Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(3,221 words)

1. Introduction

Like masculinity, femininity is a cultural construct manufactured in discourses and social practices.  The concept relates to a principle that emerged in the 19th century of a gender order in which the feminine was opposed to the masculine and naturalized. In this context, femininity was on the one hand designed as complementary to masculinity in a system of separate spheres (public/private…

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Ulbrich, Claudia and Häusner, Sophie, “Femininity”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 04 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_030149>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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