Geographies of Sexualities & the Body 20140304
1. Sex and sexualities
2. The body
3. What is the body?
4. Body as Space?
5. Body as Project
6. Body Occupying Space
7. Body in Space
8. Body and Time
1. Sex & Sexualities
The way you express your biological needs/aspirations/desires.
Where do rapes happen? Private home. Geographers are interested in where social activites/things happen
and why. Space Matters**
Remember… Gender Basics ‘Sex’ is BIOLOGICAL
A physical and bodily condition
Gender is CULTURAL
A socially constructed identity
Minimal physical and biological variations aside, differences between males and females are socially
constructed in a cultural, political, and economic context.
Sex is between the legs…
Gender is between the ears…as is sexuality.
We need food, but what we eat, when, where, with whom, how often, etc. are all socially
Ex. Turkey at Christmas is socially constructed
There is a ‘geography of food’
Biologically we need sex, but how we have sex, what sex acts we perform, with whom, how often, etc are
manifestations of social norms and cultural practices…
There are ‘geographies of sexualities’
What is Sexuality?
A socially constructed identity wherein we learn how to express our sexual orientation(s) & desires & to
interpret those of others. How is ‘Sexuality’ of Geographical?
London is an area of heterosexuality is dominant.
Like any other cultural practice, it operates in, over and through space
E.g.s of such spaces?
Some spaces are deemed more sexualized than others.
Geographies of the Body
Q: How is the body geographical?
Tattoos, piercings, makeup, facial hair grooming.
Body is a marker
2. The Body
*Body is a pace:
“The geography closest in”
*Boundary: Between self / other
Sensuous organ (feel good, bodies not hurting…may even bring you pleasure)
Site of pleasure, pain, wellness, illness, happiness, health
Means of experiencing & connecting with other spaces.
The ‘where’ of ‘who’ of what we are
Of personal identities and meanings
E.g.s gender, ethnicity, age.
*Site of struggle & contestation
Body identity grounds for social and spatial exclusion or inclusion
e.g.s gender, age, ethnicity, ability.
Access to body?
Control over what’s done to body?
How they move?
What they wear?
3. What is the body
No universal agreement on…
Where ‘body’ begins or ends E.g. shadows? Nail clippings?
Meanings of ‘body’
E.g. machine or garden? Sacred or secular?
Personal or state property
Two of these philosophical debates about nature & meaning of the body have impacted geography:
i. Mind/Body Dualism
Descartes 17 C phrase
“Cogito ergo sum”
“I think therefore I am”
Mind / body separate
Objectivity of modern health science
i.e. body is a site to be mapped
Engendering of mind/body
Males transcends their bodies attaining conscious, logical thought
Females tied to and ruled by their bodies
i.e. menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth
emotions interfere with rational thought.
‘Objectivity’ of sciences and mind/body dualism promoted only certain topics of study within geography
‘Dirty Topics’ of the body & sexuality avoided by ‘males’ and masculine thinking
Changed since 1990s due to presence of female geographers
e.g. Gillian Rose
ii. The Natural vs. The Social
A) ‘Naturalistic’ view ‘essentializes’ differences thru biology
The idea that woman and men are a certain way based on their body. Woman are bad
drivers because of their body, or notorious gossips. Body differences are ‘natural’ and used to justify ‘natural inequalities’—biological differences—between
the sexes & supposed ‘races’
E.G. males vs. females / ‘whites’ vs. ‘blacks’ differ ‘essen