Thursday, April 12, 2007

So, can I be fired from the job I'm quitting?

This term's class is going well. We are discussing all manner of sexy things about gender and the nineteenth century. We discussed female relationships and the challenges of marriage and sexuality, and one of my students asked me: "Can you be gay?"

It took all the restraint I possess not to reply, "Not now, but maybe if I had worked harder at it in college..."

Reminder not to use "you" sentences when referring to historical actors. It's catching.

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Blogger Neel Mehta said...

Uneducated riff-raff. The question should be "May you be gay?"

10:42 AM  
Blogger Quinn said...

So you're debating whether she wants to know about my physical potential (can) vs. if I have permission (may)? Knowing my mom, I do NOT have permission to be gay.

11:51 AM  
Blogger K-Lyn said...

Maybe she was asking if the gay population wanted you? What was the gay 19th century equivalent of "Am I Hot?"

2:19 PM  
Blogger Neel Mehta said...


7:07 PM  
Blogger Quinn said...

Funny you should mention it... France came up in conversation several times. As the "sexy" country that America refused to emulate.

True story: condoms were once known as "French envelopes." And that's not a compliment.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Neel Mehta said...

I guess we would call them "freedom envelopes" now, which may be missing the point.

At least we still have freedom toast and freedom ticklers.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Butterflyfish said...

I hadn't heard "French envelopes." I'd heard "French letters."

Envelopes makes more sense, I guess.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Quinn said...

Welcome, butterflyfish. Yep, french letters and french envelopes would be one and the same. Tends to crack me up at stationery stores.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

So, I'm thinking the question was getting at "Was it okay to be gay in the 19th century?" I suppose that would depend on where you were. Victorian London, despite it's efforts at moral uprightness, was a pretty fabulous place.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Andy said...


I'm sorry. I haven't finished my coffee yet. *shame*

5:02 AM  

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