Episode 9: Nazi Punks Fuck Off, Pt 2: Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun's name might not be well known, but their work as an artist has been hugely influential in the lives of many Western pop culture icons (David Bowie, for example). But the line between life and art wasn't always so clear for Claude Cahun and their life partner Marcel Moore. Whether it was fucking with gender norms in self portraiture or fucking with Nazis during World War II, Claude never did things in a straightforward manner. We'll say it again, "Nazi punks, fuck off!" Now with surrealism!

A Look at Claude Cahun

Much of Claude's self-portraiture work with their life partner Marcel Moore dealt with challenging gender expectations and roles, and playing with the gaze and assumptions of the viewer. Check out some of these shots:

Marcel and Claude

Marcel and Claude

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Autoportrait , 1928 (courtesy of Jersey Heritage Collection)

Autoportrait, 1928 (courtesy of Jersey Heritage Collection)

Que Me Vuex Tu   (What Do you Want From Me),  1929

Que Me Vuex Tu (What Do you Want From Me), 1929

Autoportrait,  1927

Autoportrait, 1927

Self Portrait (as a dandy),  1921-1922

Self Portrait (as a dandy), 1921-1922

studies for a keepsake 1925 @musee d'arte moderne.jpeg
Self portraits - Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, left to right respectively. 

Self portraits - Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, left to right respectively. 

This one is Leigh's favorite. They also desperately want that coat. 

This one is Leigh's favorite. They also desperately want that coat. 

self portrait as a young girl 1914 jersey heritage.jpg
self portrait in cupboard 1932 jersey heritage.jpg
How can you not immediately fall in love with the kooky weirdo walking their cat on a leash in the cemetery!!

How can you not immediately fall in love with the kooky weirdo walking their cat on a leash in the cemetery!!

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Scan_20180529 (7).jpg
I Am In Training Don't Kiss Me , 1927 (courtesy of Jersey Heritage Collection)

I Am In Training Don't Kiss Me, 1927 (courtesy of Jersey Heritage Collection)

Symbolist and Surrealist Art

Not only did Cahun and Moore create a library of photo series, they also created other media of Symbolist and Surrealist art together-- from beautifully (and homoerotically) illustrated manuscripts and manifestos, photo-and-literary montage pieces, to surrealist sculptures and objects:

Uranian Games  manuscript cover, 1916-1918

Uranian Games manuscript cover, 1916-1918

A spread from Views and Visions, Chapter 29, 'The Modern Night' and 'The Antique Light', 1919

Aveux non avenus  (Disavowels) frontispiece, 1920-1930 (courtesy of Jersey Heritage Collection)

Aveux non avenus (Disavowels) frontispiece, 1920-1930 (courtesy of Jersey Heritage Collection)

More from  Disavowels

More from Disavowels

👀 Such vulvic imagery....

👀 Such vulvic imagery....

Nazi Fighting Badasses

Later in their lives, during the Nazi occupation of France in WWII, Cahun and Moore moved to the isle of Jersey and began a misinformation propaganda campaign aimed at tanking morale of German troopsl. Adopting the persona of Der Soldat Ohne Namen (The Soldier Without a Name), they began leaving propaganda tracts and posters, resistance poems, and defaced Nazi posters all around town. 

A propaganda tract from Cahun and Moore, 1942

A propaganda tract from Cahun and Moore, 1942

One of their rough designs for a tract that they ended up placing on oberleutenant w. zepernick's grave, 1943

One of their rough designs for a tract that they ended up placing on oberleutenant w. zepernick's grave, 1943

More leaflets of awesome resistance!

More leaflets of awesome resistance!

Signing as the soldier with no name

Signing as the soldier with no name

Cahun in the garden of La Rocquaise, posing as der Soldat ohne Namen

Cahun in the garden of La Rocquaise, posing as der Soldat ohne Namen

Arrest and Continued Resistance

When Cahun and Moore were arrested by the Gestapo, it did not stop their resistance efforts, as they vowed to fight the Nazi horror to their very last breaths. 

Marcel Moore's sketch of their prison cell, complete with the ventilation ducts that allowed a network of prisoners to secretly send messages to one another

Marcel Moore's sketch of their prison cell, complete with the ventilation ducts that allowed a network of prisoners to secretly send messages to one another

And we leave you with this, badass Claude Cahun after being released from prison, flipping the Nazis the "dirty bird" one last time. ICONIC HERO!

And we leave you with this, badass Claude Cahun after being released from prison, flipping the Nazis the "dirty bird" one last time. ICONIC HERO!

 

If you want to learn more about Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, check out our full list of sources and further reading below!

Online Articles:

Books and Print Articles:

  • Exist Otherwise: The Life and Works of Claude Cahun by Jennifer L. Shaw
  • Disavowals by Claude Cahun
  • Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind the Mask, Another Mask by Sarah Howgate and Dawn Ades
  • Inverted Odysseys: Claude Cahun, Maya Deren, Cindy Sherman by Shelley Rice

Until next time, stay queer and stay curious!

