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Sex and Conquest: Gendered Violence, Political Order, and the European Conquest of the Americas

Trexler, Richard C.

Published by Cornell Univ Pr, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A., 1995
ISBN 10: 0801432243 / ISBN 13: 9780801432248
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details


Title: Sex and Conquest: Gendered Violence, ...

Publisher: Cornell Univ Pr, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition: Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+

Edition: First Edition

Description:

292 pp. Contents: Backrounds; Iberian Experiences, The Military & Diplomatic Berdache; The Domestic Berdache: Becoming; The Religious Berdache; On the Ground; Attitudes & Assessments; Yesterday & Today. Small tear on back of dj. Text Clean. Bookseller Inventory # 007690

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Synopsis: This dazzling book delineates the relation between force and sex in social and political institutions. The story it tells--of biological males who lived as women--forges a link between sexual themes dating from Antiquity and the erotics of much of the violence in today's world. Photos.

From the Back Cover: This highly original book is the first study of American sexuality at the time of the Conquests. It examines the sexual relations, mainly between males, that the Spaniards and Portuguese encountered when they entered various parts of the Americas from 1492 until around 1750.

Trexler focuses above all on the native American berdaches or "she-men" - the biological males in tribes across the Americas who, in all possible ways, imitated women throughout their lifetimes. The author explores in detail the reactions of the Spaniards and the Portuguese to the appearance and behavior of the berdaches, using this as a way to reflect on European sexuality, on sexual relations in the Americas and on the relations - sexual and otherwise - between conquerors and conquered.


The main argument of the book is that much of the homosexual behavior and transvestism encountered by the Iberians resulted from social constraints among the American tribes themselves. Trexler shows that the sexual attitudes of the Americans were not at all like the innocent freedom that some commentators have imagined. The analysis of the berdaches, and of the native Americans' despisal of them, therefore helps to shed light on the forms of social and political organization and on the kinds of coercion and abuse which existed in the Americas at the time of the Conquests.


This book will disrupt some conventional ways of thinking and will stimulate fresh debate about the role of sexuality in the conquest of the Americas.

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