A writer who is promoting her “next novel,” which is described as a “contemporary interpretation of ‘Little Women,'” is pushing the idea that the original “Little Women” author, Louisa May Alcott, possibly identified as a man.
The claims were made by Peyton Thomas, whose project is being publicized by the New York Times.
The word “transgender” did not exist during the life of ‘Little Women’ author Louisa May Alcott. But @peytonology asks whether it might be the best word to capture the experience of an author who wrote about having a “boy’s spirit” and a “man’s soul.” https://t.co/7728p9aAv2
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) December 24, 2022
The publication said, “The word ‘transgender’ did not exist during the life of ‘Little Women’ author Louisa May Alcott. But @peytonology asks whether it might be the best word to capture the experience of an author who wrote about having a ‘boy’s spirit’ and a ‘man’s soul.'”
A commentary at Twitchy, however, talked about the nature of the claim, noting that Thomas alleged, “It’s a name that she didn’t use all that often in her personal life. To family and friends, she was Lou, Lu or Louy. She wrote of herself as the ‘papa’ or ‘father’ of her young nephews. Her father, Bronson, once called Alcott his ‘only son.’ In letters to her close friend Alfie Whitman, Alcott called herself ‘a man of all work’ and ‘a gentleman at large.'”
Thomas said she was curious “while conducting archival research” for her “contemporary interpretation.”
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Noted Mark Hemingway, “Rewriting history to be fanfic for sexual fetishes is like an entire academic and journalistic specialty now.”
And AJ Kay explained, “Alcott was rejecting the sexist stereotypes & socially reinforced limitations synonymous with being female at the time – the same brand of sexist stereotypes & socially reinforced limitations that arise from suggesting that spirited women must be men.”
Yet another said, “For heaven’s sake, just stop.”
The Daily Mail pointed out that the president of the Louisa May Alcott Society has made similar claims.
Alcott wrote multiple gothic thrillers from 1863 to 1972 and her major success came with the publication of “Little Women.”
The report said Thomas “draws on a quote given by Alcott in the early 1880s, where she said, ‘I am more than half-persuaded that I am a man’s soul, put by some freak of nature into a woman’s body.'”
The report explained, “Many have rightly agreed that a woman in that era wanting to be a ‘man’ is more likely them desiring to be taken more seriously in terms of rank, opportunity, and education – rather than a want to change gender.”
Thomas, the report said, is a “trans man.”
There, one reader said, “Women are and were real people with a variety of personalities, interests, desires, and ‘roles’ in society, and it’s really gender-essentialist and misogynistic to claim that any woman who chafed at extremely stringent gender roles wasn’t a woman!”
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