Episode 7: F is for Friend Who Did Not Have Gender

R is for Revolutionary War, which is where hosts Leigh & Gretchen are headed in this, the very first episode dedicated to a single person from history: the Publick Universal Friend. Born Jemima Wilkinson, after suffering from Typhoid fever and experiencing a visionary death, the Publick Universal Friend, also called the Friend, arose and began preaching a message of repentance. The Friend presented as something entirely new: a genderless spirit from God who eschewed gendered pronouns and dressed and spoke in ways that purposefully blurred the lines between male and female in early American society. Their preaching may not have been as innovative as others from their time, but the Friend did something even more unique by embodying genderlessness as an aspect of resurrected life and creating a religious society marked by genderless linguistic forms. So come join us as we talk about this most special of Friends; to make things even more interesting, turns out one of our hosts is related to the Friend!

A Look at The Friend

A portrait of the friend done after moving to new york, available to see at the  Scherer Carriage House Museum .

A portrait of the friend done after moving to new york, available to see at the Scherer Carriage House Museum.

Drawing of the Friend.

Drawing of the Friend.

REcreation of the friend's personal seal with star, cross, and initials.

REcreation of the friend's personal seal with star, cross, and initials.

The Friend's CarrIAge, which can also be seen at the Scherer carriage House museum along with the Friend's Bible, Side Saddle, and other items. 

The Friend's CarrIAge, which can also be seen at the Scherer carriage House museum along with the Friend's Bible, Side Saddle, and other items. 

Photo of the friend's house in Jerusalem, New York. It still stands but is not available to the public.

Photo of the friend's house in Jerusalem, New York. It still stands but is not available to the public.

Sketch of the Friend's house in Jerusalem.

Sketch of the Friend's house in Jerusalem.

Another Sketch of the friend's house in Jerusalem.

Another Sketch of the friend's house in Jerusalem.

The Friend's home still stands today! photo courtesy of  waymarking.com

The Friend's home still stands today! photo courtesy of waymarking.com

the sign outside the friend's home in jerusalem, ny. Photo courtesy of  waymarking.com

the sign outside the friend's home in jerusalem, ny. Photo courtesy of waymarking.com

Title Page from David Hudson's defamatory "Memoir" of the friend that sought to present them as deluded and a fraud.

Title Page from David Hudson's defamatory "Memoir" of the friend that sought to present them as deluded and a fraud.

Drawing of the friend from Hudson's "memoir". 

Drawing of the friend from Hudson's "memoir". 

Act of Incorporation that established the Society of universal Friends in 1791, as seen on  History Detectives  and now currently in the  Communal Societies collection at Hamilton College . 

Act of Incorporation that established the Society of universal Friends in 1791, as seen on History Detectives and now currently in the Communal Societies collection at Hamilton College

Excerpts from the Death Book of the Society of Universal Friends.

The death book was kept by Ruth Prichard, and records the death names, last words and other relevant information, and the date when the member of the society "left Time". The following are entries, as found in Wisbey's book (see resource list); note just how many times the Friend was present at the death and/or the funeral, which is not at all unusual for the rest of the death book:

Susannah Porter, left Time, 19th of the 5th Mo 1780. 22 yeas of age. She died in the Arms of the Friend.
Lucy Holmes, left Time, 11th of the 8th Mo 1790: She found the Lamb of God. Believing in the Day of her Visitation. She went away rejoicing; giving glory to God and the Lamb. This departed Saint, as the avenues of mortal life were closing, lifted up her hands in Prayer, said Glory to God in the highest, and unto the Lamb forever and ever! Saying (with an emphasis no mortal language can describe) Looking at the Friend, My dear Redeemer; I love; I love; I love
Eunice Manswer Departed this life 13th of the 9th Mo 1793: It appeared She was prepared in a short time to fulfill a long time: the Friend attended the funeral
Sara Friend, or Sarah Richards, left Time 30th, and last of the 11th Mo 1793. Seventh Day of the Week which is the Sabath (sic), at Eve 7n on the clock She Expired! And left Her weeping friends to mourn for themselves! Seventeen weeks She patiently endur’d one fever after another, till at last — These scenes of grief and Sorrows inexprest; Did waft her soul to everlasting Rest! 4th of the 12th Mo. The Friend attended Her Funeral, and Preach’d a very great Sermon. The exhortatoin began thus, It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to heart; And the Text was, The Righteous perisheth, and no may layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the Righteous is taken away from the evil to come; They shall enter into peace, They shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. She was aged 36.
Armenia Potter 15th of the 2d Mo of 1794. The Friend was with her in her last moments, and had Satisfaction in her death; 18th, the Friend attended Her Funeral, held Meeting at Holmes’s, Text was in Micha VII. 18. Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgressions of the remnant of his heritage; For He retaineth not His Anger forever because He delighted in Mercy. She was aged 2[?]

If you liked "F is For Friend Who Did Not Have Gender", you'll probably like: 

If you want to learn more about the Friend, check out our full list of sources and further reading below!

