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Book Corner – March 2015

Women, Sexuality and the Political Power of Pleasure:

How often do we think of sexuality and pleasure in the same sentence? And even when we do, are we sure we are not still wearing our patriarchal hats? Susie Jolly, Andrea Cornwall and Kate Hawkins question the same in their book, ‘Women, Sexuality and the Political Power of Pleasure’, which explores how sexuality features in discourses on gender. With various stories from the developing world, this book published by Zed Books also takes a holistic look at positive approaches to sexuality.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“Gender and development has tended to engage with sexuality only in relation to violence and ill-health. Although this has been hugely important in challenging violence against women, over emphasising these negative aspects has dovetailed with conservative ideologies that associate women’s sexualities with danger and fear. On the other hand, the media, the pharmaceutical industry, and pornography more broadly celebrate the pleasures of sex in ways that can be just as oppressive, often implying that only certain types of people – young, heterosexual, able-bodied, HIV negative – are eligible for sexual pleasure”.

Learn more about the book here.