As a first example, let us consider John Gay’s Trivia (1716), a satirical poem about walking the streets of London

As a first example, let us consider John Gay’s Trivia (1716), a satirical poem about walking the streets of London

The political subject of the Georgian period was a male head of household, who governed and represented those who depended upon him, on the model of a Roman citizen. This political celebration of virtuous masculinity evolved over the course of the century. In the later eighteenth century, radicals who sought to reform the political system usually made their case within this tradition, arguing that the establishment was morally and politically corrupt, and that ordinary men deserved citizenship rights on the basis of their masculine independence. This involved organizing citizenship along gendered lines, since women, children and any man who did not meet the required masculine standard were excluded from political rights.21 Radicals too celebrated a muscular, assertive vision of masculinity and politicized the ways in which that body was clothed, as we shall see.22 It was therefore not the case that men’s claims to political citizenship were based upon disembodiment or ‘renunciation,’ as the corollary to women’s exclusion on bodily grounds.

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