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New Millennial Sexstyles
New Millennial Sexstyles questions the twin feminist orthodoxies that the 1960s sexual revolution failed women and that the sexual attitudes most prominent in current youth cultures are deplorably regressive. Comparing the American sexscape she inhabits to the vision of contemporary culture produced by feminist theorists, Carol Siegel considers whether...
New Millennial Sexstyles questions the twin feminist orthodoxies that the 1960s sexual revolution failed women and that the sexual attitudes most prominent in current youth cultures are deplorably regressive. Comparing the American sexscape she inhabits to the vision of contemporary culture produced by feminist theorists, Carol Siegel considers whether the sexual revolution may have succeeded, but in ways not recognized by current academic studies of gender and sexuality. In discouraging undomesticated heterosexuality, academic feminism ignores the connection between mainstream opposition to all unrestrained sexual expression and the growth of new forms of homophobia in our times. At the same time, the youth subcultures’ challenges to these views of sexuality and gender have been dismissed as insignificant, or misunderstood as sexist. In this book, they receive more respectful attention. Siegel draws on her own experience as a college student to create a personal history of academic feminism’s early sympathy with bourgeois values. She looks at the development of American sex advice literature and at the reception of such "transgressive" popular films as Basic Instinct, Thelma and Louise, and Natural Born Killers to demonstrate that the most profoundly capitalist feminist theories have always been the most culturally authoritative. A more encouraging vision emerges in the book’s second half, where a record of conversations about sex and gender with young people, and of their responses to products designed for their consumption, takes the reader through some of today’s most radical youth cultures and suggests new directions for gender studies.
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