A manly queen with feminine charm. Intersectional perspectives on gender
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Book chapter
Victoria’s cultural identifications may be understood as three different fields, replete with intersections. They are dependent on her fundamental yet unformulated identifications as a woman and as a frail and suffering person. In the first field, citizenships, we find her identifications as German, Swedish, and Christian. In the second field, social functions, we recognise the positions of the Lutheran Haustafel: Crown Princess or Queen, listener, and matron. In the third field, inner models, we encounter both the praying self of the Psalms, the suffering Christ, and the women of Wagner’s operas, all displaying both resignation and passion in a setting of either Christian mysticism or romantic philosophy, and sometimes in combination.
In studying ‘the manly Queen with feminine charm’ the differentiation between manliness and masculinity is thrown into relief, for ‘manliness’ in a positive sense has also been open to women. In older devotional literature, the Christian person as a new, spiritual creation is not devoid of gender characteristics, but certainly lacks gender limitations. Godly men and women were regarded as examples for women and men alike. In the nineteenth century this changed, and gender categories became sexed. This change had an enormous impact in turn on religious language. Religion was feminised and masculinised.
This concept permits of a greater understanding of the gender positions of both sexes than R. W. Connell’s hegemonic masculinity, by which women are reduced to passive positions. This chapter emphasises the need for gender studies to focus on both women and men, especially where positive results on manliness and masculinity can be obtained from the study of women in history.
Victoria has been described as a manly queen with feminine charm. Her faith may also with reason be described as manly. In her personal life, her strong sense of duty was balanced by the impression made by Wagner’s passionate and forceful women characters as models of a manly femininity. She was clearly influenced by Charles Kingsley’s devotional books and his emphasis on active ‘true resignation’. As a queen, she regarded herself in the light of old Lutheran social teaching as the mother of the nation. The importance of monarchical ideas to Victoria meant that in her view political and personal ethics were as one. Her position was in many ways unique, which magnifies similar observations that could be made in other women as well. ‘A manly queen with feminine charm’ was one of several manly women with feminine charm.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Title of host publication||Christian Masculinity. Men and Religion in Northern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries|
|Editors||Yvonne Maria Werner|
|Publisher||Leuven University Press|
|ISBN (Print)||978 90 5867 873 7|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
Related research output
Research output: Book/Report › Anthology (editor)
Yvonne Maria Werner, Alexander Maurits, Anders Jarlert, Gösta Hallonsten, Olaf Blaschke, Erik Sidenvall, David Tjeder, Anna Prestjan, Gösta Hallonsten, Elin Malmer, Nanna Damsholt & Inger Littberger Caisou-Rousseau
2004/01/01 → 2010/12/31