De Secretis Mulierum

If countless numbers of people throughout history have wished for an early menopause, probably no one wished more devoutly for it than Thomas Aquinas. No doubt he literally prayed for it morning, noon, and night. A picture comes to mind of him kneeling in his cell, pleading with the Virgin for release from a burden even Job hadn't been forced to bear.

According to the Pentagon-owned-and-operated Past-Scan Device, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Aquinas were both women in drag. Jane Pendler's advisor says that's impossible, that the technology must be bogus, and pulls the plug on Jane's dissertation research on Leonardo. What a feminist graduate student to do? What else, but do the research behind her advisor's back, of course...

"A masterful exploration of sexual identity and sexual mastery ...marvelously intricate..."
— Tangent (Summer 1995)

A Locus recommended novella for 1995, the year of its original publication.

"Duchamp's novella asks profound questions about the limits of our historical knowledge, the socially constructed nature of knowledge, and the gendered and sexual biases therein."
— Ritch Calvin, FemSpec, Vol.9, no.2

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