Cultural transvestism in the works of Catalina de Erauso and Mayra Santos-Febres
MetadataShow full item record
La historia de la Monja Alférez is the autobiography of Catalina de Erauso, a Basque woman whose vital options under the rigid norms of the 17th century are the convent or marriage. Written by Mayra Santos-Febres, Sirena Selena vestida de pena is a contemporary novel about a young boy whose femininity makes him sexually vulnerable. Both characters overcome their peripheral sexual identities by way of transvestism. The transvestite’s sexuality functions as a “social and cultural construct [whose] sexual asymmetry, as a cultural construction, can be altered” (Frese xi). In spite of their deliberate reconstruction, few studies overcome the transvestite’s sexual prescription. The purpose of this thesis is to amplify what seems to be the restricted dialogue of transvestism. The transvestite’s literary reconstruction reveals an understated social and political value. Transvestism “is more than an individual experience of perversion or deviance, […] it is therefore an informative and interesting ingredient of the iconography of gender” (Suthrell 26).