Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Walking dressed as a man

Por sumily

With military pants and suit, Enriqueta Favez followed her husband into the war and then, when he died in battle, she took her position in the line of battle. According to the research carried out by the Cuban Antonio Benítez Rojo for his biographical novel Woman in battle dress, dressed as a man, she studied medicine at the University of Paris, a profession exclusively for men, and served as a doctor during the Russian campaign of the Napoleonic war.

In fact, Elizabeth Blackwell, the British internationally recognized as the first woman to practice medicine in the Americas, was born in 1821, when Favez already consulted and operated on patients in eastern Cuba.Another element to highlight of this woman in her profession is that she was a surgeon. When he takes the exam to revalidate his title before the Protomedicato de La Habana, he also becomes one of the only three surgeons in the Caribbean area at that time.

The respectable Dr. Enrique Favez, when threatened with examining his body and walking naked through the streets of Santiago de Cuba, had no choice but to confess his major secret. He arrived on the island four years earlier, in 1819, from the French colony of Guadalupe. Born in Switzerland in 1791, he studied medicine in France, was a war doctor and soldier in Napoleon's campaign front, until he was captured and taken prisoner by the victorious troops of the Duke of Wellington.

Released a short time later, but defeated, without directions, and with his title and his past as a warrior, he decided to cross the ocean in search of better fortune. By 1823 he was already a renowned surgeon, had married a local woman, a certain Juana de León, and had a comfortable and respectable life, although it was punctuated by quarrels and altercations resulting from the uses and abuses of alcohol.

However, the drink was not the reason why Dr. Favez had been taken to the courts of Santiago de Cuba. Nor why the afternoon of February 6, 1824, a group of doctors threatened to perform the physical examination ordered by a judge. The real motive was a complaint against him presented by his own wife, who claimed that the respected doctor, the venerated surgeon of Baracoa, the faithful husband of Juana de León was not a man.

When doctors and police officers were preparing to begin the examination, Enrique Favez tried to prevent it and told his painful truth aloud. That did not stop the doctors and guards from stripping him and checking his body, part by part, with careful thoroughness.

In the report of the judicial process, which is still kept in the National Archive of Cuba, the results of that inspection can still be read. The person examined was endowed with all the pudendal parts of the female sex, so she was real and perfect woman. Dr. Enrique was, in reality, Enriqueta Favez. It is unknown at what exact moment the woman stopped identifying herself as such.

The Cuban historian Julio César González Pagés, author of Por verdar dressed as a man, the most complete investigation into the fascinating life of the character, places him at some point at the beginning of the 19th century. To say of Pagés in declarations to the BBC there is proof in documents that show that Enriqueta was married to a soldier of the army of Napoleón, that died. They had a son, who also dies a few days after birth. Thereafter, he begins to dress as a man and assume a masculine identity.