6 Pages


A history of interlocking vilifications
ByKatherine Crawford

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book understands castrates that reveals in a variety of vilifications mutually supported each other and proved very difficult to dislodge. To make them sufficiently different, commentators of all kinds emphasized the disability and gender non-normativity of the castrate. The ethical status of pejorative reactions to castrates does not jettison the pariah aspect, but depicts castrates with emotional and physical capacity, at once preserving the castrate's disabled, transgender status and challenging it. Twenty-first century fictional castrates also challenged other characters — and readers/viewers — to understand their difference as indifferent; to understand castrates as like other people with complicated physical and emotional lives. It is not just that there is quite a bit of baggage, but also that the elements of animosity and antipathy came from so many directions and mutually reinforced each other.