Desire - Erotic Fiction, Sonnett.docx

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Women's Studies
Women's Studies 2283F/G
Andrea Allen

EROTIC FICTION BY WOMEN FOR WOMEN – SONNET  this politics of condemning the masculine other feeds all too easily into the condemnation of the deviant sexualities of perverse others  it is this claim to provide a woman defined space for the enjoyment of sexually explicit material that I want to examine here as a complex contemporary manifestation of fundamental shifts in both the positioning and meaning of written erotica in the late 20th century  female sexuality has nevertheless become active, recreational, material, independent, consumerist and consumed, a key site of conflict, resistance and division  the simplest definition suggests that feminism has achieved its major goals and become irrelevant to the lives of young women today  the post therefore signifies a going beyond or moving on from feminism  the current post feminist return to feminine pleasures is different because it takes place within a social context fundamentally altered by the achievement of feminist goals  it is post feminism which reclaims for women the illicit pleasures of pornography  taking discourse in Foucault’s sense of bringing together power, knowledge and pleasure. I am concerned to identify the ways in which a commercial press proffers to reinvent female sexuality within a historically unprecedented conjunction of consumerist commodity consumption  Vance suggests that early feminists conceived of a politics that would address questions of female sexuality simultaneously on two fronts. First, a negative critique of the material social conditions which connected women’s experience of sexuality with fear and powerlessness  Secondly, a positive revisioning of an autonomous female sexuality freed from sexist cultural constructions  Politicization of female sexuality has rendered women’s sexual pleasure rather than women’s sexual danger, a particularly thorny issue for feminist politics  How women’s experience of sexuality might be disconnected from the givens of patriarchal oppression  The publishing rationale is a response to a perceived need for equalizing power relations for women in the sphere of pornography  Erotic fiction as a genre is an exciting and free area for women writers  For women engaging with erotica at all is a bold and independent act of self-will  The femaleness of the author works to safeguard women readers, any suspicion that women might be unwittingly exploited or degraded by consuming erotica is alleviated by a female author  Black Lace is a safe space for a constructive revisioning of pornography for w
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