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By E. Mancini

Opposed to the overdue nineteenth-century ecu pattern of theoretical gildings of adverse gay stereotypes and the felony persecution of homosexuals, German sexologist, Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) brought a systematic and humanistic method of gay emancipation. Radical from the outset, his pioneering theorizations of gender overturned the twin intercourse approach and published the artificiality of gender. past destabilizing conventional recommendations of masculinity and femininity and substantiating the naturalness of such phenomena as gay, intersexed, and transgendered identities, Hirschfeld deployed his theories to function the root of a steadfast and influential crusade for the decriminalization of homosexuality and a world sexual freedom circulation that championed the vital motives of the women's stream and the rights of all sexual minorities. Integrating the primary cultural, medical, and political discourses in the course of Hirschfeld's lifetime, Elena Mancini illuminates his cosmopolitan and classical liberal political and cultural stance, exhibiting him as greater than a gay theorist and activist. This interesting examine exhibits how his competition to fascism and to all varieties of sexual and racial hierarchies makes him a humanist for our occasions and an concept should you try for social and political inclusion and tolerance.

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Additional resources for Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement (Critical Studies in Gender, Sexuality, and Culture)

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He flourished in the metropolis, where he befriended August Bebel, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromsoe - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-11 an intrinsic spiritual value that could not be diminished by external standards or material expectations: H I R S C H F E L D A N D T H E Q U E S T F O R S E X U A L F R E ED O M bourgeois decadence and sexual excess. However, as Hirschfeld continued to marshal his efforts for justice, Bebel proved himself to be anything but impervious to the homosexual cause and would prove an invaluable ally to Hirschfeld’s political and social aims some years later.

Nietzsche’s iconoclastic transvaluation of standards and Freud’s theories of drives and the unconscious not only had a momentous impact on twentieth century thought, but were instrumental in setting this “erotic turn” into motion. Yet a rehabilitation of the flesh30 had already begun with utopian socialist Saint-Simon in the early half of the nineteenth century. Both Saint-Simon and his contemporary Charles Fourier interjected themselves between the seeming extremes of Enlightenment rationality and Romanticism.

Lombroso believed that crime was rooted in an individual’s constitution, and Hirschfeld partially subscribed to this notion. 67 Hirschfeld did, however, greatly admire Lombroso’s fastidiously detailed method of diagnosis, which proceeded in a fashion that was unmistakably empirical. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromsoe - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-11 20 21 criminals, Lombroso also studied and attributed considerable significance to a person’s appearance, physiognomy, and particularities of expression such as speech, gait, and handwriting in determining his diagnoses.

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