Androginopolis: Dissident Masculinities and the Creation of Republican Peru (Lima, 1790-1850)

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Alegre Henderson, Magally
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
This dissertation argues the representation of Lima as a city full of dissident masculinities was the transformative force behind the changes in hegemonic masculinity, during Peru's turbulent transition from Spanish colony to independent republic. Throughout the late colonial period (1790-1820), the sources of effeminacy and feebleness among Lime??o men were profusely discussed in Enlightenment newspapers, pamphlets, travel writing, and criminal records. Two causes were often attributed: the leniency mothers showed in male child-rearing, and European theories of climatic determinism positing the unavoidable influence of climate over the masculinity of the American peoples. A late eighteenth-century satire mocked the abundance of maricones in Lima, naming it Androginopolis. Displacing the use of the term 'sodomite,' which referred to a sexual practice, 'maricones' was repeatedly used to complain against male cross-dressers, who participated openly in social life seeking the attention of other men. Beyond the representations of dissident masculinities (effeminates, petimetres/fops, and maricones), this dissertation explores the everyday life and sociability of men who pursued their attraction for other men. The anxieties stirred by dissident masculinities in colonial aristocratic society gradually faded away with the rise of new hegemonic masculinities. During the 1820s, the Liberators San Mart?Án and Bol?Ávar produced an imagery of heroic masculinities that associated virility with military performance. Such masculinities contributed to the independent propaganda effort and were essential in the shift from aristocratic to caudillo hegemonic masculinity. They served as exemplars for many of the caudillos across subsequent decades. During the caudillo power struggles in early Republican Peru (1820-1850), men of diverse political or military background argued their deeds were meant to defend the fatherland and protect their children, thereby appealing to the two essential elements in the hegemonic caudillo masculinity. By the time Peru finally attained political and economic stability during the mid-1850s, the caudillo masculinity had been superseded by a new, fatherhood-centered masculinity. The subculture of maricones disappeared from public eye. Hegemonic masculinity gradually adapted to bourgeois gender values, thereby exalting the father's capacity as breadwinner, and his ability to discipline, and offer moral guidance to, his household and progeny.
319 pg.