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Introduction -- Part 1. Cross-dressed women as American ideals (1908-1921) -- Moving picture uplift and the female boy -- Cowboy girls, girl spies, and the homoerotic frontier -- Intermezzo codes of deviance (1892-1914) -- Cultural hierarchy and the detection of sexual deviance in a Florida enchantment (1894 and 1914) -- Part 2. The emergence of lesbian legibility (1921-1934) -- Enter the lesbian: cosmopolitanism, trousers, and lesbians in the 1920s -- The lesbian vogue and backlash against cross-dressed women in the 1930s -- Conclusion -- Appendix: U.S. films featuring cross-dressed women, 1895-1934.
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Laura Horak spent a decade scouring film archives worldwide, and what she discovered could revolutionize our understanding of gender roles in the early twentieth century. Girls Will Be Boys examines over 400 examples of women dressed as men in American films made between 1908 and 1934, revealing that Cross-Dressed women were once viewed as wholesome and used to lend respectability to the fledgling film industry.
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