The Politics of Women's Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior


For nearly three decades, feminist scholars have examined how the female body and ideas about the female body affect women's lives. The Politics of Women's Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior, 2/e, brings together recent critical writings in this important field, covering such diverse topics as the sources of eating disorders, the nature of lesbianism, and the consequences of violence against women. With the exception of two classic articles, all pieces were published in the last decade, and one-quarter of the selections are new to the second edition.
The Politics of Women's Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior, 2/e, begins by looking at how ideas about women's bodies become culturally accepted. As the writings in the first section demonstrate, this is a political process that can reflect, reinforce, or challenge the distribution of power between men and women. Subsequent sections look at how, once ideas about women's bodies become accepted, they can serve as powerful--and political--tools for controlling women's appearance, sexuality, and behavior. Articles new to this edition include "Daring to Desire: Culture and the Bodies of Adolescent Girls," by Deborah L. Tolman; "Casing My Joints: A Private and Public Story of Arthritis," by Mary Lowenthal Felstiner; and "Holding Back: Negotiating a Glass Ceiling on Women's Muscular Strength," by Shari L. Dworkin. This unique interdisciplinary anthology is ideal for undergraduate courses that cover the body and sexuality. It is also appropriate for introductory courses in women's studies and courses in the psychology, anthropology, or sociology of women; women and health; and feminist theory.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • R. S. Weitz
  • Judith Lorber
  • Sandra Lee Bartky
  • Catherine Kohler Riessman
  • Susan K. Cahn
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2003


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