imposed by raced-based sexual taboos. Besides the analysis of this woman's thoughts and accounts, it will be offered an interpretation of how the modern urban context created the opportunities for this kind of transgression, as well as how authorities tried to persecute such deviances.
Lavender Scare Italian Style: Sting Operations, Media Panic, and Outrageous Provocations
Alessio Ponzio, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan
The 1950s in Italy were years characterized by a particular obsession in the regulation of sexualities. The country, after years of Fascist dictatorship, was in the hands of a Christian Democratic government committed – with the silent support of the Catholic Church – to carry out a moralization battle against female prostitution and male homosexuality. Also, the most important opposition party – the Communist Party – advocated for a patriarchal and heteronormative society. While the Parliament was discussing a reform of the law regulating female prostitution, media became obsessed with homosexual scandals and murders. The dreaded closure of state regulated brothels, this was the claim, would push many young men into the arms of dangerous homosexuals. In our seminar I will focus my attention on the early 1950s. I will discuss the implementation of police actions aimed at regulating deviant sexualities, and I will talk about the anti-homosexual media campaign designed to protect the Italian youths. The moral panic (perhaps fostered by the American Lavender Scare) culminated with a provocation put forth by one parliamentarian and one journalist: the confinement of homosexuals in camps.