A Schoolhouse of Their Own: Economic Erotics in The Children's Hour.

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Author: Margaret Speer
Date: Spring 2021
Publisher: University of Texas at Austin (University of Texas Press)
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 11,284 words
Lexile Measure: 1290L

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Abstract :

William Wyler's The Children's Hour and The Children's Hour papers in Wyler's archive suggest that lesbianism should be understood as the material conditions that allow women to build lives together without men, whether or not they have sex. The scandal of the film is more literally the two schoolteachers' economic independence than the sexuality of which they are falsely accused. This article examines hate mail preserved in the archive against its grain to suggest that viewers who seem to have misunderstood the film were actually its best readers, insofar as it condones lesbianism as a way of life, not an identity based in sexual practices. KEYWORDS: lesbianism, feminism, economics, The Children's Hour, archive

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A656702607