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Elizabeth I may have been non-binary, claims Shakespeare’s Globe

(385 Posts)
GagaJo Sat 13-Aug-22 12:52:13

“I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman,” Elizabeth I once said to rally her troops to face the Spanish Armada, “but I have the heart and stomach of a king”.

And was a non-binary person too, according to academics working for Shakespeare’s Globe, who have cast doubt on the gender identity of one of England’s greatest queens.

Elizabeth I has been presented as possibly non-binary in an essay published by the theatre, which refers to the female monarch with the gender-neutral “they/them” pronouns.

The essay was written by a “transgender awareness trainer” in defence of the Globe’s decision to stage a new play featuring a non-binary Joan of Arc, but both the play and the essay have raised concerns that famous females are being written out of history.

The essay claims: “Elizabeth I… described themself regularly in speeches as ‘king’, ‘queen’ and ‘prince’, choosing strategically to emphasise their female identity or their male monarchical role at different points.”

This appears to reference the most famous speech attributed to Elizabeth, her 1588 address at Tilbury in which she braced the nation for battle with the Spanish, saying she had the “heart and stomach of king” and “a king of England too”.

‘Historical women adopted a male identity’
The essay on the Shakespeare’s Globe website, written by Dr Kit Heyam, suggests that historical women were not only rebels for performing what were considered typically male tasks, but also in some sense adopted a male identity.

Dr Hayem writes in regard to Elizabeth I as an armour-wearing military leader: “Inhabiting that social role and dressing in the clothes associated with it, while living and working among men, may not just have felt like gendered defiance: it may have had a profound impact on their sense of self.”

The essay defends Shakespeare’s Globe announcing a new play titled I, Joan, in which Joan of Arc is represented as non-binary. The teenage warrior, famed for leading the French against the English in the 100 Years War despite being a woman in a patriarchal society, has been given the pronouns “they/them” in Globe promotional material for the production.

Dr Hayem’s essay for the theatre argues that while historians have stated that Joan wore male armour out of “practicality” during her campings, “they” may have had “deeper motivations” related to “their” identity.

Author JK Rowling signalled her bemusement that Shakespeare’s Globe would be portraying Joan of Arc as non-binary by liking a Twitter post which read: “Coming next: Napoleon was a woman because he was defeated at Waterloo.”

‘Famous females will be written out of history’
Feminist thinkers have raised concerns that casting doubts on the womanhood of prominent women because they defied gender norms, and did supposedly “manly” things, will effectively write many famous females out of history.

Philosopher Dr Jane Clare Jones said: “This is a really great example of the inherent gender conservatism in gender identity ideology. Traditional gender conservatism says that men must do ‘manly’ things, and women must do ‘womanly’ things.

“Gender identity ideology reverses that and then we end up with the idea that anyone who does ‘manly’ things must be a man, and anyone who does ‘womanly’ things must be a woman.

“This is how we end up in a situation in which historical women who have performed traditionally ‘masculine’ roles end up being re-categorised as ‘trans men’ or ‘non-binary’ or ‘not-women’ in some way.

“This is a really regressive message to be sending out, especially to young women.”

‘A regressive ideology’
Joan Smith, author of the feminist volume Misogynies, said: “Women and girls are entitled to reject stereotypes without losing our sex.

“We didn’t have enough female role models to start with, we have spent decades rediscovering women artists, authors, leaders. And now a regressive ideology is trying to take them away.”

Born in 1533, Elizabeth I became England’s longest-serving female monarch until Queen Victoria, and was famed for overseeing the emergence of the country as an international power during her 44-year reign.

Named the Virgin Queen, she never married or had children despite this being the expectations of her contemporaries.

uk.news.yahoo.com/elizabeth-may-non-binary-claims-171338852.html

Ilovecheese Sat 13-Aug-22 12:58:27

“Women and girls are entitled to reject stereotypes without losing our sex."

Yes.

Wheniwasyourage Sat 13-Aug-22 13:00:28

Give me strength! How much more ridiculous can this get? confused

SueDonim Sat 13-Aug-22 13:13:39

The same is happening with Joan of Arc. It’s a great way to deny women exist and erase us from public life.

Galaxy Sat 13-Aug-22 13:16:24

I like Ricky Gervais tweet on this but I cant repeat it here grin

Chewbacca Sat 13-Aug-22 13:29:02

It’s a great way to deny women exist and erase us from public life

Isn't it just? Like no way could a woman be a strong leader just because she's female.

Historical women adopted a male identity

Of course they did! It was the only way they could be heard and recognised; women were expected to be quiet, have no opinions or voice worth listening to. In the same way that any woman wanting to go on stage had to choose between being typecast as a harlot or disguise herself as a man.

