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Now museum claims the Brontë sisters were 'genderqueer'!


A museum has sparked controversy after suggesting the Brontë sisters may have been genderqueer because they used androgynous pen names.

Material posted by the Brontë Parsonage Museum to celebrate Pride Month states that 'gender is explored' in their work, with some novels even exhibiting 'gender queerness'.

One slide on Facebook read: 'Gender is also explored in many of the Brontë's novels, such as Villette.

'Scholars discuss Lucy Snowe's gender queerness - noticeable in the scene where Paul Emmanuel encourages Lucy to act in a play dressed up as a man.'

Feminists and academics have rejected such claims and say their use of pseudonyms was actually just to get their books published in sexist times.

In the 19th century it was common for female writers to adopt male names in order to get their works taken seriously by the establishment at the time.

Charlotte Brontë published her novels under the name Currer, Emily under Ellis and Anne adopted 'Acton' with all three using the surname Bell.

Joan Smith, the author of Misogynies criticised the Yorkshire museum, that was the one time home of the sisters.

She told the Telegraph: 'What next, the Brontë brothers?

'The sisters didn't use androgynous pseudonyms because they were non-binary or wanted to be men.

'It was because of the prejudice against female authors and the obstacles facing women who wanted to get published.'

Ms Smith added that the imposition of a debate around gender identity on female writers from the 19th century was an 'insult' on their achievements.

Rebecca Yorke, Director of the Brontë Parsonage Museum said: 'To mark Pride month the Brontë Parsonage Museum has been exploring queer history in relation to the times and works of the Brontës with a series of social media posts, Pride at the Parsonage.

'These debates around Victorian gender stereotypes go back generations, with scholarly interpretations on the theme of gender within the sisters' work continuing to spark debate today and we welcome courteous discussion on the subject.

'The Brontë Parsonage Museum has never claimed the sisters were non-binary or transgender and continues to be committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion.'