Women sexuality and the political power of pleasure
Women, Sexuality and the Political Power of Pleasure by Andrea CornwallThis pioneering collection explores the ways in which womens sexual desires are experienced by them and how this experience effects womens empowerment. It shows that an exploration of pleasure can have a hugely positive impact for women at the personal, social and political levels.
Traditional gender and development discourses tend to engage with sexuality in relation to violence and ill-health. Although this has been hugely important in challenging violence against women, over emphasizing these negative aspects has subsumed womens sexualities under violence, danger and fear. The media, the pharmaceutical market, pornography and the market more broadly on the other hand celebrate the pleasures of sex in ways that can be just as oppressive, often implying that only certain types of (young, heterosexual, able-bodied, HIV negative) people are eligible for sexual pleasure.
The book brings together challenges to these strictures and exclusions from both south and north of the globe. It demonstrates both conceptually and through examples of mobilisation, programming and policy, how positive approaches to pleasure and sexuality can enhance equality and empowerment for all.
Women, Sexuality and the Political Power of Pleasure
Jolly, S. Cornwell, A. London and New York: Zed Books. Women, Sexuality, and the Political Power of Pleasure forms a collection of essays that seek to reanalyse the various forms in which female pleasure comes in, assessing how it is delivered, and how it is perceived in contemporary society. In its preface, co-editor Andrea Cornwell argues that from a young age society is culturally conditioned to understand female sexuality as a concept of excess.
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Six years ago we published the piece on sexuality and the development industry reproduced here, coming out of a workshop in We argued that the development industry makes sexuality invisible, and subjects it to implicit assumptions, even in such areas that obviously intersect with sexuality, such as population, gender and HIV and AIDS. We described the heteronormativity and gender stereotypes in development, with people being assumed to all fit into two categories — men and women — with women being portrayed as powerless victims and men as brutish predators. We spoke of how the narratives of empowerment and subordination assume a heterosexual subject, and privilege normative models of family founded on the heterosexual married couple. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Skip to main content.
This collection explores the ways in which positive, pleasure-focused approaches to sexuality can empower women, with examples of activism, advocacy and programming which use pleasure as a starting point. Women, Sexuality, and the Political Power of Pleasure. Zed Books. June Find this book:. Outside of academia, a good deal of discussion that takes place around female sexuality is largely negative.