Online Articles:

Books and Print Articles:

  • Saints, Sinners and Reformers: The Burned-Over District Re-Visited by John H. Martin: Chapter 5 Jemima Wilkinson Celibacy and the Communal Life The Re-Incarnation of the Divine in Female Form, 1758-1819
  • Pioneer Prophetess: Jemima Wilkinson, the Publick Universal Friend by Herbert A. Wisbey, Jr. (misgenders the Friend)
  • The Public Universal Friend by Paul B. Moyer
  • History of Jemima Wilkinson by David Hudson (the smear campaign “biography,” misgenders the Friend)
  • Women Who Were Called by Joel Whitney Tibbetts (misgenders the friend)
  • “‘Indescribable Being’: Theological Performances of Genderlessness in the Society of the Publick Universal Friend” by Scott Larson, Early American Studies Vol. 12 no 3 (2014).
  • “Demogogues or Mystagogues? Gender and the Language of Prophecy in the Age of Democratic Revolutions” by Susan Juster, American Historical Review 104, no. 5 (1999).
  • “The Political Threat of a Female Christ: Ann Lee, Morality, and Religious Freedom in the United States” by Adam Jortner, Early American Studies vol 7, no 1 (2009).

Until next time, stay queer and stay curious!

Episode 6: 3 Genders in Ancient Egypt? It's More Likely Than you Think

In today’s episode, cohosts Leigh and Gretchen head way back in time to Ancient Egypt. That’s right, get ready to walk like an Egyptian! Take a tour through Egyptian mythology to discuss Atum as both male and female, Set’s interactions with Horus, Nephthys’ spending all her time with Isis, Hapi’s non-binary gender presentation, and what Set and Nephthys imply about Egypt having a concept of third gender. Plus, the dancing woman mummy, gender transformation in burial, the gender presentation of women pharaohs like Hatshepsut, and Gretchen’s favorite gay Egyptian tomb! You’ll see why having 3 genders in Ancient Egypt is more likely than people think!  

A Look at Our Mythological Cast of Deities

Atum, the original deity with both male and female aspects. 

Atum, the original deity with both male and female aspects. 

Set (Left) and Horus (Right) bind the plants of Egypt ( Source ). 

Set (Left) and Horus (Right) bind the plants of Egypt (Source). 

Nephthys (Left) and Isis (Right) guard the body of Osiris ( Source ).

Nephthys (Left) and Isis (Right) guard the body of Osiris (Source).

Hapi, God of the Nile, depicted as having both male and female presentation.

Hapi, God of the Nile, depicted as having both male and female presentation.

A Closer Look at Non-Cisheteronormative Gender Presentation in Ancient Egypt

Akhenaten (18th Dynasty, either 1353-1336 BCE or 1351-1334 BCE)

Akhenaten (right) was frequently depicted similarly to Hapi as having breasts and a large belly. Compare his body with that of his wife Nefertiti (left).

Akhenaten (right) was frequently depicted similarly to Hapi as having breasts and a large belly. Compare his body with that of his wife Nefertiti (left).

Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty, 1478–1458 BC)

Note the pharaonic headdress and naked torso, both typically masculine symbols.

Note the pharaonic headdress and naked torso, both typically masculine symbols.

Hatshepsut with her fake beard!

Hatshepsut with her fake beard!

In this statue, hatshepsut lacks a beard but sports the royal cobra, headdress, and the crook and flail. 

In this statue, hatshepsut lacks a beard but sports the royal cobra, headdress, and the crook and flail. 

Sobekneferu (12th Dynasty, 1806–1802 BCE)

ONce again, the royal headdress and naked torso of the pharoahs on a woman who ruled as Pharaoh.

ONce again, the royal headdress and naked torso of the pharoahs on a woman who ruled as Pharaoh.

Bust of Sobekneferu with loincloth and royal headdress visible.

Bust of Sobekneferu with loincloth and royal headdress visible.

The "Dancing Woman" Mummy (2nd Century CE)

Above view of the dancing woman mummy, where you can see visible breasts and stylized costume, likely for dancing. ( Source )

Above view of the dancing woman mummy, where you can see visible breasts and stylized costume, likely for dancing. (Source)

CLose up of the Dancing Woman's face, with visible beard. ( Source )

CLose up of the Dancing Woman's face, with visible beard. (Source)

Niankhknnum and Knhumhotep (5th Dynasty, ca 25th Century BCE)

Image from the Tomb showing the family procession. 

Image from the Tomb showing the family procession. 

Niankhkhnum (Left) and Khnumhotep (Right) embracing on the walls of their tomb. 

Niankhkhnum (Left) and Khnumhotep (Right) embracing on the walls of their tomb. 

Close up of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep nose kissing, one of the most intimate positions two people could have in Egyptian iconography.

Close up of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep nose kissing, one of the most intimate positions two people could have in Egyptian iconography.

Image of the Jackals? Hyenas? getting it on in the hunting scene from the walls of the tomb. 

Image of the Jackals? Hyenas? getting it on in the hunting scene from the walls of the tomb. 

Online Articles:

Books:

  • Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives: Sex, Gender, and Archaeology by Rosemary A. Joyce
  • Sex and Society in Graeco-Roman Egypt by Dominic Montserrat

Until next time, stay queer and stay curious!