Female Sexualization: A Collective Work of Memory

Female Sexualization: A Collective Work of Memory

Female Sexualization: A Collective Work of Memory

Female Sexualization: A Collective Work of Memory

Excerpt

The same painful mixture of repugnance and attraction remains. Since we as a group of women began working on the subject of sexuality, we have been confronted almost weekly with some new book or other: advice-givers for the advice-seekers. It becomes intolerable, all these admonitory gestures, enjoining a 'sexual liberation' that amounts to little more than a programme of physical jerks. Is it our bourgeois morality that surfaces here? Or perhaps our longing to rid ourselves of the guilt that self‐ gratification produces, coupled with a restlessness, a secret thrill — will the written text tell us something we have never yet known or experienced? And so we continue to rummage amongst a pile of books marked ultimately by perpetual repetition.Boredom, tinged with embarrassment. Again the old morality within us, in spite of everything?

And now here we are proposing to throw another book onto the mounting pile, as if it weren't large enough already, as if it didn't already obscure our view of so many different questions. Yet this too is not an adequate objection. We will not fall back on the alternative of treating questions such as wage differentials as more important than sexual matters. We refuse the kind of ordering and hierarchization of problems that assumes without further investigation that there are certain difficulties whose pain we must necessarily suffer; that we must conform to a hierarchy of 'correct' causes of suffering. Our discussions have shown sexuality to be a crucial area of unhappiness (and of silence) for us as women, an area in which our speechlessness prevents us . . .

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