Breaking the Barriers of Heteronormative and Patriarchal Standards

July 1, 2020

Boston Athenaeum, “one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States”, holds regular events through their website with the primary purpose of engaging “all who seek knowledge by making accessible our library’s collections and spaces, thereby inspiring reflection, discourse, creative expression, and joy.”

One of their many offerings is the lecture series Curator’s Choice where you can join an Anthenaeum curator “for a casual conversation about their current projects and the special collections items that inspire them, spark their curiosity, and generate discussion.

Last night, Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture Theo Tyson discussed how the heteronormative and patriarchal standards of sexuality in Victorian ideas of womanhood played “a key role in opponents’ arguments against suffrage.” Tyson’s presentation included photos, documents, and stories from nineteenth-century that captured the anti-suffrage propaganda and gendered constructs of the era, and illustrated how these instances contributed to “redesigning women’s roles and responsibilities for generations and centuries to come.”

Without the work from these suffragists and their allies, women-founded and women-led companies such as ours would not be in the position we are today. Our team at Corinthian Events loves to learn and share what we have learned about the history of gender standards in this country, and this lecture from Theo Tyson and Boston Athenaeum was an excellent look back on that history.

Boston Athenaeum holds lectures on a regular basis, visit their website to see their upcoming events – many of them are free to the public! We can’t wait for July 9th to attend historian Dr. Richard Bell’s lecture about the cultural impact of Hamilton: The Musical and how the play’s “smart lyrics, hip-hop tunes, and big, bold story have rejuvenated interest in the real lives and true histories on the Broadway stage.”

Hopefully we see you there!