This essay focuses on a sex scandal surrounding the only known instance in the early U.S. of a clergyman accused of making same-sex sexual advances. The scandal points to the contested meanings of Christian manliness and the gendered construction of male networks of gossip, sex talk, and sex reform, and addresses the crucial historical question of how to distinguish among intimacy, love, spirituality, and sexual desire.
History of Women and Gender
Join us for an in-depth exploration of cutting-edge scholarship.
The Boston Seminar on the History of Women and Gender invites scholars and students to meet periodically and discuss new research. Sessions may consider any aspect of the history of women and gender without chronological limitations. A collaboration of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America and the Massachusetts Historical Society, the seminar meets in turn at the facilities of the two sponsors.
Seminar meetings revolve around the discussion of a precirculated paper. Sessions open with remarks from the essayist and an assigned commentator, after which the discussion is opened to the floor. After each session, the Society serves a light buffet supper.
This essay explores the contested meanings of Christian manliness and male intimacy, and the gendered construction of male networks of gossip and sex reform, during an antebellum clergy sex scandal involving same-sex sexual advances toward men.details
This seminar paper is part of a book-length project. It follows four women in particular, Geraldine Roberts, Mary McClendon, Geraldine Miller, and Dorothy Bolden, to examine how and why they launched local campaigns for the rights of domestic workers.details
Male Same-Sex Intimacy and a Clergy Sex Scandal in Early 19th-Century New England6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
The Origins of the Domestic Worker Rights Movement5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
This seminar paper is part of a book-length project. It follows four women in particular, Geraldine Roberts, Mary McClendon, Geraldine Miller, and Dorothy Bolden, to examine how and why they launched local campaigns for the rights of domestic workers.