Desiring Revolution: Second-wave Feminism and the Rewriting by Jane Gerhard

By Jane Gerhard

There has been a second within the Nineteen Seventies while intercourse used to be what mattered so much to feminists. White middle-class girls considered intercourse as relevant to either their oppression and their liberation. younger women began to communicate and write concerning the clitoris, orgasm, and masturbation, and publishers and the inside track media jumped on the chance to disseminate their perspectives. In Desiring Revolution, Gerhard asks why problems with intercourse and feminine excitement got here to topic lots to those "second-wave feminists." In answering this question Gerhard finds the various perspectives of sexuality inside feminism and exhibits how the unconventional principles recommend by way of this new release of yankee ladies was once a reaction to makes an attempt to outline and include woman sexuality going again to the start of the century.

Gerhard starts via displaying how the "marriage specialists" of the 1st 1/2 the 20 th century led humans to think that girl sexuality used to be certain up in bearing childrens. principles approximately general, white, girl heterosexuality started to swap, notwithstanding, within the Fifties and Sixties with the generally stated, and a bit surprising, reports of Kinsey and Masters and Johnson, whose study spoke frankly approximately girl sexual anatomy, practices, and pleasures.

Gerhard then specializes in the sexual revolution among 1968 and 1975. studying the paintings of Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer, Erica Jong, and Kate Millet, between many others, she finds how little the varied representatives of this stream shared except the will that ladies achieve keep watch over in their personal sexual destinies. eventually, Gerhard examines the divisions that spread out among anti-pornography (or "anti-sex") feminists and anti-censorship (or "pro-sex") radicals.

At as soon as erudite and refreshingly obtainable, Desiring Revolution offers the 1st complete account of the unfolding of the feminist sexual revolution.

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Additional resources for Desiring Revolution: Second-wave Feminism and the Rewriting of American Sexual Thought, 1920 to 1982

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Van Der Velde, directly confronted the ambivalence at the heart of the new style of hetero- 24 modern women and modern marriage sexuality. 41 It soon became America’s best-selling marriage manual and went through an astonishing thirty-two reprintings by 1957. 42 The impressive popularity of Ideal Marriage set Van Der Velde apart from the hordes of other marriage experts offering advice to European and American audiences. 44 At the same time, Van Der Velde reassured his male readers that sexual equality did not have to undermine men’s authority at home.

95 Deutsch’s feminine woman shared the conservative features of the ideal woman of the companionate marriage: a passive female sexuality nurtured within a marriage marked by clearly defined role and identity differentiation between husband and wife. While Deutsch’s feminine woman conceded control over the outside world, she was not powerless. Rather, Deutsch reaffirmed the authority bestowed on women through their domestic roles by arguing that women’s mastery of the realm of emo- 36 modern women and modern marriage tions gave them power and authority in families and the world of relationships.

How this transfer took place appeared quite Byzantine to the uninitiated. As an infant, the girl’s began a short-lived state of preoedipal, libidinal attachment to her mother, which had enduring consequences on the feminine personality. According to Freud, the girl soon realized that her inadequate clitoris could not win her mother over to be the girl’s alone. She could never possess the beloved mother because she, the girl, was without a penis. At this point, the girl renounced her mother in favor of her father and a powerful wave of repression carried her into her latency period.

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