Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gender bending: 1708

We are here nine times madder after operas than ever; and have got a new castrato from Italy, called Nicolini, who exceeds Valentini, I know not how many bars length.
--From The Works of Jonathan Swift--

Here's what someone who was castrated would sound like:



Suddenly, all the male singers with the high voices and long hair, or punk rock girls, or even Lady Gaga, just don't seem that extreme.

3 comments:

El Pollo Real said...

I wouldn't exactly call castrati gender-bending. To me it's more like fetishizing (sp?) adolescence- freezing it as it were. It's related to the present day fascination and widespread emulation of hairlessness.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Removing someone's sexual glands before they reach puberty keeps them from developing secondary sex characteristics. You need to think prepubescence, not adolescence.

They had their own characteristics that I think puts them in a "third gender" category.

El Pollo Real said...

OK, fetishizing prepubescence is better then.

They had their own characteristics that I think puts them in a "third gender" category.

Linguistically analoguous to the neuter gender.