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Being “Bad” and Objectified Womanhood

Being “Bad” and Objectified Womanhood

Transgressive Femininity in Spain and the South

Chapter:
(p.147) Chapter 5 Being “Bad” and Objectified Womanhood
Source:
Between Distant Modernities
Author(s):
Brittany Powell Kennedy
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628461978.003.0006

This chapter attempts to locate the Butlerian model of gender performance within a conception of performativity as a nationalist act of memory. My goal, however, is not to discuss the stereotypes of Spanish and Southern womanhood: the Southern “belle” and the “sencilla” (“simple”) Spanish mother. Instead, exploring the performativity of that image, I expose the slippage and excess that occurs when that performance fails, creating the “bad” woman—whom I describe as the “picarona” in Spanish and that Betina Entzminger has termed the “bad belle” in the Southern tradition. In Spain and the South, that figure becomes a heroine precisely because she is masculine while ambivalently adhering to and subverting the image from the past meant to define her.

Keywords:   Gender performance, “Bad” woman, Picarona, Spanish womanhood, Southern womanhood

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