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Uncategorized / oktober 30, 2017

On January 25th, 1892, a young Memphis teen named Alice Mitchell allegedly attacked her former “girl lover,” Freda Ward, with a knife, slitting her throat. Her motivation? Perverted love sickness, according to the feverish press coverage that began locally but quickly spread across the state, and then the country. American readers, it turned out, were fascinated by the prospect of female sexual deviance at the turn of the century, at a time when young women were first entering public life en masse as workers,Michael Kors earrings consumers, and sexual agents, increasingly bending the rules of traditional gender roles.The trial sparked the production of hundreds of lurid articles about the two lovers (“Girl Slays Girl”!), medical studies on the disputed topic of Ward’s insanity, folk ballads and a whole raft of other cultural products detailed in Lisa Duggan’s brilliant Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Violence, and American Modernity. It ultimately culminated in Mitchell’s conviction, followed by her psychiatric hospitalization, with the judge calling the crime “the most atrocious and malignant ever perpetrated by a woman.” Just one year later, America was gripped by an even more sensationalized trial: that of Lizzie Borden, a young woman from Fall River, Massachusetts, charged with killing her…