Pornographic hermaphrodites the rules dating review
The word “gender” entered the English language in the year 1300, by way of the Old French , meaning “kind, species; character.” In English, the word had almost the exact same meaning, “kind, class, sort, a class or kind of persons or things sharing certain traits.” The Old French word in turn comes from the Latin (give birth, beget).
Mirabeau takes special delight in skimming the Bible for potentially offensive content (successfully so, it has to be said.) Another of Mirabeau’s pleasure seems to have been the invention of cleverly composed neologisms (e.g. The chapter begins with a discussion of the hermaphrodite Adam (a topic which has a very long learned tradition; see here for starters) and the famous story of Aristophanes as found in Plato’s This brings Mirabeau to a more general discussion of hermaphroditism, and here, the pregnant monk from Issoire is one of his prime examples (de Mirabeau 1921, 98; https://archive.org/stream/loeuvreducomtede00mirauoft#page/98/mode/2up): Quoi qu’il en soit de ces idées, on a vu encore de nos jours des phénomenes analogues qui portent à croire que la tradition de Moïse n’est pas une chimère.
The rest of the chapter is filled with stories of tribades of antiquity (Sappho and others), and various phantasies about ‘oriental’ tribades; in fact, it is pure erotic Orientalism, and almost invariably, some male voyeur is part of the scene.
So what begins with an unexpected reference to a medieval hermaphrodite quickly turns in rather conventional modern pornography.
Given that these registers are fictious (the other passages Mirabeau pretends to quote from this source are manifestly taken, if indirectly, from Jean de Roy), it seems legitimate to interpret this as Mirabeau denying that the monk was a ‘true hermaphrodite’; rather he seems to follow the interpretation that the monk in fact was a woman dressed as a man, and impregnated by another man.
In any case it is remarkable that Mirabeau adds this information that effectively denies the possibility of ‘true’ hermaphroditism.
This monk had both sexes; at the convent, one reads the following verses on him: “I have seen, not as a phantasy / How a young monk had / both male and female genitals / and engendered a child / by himself alone and in him_herself / to engender, to have children, / like other women / without to use tools.” However, the registers of the monastery relate that the monk did not impregnate himself; he had not been active and passive at the same time.