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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 - The Malthusian Couple Lecture.docx

7 Pages

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HIST 210
Steven J Maynard

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The Malthusian Couple in Canadian History I. Tying the Knot at Queen’s: Have you found your soulmate? II. Swans, Elephants, and other Problems in the History of Heterosexuality A. From Gay History to the History of Heterosexuality B. Foucault’s “Malthusian Couple” III. Sexual Meanings A. Marriage in Crisis: Divorce and the “Married State” – 1890s à B. “The White Life for Two”: Sexuality as Bourgeois Class/Race Affirmation C. Companionate Marriage D. “The Second Greatest Disappointment”: Niagara Falls and the Honeymoon E. The Derided Identities of Bachelor and Spinster IV. Sexual Regulation A. Community i. Church: Confession and the ‘Session’ ii. The Deadly Charivari B. The State/Law i. 1892 Criminal Code V. Sexual Politics A. The Social Purity Movement B. The Birth Control Movement C. The Eugenics Movement VI. Free Love: Movements Against Marriage VII. Malleable Marriage or Moral Panic? *Start reading the Winnipeg Beach Book *Midterm will be on the *Historical Document format?/ primary historical document/ theory to assess it/I. Tying the Knot at Queen’s: Have you found your soulmate? • Phenomenon • Queen’s student’s marry each other • When you think about ‘soulmate’ this is the best match I could find II. Swans, Elephants, and other Problems in the History of Heterosexuality A. From Gay History to the History of Heterosexuality • Heterosexuality cannot be reduced to marriage • Matremony is closely relate to heterosexuality, changing lately • For so long marriage could be seen as heterosexual hegemony; gets to parade through the past as every and mowhere at the same time • Goes by other words – marriage, • Sexologists invented homosexuality and then heterosexuality • Heterosexuality is more like the elephant in the room; seldom gets addressed (general description of the culture in our society) • Also the case for the writing of history • Late 60 and eary 70s – historians came up with ‘reclaiming the gey past’ gave rise to queer history • Johnatha Katz – early historian of gay amarican history • One of the unintentional outcomes o Heterosexuality went mostly unnoticed and unnamed among historians o Unwittingly to evade critical scrutinity o Wondered why all the energy of deconsrructing sexuality was aimed at homosexuality o “We’ll deconstruct when they deconstruct” – gay rights activist • Wasn’t long that historians began to point out – if homosexuality is a social/ historical construction so is heterosexuality • Lead to the unraveling of heterosexuality • Johnathan Katz published another book Heterosexuality • Resources to undertake the history of heterosexuality was available way before it was done o Exhisted since ~1976 o Why 1976? The History of Sexuality B. Foucault’s “Malthusian Couple” • He drew out 4 different domains (the histerical women/ the Malthusian couple/ the perverse adult/ the masturbating child) • Heterosexuals didn’t have an exactly easy historical for it • Malthusian couple was the one who was most regulated o Vast array of regulations • Marital obligation – requirements and violences that came with it – its fecundity – the way making it infertile – abstinence o It was this domain saturated with prescriptions • Sexuality of whatever kind hadn’t yet emerged before o Sodomy = sexual acts engaged by a whole bunch of different people; not procrative • By late 180s begin to see a move towards categorizing people. Moving sexual acts into sexual identities • Momentous historical process by which it tells us something intrinsic about who we are • Not just one truth; in Western culture it is THE truth about who we are • In our culture we discriminate/ define/ categorize about what we eat – but its what we put in all other orfices that defines who we are o Fouceault – becomes the priviledged place of understanding who we are • Despite the vast differences between all homosexual people (sodomite,, molly, 2-spirited person, etc.) o Still apt to look at them and see sexuality • Need to understand the historical process by which sexuality got its hooks in us III. Sexual Meanings A. Marriage in Crisis: Divorce and the “Married State” – 1890s à • A periodic panics over marriage and family • In that context that Canadians began to ariticulate the “White life for two” o State of monogamous married life between a man and women o Having sex within marriage and for procreation o Grew out of social B. “The White Life for Two”: Sexuality as Bourgeois Class/Race Affirmation • WCTU – Woman’s Christian Temperance • Union(phrohibition) • President Francis Willard coined • Middle class women group • A way to critic the sexual double standards • Men are granted way more sexual leeway than women o Both of us – husband and wife – must live the WhiteLife for Two o Was not called heterosexuality but it was clearly that • “A strong relationship that no two men and no two women can share” • Why this new empahsive on the White life for two? Why then? o Relate to the widespread perception that marriage and morality were under threat o Thought that marriage and morality were under so much stress • In Canada in late 1800s about 20 divorces a years o To people at the time the steady increase in divorce was worrysome  Divorce become hot topics in the media o Becomes broader starin of what was happening  Canada was turning into an urban industrial country – wage labourers, work in a department store, first time people were moving into the cities, marriage breakdown was viewed as a big issue • Some people looked to marriage as a pressure for change o “White Life For tWo, must be defended from all outside threats” • Divorce: o Had to go to parliament to get a divorce o Had to petition the senate o Process took about a year o Cost close to 1000 dollars o No divorce laws and no divorce courts o Maybe there needed to be loosening of marriage laws • PM Laurier – ‘divorces are not to be desired’ ‘argues a good morale condition if there are few divorces’ o Equation between sexuality was common • When did Canada get a divorce laws? – 1968 o “Court must keep in mind…the state must uphold the married state” – Judge • The white life for two had very specific gender and race connotations • Fouceault – sexuality was not invented primarily as a repressive tool o Affirmation of bourgeois identity o Bourgeois class invented sexuality o Reconstraint on all things sexual – strictly procreation o Associated with middle • Sexuality will highly classist • Allowed them to differentiate themselves from the working class – “we don’t buy the sensuous of the elite or the sexuality of the working class” • In a newspaper – “immorality lives in the higher an lower class” • At this juncture the point was to use sexuality to distinguish sexuality from everyone else • This was particularly difficult for women o Illegal for a husband to fail to provide the necessities of life – hard to get a husband on this o There were further dimension to divorce – only acceptable reason for divorce was adultery o Did not appy evenly between men and women o Women had to show that husband had been adulterous, cruelty and something else o Men only had to prove the women had been unfaithful • Racial Dimension to White Life for Two o White = purity o Once adopted as a measure of white middle class self definition it was ready to import on other people o At that point that they were imposed on other peoples’ marital customs o Race Suicide – white anglo-saxon Canadians were alarmed with that they think is happening  Their birthrate is declining, especially compared to French-Canadians and immigrants  Feared they would be swamped  Mackenzie King worried over low anglo-saxon birthrate C. Companionate Marriage • For some Canadians the White Life for Two wasn’t all bad for all; for some it was a source of pleasure • Sir John Thompson and Annie Affleck– PM of Canada o Courtship and subsequent marriages looks like the White Life for Two th o “Sexting in the 19 c.” o Annie’s diary entries can be found in archives o In their relationship, Annie defied the Victorian code of women passionlessness  Women were not su
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