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Medieval History

Journal

2020

Al-Andalus

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in History

“She Is A Boy, Or If Not A Boy, Then A Boy Resembles Her”: Cross-Dressing, Homosexuality And Enslaved Sex And Gender In Umayyad Iberia, India Kotis Sep 2020

“She Is A Boy, Or If Not A Boy, Then A Boy Resembles Her”: Cross-Dressing, Homosexuality And Enslaved Sex And Gender In Umayyad Iberia, India Kotis

The Macksey Journal

This paper will interrogate the cultural origins and social consequences of three non-normative sex and gender categories in medieval Islamic Spain during the 9th-11th centuries: Eunuchs, ghumaliyyat, and homosexuality. I pay special attention to Christian eunuchs, who came to occupy an important social and political role as caliphs' preferred type of enslaved servant, and to ghumaliyyat, a term used to describe a young enslaved woman who would masculinize herself in order to appeal to men. When Islamic Umayyads conquered al-Andalus during the 8th century, they brought with them a bevy of cultural practices that were disruptive to native Iberian Christians ...