By Diane Richardson
This considerate and available booklet offers a severe exam of the crucial debates hooked up to conceptualizing sexuality as a domain of information and politics. those are explored in chapters at the which means of heterosexuality, sexual citizenship and the linked notions of sexual rights and duties, queer thought and its dating with feminisms, either `new' and `old'. additionally integrated is dialogue of responses to the HIV//AIDS epidemic and the consequences for understandings of gender and sexuality.
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Additional info for Rethinking Sexuality, 1st Edition
The sexual, by contrast, is generally associated with the individual, personal aspects of our lives, as well as with the idea of nature, more especially that sexuality is grounded in the body, in our individual, essential natures. Related to this, is the belief in sexuality as the basis for human identity, prior to other cultural or social affiliations (Kotz, 1993). In this sense, to examine the relationship between the sexual and the social is to raise questions about the relationship between human beings and nature; between the body and social membership; between the social and the natural.
Another important reason for this problematisation of the category 'woman' (and to a lesser extent 'man') has been the response of women who had felt excluded from such a 'unitary' category. Black, working-class and lesbian feminists in particular have critiqued the way in which use of the category 'woman' within feminism has often served to conceal racial, class and sexual difference (see Bhavnani, 1997). This new focus within 'sexual politics' also grew out of political divisions between lesbian/feminists that erupted in the 1980s which, in combination with increased attention to difference, exposed how categories like lesbian and feminist were not unified political communities.
From the margins to the centre: queering heterosexuality The aim of queer theory is to reframe sexuality within a postmodern framework; in particular to disrupt the hetero/homo binary and 40 RETHINKING SEXUALITY denaturalise heterosexuality. Queer theory insists on the centrality of homosexuality to heterosexual culture; in claiming that the hetero/homosexual binary serves to define heterosexuality at the centre, with homosexuality positioned as the marginalised 'other'. Homosexuality is constructed as 'different' (or 'deviant') in contrast to a normalised, naturalised sexuality, which is institutionalised as a specific form of married, reproductive heterosexuality.