Smileless2012 Sat 13-Aug-22 13:33:09

It makes you wonder if this lunacy will ever endangry. So a woman can't put her 'office', a role that she was born too above marriage and children unless she's non binary.

Heaven forbid that any woman could consider that marriage and motherhood are of less importance.

henetha Sat 13-Aug-22 13:41:55

I find this hard to accept. And even if any of it is true, by some remote chance, I bet Elizabeth did not sit there cogitating about it.
I feel that she was proud to be a woman and a queen.

Witzend Sat 13-Aug-22 13:50:16

To me it’s almost comically ludicrous that anyone should hitch their trans/gender bandwagon to the body of Elizabeth the First, who knew perfectly well that marriage would inevitably mean a loss of her power and influence.

Rosalyn69 Sat 13-Aug-22 13:53:21

Who cares? I fed up with the whole gender “thing”.

Kate1949 Sat 13-Aug-22 13:56:25

Yawn yawn

Witzend Sat 13-Aug-22 13:57:49

As clear a case of wishful-thinking bollocks as I’ve seen in ages.

Juliet27 Sat 13-Aug-22 14:05:13

Then there’s this theory

‘Although she has gone down in history as the Virgin Queen, upon her accession it was widely expected that Elizabeth would marry. But as she continued to resist pressure from her councillors to take a husband, rumours began to circulate that there was some secret reason why she was so determined not to marry.
One of the most popular was that Elizabeth had some ‘womanish infirmity’ that prevented her from conceiving. This gained such currency that a foreign ambassador bribed the queen’s laundresses to report on the state of her sheets so that they might discover whether her menstrual cycle was normal.
At the opposite end of the scale, there was a theory that the real reason Elizabeth would not marry was because she was really a man. According to the ‘Bisley Boy’ story, the real Elizabeth had died as a young girl and been replaced by the only redheaded child that could be found. The fact that he was a boy was inconvenient, but he spent the rest of his life dressing as a woman to continue the pretence.
The Bisley Boy theory has proved a curiously enduring one, despite the lack of any reliable evidence.’

MaizieD Sat 13-Aug-22 14:16:08

Looking forward to the OP's response....

Ilovecheese Sat 13-Aug-22 14:27:01

Another theory as to why neither of Henry V111 daughters did not have children is that it was because of his venereal disease.

Chewbacca Sat 13-Aug-22 14:49:45

Which makes sense Ilovecheese

HettyBetty Sat 13-Aug-22 14:49:45

women and girls are entitled to reject stereotypes without losing our sex

I want that on a t-shirt.

Lathyrus Sat 13-Aug-22 14:54:57

Boudicca next I guess.

Very irritating of Victoria to have all those children and write in her diary how much she enjoyed sex with Albert.

But then maybe Albert………

Rosie51 Sat 13-Aug-22 15:00:04

I’m waiting for the Globe ‘scholars’ to non-binary or even transgender a ‘great man’ from the past. I shan’t hold my breath though. Unless they can produce written evidence by the women themselves that they ‘identified’ as non binary they should refrain from appropriating other’s self determination.

LauraNorderr Sat 13-Aug-22 15:01:16

Ilovecheese

“Women and girls are entitled to reject stereotypes without losing our sex."

Yes.

Yes from me too.

MerylStreep Sat 13-Aug-22 15:02:07

Galaxy

I like Ricky Gervais tweet on this but I cant repeat it here grin

I’ve seen/ heard it. Brilliant 😂

Shinamae Sat 13-Aug-22 15:06:07

Rosalyn69

Who cares? I fed up with the whole gender “thing”.

Me too!!!!

Gossamerbeynon1945 Sat 13-Aug-22 15:13:32

What a load of rubbish. Joan of Arc was a woman, born of a woman and had a father.

FarNorth Sat 13-Aug-22 15:21:06

Exactly GagaJo.
The idea that people are really the opposite sex to their real one, or no sex at all, based on their actions etc, is completely ridiculous.

‘Historical women adopted a male identity’
Of course they did because their only other option was to defer to men at all times and to live a restricted, 'womanly' life.
Historical women were always female.

Joan Smith, author of the feminist volume Misogynies, said: “Women and girls are entitled to reject stereotypes without losing our sex.

“We didn’t have enough female role models to start with, we have spent decades rediscovering women artists, authors, leaders. And now a regressive ideology is trying to take them away."

I don't understand the mentality of those who support these trans & non-binary ideas, or those who consider the whole subject boring, unless it is outright misogyny or / and stupidity.

Wheniwasyourage Sat 13-Aug-22 15:24:30

There have always been a lot of male chefs, haven't there? And cooking is part of a woman's job as house slave homemaker, isn't it? Should we assume that they too are non-binary or trans?