I just completed reading Antonia Fraser‘s Marie Antoinette, a 600+ page tome recounting the adventurous and ill-fated life and eventual downfall of this 18th Century Queen of France, and while I will certainly be detailing a review in my Tumblr Blog (Conchita Open Book), something particularly interesting and relevant to nymphobrainiacs everywhere, struck me:
It did not happen overnight, and the seeds of this modern-celebration were sown in her much criticized (at the time) intimate relationships with select women in her life (the sexual nature of which never confirmed)…she was however eventually condemned for these relationships, a price paid in her own blood when she was beheaded in October of 1792, at the height of the French Revolution (a revolt against the royalist system).
As Fraser writes:
The idea of Marie Antoinette as a tribade-the eighteenth century word for a female homosexual, based on the Greek word for friction-was sedulously preached at the time in lewd pamphlets as a means of abuse. But it has meant that her name…has been entered more pleasantly in homosexual annals as worthy of honour. (p. 510)
I suppose what is most disturbing to me is not that Marie Antoinette became a gay icon (if you will allow) but that she was later lauded for the very thing she died for…part of me celebrates:
Marie Antoinette The Martyr!
Yet, another part of me weeps…saddened that the LTGB community must turn to sensationalized and unconfirmed scandalous accounts of alternate romantic relationships rather than real, loving, celebrated relationships.
Marie Antoinette has become a caricature of The Sexualized and Objectified Woman…simultaneously admired and maligned throughout the ages…and perhaps that is very reason why We are ALL so attracted to her…