Sexual Politics

in The Place of Enchantment

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780226642017
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226642031 | DOI:
Sexual Politics

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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The New Woman was a journalistic and literary invention that nevertheless spoke to the social realities of a changing climate for women at the end of the century. A “new” occultism underpinned by an emphasis on practical magic had recourse to a masculine persona that appealed to men and women alike. Occultism represented itself as a learned science at a time when higher education was an option only for the few, and women were attracted by the prospect of the kind of dedicated advanced study that practical magic required. Sexual politics thus created perilous cross-currents in the already choppy waters of fin-de-siècle occultism. A progressive position on one issue did not guarantee consistency across the board when it came to sexual radicalism, and the majority of occultists were very far from being sexual progressives.

Keywords: New Woman; masculine persona; sexual politics; sexual radicalism; occultism

Chapter.  12920 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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