Introduction: ‘Am I that name’?
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I am NOT a whore, as it should be needless to say, being that, like many of my readers, I earn my living as a university professor, specialized in Shakespeare studies, not as a professional sex worker. Yet that fact has not prevented several men from calling me a whore at various points in my life. The lady doth protest too much, you think? Well, I introduce my experience as it iterates the comparable cases of Shakespearean women like unmarried virgin Hero in the comedy Much Ado About Nothing, newlywed Desdemona in the tragedy Othello, and wife and mother Hermione in the romance The Winter’s Tale — as well as the cases of countless other actual women, whatever their sexual and social status, similarly slandered with that or other sexually insulting names for centuries before and after Shakespeare wrote, including these current days of the twenty-first century.
KeywordsMale Character Female Character Sexual Infidelity Internet Pornography Patriarchal Culture
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